Nate Robinson NBA Draft Scouting Report

Nate Robinson NBA Draft Scouting Report
Sep 17, 2004, 01:56 am
Robinson is probably the quickest player in college basketball and maybe the most exciting one as well. At 5-9, he has the ability to stay low to the ground with his dribble and can push the ball from end to end as well as anyone. Thanks to his extraordinary leaping ability (his vertical is reportedly 40 inches or more), Robinson can finish with ease and is effective at either end of the alley-oop (one of the highlight plays of the first half of the season was Robinson's alley-oop dunk against Arizona). He has become a fixture on SportsCenter's Top Ten.

More than just an athlete, Robinson can shoot the ball effectively with college three-point range (37.3% this season, up from 25.7% as a freshman), and the NBA three doesn't appear to be a problem for him. Because of his speed and quickness, he can get a shot whenever he wants and his jumping ability has meant that blocked shots haven't really been a problem for him in college despite his height. When he's going well, this means he can take over a game.

On the offensive glass, Robinson has a tendency to get lost in the trees, making him extremely difficult to box out. He has put together a handful of spectacular tip dunks, and also come up with other important offensive rebounds. This skill will probably not translate as well to the NBA, but is valuable nonetheless. Nearly half his rebounds this season are on the offensive end.

Robinson's quick hands and feet make him an effective full-court defender, and he can harass opposing point guards.

No matter how great his leaping ability or how strong he is for his size, Robinson's height will always work against him. In particular, his court vision can be bothered by bigger opposing guards, and he is vulnerable to being shot over by the man he is defending.

Robinson isn't a true point guard, splitting time on the ball with junior Will Conroy, but he can't be used as anything other than a point guard in the NBA. He averages around two and a half assists per game. Thus, he'll have to look to create for his teammates more and improve his court vision.

Despite all the easy shots he creates, Robinson is still shooting around 43%, poor for a college player. Inconsistency is a major problem; he was a non-factor during this year's non-conference play and even in Pac-10 play he's been hold under double-digits three times thus far.

Scored a career-high 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting as Washington upset Arizona in Hec Ed on January 29. Had team-high 25 points in 22 minutes and hit a buzzer-beating three to send the game in overtime in eventual 103-99 victory at Oregon State that turned the Huskies' season around. Held to nine points on 2-of-11 shooting in blowout loss to Gonzaga.

Averaging 15.2 points and 4.1 rebounds through 15 games of Pac-10 play.

Despite his many skills, Robinson's height dooms him to likely being a second-round pick at best. At 5-8, he would be the second-shortest player in the NBA, taller than only Denver's Earl Boykins. However, he can be encouraged by Boykins' success and T.J. Ford's selection in last year's lottery, which seems to be opening the door for smaller point guards.

After four down years, Washington basketball is on the rise this season, ascending as high as second in the Pac-10, and Robinson has been the catalyst. He is one of the most exciting players in the NCAA at both ends of the court, and also plays with as much heart as anyone. That may not be enough to guide him to the NBA at all, let alone being successful there, but Robinson has proved doubters wrong before.

Played football as a freshman, the only true freshman to see action for the Huskies. Moved into the starting lineup at cornerback by the end of the season and helped shut down 6-6 Washington State standout Mike Bush (himself a converted basketball player), holding Bush to five catches for 40 yards and picking off a pass. Quit football team after season to concentrate on basketball.

Named to All-Pac-10 Freshman team.

Father Jacque Robinson was a halfback at UW who starred in the 1982 Rose Bowl, winning MVP honors after rushing for 142 yards on 20 carries.

Played at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle with USC's Lodrick and Rodrick Stewart. 2002 Washington State Player of the Year for class AAA and the Seattle Times' 2001 football Player of the Year. Led Beach to a 28-1 record and state championship his senior season. Set a state record in 110-meter hurdles during his senior season.

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