DePaul's Mystery Man, Forrest Robinson

Sir Winston Churchill once described Russia as "a riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma". Those words could also apply to incoming DePaul prospect Forrest Robinson. Very little is known about the Juco big man. In this report, we unwrap the mystery that is Forrest Robinson.

Junior big man Forrest Robinson arrived on DePaul's Lincoln Park campus on Sunday, yet so little is known of him. The 6-10, 230 lb. junior college prospect played sparingly as a sophomore at South Plains College in Levelland, Texas. Playing only 7.9 minutes per game, Robinson averaged 2.8 points and two rebounds per game for the Texans.

So, we turned to one of the few people on the planet who can give us some insight on Robinson, South Plains assistant coach Hank Plona.

Plona has watched Robinson in practice ever since Forrest arrived following his freshman year at North Texas.

As it turns out, there were a number of reasons why Robinson played as little as he did.

"It's a combination of a few things," said Plona.

One of those things was being on the same team as Yanick Moreira, a 6-10 center who has signed with SMU.

"He played behind the guy who was the best junior college player in the country," Plona said. "He was a returner for us, where Forrest transferred in. He was the most valuable player at the national tournament the previous year, we were 36-0. It was tough for Forrest to break in with Yanick there."

Added to that was a slow start due to an injury that Robinson picked up as a freshman.

"He got himself behind at the start because of a leg injury," said Plona. "In my opinion, Forrest got better and better as the year went on physically and athletically. He was injured at North Texas (as a freshman), where he missed a lot of the year with the injury. When we got him, he wasn't in the best of shape in the world. I will tell you, by the time he left here in early May, we were saying regularly, ‘Where was this guy all year?'. Athletically and physically, his body was finally good. As a big guy when you have an injury, it can take long to get going."

Robinson was also playing at a level where big men aren't always needed in the lineup due to matchups.

"We play so many teams that don't have a true post player," said Hank. "Most of the teams in our league, their biggest guy is 6-6. It's tough to play two big guys when you're playing teams that are small in the frontcourt and we had six post players this year. All six of those guys are going to play Division I basketball."

With the departure of big men Donnavan Kirk and Derrell Robertson, DePaul will have opportunities for playing time in the post this season. Robinson will compete for playing time in the pivot along with senior transfer Sandi Marcius and freshman Tommy Hamilton, Jr.

Can Forrest be counted on to play for the Blue Demons this season?

"When he's good physically, then I absolutely think he can play in the Big East," said Plona. "He moves, he knows the game, he's very, very smart. He's very, very skilled. He can really shoot. His intelligence translates onto the court. I think there are a lot of things he can bring to the table."

What Robinson brings to the table is an offensive skillset.

"He has a skillset that is kind of unique," said Hank. "He's very, very skilled. He can really shoot the ball. Being 6-10 and being able to do that, and being able to pass and shoot, which he does very well, he can really contribute to the game from the offensive side."

On the defensive side of the ball, Robinson still has room for improvement.

"He's not the most athletic guy in the world," Plona said. "He plays more off of positioning and his intelligence. He's very long, strong and tough. He's not a shot blocker. Offensively is the reason why he can help at that level. Defensively he has to keep improving. At the level he's going to play at, it's something he's going to have to focus on. He is very good moving laterally. He's a very smart player and can make up for not having NBA athleticism."

By arriving on campus now, Robinson can work on his game, get acclimated to his new level, and get ready for the coming season. Stay tuned to WeAreDePaul.com for the very latest on the Blue Demons.


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