Jerome Robinson Scouting Report

(First posted at RealGM)

CONTEXT

Jerome Robinson was the 308th-ranked prospect in the 2015 high school[1].

But after three productive years at Boston College and what seems to be a workout tour for the ages, he’s now expected to be picked in the lottery on Thursday’s Draft[2].

The 21-year-old[3] enters the NBA with 3,118 NCAA minutes under his belt but has no other meaningful experience, in terms of participating in prominent offseason events or defending the United States National Team in FIBA events.

Most recently, the six-foot-five combo guard averaged 23 points per 40 minutes[4] on 60.7% true shooting and compiled a 20.2 PER in 35 appearances last season[5].

Boston College played the 48th-toughest schedule in the country[6] and had a +8.8 pace-adjusted point differential with him on the floor[7].

Robinson has a skill-set similar to Devin Booker’s on offense. He is a very good shooter who also proved he is able to create for himself and others out of the pick-and-roll. Luckily for him, he was given the chance to showcase the full extent of his capabilities, as Boston College got him looks on the move in diverse ways and let him run offense against a set defense with Ky Bowman off the floor.

Robinson logged 27.3% usage rate, assisted on 19.5% of Boston College’s scores when he was in the game and was assisted on just 46.9% of his field goals[8].

His production was far less inspiring on the other end. He was mostly hidden on defense but Boston College switched some and he defended on the ball from time-to-time. Robinson does the basics but doesn’t play with any energy or intensity and lacks the physical profile and athletic ability to make a positive impact when he does try harder on occasion.

SHOOTING

His top skill is his shooting.

Robinson has as pure a catch-and-shoot stroke you are ever going to find, featuring fluid mechanics, a quick trigger, perfect balance as he rises up and a high release thanks to the amount of elevation he gets and the fact that he fully extends himself – consistently being able to shoot over closeouts by players with similar length.

Besides basic weak-side spot-ups, he also took shots coming to the ball for dribble hand-offs, relocating around the wing, coming off pindown screens and sprinting around staggered screens. The only thing missing was deploying him as the back-screener in Spain pick-and-rolls or as the screener in small-small pick-and-pops.

Robinson nailed 37.6% of his 423 three-point shots over his three years at Boston College, including 40.9% of his 198 long bombs at a pace of 6.3 such attempts per 40 minutes last season. He also hit 75.5% of his 408 free throws, creating the expectation that he will be just as good a shooter in the pros.

Perhaps more impressively, Robinson has shown to be almost as versatile and capable a shooter off the dribble.

When the opponent prevents him from firing right away off the catch, he is able to shot fake into a side-step three-pointer or rise up for jumpers off a rip through move.

In terms of creating his own shot, Robinson took stop-and-pop pull-ups off the pick-and-roll often and flashed a pull-back three-pointer off a sudden stop. He also has multiple mid-range jumpers he can get to in isolation; a basic two-dribble pull-up working his way to a spot near the baseline, a step-back fade-away jump-shot off a spin move and a pull-up off a between the legs crossover.

Robinson established himself a good shot maker – hitting 43.4% of his 166 two-point jumpers, at a pace of 2.2 such makes per 40 minutes.

PASSING

The second most impressive aspect of his game is his passing.

He can create for others reasonably well for a gunner and part of his appeal is the ability to run offense in a pinch.

Robinson doesn’t have an explosive first step and isn’t very fast with the ball but impressed with his ability to play with pace in pick-and-roll – patient enough to keep his dribble alive when a path to attack right away wasn’t available and employing hesitation moves to try creating an opening a second or two later.

His court vision and his timing were also impressive. Besides basic drop-offs and kick-outs against a scrambling defense, he can make a pocket pass, deliver a wraparound pass in traffic to a big man close by, pitch back to a stretch big man in the pick-and-pop and pass across the court to the opposite corner on the move.

Robinson averaged three turnovers per 40 minutes last season but those giveaways represented just 13.8% of his possessions – quite a low rate in the context of his high usage rate and the risks he took with the passes he attempted.

FINISHING

Though the jump-shot is the pinnacle of his game, Robinson got deep into the lane a decent amount.

His one-on-one game most often results in a jumper, as he isn’t shifty or explosive, hasn’t yet developed a set of dribble moves and isn’t strong enough to maintain his balance and his momentum forward through contact regularly.

But Robinson can get all the way to the basket off pick-and-roll. He isn’t fast enough to blow by the big man turning the corner but has an in-and-out dribble to destabilize him, can go in either direction and protects the ball in traffic – taking 29.2% of his shots at the basket and averaging 5.6 foul shots per 40 minutes last season.

Though he flashed an explosive two-foot leap with some space to load up from time-to-time, Robinson is more of a below the rim finisher in traffic and can’t finish through contact due to his weak 188-pound frame in the context of his height.

But he can adjust his body in the air and finish with either hand. Despite his unimpressive length, Robinson proved he is able to complete reverses and over-extend for scoop finishes around rim protectors – converting 64% of his 150 shots at the basket last season.

He also unleashed a floater off a shot fake to finish over length from the in-between area every once in a while and was an option to play above the rim as a target for lobs sneaking behind the defense on a wheel cut – as more than a third of his makes at the rim were assisted.

DEFENSE

Robinson is a bad defender, on and off the ball.

He does bend his knees to get low in a stance and there are times where he is locked in, works to slide laterally and manages to stay in front of less explosive smaller players.

But for the part Robinson didn’t offer much resistance. Boston College often hid him but it also switched some, so there were plenty of times he had to guard on the ball and his inability to play with any force or intensity showed.

Robinson doesn’t get blown by all the time but can’t chest up to contain dribble penetration through contact, doesn’t have much of a reach to try reaching around for strips and is unable to contest shots effectively due to his eight-foot-two standing reach[9].

Despite a frame that suggests he should be able to, Robinson doesn’t get skinny to navigate over picks at the point of attack and doesn’t hustle back in pursuit. That was also a problem when he had to chase shooters around.

Things weren’t much better away from the ball. He was often caught ball watching and lost his man, lacks the length and instincts to make plays in the passing lanes, and his closeouts were pretty weak.

Robinson rotated in to pick up the roll man and tried crowding driving lanes and boxing out bigger players from time-to-time but wasn’t an effective help defender – lacking the physicality and intensity to matter even when he was in the right place at the right time. His contributions through steals, blocks and defensive rebounds were marginal and he didn’t make any impact in the hidden areas of the game.

He had the second worst defensive rating on the team among high-minutes players and Boston College defended a lot better without him on the floor[10].


[1] According to 247Sports

[2] According to ESPN’s Jonathan Givony

[3] DOB: 2/22/1997

[4] According to sports-reference

[5] According to our stats’ database

[6] According to Ken Pomeroy

[7] According to our stats’ database

[8] According to hoop-math

[9] According to the measurements at the 2018 NBA Combine

[10] According to our stats’ database

EDITOR’S NOTE: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at RealGM, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara

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