After getting off to a 3-1 start to ACC play, the Hokies faced much tougher competition with only three of their next 8 games being at home and the only victory in that span coming in the one home game against an unranked team.
However, one Hokie started to emerge towards the end of this tough string of games for the Hokies and is a big reason why Virginia Tech was able to climb as high as the 6 seed for this year’s ACC Tournament along with putting the Hokies in good position to make the NIT and on the fringes of the NCAA Tournament bubble.
Justin Robinson has broken out over the last 7 games as the freshman point guard has scored in double figures in six of those seven games and is averaging 12.7 points per game over that stretch. Robinson has also had four games with at least 3 assists with the most significant performance coming against Miami on Saturday when he had a career-high 8 assists.
The freshman point guard from the Washington D.C. area has become a starter recently, and has brought great toughness, energy, and aggressiveness along with a fair share of poise for a freshman point guard. Robinson still makes some freshman mistakes, but his poise and calm at the point is above-average which showed some as he adapted to Miami’s full-court press.
Buzz Williams has talked about how Robinson has what Williams calls “little-man syndrome” as someone that doesn’t care about the size of his opponent and is willing to attack no matter what. Robinson has done exactly that as someone that is willing to take the ball to the rim and either get himself a layup, draw a foul, or dish the ball to an open teammate whether it be a simple pass or a spectacular 360 spin and pass to Jalen Hudson against Miami.
Robinson’s toughness has helped him improve slowly but steadily as a defender that can be relied on for stretches of the game with Devin Wilson coming in for either Seth Allen or Robinson in some cases. Robinson still has a lot of room to grow, but what has become clear is that Robinson is willing to put in the hard work to make sure that he can play at a high level in the ACC.
Robinson’s offensive breakout plus his poise has led to a significant increase in playing time for the freshman along with the improvement of Virginia Tech over the past few weeks. Robinson has allowed the Hokies to use Seth Allen some on the wing instead of the point, and the former Maryland guard has seemed to do better in that role along with still being able to take over a possession that gets inside 7 seconds on the shot clock.
Justin Robinson has gone from being probably the most unheralded of the three freshmen to being the most important contributor, and biggest star of a trio that has the potential to take the Hokies to a higher level than previously seen.