Over his illustrious 15-year career as the Florida basketball coach, Billy Donovan has built a system that works year after year. While there are a multitude of factors that go into producing a winning team, perhaps the most essential to the process for Donovan is recruiting. He has a formula that has produced stars not only at the college level but also professionally.
After a season that saw four starting seniors graduate, a solid freshman class should be vital to the Gators’ success next year. Three top-100 recruits will be suiting up for the blue and orange next season, and leading that trio is highly-touted small forward Devin Robinson.
Robinson played his high school ball at the Christchurch School, located just outside his hometown of Chesterfield, Virginia. He comes in as the top-ranked recruit in his state, and 23rd nationwide. Listed at 6’8”, 180 pounds, Robinson is visibly skinny and would greatly benefit from some added muscle. This type of lanky small forward does fit the bill for a Billy Donovan recruit, however. Ex-Gator stars Corey Brewer and Chandler Parsons both came in with similar builds.
Through his high school career, Robinson dazzled scouts with his athleticism. His length and wingspan allowed him to dominate at both small forward and power forward. The ability he showed to switch back and forth between the two positions was a testament to his durability on the court. Robinson also possesses a reliable mid-range jump shot and will look to improve on this range during his freshman campaign. He finished his career at the Christchurch School averaging 21.3 points per game, to go with 9.6 rebounds and 3.1 blocks. Just one glance at these stats shows how well rounded his game is.
Where will he fit in, exactly? That remains to be seen. The Gators starting lineup is far from being set in stone, but it is never too early to begin speculating. The only real locks to be starters at the moment are Kasey Hill, Michael Frazier, and Chris Walker. That would leave Robinson in competition with Dorian Finney-Smith, DeVon Walker and Alex Murphy to be one of the last two in. If he has a productive off-season, I could certainly see Billy Donovan rolling with his young buck. But even if he were to start off as a reserve, Robinson will unquestionably have a significant role on the 2014-2015 Florida squad.
Next season, Florida will make the transition from a savvy veteran team to a young group with a lot to learn. Whether or not they succeed could very well hinge on the contributions of their underclassmen. If there is one from this group who can lead them to the Promised Land, my money is on Devin Robinson.