Robinson, a sophomore, will enter the school on Monday after taking an official visit this past Monday and Tuesday. He must sit out a year as per NCAA transfer regulations and will be eligible in the second semester of the 2009-10 season.
“It was closer to home,” said the 6-foot-5 Robinson, a native of Trenton, N.J. “I like the school, the coach and the players on the team. And I think it will be a real good fit for me.”
Robinson said he had been admitted to the university and that his transferable credits had been accepted.
“I have been admitted already,” he said. “I was accepted today.”
Robinson, who played only five games for Memphis, will likely apply for a medical redshirt after the season in order to get a fifth year of eligibility at Seton Hall. If he doesn’t get it, he would have one-and-a-half year remaining beginning next December. Robinson is suffering from a lower back injury sustained during practice earlier this year. (See more below.)
A player can apply for a medical redshirt if he has played in no more than 30 percent of his team’s games. Robinson will have played in only 16 percent of the Tigers’ games.
“We play 31 regular season games,” a Memphis source said. “By Memphis finishing out the regular season, he would qualify for a redshirt season. Just like any player around the country, you’re going to try and get that year back.”
Robinson said he also considered St. Joe’s, Iona and Marist, but is excited about playing in front of friends and family at The Prudential Center in Newark.
Robinson and Villanova’s Fisher led St. Patrick of Elizabeth to back-to-back New Jersey Tournament of Champions titles in 2006 and ’07, and Robinson was named the Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year in ’07.
He said he’s looking forward to fitting in with head coach Bobby Gonzalez’s up-tempo system. Robinson becomes the fourth transfer on the roster, joining Robert “Stix” Mitchell, who plays now, and Herb Pope and Keon Lawrence, who will suit up next year. The Pirates currently have eight scholarship players this season.
“Wherever I fit in,” he said. “I’m not going to go in and take over the team. I’m just going to go there and fit in. Whatever coach needs me to do, that’s what I’m going to do.”
Robinson said Gonzalez likes his never-say-die attitude.
“He just said he’s looking for me to come in and play hard,” Robinson said. “Somebody that’s never going to back down and fight to the end.”
Robinson knows many of the players on the team through his local ties.
“They are all from the New York and New Jersey area,” he said. “I know the whole team.”
As for his departure from Memphis, Robinson said he left because of a lack of playing time. He was averaging 2.1 points in 9.2 minutes. Last year he notched a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds against Siena.
“It was just playing time,” he said. “I just wasn’t playing as much as I thought I was. I kind of moved on. You can’t hold grudges. Things happen and you gotta move on. I’m going to Seton Hall and prove to everybody what I can do. I’m just moving on.”
Robinson did suffer a back injury during practice at Memphis two months ago when he pump-faked and Shawn Taggart landed on his back.
“My back is bruised pretty badly but it’s starting to get better,” Robinson said. “It happened in practice when I was at Memphis. He went to block my shot and landed on my back.
“I was still playing on it. I didn’t think it was that serious. I was lifting weights and it was making it worse.”
Seton Hall is also involved with several St. Patrick players, including sophomore wing Michael Gilchrist (pictured), the top player in the Class of 2011, and combo guard Kyrie Irving , a special talent in the Class of 2010.
Robinson said he wasn’t sure where they would end up, but hopes they come to Seton Hall.
“I went to St. Pat’s and they look up to me,” he said. “They are their own man. They are going to make their own decision and sit down with their family and make the right decison. Hopefully they come here, but they gotta make their own decision.”
With Robinson’s commitment, Seton Hall would have 12 scholarship players next year if John Garcia returns and DeAndre Kane and Melvyn Oliver suit up. The Pirates would have one left for a big man like Jarrid Famous or Quincy Hankins.
(Photo courtesy Memphis Commercial Appeal)