Michigan Basketball: Wolverines Officially add transfer Duncan Robinson (VIDEO)


Beilein has brought another unheralded prospect to Michigan Basketball in hopes of developing Duncan Robinson into an All-Big Ten player. Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

It’s almost a cliche at this point, but it’s still worth repeating: John Beilein has an eye for overlooked talent. The examples are plenty: from Trey Burke‘s metamorphosis from three-star to Player of the Year, to Spike Albrecht only receiving only one other scholarship offer to scoring 17 in a National Championship game, to turning Jordan Morgan from an out of shape high schooler into a defensive stalwart.

Each Beilein recruit has a unique trait that led to a lack of recruitment: undersized, few stars on the ranking sites, had to take an extra prep year. Michigan basketball’s newest addition, Duncan Robinson, might have the strangest reason: he committed to a Division 3 school. When Williams College, a Northwest powerhouse in academics and basketball, offered Robinson a roster spot, he accepted.

Robinson ended up starting at Williams, scoring 17 a game while leading the team to a National Championship game. A 6 foot 8 shooter, he began turning heads with his multi-faceted game.

A story from Yahoo’s Jeff Eisenberg mentions how Robinson’s high school coach received a flood of calls from college coaches during the season, remorseful they hadn’t recruited Robinson more.

It seemed to be wishful thinking until the Williams College coach decided to leave the program, and Robinson decided to exercise his option to transfer. The same coaches who missed on Robinson initially would have a second chance to recruit him.

Despite interest from Boston College and Creighton, Robinson reached out to programs he felt he would thrive in. One was Davidson. The other, Michigan.

Beilein noticed Robinson’s 45.3 shooting percentage from beyond the arc and was immediately intrigued. Robinson’s tall frame also meant that he could become a stretch four or tall three in the Michigan system.

A confirmation of the mutual feelings occurred when Robinson visited Ann Arbor. A scholarship was offered, and Robinson happily announced on Twitter his decision to Go Blue.

Due to NCAA rules, Robinson will set out next season. It will become the equivalent of a redshirt season, and Robinson will have three years of eligibility. The year off will be great for Robinson’s physique as he can bulk up to the standards of a Big Ten player.

Robinson’s future is hard to project, because he will likely occupy the small forward position currently held down by the three-headed monster of Caris LaVert, Zak Irvin, and freshman Kameron Chatman. All three have possible NBA futures, and it depends on when and if each leave for the Draft.

In any scenario, Robinson is most likely a second unit player during his first year playing for the Wolverines. He can provide some instant shooting off the bench, much like Irvin did last year. After that, he will have the opportunity to become a big part of the rotation.

Tale of the Tape

UMHoops compiled a series of highlights for the transfer, and it’s mostly evidence that Robinson is a deadeye shooter. He also has a deceptive handle that frees him up when defenses don’t give him room to shoot.  The video is below:

Michigan opens up this season on November 15th against Hillsdale College.