GRIII doing it on both ends of court (w/video

Michigan freshman Glenn Robinson III hasn't acted like a first year player just two exhibition games into his career. How is the new man on campus adjusting so quickly?

Just two exhibition games into what appears to be a promising and fruitful career as a Michigan basketball player, Glenn Robinson III is already a highlight waiting to happen. Averaging 15 points per contest so far is impressive enough, but consider this --- Robinson didn't have one offensive set designed for him in Monday nights 76-48 win over Saginaw Valley State, and the Indiana native finished with 17 points.

"Offensively he lets the game come to him," said John Beilein. "He's got a good mix where he's so intense on defense and on offense he's patient."

Scoring will always be front and center for fans, but the tenacity and instincts being shown on the defensive side of the ball by Robinson are that of a savvy veteran.

"Glenn is just really good defensively for a kid that age," said Beilein. "He's out there playing now defensively."

With Michigan being somewhat forced to continue utilizing a small(ish) lineup with the lingering injury to Jon Horford, Robinson is primarily playing the four spot. Saginaw Valley State didn't provide many challenges in the size category Monday night, but when Robinson was found matched up one on one in the post with the much bigger Jay Thames, the hardnosed freshman battled and battled before deflecting the post entry away.

"I believe I'm actually capable enough to play the three and the four," said Robinson.

"I just kind of fronted him and then went up when they passed it so its tough trying to work, but that's what you got to do on defense," added Robinson. "That's what coach demands out of us."

The college game might be coming easy to Robinson in the early going but that's not by mistake. Perhaps the most encouraging statistic on the stat sheet is the outside shooting percentage, a staggering 62.5 percent or 5-8 from downtown. In high school, Robinson wasn't asked to do much of his scoring from the perimeter with his size and physical strength being too valuable to move too far away from the basket. But that doesn't mean the three ball is something he isn't capable of.

"At the beginning I wasn't shooting that well coming in," said Robinson. "Just defensively I stuck with it, and thankfully the coaches liked that and I'm starting to hit shots, getting into a rhythm offensively."

"In early season workouts he was okay but since then he's spent a lot of time in the gym on his own," said Beilein. "He really has. And we do these little mini games, late at the end of a game, and he's had the winning shot several times all on threes. We don't want that athlete falling in love with threes, but if they're going to give that type of space he can really shoot."

The early season returns on GRIII have been nice but Beilein believes the best is yet to come, with some untapped ability the coaches are working to bring out as the season moves along.

"There's another gear that I think he's got and we'll keep working on him—not on defense, he's got all the gears he needs on defense," said Beilein. "Offensively getting him to be more assertive and put more pressure on the rim is something we'll work on."

To watch video of Robinson after the SVSU win, press play below.



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