NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. — Brandon Robinson narrowed his offer list down to ten schools last week and Tennessee made the final cut, along with California, Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, Stanford, Texas Tech and Virginia. When the Vols’ coaching staff talks with the Scout four-star combo guard, it sheds light on exactly why.
“They just want me in their system,” Robinson told InsideTennessee after his team’s 79-58 quarterfinal win over King James in the 2015 Nike Peach Jam. “They say they have a recruiting board and I’m on top of their recruiting board and they need a guy like me there.”
Robinson, a Douglasville, Ga., native and member of the AAU Georgia Stars, is a top priority for Rick Barnes and his staff, who have been recruiting him since Barnes was still at Texas. The 6-foot-5, 160-pound prospect has also been on Tennessee’s radar since Cuonzo Martin was head coach.
“(Tennessee) recruited me, their last couple of coaches, and Texas was recruiting me too,” he said. “When they made that move (Rick Barnes to Tennessee), they kept on me.”
Barnes’ arrival in Knoxville coincided with Robinson’s interest in the Vols. In what has become a running theme with the recruits Tennessee is pursuing, the rising senior continues to be intrigued by his potential head coach’s propensity for coaching players — 24 to be exact — who make it to the NBA.
“Just playing for coach Barnes, he’s a great coach,” Robinson said. “He’s put great players in the (NBA.) KD (Kevin Durant) is one of my favorite players and he put him in the league, so it would be a blessing to play for him too.”
In his latest Peach Jam outing, the class of 2016 prospect notched 11 points, three steals and three rebounds in his team’s semifinal-clinching victory over the King James Shooting Stars. His Georgia Stars team, which hasn’t lost a game in the tournament yet, will play at 9 a.m. on ESPNU Sunday in the first semifinal game. A win pushes them into the championship on ESPNU at 3 p.m. against a to-be-determined team.
“We just refuse to lose. We all tell each other we don’t want to lose,” Robinson said. “We want to make it to Sunday, which is our goal, and now we’re at Sunday and now we have to keep on winning and go to the championship game.”
The guard with a smooth stroke and disrupting style of play on defense has ten schools in mind, but that hasn’t stopped others from trying to inch their way into his recruitment process. Oklahoma, Auburn and Texas A&M have all reached out to Robinson in recent weeks.
The Scout four-star plans on making a final decision before the start of the high school basketball season and said he “definitely” will take official visits to Florida, Florida State and Maryland, with his other two allotted visits still up for grabs.
Robinson is searching for a school where he connects with the coaching staff, he told InsideTennessee, as well as a place where he enjoys the company of the players on the roster. The fact that Tennessee still lacks a true point guard is something he is “definitely looking into” as his recruitment begins to wind down.
“It’s a great feeling to know that I'm just blessed to have ten schools that I’m really considering and feel strong about,” Robinson said. “It’s kind of crazy because other schools are still calling, talking to my dad and telling them they don’t care about the top ten. They want to recruit me hard. I’m just going to have fun with it and just let it play out.”