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December 11, 2012
Glenn Robinson playing diverse role for U-M
Including Michigan's two exhibition contests, opponents now have 11 game tapes with which to familiarize themselves with the Wolverines.
And one thing is for sure - they're definitely taking notice of the youngsters on the court. Freshman Glenn Robinson III has noticed that teams are starting to guard to the Wolverines' rookies - including him, Nik Stauskas and Mitch McGary - a little closer.
"Especially Nik being the best shooter on our team, you can kind of tell they're starting to sit on him," Robinson said. "That opens up different things for different players. Maybe they don't trust one guy can make a three, and we just prove to everybody that they don't respect our shot.
"I might be able to knock down a couple shots or drive to the lane, and then people are more open-Nike, Trey Burke, Tim Hardaway. I think we do a good job of sharing the ball. When I'm open, I'll get the ball, too. I'm just doing whatever I can to help the team.
"I am comfortable with that. I hit a couple open threes. That's an area of my game where I can change from shooting to driving. Trey and Tim do a good job finding me when I am cutting or open."
As teams adapt to the newest Wolverines, Michigan coach John Beilein is finding evermore creative ways to use them.
For instance, Robinson, a 6-6, 210 forward, has been moving around the court, including putting in more and more minutes inside the post. It adds an explosive, athletic presence inside - but Beilein wouldn't test Robinson inside if he didn't believe the freshman was up for the physical play.
He plays a similar role, defensively, as Zack Novak did when he played in the post last season.
"I played a little bit of post in high school, so I'm used to it," Robinson said. "But it's a little different. There are bigger guys, much taller. That's one of the skills I have, and I'm continuing to work on it in practice. I think I can play down there if I need to for the team.
"They're really strong, and they know how to use their body to get in position. That's one of the key things I need to keep working on, being able to move those guys and get them off the block."
Robinson has been focusing on practicing technique, so he can maximize the minutes he spends inside.
"It's all about your positioning and how you get there," Robinson said. "As they're coming down to the post, you kind have to give them a little shove or get your body into them. I'm continuing to work on those little tricks."
Robinson may have the most diverse practice regimen on the team, splitting time guarding everyone from Burke to Hardaway to freshman center Mitch McGary.
"Tim or Mitch, we're always going at it, one-on-one," Robinson said. "We're always doing a lot of different things, and I'm switching between the guard and the post. Going from guarding guys like Jordan Morgan to Trey Burke.
"I think that makes me better, on defense especially. Being able to come in and guard a four or a five and still maintain my game out at the perimeter. Offensively, being able to put the ball on the floor or shooting it. I think it helps a lot with the team and being able to do what is needed of me."