Has Robinson earned a starting spot?

Freshman Stanford Robinson has played well of late. Will it result in a lineup change?

Freshman guard Stanford Robinson was one of the only bright spots for Indiana in a 73-56 home loss to Michigan State on Saturday.

Robinson had 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting, four rebounds and two assists in 26 minutes against the Spartans. He has played heavier minutes lately, and has made a strong case for being in the starting lineup Saturday at Penn State.

Prior to the Big Ten season, Robinson had the team's highest plus-minus, and it wasn't close, according to coach Tom Crean. Crean said on his weekly radio show Monday that Robinson has strung several good practices together recently.

Robinson guarded Illinois star Rayvonte Rice down the stretch in an overtime loss on New Year's Eve, and he did an admirable job. Rice scored only four points on 1-of-6 shooting against Robinson, who guarded him the most of any Indiana player.

On Saturday, he guarded Michigan State's Gary Harris in the second half.

"I wish we would have gotten him on Harris earlier in the first half, to be honest with you," Crean said after the game. "You've got to match a guy's desire like that to compete in the game. Stan did that.

"He's got a personality, he's got a toughness about him. He's building his skill level."

My guess is Robinson will be in the starting lineup when the Hoosiers play Penn State. He's earned it. Who will he replace? Either Jeremy Hollowell or Troy Williams. Both guys have been inconsistent this season and have struggled of late.

Hollowell is averaging 7.7 points and 4.3 rebounds in 23.3 minutes per game, shooting 34.6 percent from the field and 22.2 percent from beyond the arc. In Indiana's five losses this season, Hollowell has scored a total of 19 points (3.8 ppg) on 5-of-28 shooting and 0-of-9 from beyond the arc.

I think Hollowell can be an effective player for the team, but he needs to play more inside instead of on the perimeter. He could be an elite rebounder if he played on the interior more, in my opinion.

"Our sophomores have to pick up up all the way around. There's no doubt about it," Crean said. "We've got the spotlight on the sophomores right now if we're gonna break it down. They've got to improve."

That would of course include Hanner Mosquera-Perea, who has also been mostly ineffective in big games for the Hoosiers.

Williams is also averaging 7.7 points per game, adding 4.7 rebounds in 22 minutes per contest. He is shooting 44.7 percent f rom the field and 12.5 percent from beyond the arc.

In Indiana's five losses, Williams has scored a total of 20 points (4 ppg) on 9-of-29 shooting and 0-of-7 from beyond the arc.

Crean called out Williams for one of his 3-point attempts after the loss to Michigan State because of the point in the game at which he decided to shoot it.

"Jeremy Hollowell scores a two, breaks it down goes to the rim," Crean said. "Then we're trying to go inside on the second side on a reversal play, we take a 3. That's not the time or place for a guy shooting in the teens to be shooting a 3 when we're down six.

"I'm getting downright angry with it. When you find something that you've got, which it is important for us to get to the foul line, then it can't become jump shooting time. And we struggle right now with understanding momentum, we struggle with time and score. Some of it's immaturity. Some of it's youth."

My guess is a lineup change is coming. We'll see.

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