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Duke men's basketball 2019-20 player preview: Justin Robinson

Robinson scored in only three different games last season, though he did post a career-high 13 points against Stetson
Robinson scored in only three different games last season, though he did post a career-high 13 points against Stetson

Justin Robinson

Year: Redshirt Senior

Height: 6-foot-9

Position: Forward

Last year’s statline: 1.2 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 3.4 MPG

Game Breakdown: Despite being tied for the third-tallest player on Duke’s roster, Robinson’s game operates almost exclusively from beyond the arc. Of his 32 career field goal attempts, 26 have come from downtown. The son of NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson has hit 10 of those 26 attempts, though, for a respectable 38.5 percent career clip.

Robinson’s 202-pound frame makes it difficult for the lanky forward to extend his game to the interior, though the San Antonio native does hold a perfect 6-of-6 mark on 2-pointers—mostly a result of the occasional breakaway dunk. It’ll be interesting to see if he can keep that perfect number intact through his final season in Durham.

Role on the Team: Robinson did not play more than two minutes in any conference game last season and only appeared in one contest decided by fewer than 13 points. Barring major injury to multiple Blue Devil bigs, that likely won’t change this year. But that doesn’t mean the San Antonio Christian Academy product won’t have his share of bright moments toward the beginning of Duke’s schedule.

In a 64-point win over Stetson last December, Robinson played a season-high 12 minutes, going a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc to the tune of a career-high 13 points. While that kind of performance may be tough to replicate, the sight of Robinson checking into a nonconference blowout to a roaring crowd at Cameron Indoor Stadium is an annual ritual that will be greatly missed once this season concludes.

What the redshirt senior does excel at, however, is serving as a leader for the abundance of new faces in Duke’s locker room year in and year out. Robinson explained at media availability last month that it’s a responsibility he doesn’t take lightly, and it’s something that’s essential in a program so keen to one-and-dones.

NBA Comparison: I really didn’t want to just copy the player comparison from last year’s preview, but it just fits too perfectly. Just like Robinson, Anthony Tolliver is a power forward whose offensive game remains almost strictly behind the three-point line. The Portland Trail Blazers big man also combines that shooting touch with intense effort on the defensive end of the floor and is at the point of his career where his presence in the locker room holds more value than what he may produce on the court.

Projected Stats: 1.5 PPG, 0.5 RPG, 3.6 MPG

Stay tuned to the Blue Zone for our continuing player previews. Previous players previewed include Michael Savarino and Keenan Worthington.

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