Justin Robinson is a 6’1 ½” lead guard for the Virginia Tech Hokies. Robinson was a Second Team All-ACC selection as a junior and was on track for all-conference honors again as a senior before suffering a foot injury in late January. The physical, crafty, sharp-shooter is a natural facilitator and his game projects cleanly to the next level. After a nearly two-month hiatus, he will look to lead the Hokies on a deep NCAA Tournament run and solidify his stock in the presence of onlooking NBA scouts and front office decision-makers.
Tale of the Tape
Initiating Contact at the Rim
Robinson is slightly shorter than the 6’3” average NBA lead guard, but he has a sturdy, muscle-bound frame. Robinson’s girth and functional strength enable him to initiate contact at the rim and adeptly finish through it. The lefty has soft, natural touch that makes him a viable finisher regardless of his body contortion and momentum shifts following in-air contact.
On half-court attempts around the basket this season, Robinson ranks in the 87th percentile by converting at a rate of 1.354 PPP. His 64.6 FG% at the rim in half-court derived offense is an impressive clip for a point guard of his stature.
As a highly efficient perimeter shooting threat, Robinson warrants tight on-ball defense and uses this to his advantage to blow by his defender. He is then able to fluidly gather off of two feet and explode into interior defenders. Robinson has had a knack for drawing fouls as a driver throughout his career, and even when rim protectors go straight up and maintain verticality, Robinson attacks their chest and creates space for a high percentage look at the rim.
In the clip below, we highlight Robinson’s strength as a contact initiator and his mid-air body control as an acrobatic finisher.
When Robinson isn’t initiating contact at the rim and finishing over taller defenders, he is looking for open teammates on the perimeter. Robinson has a great outside shot, shooting 41.1% from deep this season on 4.3 attempts per game. As noted above, this forces defenders to crowd him and force him off of the three-point line. Robinson excels at getting downhill after gaining a step on a defender that over commits to his shooting threat.
Robinson also has good feel for setting up ball-screen angles and patiently manipulating the defense’s pick-and-roll coverage to find his way into the paint. Once he gets some momentum toward the lane, his strength then allows him to keep his defender on his hip, forcing weak side defense to slide in and commit to help.
Once Robinson sees a help defender commit to cutting off his driving angle, he has the vision and intuition to time and place a perfect kick-out pass to a freed-up spot-up three-point shooter.
Robinson is an ideal lead facilitator in Virginia Tech’s five-out offense. He notched 13 assists in just 28 minutes of play in an early season match-up against Central Connecticut and averages 5.2 dimes per game. His nearly 2.0 AST/TO ratio is solid, but there is certainly room for improvement if he can decrease his risk profile and reduce his unforced errors.
In the clip below, we highlight Robinson’s ability to get past his defender on the perimeter, force help defense, and find open shooters.
Robinson will be comfortable with a consistently spaced floor at the next level and should be able to thrive in a spread pick-and-roll offense.
Robinson has flown a bit under the radar after having missed been sidelined with a left foot injury since January 30th, but certainly shouldn’t be taken lightly as a prospect. Robinson, a Virginia native, projects to receive a Portsmouth Invitational Tournament invite, but it will be interesting to see if he accepts or chooses to heal up to 100% between the NCAA tournament and pre-draft combine/workouts.
Ultimately, Robinson is a very well-rounded point guard that has some NBA rotation lead guard equity and is a viable two-way contract candidate.
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