James Robinson fitting in for Pitt as true freshman

Mike Stobe

The young point guard is already a major contributor to the team.

It's not often you see true freshmen stepping in to start for a team that could easily be ranked in the Top 25. It's even more rare to find one playing a key role on such a team.

But Pitt's James Robinson is doing just that.

Robinson isn't a star yet -- that much is clear. But if you watch him, it's easy to see that the potential is there to be a big time player. I don't know that Robinson will ever be a major scorer, but (and yeah, it's early) he could be well on the way to being the next name mentioned in Pitt's point guard lineage of guys like Brandin Knight, Carl Krauser, Levance Fields, and Tray Woodall.

Want to know the truest sign that Robinson could be destined for great things? In my mind, it's that he has three turnovers ... in the entire season. That's despite logging heavy minutes as a guard. The fewest he's played all season was 24 minutes against Delaware on Friday and he's averaging just under 30 per game. That's insane for a true freshman, but Robinson is handling it well. He's a smart player with a basketball IQ you don't see out of some seniors.

There's room for improvement, though, obviously. He's shooting a modest 41 percent from the field and he has had virtually no three-point shot, making only 1-of-9 so far. It also would be nice to see him dish out a few more assists with that many minutes as he's averaging fewer than three a game.

But the good has far outweighed the bad. He's had at least six points in four of Pitt's six games and Robinson played his best when the Panthers really needed it. Trailing Oakland late in the game, Robinson made two clutch free throws with time winding down to send the game into overtime. And with 14 points in that game, he led all of Pitt's starting five.

It's early, but the future is extremely bright for Robinson.

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