Robinson brings roster versatility

With his size, skill, and athleticism, Devin Robinson fills some holes in what is a very talented Gators roster.

As four-star forward Devin Robinson announced his intentions to pick Florida at his high school, he became the third commitment for the Gators in the 2014 class. It is a class loaded with talent, and now Robinson fills a bit of a need on an already loaded roster.

Projecting the Gators roster is a bit difficult at the power forward position because the long term plans of former five-star Chris Walker are up in the air. Walker isn't immediately eligible, and a decision on him staying for a second year in college or leaving after one isn't certain. However what is clear with the roster is there is a lot of room for a player with Robinson's skillset.

Right now Robinson is a 6-foot-8 forward. He doesn't fit the traditional power forward definition and he also doesn't quite fit as a small forward either. He is a new age hybrid player that coaches love to use as matchup nightmares against opponents depending on their personnel.

When projecting the Florida roster, the Gators have Damontre Harris and Chris Walker who are interior players, and then Dorian Finney-Smith who is another forward. As a freshman at Virginia Tech, Finney-Smith was a rebounding machine and someone who provided an athletic presence and a lot of energy.

Robinson though physically is similar to Finney-Smith, has a very different game. Robinson has almost a laid back style of play and is a natural scorer. His ability to handle the ball, get to the mid-range, and hit from three make him someone who defenses don't know how to defend. While Finney-Smith is a bit more comfortable offensively close to the basket, Robinson is more comfortable operating from the perimeter.

In his mind Robinson is already a pure wing, and there is a very good chance before too long that will actually be the case, making him someone with high NBA potential because of long term upside.

With that he is the only player like that on the roster. Finney-Smith will never be a skilled wing who can dribble, pass, and shoot like a guard, and the others who can play on the wing are more guards who lack ideal size, outside of reserve DeVon Walker.

Because of this it looks like Robinson has the potential to fill a major need as a mismatch player going forward. Against teams that go small, Head Coach Billy Donovan can put him on the wing and create a size mismatch, against bigger teams he can put Robinson as a stretch power forward and make opponents who aren't comfortable moving their feet on the perimeter do that.

His presence allows Donovan a lot of different lineup combinations, and makes it so that they can afford some foul trouble which is likely going to happen in their pressure defensive system.

Overall this is a big piece to the puzzle for the Gators who were looking to add depth both on the wing and at the four. It doesn't happen often, but Florida was able to fill two needs with just one commitment.


Scout Hoops Top Stories