If you ask me, the most improved men’s basketball player this season is Victor Robbins, hands down. After barely playing during the later half of last season, the junior wing emerged as key player on this year’s squad, averaging 10.3 points a game, including a team-leading 12.7 points in his past seven games.
His surprising emergence is a boon for the Beavers, who entering this season only had eight scholarship players, and relied on walk-on players to fill the roster. A 3-star recruit, Robbins is one of the few players on the roster capable of creating his own shot and is aggressive on the offensive end. He’s also become more reliable 3-point shooter.
So Robbins’ 10-game suspension for violation of athletic department policy, is a huge blow for the Beavers. Not only does it take away one their top scorers during a crucial part of the season, but more importantly, kills what little depth they had. And it showed Thursday during their 56-43 loss to Washington.
The Beavers hung tough early because of their relentless defense, but clearly wore down late in the game, and UW took control. And that could be the name of the game the next nine games for the Beavers if someone doesn’t step up. The tough part is that Robbins and Jarmal Reid were the only bench players averaging significant minutes.
In addition to putting his coaches and teammates in a tough situation, Robbins has dampened his feel-good story, as this is his second suspension during his time at OSU. He was suspended for three games his freshman year. And at this point, you have to wonder if he’s put his OSU career in jeopardy?
Sadly, this also means Beaver Nation needs to temper those expectations created by the Beavers impressive start. Wins are going to be harder to come by in Pac-12 play, and things just got a lot harder. Hopefully, GP II looks to score more or that Daniel Gomis makes huge strides offensively, etc. because Robbins will be missed.