Over the past 12 months Glenn Robinson III has gone from being classified as an under-the-radar "tweener" to being rated a top 100 prospect and one of the best scoring forwards in his class. Proof positive that a lot of hard work and a little physical maturation can go a long way.
"I think last year about this time I was probably 180 lbs., and now I'm a solid 200," Robinson stated. "I‘ve been in the weight room getting stronger and more explosive around the basket. I can get up above the rim and grab (rebounds) over some bigger guys. I'm being more aggressive, and I still need to be even more aggressive. I think that's what got me (into the top 100)."
"I think athlete player kind of looks at the rankings to see where they're at. It's not so much that it bothered me, it motivated me to work harder to get up there with those guys."
Though clearly pleased that his game is now being recognized, Robinson is by no means satisfied. He continues to push himself every time he steps on the court, whether it's on the summer AAU circuit, or during informal open gym sessions like the one he participated in during his visit to Michigan yesterday.
"It was pretty fun," Robinson said. "I played well. I hit a couple of shots. I think most of the time Stu Douglass was on my team with Smotrycz, and a couple of the other guys. I played pretty well. I had a lot of rebounds and I had a couple of fast break dunks. I kind of brag about it because I went up and dunked one, then right before I dunked it Novak ran past and tried to block it. I had to tell him about it afterward. (Laughter)"
The good-natured ribbing is yet another indicator of just how comfortable Robinson feels in Ann Arbor. The already strong rapport between he and the team has been enhanced by the addition of his former AAU teammate, Max Bielfeldt. The only unfamiliars on the roster were freshmen guards Trey Burke and Carlton Brundidge… until yesterday.
"They spent most of the day with me," said Robinson regarding Burke and Brundidge. "We went and grabbed some lunch after they got out of their first class. I kind of just hung out with them until open gym."
Once the games started Robinson found himself almost as with impressed with the newcomers as he was with the veterans.
"Max looked pretty good," he said. "He always had that little pick and pop game, and that's what he did in the open gym. He got that shot and he knocked it down. He got a couple of rebounds and played hard. He looked a lot better. He slimmed down a little bit and put on some more muscle."
"I had always heard Trey was a really good player. We got out there and he could shoot the lights out. He froze the defender then could pull up and shoot it. He played real well. Carlton too. They both played real well and they're real nice guys."
Neither freshman guard would have been considered "nice" during their match-ups with Mishawaka (IN) PG, Demetrius Jackson. To young floor general's credit, though, he gave as good as he got.
"(Jackson) went out there and did his thing," said Robinson. "I think competed against Trey and Carlton pretty well. He's a very good player too. He played pretty good. Me and him both seemed to fit in pretty good when we were playing."
Based on those descriptions one might assume the day was ruled by young upstarts. That assumption would be wrong.
"If I had to pick the player of the day I probably would have had to pick two," Robinson said. "Zack and Stu. They competed hard. They were going against each other most of the time. Stu would come down and knock down a shot, Zack would get mad about, and then he would come down and knock down one. They were going at it."
When the games ended, the crew was one big happy family again… a family that Robinson can't wait to be a part of. As a matter of fact he hopes his excitement rubs off of AAU teammate, Mitch McGary, who just visited Michigan the day prior.
"I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him about (the visit) yet to see how he liked it, but I heard from the coaches that he seemed to enjoy himself and had fun playing with the guys at open gym," reported Robinson. "He seemed to fit in pretty well too."
"Knowing him I think Michigan has a pretty good shot at him. Me and Max Bielfeldt both played on SYF (AAU team) with him, so he knows some people (at Michigan). It's not too far from home because he stays in Chesterton (IN, which is not too far from me. We basically hang out the whole summer because of AAU and rooming together, so he'll have a roommate. (Michigan) is a great school. It just seems like a pretty good fit. He hasn't really said much about his recruiting process, so I'm not totally sure how things are going, but I think we do have a shot at him."