After No. 12 Virginia Tech’s 47-24 victory over No. 23 N.C. State, Buzz Williams announced that starting point guard Justin Robinson will be out indefinitely.
Williams did not specify what the injury to Robinson is though it appears to be either a foot or ankle injury given the walking boot he was wearing before and during today’s game.
Hey, Joe .. is Justin Robinson playing today or any time soon?” pic.twitter.com/j7PIyAL3XS
— Joe Giglio (@jwgiglio) February 2, 2019
Before the injury, Justin Robinson was averaging 14.4 points, 5.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.7 steals with a shooting split of .475/.411/.825 (FG%/3FG%/FT%). Robinson’s injury comes after the Hokies’ senior point guard had 17 points in only 19 minutes against Miami, one game after breaking VT’s career assist record in a 35-point, 8-assist performance against Syracuse.
Without Robinson, the Hokies struggled early having 9 first half turnovers while scoring only 5 points in the first 10 minutes, but VT eventually found their offensive rhythm on the way to a 47-24 victory that included only 3 second half turnovers.
With Robinson out, backup PG Wabissa Bede started in his place and played all 40 minutes (along with Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Ahmed Hill) while Isaiah Wilkins moved into the sixth man role, Jon Kabongo received a few minutes early in the game, and walk-on Brendan Palmer was dressed for this game.
Going forward, the Hokies’ focus will likely be to make sure that Robinson is 100% ready to go for the ACC and NCAA Tournaments with the obvious priority being on the latter one of those two. While the Hokies likely won’t be as good without their star PG, it’s clear that VT still has plenty of talent to stay among the top 5-6 teams in the conference.
Meanwhile, expect heavy minutes for Bede with Alexander-Walker and Bede being the two primary ballhandlers. Wilkins seems poised for a consistent sixth man role in the coming weeks while it wouldn’t be surprising to see work Kabongo in for brief 1ish minute stints to give someone a brief break before a media timeout. It also seems likely that Palmer will continue to dress as an emergency depth guy with it being possible that VT looks to give him a couple of minutes in any blowouts in the coming weeks.
The biggest and growing concern surrounds VT’s depth for the next few weeks with a limited six-man rotation due to the injuries suffered by Robinson and P.J. Horne, who is also out indefinitely with an unspecified injury.