These two Florida Gators athletes have a lot in common. They each played point guard, and they each were starters entering their freshman year.
One of the most important facts about them was that they each won the SEC Freshman of the Year award. Roberson collected it in 2003, while Calathes received it in 2008.
Similar to these two athletes, Florida Gators Head Coach Billy Donovan once again brought in an incredible player who is talented enough to win the SEC Freshman of the Year Award.
When I heard about Robinson and how he would change the landscape at Florida, I did what I do with every player, watch as much film as I needed to see. The small forward from Virginia is pretty impressive to say none the least.
(Look at the Gator chomp at 1:11)
Initially watching his tapes, I had three thoughts.
One. Who does he play like?
The first person I though of was Paul George. It was easy to reach for that comparison since they each are 6’8 and around 200 or more pounds (Robinson closer to 185). But when I watched the film, I saw a player who has a jumpshot form that is silky smooth. It looks though Robinson has a shot that is close to fully being developed, while George is still learning how to consistently shoot (*On a side note, get better P.G.*).
Then I thought, he is not athletic enough to be in the same class as Paul George. Then again how many people can do this?
(seriously, get better soon P.G.)
At one point Kerry Kittles was a great player in college. At Villanova he won the Big East Player of the Year in 1995, and became a First Team All-American selection in 1996. During his NBA tenure with the New Jersey Nets, Kittles averaged 17.2 points a game and shot 41 percent from the 3-point line. Because of Kittles’ scoring ability, the Nets were also apart of two straight NBA Finals appearances.
If Robinson could develop into half of the player that Kittles was as a pro, he might become an All American before he leaves the Gators.
The other person I thought of was Jeremy Lamb, since their shooting forms look identical (he actually looks like he could be Lamb’s younger brother).
Two. How awesome can Devin Robinson be at Florida?
Robinson has a sweet jumper that looks like it can get even better with a lot of tutelage under Billy Donovan.
Coach Donovan’s style of play is a perfect mesh with Robinson since he loves to shoot and knows how to score in the half court setting. The run and gun uptempo style of the Gators is a compliment to each of their skills as a coach and player respectively.
It was this style of feast or famine 3-point shooting philosophy that the Gators used to reach the Final Four last year.
Now toss in a point guard who loves to pass first and can breakdown defenses at will. Kasey Hill will make life easier on the perimeter for Robinson. He will have a lot of open looks next season with since Hill will be running the show (I mentioned him earlier this year).
Three. Why was he snubbed?
The only reason why Robinson didn’t play in the 2014 McDonalds All-American game is because he was a five-year prep player. The rule has been there for a while now, so I had no qualms with that decision. At one point, even John Wallcouldn’t participate in the contest and he was the No. 1 player in his high school class.
However, I was surprised that Devin Robinson was left off of the roster for the Jordan Brand Classic. It was pretty odd to see a player ranked No. 20 overall on Rivals not have the chance to play with the other Jordan Brand Classic athletes.
Next season outlook
Though it was a bummer to not watch him play in these awesome high school all-star games, it will be glorious introduction to see him on the college landscape playing for the Gators.
The added motivation for Robinson could be that he was left to be a spectator to watch all four Kentucky freshman (Devin Booker, Karl Towns, Trey Lyles, Tyler Ulis) play in the JBC. Now those same players will be suiting up for Kentucky and are one of the Gators biggest rivals.
Unlike the four Kentucky phenoms, Robinson will have more of an opportunity to play next season and make an immediate impact in Gainesville. With the departure of Casey Prather, Will Yeguete, and Patric Young gone, it opens up the roster for Robinson to not only start but be a difference maker.
Next season, Robinson has all of the skill and physical ability to become the Florida Gators third SEC Freshman of the Year.