Glenn Robinson III: Breaking Down Michigan Star's NBA Potential and Draft Stock

Jonathan Wasserman@@NBADraftWassNBA Lead WriterFebruary 24, 2013

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 13:  Glenn Robinson III #1 of the Michigan Wolverines dunks over Tim Kamczyc #33 of the Cleveland State Vikings at Crisler Center during the NIT Season Tip-Off on November 13, 2012 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Michigan's fourth-leading scorer could be its No. 1 NBA prospect.

Glenn Robinson III has been impressive despite his limited offensive role. Being fourth in the pecking order has resulted in some inconsistent stat lines, but it's the individual plays that have flashed his high potential.


Physical Tools

Robinson doesn't just pass the eye test, he aces it. At 6'6'' with length and fluid athleticism, he's got the ideal physical tools for an NBA wing.

They help him as a finisher at the rim and defender on the perimeter. In terms of making the physical transition, the process should be seamless for Robinson.

Robinson has the build and agility to make an Andre Iguodala-like impact on the defensive side of the ball. Below, he uses his athleticism, length and quickness to step into the passing lanes for a pick-six to the house:

The Finisher

Robinson's most glowing strength is his ability to finish at the rim. He's shooting 57.5 percent from the floor, an extremely efficient number for a player who occupies the wing.

For some, finishing at the rim can be an adventure. This is usually one of the biggest obstacles for most young players trying to make the transition. Rim protectors at the college level are typically 6'9'', 20-year-old kids. In the NBA, if you want to finish at the rim you're going to have to do it over 7'0'', 30-year-old men.

Robinson's ability to absorb contact and finish after it makes him a reliable target as a cutter or slasher. He's got the athleticism and strength to take a hit, avoid the contest and alter his body mid-air. When a defender challenges his shot, Robinson is able to counter it by maintaining body control and positioning himself to get off his shot cleanly.

Check out this bucket after the foul that gave Robinson a three-point opportunity:

Robinson also has the lift and explosiveness to finish with authority. While he's shown he can finish with touch after contact, he's also capable of throwing down with power and avoiding the contact entirely. 

With a dribble or two for momentum, he's a strong candidate to put someone on a poster.

Here's an example of how he can avoid contact yet still get close to the rim. Below, Robinson attacks the rim, eludes the rim protector in the air and finishes softly with his left hand:

Scoring Tools

While Robinson hasn't flashed creativity as an on-ball scorer, he has the tools to grow as one once he reaches the next level.

He's got a balanced jump shot, getting good elevation which makes it tough to contest. Most of his perimeter scoring has come as a spot-up shooter. He's knocking down over 38 percent of his attempts from behind the arc, usually as a catch-and-shooter.

But where he can continue to improve is separating off the dribble. This will really catapult him as a scorer and make him a much bigger threat with the ball in his hands.

Below, Robinson takes a few dribbles before stepping into a pull-up jumper and knocking it down with confidence:


Robinson has been vulnerable to disappearing throughout games without the ability to create his own offense. Most of this has to do with his handle, which could be shaky when pressured on the perimeter.

But in isolated situations, he's shown there's offensive creativity hiding somewhere in there. It's going to take time for him to find it and get comfortable incorporating it into his repertoire, but when it does, Robinson will make noise in an NBA arena.


NBA Draft Stock and Pro Outlook

Most scouts will want to see Glenn Robinson return as a sophomore, considering he's still limited offensively and should get plenty of freedom without Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke dominating the ball.

He's a project and is nowhere near NBA-ready at the moment. But because of his physical tools, basketball genes and NBA strengths, Robinson has big-time upside three or four years down the road.

If he leaves this year, expect Robinson to get looks in mid-to-late first round. Another year to boost his stock would make him a lottery candidate in 2014.