Michigan coach John Beilein says he is looking for Duncan Robinson to be a "Hunter'

Michigan coach John Beilein expects sophomore Duncan Robinson to alter his approach this season from scout team member to reliable outside scorer in more of a hunting role since transferring in from division three Williams College.

A year ago, the pressure was seemingly off the shoulders of Michigan's Duncan Robinson, prepared to sit out the season after transferring from division three Williams College.

Fast forward to now and the current Wolverine sophomore is vying for serious playing time under John Beilein heading into the 2015-16 season in Ann Arbor.

To Robinson though, while some things change, others remain the same.

"There's definitely some differences but there's a lot of similarities as well," Robinson said.

"My mindset all of last year was just help the team however I can and that hasn't changed a lot into this year. Wherever I'm needed I'm kind of there."

And where exactly Robinson fits into the offense is exactly what the Wolverines, and specifically his coach John Beilein, have been figuring out.

Standing 6-foot-8, 210-pounds, reports of Robinson's shooting ability were told early and often throughout last season. Apparently, that's carried over into practices this fall.

Still, Beilein has a vision for what Robinson can be, and what exactly the next step is in his development.

"We're trying to teach him, which you don't have to teach most people, is to hunt," Beilein said. "He needs to be a hunter and he is starting to hunt. But that was not the mentality, on the scout team we told him he really needed to try to get into his own and he wouldn't do it he would just play the game the right way.

"But a shot he's slightly guarded in, we feel at some times is just as good for some of our other guys when they may be wide open. It's a good problem to have."

Being given a green light offensively should come only as welcomed news for a dead eye three-point shooter in the game of basketball.

For Robinson, it's still a learned skill but one he's clearly ready to take on when the team calls his number.

"The coaching staff has definitely got on me about that," Robinson said. "My teammates have been really good about that too just staying on me and making sure I'm aggressive.

"They obviously feel that's when I'm playing my best so it's been a little bit of a mental transition for me but it's been good, been good so far."

Back in the 2013-14 season, then sophomore wing Nik Stauskas was in a similar dilemma. In Stauskas' freshman season, Beilein didn't have to tell his young pupil to shoot the basketball, he did and with great success.

But in Stauskas' second year, the Wolverines needed him to emerge and be more aggressive in the offense, something that partially was responsible for earning Stauskas' Big Ten Player of the Year.

While a jump like that is likely out of the realm of possibility in year one for Robinson at Michigan, finding the right balance and role will be key.

"That's a big thing with him, kind of playing smart and there's that line between playing smart and aggressive," Robinson said. "And that's kind of a feel thing, something I've been working on.

"It's one thing to do in practice but it's another thing to do it in a game. I'm excited for the opportunity to try it in game time."

Robinson won't have to wait much longer as the Wolverines officially tip-off the season on Nov. 13 at home against Northern Michigan.

While last year was difficult, forced to be on the sideline, Robinson believes there's several positives he'll take with him when he steps on the Crisler Center floor and checks into a game for the first time.

"It's a lot different sitting on the bench not itching to get into the game," Robinson said. "I mean obviously I was itching to get into the game but knowing that you can't get called on you see things that maybe you wouldn't see normally."

"I'm really excited," added Robinson. "It's been a long time sitting out but I'm really excited."


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