UM's Beilein wants Robinson to shoot at every turn
Iowa City, Iowa — By John Beilein's count, Duncan Robinson has taken one bad 3-pointer.
That was against Purdue and the Boilermakers' stout defense.
"That was the only one I can recall," said Beilein, "that I don't think it's going to go in."
Other than that, they've all been good. They haven't all been open, now, mind you. But just when Beilein starts to think Robinson has taken a "bad" shot, well, he drains it.
Robinson, the sophomore guard who transferred to Michigan from Division III Williams College, is shooting 55.7 percent from 3-point range, second-best in the country.
Only High Point's Lorenzo Cugini (59.7) has been more efficient.
Now you know why Beilein wants Robinson shooting every chance he gets, with no hesitation.
"I want this thing to be always there," Beilein said. "You've got a green light.
"You couldn't have a greener light."
In fact, Beilein said the only time he gets mad at Robinson isn't when he misses, and it isn't when he's not playing good defense -- even though that's definitely still an issue.
Beilein only gets mad when Robinson hesitates ever so slight, and passes up a shot.
With his 6-foot-8 frame, massive reach and quick release, Robinson didn't struggle to find shots in nonconference play. He didn't get as many open shots in his first three Big Ten games, but then he went off against No. 3 Maryland, with five made 3-pointers in the first half of a 70-67 upset victory.
Robinson was 5-for-9 against Maryland, the first time he's been better than 50 percent in Big Ten play, after shooting 60 percent from 3s in nonconference play. ESPN's Dick Vitale, on the call, was beside himself with Robinson's smooth shot.
"He doesn't hesitate much in games," Beilein said.
Robinson, 11th in the nation in total 3-pointers (106) and 12th in 3-pointers per game (3.47) to draw fan comparisons to Nik Stauskas, will really be put to the test Sunday, when Michigan (13-4, 3-1 Big Ten) plays red-hot Iowa (13-3, 4-0), which has smoked Michigan State twice in the last three weeks.
Iowa is 14th in the nation in defending the 3-pointer (29.6 percent), with Lansing's Anthony Clemmons deserving much credit there. Michigan is ninth in the nation in 3-pointer percentage (42.6).
Something will have to give when the teams meet at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in what will be the third massive test in a row for Michigan, which lost at Purdue before beating Maryland at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor.
The emergence of Robinson, barely recruited out of high school, has been so huge for Michigan, especially with Caris LeVert (lower left leg) still sidelined, with no return date in sight.
Michigan at No. 16 Iowa
Tip-off: 4:30 Sunday, Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City
Records: Iowa 13-3, 4-0 Big Ten; Michigan 13-4, 3-1
Outlook: Iowa has won the last two in the series, most recently, 72-54, last Feb. 5 at Crisler Center. ... This is the first 4-0 start in Big Ten play for Iowa since 1998-99. ... Iowa's starting five has a combined 19 years of college basketball experience.