Notebook: Robinson 'wants it so bad'

Indiana's Stanford Robinson had his best game of the young season on Saturday night against Savannah State. Plus notes on Emmitt Holt and more.

It has been a rough start to the season for Stanford Robinson, but it's not because of a lack of effort, according to Indiana coach Tom Crean.

Robinson was just 2-of-16 from the field entering Saturday night's game against Savannah State. He missed the first two regular season games due to suspension for multiple failed drug tests.

In Saturday's 95-49 win, though, Robinson was much better. The sophomore guard finished with seven points, five assists and three rebounds in 13 minutes, and made 3-of-5 shots from the field.

"He's worked very hard, and it's not easy for him," Crean said. "Stan works extremely hard. He doesn't go home after the walk-thru. He eats, he sits around for a little bit, then he goes back out in the gym and shoots. I worry, 'OK, are you working too hard?' He wants it so bad.

"We're trying to remind him, as his shooting improves, just do what his strengths entail and just go as hard as you can go. Make simple plays. Be just a defensive hawk. I thought tonight was a big step for him in playing that way."

Minutes are tougher to come by for Indiana guards this season, and Robinson has often looked like he's forcing the issue because of that. Like Crean said, he so badly wants to succeed that he sometimes doesn't let the game come to him.

Robinson can be an important piece for this Indiana team going forward because he's one of the top defenders on the roster and he has a unique ability to get into the lane and to the rim. He's not a jump shooter and shouldn't try to be one. If he plays to his strengths, Robinson will get more minutes in key situations.

Holt plays well again

The question after Emmitt Holt's 15-point, 5-rebound performance against Pittsburgh was: Can he do it again?

My answer after Saturday's win over Savannah State: I think so.

Holt was solid again, finishing with eight points and five rebounds in 11 minutes. Holt was 2-of-3 from the field -- he was 6-of-6 against Pittsburgh -- and he also blocked two shots.

Holt and Collin Hartman combined for 15 points and 10 rebounds, and they looked good as an interior duo for the Hoosiers. As time goes on, I think more and more than Hartman and Holt may be IU's best combination inside.

"We've got to keep developing that," Crean said. "Emmitt and Collin are getting so much done because of the hustle game. Emmitt's still got a lot to learn. But they're coming in the game and looking like they belong, and their making a positive impact on our team."

IU keeps foot on gas

For once this season, Indiana built a big lead, and didn't let up. The Hoosiers dominated Savannah State from start to finish on Saturday and showed some of the killer instinct they've failed to show early this season.

Savannah State is a bad team, sure, but Indiana has often struggled to close out lesser opponents. Winning by 46 points and going without a turnover for nearly a 10-minute stretch are positive things to take out of Saturday's game.

"I'm excited about the seriousness with which we approached this game," Crean said. "We played hard, we made adjustments, and a lot of people contributed. I was excited about that. ... We put a good week together, back-to-back games."


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