- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - The last time Duncan Robinson played in the NCAA Tournament, it was the Division III version.

Robinson was a star for one season at Williams College, and in 2014 the Ephs came within seconds of winning a national title. Then he was off to Michigan, and after sitting out a year as a transfer, he has made a major impact for the Wolverines with his outside shooting.

Michigan was very much on the bubble Sunday, but the Wolverines were included in the NCAA field of 68 and will face Tulsa in the First Four on Wednesday night.

“When we got into the tournament at Williams, I might have gotten one text, from my mom,” Robinson said. “This time, I got a few more, I guess you could say.”

When Williams received an at-large bid to the 62-team Division III tournament two years ago, Robinson said his team had to watch the announcement via the Internet.

“You’ve got to stream it,” he said. “It’s not even on a channel.”

Williams made it all the way to the national title game before losing to Wisconsin-Whitewater on a last-second shot. Coach Mike Maker left to take the Marist job, and Robinson transferred to Michigan.

The jump from Division III to the Big Ten was an unusual one, but Robinson’s stats from his freshman season indicated he might be a good fit in coach John Beilein’s perimeter-oriented offense. Robinson averaged 17.1 points per game for Williams and shot 46 percent from 3-point range.

After sitting out a season, Robinson came seemingly out of nowhere to give the Wolverines a boost this past November. In his second college game, he made every shot he took - including five 3-pointers - in a 19-point performance against Elon. By mid-December, he was in Michigan’s starting lineup.

After a win over Rutgers on Jan. 27, the 6-foot-8 Robinson was shooting 51 percent from 3-point range. Since then, his percentage has dipped, perhaps because opponents finally realized they needed to make stopping him a priority.

Beilein attributed some of Robinson’s recent struggles to the fact that Michigan star Caris LeVert is out for the season with a lower leg injury.

“If you compare Duncan’s stats, post-Caris, it’s a big difference,” Beilein said recently. “That’s a big difference for us in getting open looks.”

Robinson is still shooting 44.8 percent from beyond the arc this season, the second-best mark in the Big Ten. In the conference tournament, he made tying 3-pointers in the final minute against both Northwestern and Indiana. The Wolverines won both games, and that was ultimately enough to put them in the NCAAs.

“That’s one of the reasons why I did come here - a team that regularly makes the NCAA Tournament,” Robinson said. “We’re excited to be back after missing it last year.”

Robinson’s performance against Northwestern was particularly encouraging for Michigan. He matched his season high with 21 points and went 4 of 6 from 3-point range. If that’s a sign that Robinson is recapturing his early-season form, then that’s good news for the Wolverines.

“Just playing in postseason games, with a lot more on the line - in a lot of cases, the opportunity to build our resume for making this NCAA Tournament,” Robinson said. “Just that experience of playing on that stage, I think helps going forward.”

___

Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide