Another player in the 2020 college basketball recruiting class is closer to making their college decision. Four-star point guard, Kalen “KK” Robinson, cut his list of potential homes down to seven. The list included Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa State, TCU, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt.
Final 7‼️ pic.twitter.com/MinlRu5yWg
— Kk Robinson (@onekrob2) August 15, 2019
Skills and Attributes
Robinson has a tremendous skill-set that is suitable for virtually any offense. At 6’1″, 175 pounds, he is the perfect size for today’s typical point guard. I am very impressed with his ability to isolate himself and take his defender one on one. Simply put, he’s a scoring machine. He also has a lot of pride on playing defense. “Growing up, coaches always preached ‘Defense wins championships.’ Well, I’m a competitor and if defense wins championships, then I’m going to play defense to the best of my ability on every possession.” Robinson said.
'20 Khalen "KK" Robinson @onekrob2 (6-0 CG, Bryant) drives & rises for the pull-up J against FSNorthside in the 6A state title game Friday in Hot Springs … KK leads Bryant w/11 pts, but the Grizzlies lead 37-34 w/4:52 to play in the game … pic.twitter.com/MFNQ8cPbkq
— Kevin McPherson (@ARHoopScoop) March 8, 2019
At the 2019 Peach Jam Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, Robinson continued to be a dominant player, scoring 19 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game on 42% shooting from the field. He was extremely impressive with his play during the tournament. However, Robinson had other thoughts. “I didn’t have the strongest showing in Peach Jam, but it was definitely fun to play against the best of the best. I definitely enjoyed playing in that environment. It was a blessing and I will always remember it.” Robinson is currently ranked as the 67th best player in the country and the best player in his home state of Arkansas.
Robinson is dedicated to taking his game to the next level. Because of this, there were certain factors that he took into account when considering where he might take his recruitment. Robinson is looking for a program where he will have guidance. Then, once he earns his coaches’ trust, he can run the team. As mentioned earlier, Robinson’s skill-set fits virtually any system. However, he is at his best playing in an up-tempo offense. He said, “Playing in an open floor court, in transition, and at a fast pace is where I thrive the most.”
On the defensive side of the court, Robinson loves to play in a man-to-man defense. He loves that he has the opportunity to pick up his assignment and defend him tough. Robinson’s hard-nosed mindset on and off the court allows him to be coached hard as well. Generally, different players respond better or worse to different styles of coaching. Certain players can’t handle coaches in their face, and others live for it. In Robinson’s case, he’s experienced both. “I’ve had both in my career. Some coaches get their point across differently. I can take both.” Robinson said.
The SEC Conference
The Arkansas Razorbacks are Robinson’s home state team. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that they were named in his Top 7. The Razorbacks have a young back-court that is crowded with options for head coach Eric Musselman. So playing time might be at a premium for Robinson. However, Arkansas provides a lot of positives for Robinson. “They are my home state school. I would be able to play in front of my family and friends on a consistent basis.” Robinson said. Robinson plans to visit Arkansas unofficially, on August 24th.
Next up, are the Texas A&M Aggies. Texas A&M are trending upwards in the SEC-Conference and should challenge the Kentucky Wildcats in future years. This will play a role in Robinson’s decision. “Coach (Buzz) Williams is a guy that likes taking on challenges. I’m the same way. So having a coach that’s like me is great.” Robinson said.
Finally, the Vanderbilt Commodores were included in Robinson’s Top 7. They have built a great relationship with Robinson. He was particularly interested in coach Stackhouse, a former NBA player. “I talk to Coach (David) Grace a lot but I also speak to coach Stackhouse. It’s been great being able to speak to a former NBA player. He’s able to tell me the ins and outs of the league. And can tell me what it takes to get to the next level.” Robinson said.
The Big 12 Conference
From the Big 12 Conference, the Kansas Jayhawks are in contention to land Robinson’s services. Kansas boasts one of the elite coaches in country in Bill Self. Self’s program could not only mold Robinson into the player he would like to be, but it would allow him to get national exposure. “Kansas plays on the the biggest stage. Every game they play is televised. Playing on those stages will give me more exposure and a better chance to play in the NBA.” Robinson said.
The Iowa State Cyclones are coming off a year where they put a freshman in the NBA. This was an important factor for Robinson. “Coach Prohm has put so many players, at my position, in the NBA. That means a lot because that’s where I want to be in the future. ” Robinson said.
Additionally, the TCU Horned Frogs were a program on Robinson’s list. The Horned Frogs have recruited him the longest. This has helped them build a good relationship with him. “TCU was my first high major offer. They saw something in me before any other high major did. So I really appreciate Coach Dixon and his coaching staff for that,” Robinson said.
The B1G Conference
The Illinois Fighting Illini are the only program out of the B1G Conference on Robinson’s list. And they could be major players in his recruitment. Illinois’ top three guard targets Adam Miller, DJ Steward, and Nimari Burnett are trending elsewhere. So this would be a perfect opportunity for the program to shift their focus to Robinson. Illinois’ backcourt will lose guard Andres Feliz (graduation) and possibly Ayo Dosunmu (NBA Draft) after this season. This leaves plenty of playing time for Robinson. “Illinois has two guards that will be leaving when I graduate from high school. So that’s an opportunity for me to come in and earn a starting position as a freshman.” Robinson said. He also spoke about his relationship with assistant coach Jamall Walker. “I’m really close with Coach (Jamall) Walker. Whenever we talk, it’s always a good conversation.” Robinson said.
For more information about College Basketball recruiting, follow me on Twitter @asethi03.