Thursday, February 28, 2008

East's 'skinny' Robinson feasting in the playoffs

Listen, East Mecklenburg boys basketball star Titus Robinson knows he's skinny.

He knows most of the schools recruiting him would love it if hecould somehow diet on NutriSystem in reverse and gain 30 pounds.

But he hates when people question whether or not he can effective at the next level at 6-foot-8, 195 pounds.

"Heard it all my life," he said after an easy 67-40 win over McDowell in the second round of the N.C. 4A playoffs Thursday. "But listen, man, I can play. I'm 195 pounds now, but in my baggy clothes, I'm pushing 200."

A smile cracks his skinny face, which is all cheekbones and eyelashes.
"Man," he says next, "I guess I just have to go out there and try to prove them wrong about my size."

Robinson just turned 17 and is about as young as the average junior in high school.

I think he could redshirt a year at Buffalo, Charleston Southern, UNC-Greensboro or Winston-Salem State -- schools most interested in him right now -- and become one of those guys you see in the first round of the NCAA Tournament and wonder how schools like Charlotte and N.C. State and Wake Forest let slip away.

Robinson is long like a 7-footer and agile. He had 22 points and six rebounds against McDowell and played at the front of East's pressure defense. His length made it difficult for the Titans to get the ball upcourt and get into any kind of offense and contributed to McDowell's 19 turnovers.

He also wasn't bad on offense.

I'd like to see him be more aggressive, but he can sure finish around the hoop. He had several dunks that got the crowd going and led to McDowell coach Lloyd Church forming a few "Ts" (for timeout) with his right and left hands.

"He had a lot of energy," East coach Jason Grube said of Robinson. "He's so long and athletic that if you keep him fresh, he comes with a tremendous amount of energy. The kids all feed off his intensity and when he starts flushing stuff, they get all excited."

Robinson has been one of the centerpieces of East's run towards the top of Mecklenburg County basketball. East was 19-7 his freshman year, 25-3 his sophomore season and 26-4 last year.

The Eagles have five forfeit losses on their 21-8 record this year for unknowingly using an ineligible player. But under Robinson's watch has come four straight conference championships and a chance at a third straight regional at Hopewell Friday night.

"We want more right now," Robinson said in the hallway after the game.
He's polite to a fault, always telling visitors to "have a nice day" when he departs with a firm handshake.

"We know we can get back to the regionals," he continues. "We've been there the past two years and lost to Vance both times. We've still got a chip on our shoulders that we want to get off."

Friday night, the Eagles -- and their skinny leader -- get a chance to do to that.
Langston Wertz Jr.: 704-358-5133;


Anonymous said...

But My Titans Gonna Win It Tonight Sorry Titus And Them Eagles. The Titans Will Prevail

Anonymous said...

Yo them titans lost tonight wit t-rob scoring 19 so wats good them eagles