Robinson Responds To Criticism By Making Shots
CHAPEL HILL - What a 14-day stretch it has been for North Carolina senior guard Brandon Robinson.
A few hours after UNC’s historic home loss to Clemson on Jan. 11, Robinson was hit by a drunk driver while driving in nearby Carboro. Robinson, who finished with a then career-high 27 points against the Tigers, was not seriously injured in the accident but did walk away with soreness in his neck.
A week later he played 32 minutes in a loss at Pittsburgh, missed UNC’s trip to Virginia Tech this past Wednesday, and finished off the two-week period by pouring in a new career-high in Saturday’s 94-71 win over Miami.
But for Robinson, as trying as this time has been, the 29 points didn’t make up for anything, the Tar Heels getting a needed win did.
“People might think I’m crazy but I’m dead serious, I’d go out there and score two points and, if we win the game, I’ll be happy,” Robinson said. “I was just so disappointed that we lost that game and then for the car accident to happen, it was just a lot for me.”
UNC had an open date following the Clemson game, so Robinson had time to recover before the trip to Pitt. He missed three of the team’s five practices that week before a 66-52 loss to the Panthers. He finished with 12 points before fouling out in the second half.
He also reaggravated his neck late in that game, causing him to miss the loss to the Hokies, which drew scorn from fans who clearly didn’t understand what the senior guard was going through. But he used that as motivation Saturday versus the Hurricanes.
“When they announced I wasn’t going to play against Virginia Tech, people told me on social media that I was ‘faking’ or I was ‘soft’ and stuff, so I used that as motivation to come out here today and just did everything I could to get out here today and just play for my team,” Robinson said.
Nearly 72 hours after reading those negative comments, Robinson had his best game in a Carolina uniform.
The Douglasville, GA, native shot 11-for-16 from the floor and 6-for-10 from three, leading UNC with a career-high 29 points. His six made three-pointers are also a career high and tie the most by any Tar Heel this season.
“I was just shooting the ball,” Robinson said. “They were leaving me open, so I was just knocking it in.”
One thing that may have helped with Robinson’s hot hand was his early start to the day. Junior guard Andrew Platek, who finished with seven points and four assists, said he and Robinson got up some shots at the Smith Center before most people were even awake.
“Me and B-Rob got in at like 6:30 (am) and we shot early just to get some extra shots in before breakfast and I think that helped us a lot,” Platek said. “Just trying to put in the extra work and keep putting in the work so we can have games like this where he goes off.”
From two career-high performances to a car crash to having to sit out yet another game this season due to injury, it has been quite an eventful couple of weeks for the Tar Heels' lone senior starter.
He has dealt with everything life has thrown at him, though, and is continuing to play the best basketball he has played in his time at UNC.