End of Year Player Review: Jerome Robinson
By Evan Gray
First posted on bostoncollege.247sports.com
Welcome to Boston College 247’s first annual player reviews for the BC men’s basketball team! Over the next week, we will be breaking down every Eagle one at a time. First up: Jerome Robinson.
Considered a late bloomer coming out of high school, Jerome Robinson missed the big wave when it came to major college recruiting. After a late growth spurt, Robinson stood 6’ 5” with the weight of a 9th grader, and while his athleticism certainly made him a somewhat notable prospect, he was still considered far from an ACC level talent. With offers coming from established mid-major programs like Richmond, Youngstown State, and Old Dominion, it seemed like Robinson would end up outside of the power 5.
Flash forward to today, and it is clear that Robinson has shown plenty of reasons as to why he belongs in a power 5 conference. In 32 games this season, Robinson scored 20+ points 17 times, second most of any power 5 player. Leading the team in points, minutes, FGA, FTA, assists, and steals, Robinson took on the brunt of the load on both sides of the ball. For the most part, Robinson was ready for the challenge, as he ended up finishing second in player efficiency (PER) on the team, while also leading the team in usage rating—finishing 30.7% of the Eagles’ possessions when he was on the floor. As for the raw statistics, this is how Jerome has fared in his two seasons on the heights:
2016/2017 Stats (32 Games):
34 MPG, 18.6 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 3.4 APG, 1.7 SPG, 3.2 TOPG, .422 FG%, .333 3FG%, .722 FT%, 17.5 PER, .476 EFG%, .609 TS%
2015/2016 Stats (23 Games):
33.4 MPG, 11.7 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.4 SPG, 3.2 TOPG, .429 FG%, .371 3FG%, .648 FT%, 13.0 PER, .479 EFG%, .504 TS%
First things first, Jerome’s first half against Richmond over Thanksgiving was undoubtedly his best half of the season. In the first period, Robinson was 5-5 from 3 and had 19 points—the most threes he had in any other game all season was four. Jerome scored 19 of the team’s 33 points and the Eagle led the Spiders by 8 at the break. Unfortunately, Jerome seemingly used up all of his juju in the first half, as the Eagles would go on to score just 21 points in the second half—especially bad considering that Richmond scored 42 points—thrusting the Eagles to a 13 point defeat. Robinson, specifically struggled mightily, going 3-12 from the field—ending the game with 27 points, 1 free throw, 1 assist, and 4 turnovers, although it didn’t help that his teammates shot 10-36 for the game.
For Jerome’s true best performance of the season, it make sense to pick a game the Eagles actually won, and there is no better victory than the upset over Syracuse. In the Eagles ACC opener, Robinson was ready to go. By far the Eagles best performance of the season—they hit a school record 16 three-pointers—Robinson set the tempo early, going 5-7 from the field in the first half with zero turnovers, a rare accomplishment for the sophomore guard. After pouring in 44 points in the first half, the Eagles put the pedal to the floor in the second half, shooting 10-14 from 3 en route to a school record 16 three-pointers. Robinson finished the game with 22 points on 9-12 shooting, 3-4 from deep, 4 assists, and 3 turnovers. Besides the solid statistics, this game was impressive simply due to the fact that Robinson was hitting his jumpers at a high clip. In conference play this season, Robinson really struggled with his shot, shooting just 40.9% from the field, 29.4% from 3—drastically down from 42.6% and 37.5% in 2015/2016. And while shooting 16-26 from 3 is certainly an anomaly, the Syracuse game provided a hint as to what this Eagle team is capable of. For Jerome specifically, these kinds of games are proof that if he can fine tune his jumper—especially his three—to be more consistent, he can drastically improve his efficiency numbers and make defenders respect his range, making it easy for Jerome to attack off the dribble and get to the free throw line.
This season, Jerome took a major step forward. Physically, he has really filled out into his 6’ 5” frame and is able to switch onto multiple positions on the defensive end. Also, his ball handling has improved dramatically. Although this was the first season where Jerome had a true point guard sharing the floor with him (Eli Carter doesn’t count), the loss of Ty Graves midseason meant that Robinson had to play both starting shooting guard and backup point guard. Taking care of the ball however, was Jerome’s Achilles heel this season, as the guard had 102 turnovers compared to 108 assists—not a very good assist to turnover ratio. He had 5+ turnovers in six games this season, including ghastly 8 turnover performances against Auburn and Providence—ironically both games the Eagles won. While it’s easy to blame these turnovers on the heavy minutes and sheer weight of the offensive load Robinson had on his shoulders, cutting down these numbers would do wonders for a Boston College squad that had the second most turnovers in the conference.
In Boston College’s 9 wins this season, Jerome’s numbers were outstanding: 23.4 PPG, 4.1 APG, 6 FTA on .521 FG% and .425 3FG%. In losses, the numbers were a little more pedestrian: 16.7 PPG, 3.1 APG, 4.5 FTA on .382 FG% and .303 3FG%. Two things are clear from these stats. One: Boston College lives and dies based on the performance of one player—which is never the greatest thing. Two: Jerome has a lot of inconsistency. Speaking more to the inconsistency, Jerome was really up and down this season, especially in terms of shooting. While he had great shooting nights against Syracuse (9-12), Dartmouth (10-16), Fairfield (9-16), and NC State (9-17), he shot below 50% from the field in 22 of the Eagles’ 32 games. For every great performance he had, he seemed to have one or two inefficient ones, such as against Hartford (2-13), Notre Dame (3-13), Notre Dame again (3-12), Kansas State (3-12), and Wake Forest (4-15)—all games the Eagles lost. Moving forward, the biggest thing for Jerome is that he has to stay consistent with his aggressiveness, as we saw him settle for a lot of jumpers this year. In his freshman season, Jerome attempted just 27% of his shots from beyond the arc, however in his sophomore season, the number jumped up to 33%. For someone who isn’t the most consistent three-point shooter, attacking the basket less isn’t a good way to build confidence. If Jerome wants to get his groove back, we are going to need him to attack the basket more and getting to the charity stripe.