Maryland had not been actively recruiting a class of 2015 point guard, but that changed April 11 when head coach Mark Turgeon extended an offer to St. James (Md.) floor leader Justin Robinson. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Robinson previously held scholarships from Virginia Tech, Providence, Radford, ODU and St. Peter's, and was thrilled to land his most significant scholarship yet.
"I was really excited about it, I really didn't know they were that interested in me," Robinson said. "The coaching staff did contact my dad a couple days ago, but [April 11] was the first time I got to meet Coach Turgeon. He was really cooperative and we formed a good relationship off of just one meeting."
Robinson said Turgeon expressed how Maryland needed another true point to go along with incoming recruit Romelo Trimble and two-guard-turned-point Seth Allen. The St. James product prides himself on his passing and floor vision, so he could be a potential fit in College Park, Md.
"Coach Turgeon told me I remind him of himself but more skilled (laughs)," Robinson said. "He thinks I can be a great player if I keep working hard. He likes how I'm a pass-first point guard but I can score when I need to. We were talking about Seth a little bit and how he can pass and also score, and he thinks I can do the same sort of thing but really be that floor general."
Of course, the Terps do have Trimble set to perhaps take over the point guard role as soon as next season. It's a fact Robinson is well aware of, though he doesn't view it as a problem.
"I know Melo is coming in, but it doesn't really affect how I view Maryland," Robinson said. "I believe we can work together and be almost interchangeable with one of us playing the ‘one' and the other playing the ‘two.'"
As far as the Terps' program itself, Robinson's only familiarity with it is what he's seen on TV and what he heard from Turgeon April 11. Even though he doesn't live too far from College Park, Robinson hasn't been on campus or to a game since he was in elementary school.
"Hopefully I can check it out soon; I'm thinking in May I'll be able to get over there," Robinson said. "My schedule has always been too busy with school and sports. I'm playing baseball now, and then AAU season starts up, so I don't really have much free time. But I do want to get to Maryland and see the school, definitely.
"I know it's a really good academic school, which I really like. And they're a get-it-done program that's building under Coach Turgeon. I know he's made past runs with Wichita State and Texas A&M, and I think he's a great coach. Also, Maryland will be playing in the Big Ten next year, and that's great, physical competition, which I also like."
The fact that Maryland is less than an hour from home may also help UMD's chances with Robinson. While the St. James recruit personally isn't concerned with distance, his mother may be.
"I know my mom wants me close by so she can see me play," said Robinson, who actually lives in northern Virginia. "The distance factor isn't a concern for me, but I am thinking of her too."
Robinson does have other suitors to consider as well, however. But, curiously, he said he hasn't really delved into his other offers, refraining from visits or much research. He said Virginia Tech, Providence, ODU and the like do stay in contact, but "it's nothing too serious yet. Everyone is showing equal interest and just getting to know me."
It follows, then, that Robinson is claiming no early favorites. He has no visits scheduled and doesn't have a program he'd like to see other than Maryland at this time.
"I'm just going to wait things out, see what offers I get and see how the summer goes," Robinson said. "I don't think I'm going to sign early or anything like that. I'm just taking it all in right now. No favorites or leaders yet. I'll talk to my family and coaches a little later about setting up visits and all that."
Robinson may be a bit mum on the recruiting front, but he did allow he grew up a fan of one ACC powerhouse. He said his older brother favored Duke, and just to spite him he backed North Carolina.
"It was kind of funny, we'd always fight over what team was better," Robinson said, chuckling. "I'm a Carolina guy, and he was the Duke guy."
This summer Robinson will be suiting up with the Boo Williams AAU squad in northern Virginia. Although he's a Boo veteran, Robinson was new to St. James this year. He spent his first two seasons at Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.), but when coach Stu Vetter left he followed his assistant coach to St. James.
Robinson immediately impacted the rising power, averaging 14 points and dropping eight dimes a night as St. James won 20 games for the first time since 1996.
"I had a good year last year, but now I'm looking to increase my game and make my team better," he said. "I'm an all-around point guard. I take pride in my defense, I'm a great floor general and I make my teammates better.
"But I need to work on everything in general and have the mentality that I always want to take over the game. I want to be another coach on the court and never be satisfied."
Robinson Excited About Terps Offer
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