Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, January 27, 2016

Duncan Robinson has a story you won?t believe. It's a tale of the rise of player from Division III obscurity to the big time. It's the stuff of movies.

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Just two years ago, he was averaging 17.1 points playing for Division III Williams College in Massachusetts. Now, Robinson is a key play for a rising Michigan team that?s looking to get back into the Big Dance after missing last season.

Robinson is Wolverines? top marksman, a deadly shooter from long range who can light up a scoreboard. He is second on the team with a 12.4 scoring average and is hitting 51 percent of his three-pointers for Michigan (15-5 overall; 5-2 Big Ten).

Robinson?s career began modestly at a boarding school in Massachusetts, where as a freshman he was 5-6. By the time Robinson was a senior, he had sprouted to 6-5 and was off to a prep school in New Hampshire and then Williams College.

His coach at Williams had worked under Michigan?s John Beilein, who checked out Robinson and offered a scholarship. After sitting out last year, the 6-8, 210-pound sophomore is living the Division I dream. I caught up with Robinson as he prepped to play Rutgers on Wednesday.

Q: What is your role?
A: To be a guy who can be counted on to make shots and be a good team defender, filling a niche role, I guess, and compete and play hard.

Q: Is this team where you thought it would be back at the start of the season?
A: It is hard to speculate at the beginning of the season. We have faced some adversity with some injuries. But we expected that, you always will face some adversity during the course of the season. I think we are in a good position and we are excited about the next couple of weeks.

Q: Are you surprised how well the team has played with Caris LeVert out?
A: I don?t know if surprised is the right word. We obviously depended a lot on Caris. He?s a great player. But when he went down, it was an opportunity for other guys to step up. And we have embraced our roles, having more energy and focusing on playing together and playing tough.

Q: Who is the best defender on the team?
A: I would say Zak Irvin. Usually night in and night out, he is matched up with the other team?s top wing or perimeter player. And he does a good job.

Q: Who is the best rebounder?
A: I might give that to Derrick (Walton). He?s only 6-0 but is by far the best rebounding guard I ever have played with or seen. He?s really tough and has a nose for the ball.

Q: Who is the best shooter?
A: I?d like to say I am. I take pride in that. But there are a lot of guys on our team who can shoot. Aubrey Dawkins is another one who can really shoot it.

Q: How many shots a day do you take to stay sharp?
A: I like to make at least 200 shots every day. And on off days, it?s more. Probably about 400. I try to keep a rhythm going.

Q: Is there an NBA player who has a style similar to yours?
A: I am a big fan of Mike Dunleavy. And a younger Mike Miller, as well. Kyle Korver, too. They all are talented. It?s a stretch to compare those guys to me at this point.

Q: Do you ever want to wake up and pinch yourself?
A: It is a surreal feeling, for sure. It?s funny to think back about how far I have come in the last two years. I am having a lot of fun and am trying to be positive.

Q: At what point did think you belonged playing on this level?
A: This year, the Texas or N.C. State games, out first tests vs. a high-major team. I felt like I matched up with those guys. That was a cool moment for me. And I have been trying to build on that.


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