In back-to-back games freshman Devin Robinson is starting to find his way.
After posting consecutive career-high performances, Robinson scored 15 points and made 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. Teammate Chris Walker added 12 points and the Florida Gators (5-4) hand the Texas Southern Tigers (1-7) their seventh consecutive road loss 75-50 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Friday night.
Robinson has already started to erase his poor start to begin the season after shooting a combined 56 percent from the field in games against Yale and Texas Southern. The forward is accrediting his progression to his practice habits.
“I feel like the game is slowing down a little bit because I’m going so hard in practice,” Robinson said. “First I was just taking the easy way out in practice, but now I’m going harder in practice so games are just flowing.”
The Robinson that started the season chucking up air balls in every game through the Bahamas tournament is no more. Robinson said he’s getting his feet underneath, going up and holding his follow through to get great reps during the game. Confidence has also help paved the way for the freshman.
“He’s a great shooter,” forward Dorian Finney-Smith, who added 11 points and seven rebounds. “He just has to stay confident.”
The Gators played two consecutive games of outscoring their opponents by 20-plus points and have continued their significant shooting of over 50 percent.
Florida had five players in double-figures in Robinson (15), Walker (12), Finney-Smith (11), Michael Frazier II (11) and Jon Horford (10) as the team never trailed throughout the game.
More importantly, the Gators’ points in the paint led to their offensive success. Florida scored 48 points down low compared to Texas Southern’s 14, which was an area of concern entering the season for the Gators.
“We’re taking the shots that I like to see us take,” head coach Billy Donovan said. “We left some points out there, but I thought we were pretty efficient in terms of moving and passing and I thought our ball movement was good.”
Eli Carter was able to play tonight battling his right foot injury and in 14 minutes played made six points and two 3-pointers.
The last time the Gators were stretched to three games in a week was back in the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, but now with the next match up on Sunday against Jacksonville, Florida will have to deal with playing on short rest again.
But Donovan knows his team best and he doesn’t want them residing on recent success.
“They never factored in adversity ever,” Donovan said. “Once we got adversity they were able to get a little more grounded and see a bigger picture of how they need to play. This can be a good experience for us.”