Robinson looks to build on late-year success

DePaul senior forward/center Forrest Robinson sure did learn a few things along the way coming to DePaul and the Big East conference after previous stops at North Texas and South Plains College.

“(Big East basketball) is a whole lot different than junior college,” said Forrest Robinson at Big East media day, explaining what he took away from playing big-time Division 1 basketball. “It's definitely an honor to pay in the Big East and its rich tradition. It's a great conference, very competitive and it's fun to play in.”

Robinson's adjustment to DePaul was rocky at first, as he missed the first five games of the year with a high-ankle sprain. He would get in DePaul's sixth game of the year, against Texas, while playing just one minute. From there, he would receive less than 10 minutes a game in his next four contests. But once Big East play began in earnest, Robinson started to really emerge from his shell.

He would start seven games in Big East play, while starting the last six (including both games in the Big East tournament) the Blue Demons played in. In all, he wound up averaging 3.9 points and 1.9 rebounds while shooting .547 from the floor on the year. While his numbers were not eye-opening, he was a major spark with his ability to stretch the floor. He had an uncanny ability to knock down clutch three pointers.

Robinson finished the season shooting .407 from three-point range, knocking down 22 of his 54 attempts.

However, Robinson is looking to expand his game in his senior season and not just be defined by being a stretch-four.

“This offseason we've been experimenting with stuff like mid-post, working inside and also trying to take the ball off the dribble,” said Robinson.

As a senior, Robinson is taking on more of a leadership role this year and has taken that responsibility to heart.

“Yeah definitely,” said Robinson about being a mentor. “(Sometimes) you got to tell the guys being on time is important. Working hard at everything and even the little things—attention to detail—is very important. That can take you a long way.”

No doubt Robinson got more comfortable in his surroundings last year as the season winded down, as he scored in double-figures three times in his last 10 games. And who could forget his outburst in the first-round game against Georgetown in the Big East Tournament?

If you recall, Robinson was a major factor in that game. Robinson finished with a career high 14 points, hitting two key, momentum-shifting three-pointers in the final six minutes.

The game was not lost on Robinson, who looks to carry over that performance into this year.

“It's good to know when you get on a stage (like that) and feel you belong,” Robinson said. “I grew up watching the Big East on TV and I never thought I would make it to Madison Square Garden. Once you're there on the stage and perform (well), it feels good. It's a good confidence builder moving forward.”

With DePaul recently losing power forward/center Rashaun Stimage for up to 10 weeks (he broke his foot in Saturday's intra-squad scrimmage), a player like Robinson will have to step up and make up for the loss.

It's next man up for DePaul now, and Robinson will be at the forefront. He and the team are ready to put the past behind them and get the ball rolling this year.

“There is no place to go but up,” Robinson concluded. “We’re more together as a team (this year) and we're just going to go out and compete every single minute of every single game. (Our goal) is to win the Big East championship, finish strong, play good basketball and have fun while doing it.”

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