The Terps are looking for a class of 2015 point guard, and one of the better ones around is 6-foot-1, 175-pound floor general Justin Robinson, a Manassas, Va., native, who plays for coach Dan Prete at St. James School, just outside Hagerstown, Md. Prete, a longtime assistant to legendary coach Stu Vetter at Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.), is starting his second year at SJS, and Robinson is the type player you can build your program around. TT caught up with Robinson while returning from an unofficial visit to Virginia Tech on Friday.
"I really enjoyed my first year at St. James," said Robinson, a strong student and very well spoken. "I was at Montrose Christian for my freshman and sophomore years, and I had several other options a schools I could transfer to after Coach Vetter retired. But I made the right choice in coming to St. James. Everyone accepted me from the first day. All the students and faculty were friendly and supportive. It's a great academic school and we had a very good team last year (21-5).
"We lost some good players to graduation, but we've got a lot of talent coming back, and I expect some kids to step up their games. And I guess Coach Prete and Coach Shop (assistant coach Don Shopland) will find a few more players who'll want to play here too."
Robinson has battled an ankle injury all spring, but is close to being in tip top shape as the July live period approaches.
"I'm close to 100 percent now," Robinson said. "I took it easy during the Nike EYBL sessions, and Boo (Boo Williams) limited my minutes so I wouldn't re-injure it. I'm going to rest it some now, and continue to rehab it so I am ready to roll in July. We'll be playing in the Peach Jam in mid-July, and then we'll go to the Super Showcase which is in Louisville this year. I know all the colleges will be watching, so I want to be playing my best basketball then."
In a point guard class which lacks depth nationally, Robinson has been receiving offers from a number of mid/high major schools from all over the country.
"I've gotten offers from ODU, St. Peter's, Rider, UMass, Maryland, Providence, Tennessee, Illinois, Memphis, UNLV, St. Joe's, GW, Virginia Tech and my latest one came recently from Creighton," said Robinson. "I don't really have a game plan per se for recruiting, but I do want to sit down with my parents after the AAU season is over and narrow down the list. I'll try to figure out which schools I want to take official visits to and go from there. I would think I will be signing in the Fall."
Robinson enjoyed his June 6 visit to Virginia Tech, and hopes to take some unofficial visits in June.
"Virginia Tech was nice," said Robinson. "I am going to take a visit to Maryland on June 19. I followed Maryland on TV in the past, but I've never been to a game there, and haven't been on the campus. When Coach (Mark) Turgeon offered me a scholarship, I was excited.
"What I am doing now is getting to know him and Coach (Dustin) Clark. I think we're forming a great relationship. I am anxious to get on campus and learn more about the program and the school itself. I want to make sure I check out all the local schools.
"I've been to Georgetown, GW, and George Mason. It would be nice to stay somewhat close to home, but really, I am looking for the best fit, so location of the school is not that big of a deal."
Robinson, from all we can gather, is a priority recruit for Maryland. Incoming freshman Melo Trimble will play a lot at the point (Robinson does not really know Trimble, but said he respects his game), but many programs these days play two point guards together, and Robinson's greatest skill may be his ability to get others open looks.
Robinson also added that "right now I am all about improving my game. I'm trying to get better in every facet of basketball. I really want to be the best floor general I can be, and make good decisions with the basketball."
Justin Robinson will likely show up on most Top 100 lists, but more importantly, he will bring solid point guard skills, good grades and strong character to whichever program he eventually chooses.
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