It's not often that Phil Martelli and the Saint Joseph's coaching staff have gone head to head with a Pac 12 team for a recruit, but that's exactly what happened last spring when Kenwood (IL) wing Nick Robinson was set to make his college decision. Originally an Indiana State commitment, Robinson reopened things last winter and drew offers from a slew of schools, including Saint Louis, St. Joe's, DePaul, Valparaiso, and Cal. In the end, Robinson narrowed it down to the Hawks and the Golden Bears before ultimately selecting the Hawks
The wing position is probably where this year's St. Joe's team has the greatest depth and greatest upside. Junior James Demery, sophomore Chris Clover, and freshman Charlie Brown are all in line to play significant minutes this year, as is Nick Robinson. The 6'6 200-pound Robinson has outstanding size and athleticism on the wing, something that Dave Duda elaborated on.
"Nick has the size and versatility, along with James (Demery) and Charlie (Brown), to give us great flexibility on the wing defensively," Duda began. It's not remotely out of the question that the Hawks will play those three wings together for stretches this year along with one of the point guards and a post. Demery at 6'5, Robinson at 6'6, then Brown pushing 6'7 would give the Hawks size, length, and athleticism at the two through four positions that could really impact the game on both sides of the court.
One of Nick's greatest attributes, in addition to his fantastic athleticism, is his toughness. St. Joe's lost four intense competitors from last year's team in DeAndre Bembry, Aaron Brown, Isaiah Miles, and Papa Ndao. All four played with an edge, with a swagger, and with a confidence that's tough to replace. While only a freshman, Robinson brings some of that confidence and much of that toughness to the court with him. "Just love the way he puts his nose in there," Duda continued. "He likes the competition. He's a very good playmaker for himself and for others."
While that toughness, athleticism, and competitiveness are all wonderful, Duda's crediting Nick for his playmaking ability is critical here. James Demery has that playmaking ability, as does Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble. Charlie Brown is at his best as a deep threat, and it's reasonable to anticipate games this year where Charlie knocks down four or five from deep. If the point guards, James, and Nick are able to get into the paint and then dish it to a Charlie Brown or maybe a Chris Clover, that will be really welcome on a team that will often struggle putting points on the board.
As with all freshmen, there will be highs and lows this year with Nick Robinson. He possesses a toughness and a versatility, however, that have the coaching staff upbeat. "If he sticks with what he does well, he will be a nice contributor in many ways," Duda stated. "He's got a chance to be a guy that really fills the stat sheet."
Hawk Hill Hardwood has now published Player Profiles on Shavar Newkirk, Lamarr Kimble, Chris Clover, James Demery, Charlie Brown, and Nick Robinson. That leaves us with Jai Williams, Markell Lodge, Javon Baumann, and Lorenzo Edwards. Four players left. We will roll out Williams on Tuesday, Lodge on Wednesday, Baumann on Thursday, and Edwards on Friday before publishing a Toledo preview Saturday morning. It's basketball season, folks.null