'Light Rob' goes heavy: Glenn Robinson III ditches quiet efficiency for impactful double-double
ANN ARBOR -- Glenn Robinson III is so efficient, it sometimes seems as though he doesn't have much impact on a game.
Then you look up, and the Michigan freshman is in double digits.
Staffers on the video team have coined the nickname "Light Rob," and teammates have taken to it because of the forward's quiet efficiency.
"They said I tend to find light points -- a light 10, or whatever," Robinson said. "But I don't really pay attention to my points, I just go out there and do whatever."
What he did against Iowa was anything but light, anything but quiet.
Robinson scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds Sunday in a 95-67 thrashing of Iowa (11-4, 0-2). He is the first Michigan freshman with at least 20 and 10 since LaVell Blanchard in 1999-2000.
The performance included several highlight reel dunks and a pair of rim-quaking alley-oops.
"I'm just finding some slashes toward the basket, running the floor, doing my job, and Trey (Burke) seems to find me every time for that lob," Robinson said. "He knows I can get up there. He just throws it up, and I go get it.
"It's a lot of fun being up there (in the air). A lot of people ask me how's it being up there. It's pretty cool."
Robinson did most of his work in two ways: In transition, and finding pockets along the baseline.
He said Michigan likes to watch the Los Angeles Clippers and how they get out on the break. The Clippers currently rank third in the NBA in transition offense.
The Wolverines have the pieces to do it, too. Burke, the team's star point guard, already has drawn comparisons to the Clippers' Chris Paul.
Michigan hasn't been an up-tempo team in the past under coach John Beilein, but now is running more than ever. And why not, when it has bigs such as Mitch McGary and Jordan Morgan who are outletting the ball as well as ever, Burke to distribute -- and guys such as Robinson who can sky as well as anyone in the country?
The Wolverines' fast break was clinical against Iowa, outscoring the Hawkeyes 16-0 in transition.
"We take pride in running the floor," Robinson said. "We watch the Clippers all the time, and watch those transition plays, and we try to get the ball up as fast as we can. Oops, transition 3s, all of that.
"(Burke) just throws it up there, knowing I can go get it. ... Trey's the best point guard I've played with -- and maybe the best point guard in America."
Robinson kept Michigan competitive during a back-and-forth opening 13 minutes against Iowa, when the Wolverines fell behind 7-0 and led for just 49 seconds. The freshman scored 10 of the team's first 21 points.
Then Michigan began to pull away with a 8-0 run to end the half, and Robinson put the finishing touches on the run with a layup as the buzzer went off to end the first half.
"What stands out about him is not the vertical jump, but the quickness he can get to the rim," Beilein said. "I thought, 'There's no way we're going to get another shot at the end of the first half.' We got (the ball) with 3.6 seconds -- and all of the sudden, he's laying it in. You got to have a heck of a motor to do that.
"We think about athleticism as north-south -- it is east-west. Those guys can run."
Michigan is featuring its transition offense more than ever, playing to that strength.
"We've always run wherever I've been -- but we run a little faster now, jump a little higher," Beilein said.
Robinson kept Michigan competitive, then punctuated the team's midgame push by soaring for flush after flush. He made 8-of-13 shots, and grabbed 10 rebounds, his first career double-double.
And, just like that, Light Rob doesn't seem doesn't seem quiet anymore.
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