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July 2, 2014
Glenn Robinson III confident he'll help in Minnesota
Many were surprised when last week's NBA Draft first round came and went and Michigan forward Glenn Robinson III was still on the board, and none more than Robinson himself. The 6-6 former Wolverine joins Nik Stauskas and his teammates on the "something to prove" list.
Stauskas went No. 8 overall but is ready to prove his collegiate success (Big Ten Player of the Year) was no fluke. Robinson, meanwhile, wants to send a message to those who took a pass on him.
"I was surprised," he admitted after falling to the second round.
Memphis worked him out twice before picking No. 22. Minnesota's Flip Saunders hadn't been as diligent, but he didn't hesitate when Robinson was still around at No. 40.
"You hear it from everybody - 'we had him rated a lot higher.' Well, we had him rated a lot higher," Saunders said. "He's a first-round talent. He's a young player  who really developed a lot from last year to this year. Our priority was to get more athletic - athleticism brings energy. "
That's where Robinson still has something to prove - not the athleticism, but the motor. There are times he seemed to coast, his pundits said, to the point that he didn't impact that game nearly as much as he should.
Still, most believed he'd sneak into the first round. So did Robinson.
"It was tough [watching] at times," he said. "I had really great workouts for all the teams I worked out with. I felt like I really stood out, and I felt like I was the best in each of my workouts for teams.
"But everything happens for a reason. It's just more motivation. The most important thing is that I made it into the top 60. It's been a dream of mine forever."
Minnesota might not have been, but even that could work out for him. He knows a lot of players on the team, naming Robbie Hummel and Shabazz Muhammad specifically. It's cold but not too far from home, and he'll have a chance to improve his skills while battling at positions other than small forward.
"I know they want to get more athletic, more versatile, and I see myself fitting in there somewhere," Robinson said. "I'm still developing my ball-handling, so if I need to play at the two, I can. And I'm working on my shot being more consistent, and trying to get my shot off quicker.
"I'm positive I can play the three, and if I need to, I can play the two. Being athletic and being able to defend both the three and the two is really going to help me out. I'm going to do everything I can to play my game to the best of my ability while also knowing a lot of people passed up on me."
He'll start with Minnesota's Las Vegas NBA Summer League team later this month, joining teammate and free agent Jordan Morgan.
After spending several days at home with family and friends and working out with his personal trainer, he's ready to get started.
"It's a spot that I think will have a lot of opportunities for me," he said. "They all saw me as a steal in the second round - they told me they couldn't believe I was still there at 40. It's a great opportunity for me, and the coaching staff and everyone around me seemed to be happy about it."