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UNC Basketball Insider: Brandon Robinson

Inside Carolina compiled insider perspectives to create an exclusive player-by-player preview of North Carolina's 2016-17 season.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Brandon Robinson enters the North Carolina program at a time when it's stocked on the perimeter, meaning any playing time the 6-foot-5, 160-pound wing gets this season will be because he beat out quality competition for the opportunity. Roy Williams has noted his versatility on the wing as a defender, rebounder and long-range shooter. That outside shot should serve him well in carving out playing time as his career progresses. With players like Justin Jackson, Theo Pinson and Kenny Williams ahead of him on the roster, Robinson will be battling for minutes his freshman season.


Scored 25+ points 13 times during his senior season

Will wear No. 14 at UNC

Compared to Jackie Manuel by Roy Williams


A few uncharacteristically strong perimeter shooting games in the postseason may have at least temporarily masked the reality of the 2015-16 Tar Heel team: it was the worst three-point shooting season (32.7% overall, 28.3% in ACC games) in school history. And UNC’s all-time career leader in three-pointers (Marcus Paige) – who accounted for 49% of the team’s threes in the NCAA Tournament – graduated from that squad.

Enter Brandon Robinson, who essentially earned his scholarship from Roy Williams for a prolific night of three-point shooting. Robinson was moonlighting with an N.C.-based travel squad in Las Vegas when Williams saw him hit seven three-pointers in a game. Robinson didn’t necessarily prove to be a consistent three-point shooter at the high school level, but he had some phenomenal stretches. Several months after that memorable week in Las Vegas, Robinson opened the first eight games of his senior high school season by hitting an average of 6.0 threes per game while shooting 59% on those long-range shots.

It’s no coincidence that Robinson developed a very close relationship with UNC assistant coach Hubert Davis -- one of the game's best-ever three-point shooters -- during, and after, his recruitment. Davis has been openly praising Robinson since he arrived on campus this summer, including referring to him as a “fantastic shooter” during a summer speaking engagement. According to multiple sources within the basketball program, Robinson has been as impressive a three-point shooter as any member of the team in recent weeks. We'll find out in the coming weeks if this three-point accuracy in pickup and individual drills translates to UNC practice and then games.


by Rob Harrington

Because he’s so thin — UNC officially listed him this past summer at 6-5, 160 pounds — Robinson’s immediate forecast is more muted compared to the other scholarship freshmen. His long-term role will be to knock down threes and use his length to smother opposing wings defensively, but his task for the next 12 months is to put on weight and gain experience in practice versus his upperclass teammates. To surprise this season, he’ll need to bury threes much more accurately than most Tar Heels freshmen.


by ACC Coaches

"I think he has something they really need, which is shooting. I think he is a good knock down shooter, very good actually. When I saw him, he was very good off the bounce with one or two dribble pull-ups. So I think he adds something to an area that is not necessarily the biggest strength for them. I think he could play big minutes for them eventually."

"The biggest problem for now is he is behind Justin Jackson and Theo, who are good players, but their strength isn’t shooting the ball. He can provide a positive when he subs in for Theo - you add some more shooting. He’s light but he’s wiry strong. He is a good enough athlete with good enough (height and length) to play right away in the ACC – how much depends on if he makes shots."

"Obviously he has to get his body adjusted to college basketball. He’s a little thin but he is someone that’s very, very basketball smart. He’s a student of the game. He knows where to be. I could see him coming in and playing a role for them similar to Kenny Williams this year, stretching the defense. Kind of similar to Theo Pinson in his defensive abilities but his body is going to have to get there for him to be able to contribute."


by Hollis Bethea, Douglasville HS

Brandon is such an intelligent player and he was like another coach on the floor. Guys like him only come around once every blue moon and we’re thankful for what he did for our program. I think he’s just a great kid, he has great morals, great family background and that’s part of the reason Roy Williams was drawn to him. He’s been on campus for a few months now and he absolutely loves it, I think he’s making a really good transition. He loves the school, loves the coaches, loves the fans, he just loves it all.

The biggest adjustment for him is the speed of the game and the strength of the players he’ll encounter in college. Everybody he’ll play against, whatever high school they went to, they were the best at their school. He needs to continue to get stronger, but I think playing in a tough league in Georgia, playing pickup against all those guys at UNC and going through fall practice will help him be able to contribute as a freshman. The coaches are telling me he’s doing great and Brandon thinks he’s doing well. I think he’ll be a good player for Carolina.

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