Kan Li / Scout

Devin Robinson ready to shoot more for the Florida Gators

Devin Robinson’s athleticism stood out during his freshman year, but the rest of his game needed work.

Heading into his sophomore season, Robinson is optimistic that his hard work has him more prepared to be a complete player. 

His 6-8, 195-pound frame created problems for opposing defenses, as Robinson surprised them with his quickness and had the length to be a problem on the defensive end. However, his shot was inconsistent from all over the floor. As a freshman, Robinson shot 40.2 percent (78-194) from the field and 25.6 percent (21-82) from behind the three-point line.

There were some games where he got hot from long range he hit four three-pointers in a 14-point, six-rebound game at Missouri late in the season. There were too many games were his shot went cold.

The inconsistency was nothing abnormal for a freshman, but some of the problems came from his hesitancy. He wasn’t always ready to shoot the ball when he caught it, and his feet were rarely set because of it.

“(The new coaching staff) just told me to be ready to shoot every time,” Robinson said. “I’m starting to get ready before I shoot and then I shoot instead of waiting until the ball comes to me, then get ready to try to shoot and try to take it to the hole. It feels good. I’ve been practicing it all summer and just to see the ball go in, that makes me feel more confident. I know I can shoot it, so I’m just going to keep shooting.”

First-year Florida coach Mike White sees Robinson as a player the Gators can use to their advantage, creating matchup issues for the opposing team. He has worked almost exclusively at small forward for the Gators during the beginning of practices, but White said the staff is well aware of what he can bring to the power forward position if they need him to play there.

Wherever he plays, the coaches will ask Robinson to use his length on the offensive glass more this year. He wasn’t much of a factor on the glass on either side of the floor last year -- totaling his career high of seven twice -- while averaging 2.8 rebounds per game. It’s not enough for a player with his size and athleticism.

“As a rangy athletic (small forward) who can shoot the ball, it gives you definitely a weapon offensively,” White said. “It should give you a huge weapon on the offensive glass, and that’s a challenge with Devin. We have to get him to be more of a force on the offensive glass and use his length defensively.”

It’s a challenge Robinson has accepted. Maintaining energy was a challenge for him last season, but he sees the impact energy can make for him and the Gators this season.

“I’m just trying to go harder,” Robinson said. “When my defender looks away, I’m just going to attack the rim every single time. I know that’s what they need and expect of me, so I’ll just do everything I can to do that.”

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