November 2, 2007

USC Transfer Makes Impact Despite Sitting

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From coast to coast, from the Pac-10 to the Ivy League, from riding the pine to finally getting to the line, junior guard Collin Robinson has had a litany of experiences over the past two years. But one of the biggest differences between now and then has nothing to do with basketball.
“The weather was the biggest thing for me to adjust to,” the California native said jokingly. “And being so far from home.”
Robinson’s collegiate career appears to have changed almost as rapidly as the Ithaca weather too. After playing only 35 minutes in his freshman season at USC, Robinson re-evaluated his options and decided he wanted to transfer. Although tiny Ithaca is the polar opposite of Los Angeles in many respects, the move didn’t seem that far of a stretch to Robinson — he had been recruited by head coach Steve Donahue to come to Cornell out of high school.
“Academically and athletically, I think it’s a better fit for me,” Robinson said. “I wasn’t getting any kind of playing time, unjustly. … I wanted to go somewhere where I could play.”
The 6-0 guard transferred from USC to Cornell after his rookie season, losing a season of eligibility by sitting out his sophomore season to comply with NCAA rules. But he has practiced with the team the entire time, and it has allowed him to gain some valuable insight.
“I was desperate to play because I thought I could contribute a lot in certain areas. At the same time, it was good for me to practice with the team so I could learn their chemistry, especially being a point guard,” he said. “Everyone on our team works much harder. … In other conferences, people tend to coast a little bit because they know their athletics might get them by.”
As for the transition to Cornell, Robinson has said he has had no problems, but it is certainly a change in environment.
“He was always an Ivy league kid in my opinion,” said head coach Steve Donahue. “He is a great student. This is more his setting in my opinion. But he is basketball player. … Now he wants to show people what he can do and help a team win championships.”
After a year of waiting, he is finally ready to step onto the court, and the results may prove to be cataclysmic for the opposition. Coaches and players alike have lauded his ability to score as well as anyone in the Ivy League.
“The one thing that he can do is he can get shots in different ways. He is a different type of guy in our league,” Donahue said. “He never gets tired. He can be on the ball, off it and he can create for others.”