Meet future Mav KJ Robinson

I’m not sure what you can take away from a highlight tape from one game, but look at that cross over-step back jumper move…  It is the same move that helped Devin Patterson score many points as a Omaha Maverick!

A while back the Mavericks’ coaching staff made it a point to recruit players from winning programs.  In Robinson’s junior year, his team at Blue Springs South won the state Missouri Boys Class A Championship and he was teammates with current Missouri Tiger Kevin Puryear.  Blue Springs South ended the season at 29-2.

In his senior season, Blue Springs South ended at 17-11 and lost in the 2nd round of the state tournament to eventual runner up Kickapoo.  Kickapoo had a player, Jared Ritter, that is committed to play basketball at Xavier.  Kickapoo lost to Chaminade in the state championship, who has the second rated player in nation who is committed to Duke, Jayson Tatum.  So high school basketball in Missouri sounds fun.

If you are curious, Remy Davenport of the Omaha women’s team also attended Blue Springs South.

Robinson was named to the Missouri Coaches All-State basketball team, with guys that are committed to Duke and Xavier.  This is a guy that many people from the Kansas City area, per a series of tweets, thought that Omaha made a big time steal by landing.

Robinson’s dad appears to like every tweet involving UNO basketball, so that’s kind of cool.

I’m not sure what you were hoping for in basketball recruiting when the Mavericks made the transition.  Junior college players; Big 10, Big 12, and Missouri Valley transfers; in-state Nebraska guys should hopefully have been obvious; Iowa guys; Kansas City area guys; Minnesota guys; and the occasional three star recruit maybe… Robinson is a Kansas City area guy, and the occasional 3 star recruit.  Rivals rated Robinson as a three star recruit.

The 3 stars do not always guarantee a guy can be a star at the mid-major level, but the potential certainly adds some excitement and hope in local fans.  Cannot forget the days of how bad Creighton fans were salivating over P’Allen Stinnett being rated as a 4 star recruit by some sites.  This may sound like I’m dogging on the Bluejays here, but I’m not.  After seeing Stinnett as a highly touted recruit and him dominating his first NCAA basketball game, the math made sense that he was going to be the guy taking Creighton to the next level…not some guy from Ames, Iowa years later.

It is hard to imagine how many minutes Robinson can pick up as a freshman with the guard-heavy back court of Tra-Deon Hollins, Marcus Tyus, Kyler Erickson, JT Gibson, and Daniel Norl.  Robinson has the potential to be the team’s second best pure point guard on the 2016-2017 roster, but it is difficult to put it together how many available minutes there could be for him.  Hold on, my brain is about to take a break to imagine a 2019-2020 back court of Gibson and Robinson.  Okay, and I’m about to slip in a happy coma.  See what I mean about hope in potential?


On an unrelated note…

I got to the Omaha Metro Summer League Thursday night and floated around between as many games as possible.  Marcus Tyus was playing on the UNO Alumni team, and he is looking solid.  There were some brief moments where it looked as if he was still trying to adjust to his knee, but he ran the floor extremely well, always knew where to get to for a rebound, and was shooting lights out.

 

 

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The Bluejays are coming to Mavtown to face an improving Mav team

Scheduling is incredibly difficult in college basketball, and that I guess is why the Creighton Bluejays (4-6) will be playing at the Omaha Mavericks (7-3) on Sunday in women’s basketball.  I will not be able to watch, listen, or attend this game because of a Christmas party.  I will be able to attend the UNO-Arizona State hockey game before, so I would like to point out that I will have attended more Arizona State athletic events this year than Creighton events.

Now, I assume most local casual basketball fans pay attention to women’s college basketball as much as people who love cop movies pay attention to the 2nd to 7th Police Academy films…so allow me to set a little dinner tray for you here…I say a dinner tray because there wont be much talk about Creighton (as a team).

This is probably from one of the Police Academy films. Who the heck knows.
This is probably from one of the Police Academy films. Who the heck knows.

Creighton fans, and by Creighton fans I mean the people who pretend to love the entire athletic program of Creighton University, even though they only attend fun sounding men’s basketball games and have season baseball tickets just so they can get College World Series tickets easier, will probably just assume that Creighton won this game the second it was scheduled.  They may pick up the Omaha World Herald preview of this game and see that Omaha only has one player that scores in double figures and say “oh the Jays are going to run that tiny might as well be D2 school out of the gym.  All they have to do is stop that one player, and it is over.  The Jays will also stop that player because I said so.”

I would like to think that the Jays have a couple coaches and administrators that will be using up their promotional dollars from Uber to travel to Baxter Arena so the whole team can carpool a few rides up Dodge Street for free.  The Jays come into the Baxter on a 4 game losing streak, but 3 of those 4 games were on the road and the home game was to some low major team from the state of South Dakota… This streak has also been without the returning Big East Player of the Year, Marissa Janning, who has been out with an injury.  This game will not be as easy for Creighton to win as Jays people* think.

*I decided to categorize Omahans that pretend to enjoy Creighton athletics as Creighton/Jays people instead of fans.

The crowd could get pretty big for this game.  The game is after a hockey game, so I assume there will be some hockey fans that will go hang out at Dudley’s and get in a really good mood before coming back to the Baxter to watch some basketball.  Dudley’s has a Bloody Mary bar on Sundays, right?   Some department of something at UNO sent out some free tickets for some alumni for filling out some survey to this game.  I really just wanted to say “some” a lot there, and I have no explanation as to why.  There will be Creighton people that will attend, as long as they can get through what they perceive as the harsh ghettos of Omaha to find the Baxter Arena.  An 8 pm start time on a Sunday is as odd as a collegiate hockey game on a Sunday, but several people should be done with work for the year so it might as well be a Saturday to most people.  There should be some movie goers that will be in the middle of a Star Wars hangover that may need to go straight from Aksarben Cinema to the Baxter to cure that hangover.  The Creighton-UNO women’s basketball game can be their personal pizza and Dr. Pepper.  String along a few people that still don’t understand you can buy tickets online and will get to the cinema and realize the earliest showing that is not sold out is 4 hours away…ah what the hell is going on at that arena over there?  Women’s college basketball games appear to be only taking about an hour and a half to finish now, so it is not like it is that late anyway.

I am sure there will be that Creighton group that thinks they cannot attend this game because they cannot help that UNO program build and do not want to help them pad their attendance.  Sad/Fun note:  The Mav women’s basketball team averaged the lowest attendance in all of division one last season with an average of 190 per game and a total of 2,850 on the season.  This season through 5 games, the Mav women are averaging about 615 people per game and already have a total attendance of 3,079.  That’s fine Jays people, don’t come if you don’t want to…don’t support your athletic program “on the road” when you can.  Don’t worry about padded attendance stats, you’re not the same people that bragged up one of the biggest home attendances in college volleyball after Nebraska made the CenturyLink Center their second home.

Even though the Mavs are coming off of an over time loss in a game that they led by 24 points, the Mavs are no joke.  The 3rd quarter is a little scary for them as it is the only quarter that they are being outscored by their opponents for some reason.

Again, one might look at this team and see they only have one player that is a double digit scorer and think they are just a one player team.  That is not true, but by the way, that one player is amazing.  With seven playable newcomers, I really did not have high expectations before the beginning of the year.  I thought this season was going to be like a television show in its first season that had some good characters, but was still trying to figure itself out and set up plot lines for the next season.  Mikaela Shaw was going to be the main character with everyone else getting a little screen time to develop their stories for future seasons, and they were going to set everything up for the introduction of the new character named Dapprich that will get plenty of screen time in the second season.  I just thought, if they could get through this season with a minimal amount of departures, then the next season would be something you cannot wait to binge watch on Netflix a few times.  With 7 wins already, the Mavs appear to be ahead of schedule. There is still some figuring out, but you can tell the team grows more and more every game.  That probably sounds really general, but watch the freshman on the team from game to game.  You can actually see Hogue, Vidal, and Brecht piece everything together game after game.

I thought with all the new faces and youth that Brittany Lange may have challenges again this season trying to set a lineup again.  Due to injuries and with trying to figure out what worked best last season, the Mavericks had already used 4 different starting lineups through 10 games last season.  This season, they have only used 2 different starting lineups, and that was just to start Marissa Preston over Amber Vidal.

You could tell Lange and staff were really excited about this recruiting class, and you should be able to see why.  The Mavs have a complete ensemble of characters that each bring something to the table.  First off, there is Shaw who you have just come to expect will come out with a 45 point, 18 rebound, 7 assist game at some point.  Not only does Shaw currently lead the Summit in points per game, but she is tied for 5th in the league with her own teammate, Vidal, in assists per game.  Shaw can pass out of double teams to Remy Davenport and Ellie Brecht who can each hit threes and mid range jumpers, or to Vanessa Barajas who appears more comfortable on offense and cutting to the basket for easy buckets, or to Caroline Hogue to pull off a post move down low…the Mavs appear to have more options offensively this season.

Teams cannot just go into the lane on the Mavericks either.  Barajas and Hogue are the number one and number two shot blockers in the Summit League.  I hope this develops to a rivalry between the two, trying to outdo each other for more blocks…similar to Antonio Banderas being obsessed with being “number one” in Assassins**.  The two of them combine for 4.4 blocks per game so far and the next closest team in the Summit averages 3.8 blocks per game.  Sara Echelberry is also starting to get a little time at the center spot and has 4 blocks in 8 games so far.  The Mavs get to add a transfer from Texas Tech to the center spot next season…and Westside graduate Jay Bridgeman…how crazy is that post player depth going to be?

**If you are unaware of what Assassins is…it is the 7 hitter hitter in the lineup of 90s Stallone movies that were all completely average in their respectful slot in the lineup…Rocky 5, Oscar, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Demolition Man, Cliffhanger, The Specialist, Judge Dredd, Assassins, Day Light, Cop Land…  This is the San Diego Padres of movie lineups.  I believe these are all films that college students watch when they are in the mood for a bad movie and to laugh that someone made these movies with the intent of making a serious movie.  I sadly have a Because You Watched Assassins list.

How crazy is the depth going to be next season if they can keep the group together?  I’ve come to just accept that at least one player will transfer or get just a job in the off season and leave team with every college basketball team every single year.  Figuring out minutes may actually be more of a challenge next season, as the team will be adding a serious scoring threat in Michaela Dapprich to play along side this cast of characters.

 

Notes of me watching the UNO Women’s game online

I was not able to go to the Women’s basketball game today.  I don’t have to explain myself to you!  I watched this game instead of going to watch the Husker football game, so lay off.   I got the Mav tv on the Omavs website, and I decided to take some notes during the game.

  • In the pregame, Brittany Lange stated that a bulk of her post players are sitting out this year, so finding a rotation at the 5 could be difficult.  Caroline Hogue missed a month of practice, and if finally starting to get into things.  Sara Echelberry is a good choice at the 5 with her height, but she has more of the skills of playing the 3 or the 4.
  • As someone that is the same age as Lange, she totally passes the Someone I Could Get a Beer With test that people apparently base their voting decisions on.  If Lange (and Hansen) wanted to just grab a beer at Benson Brewery and hang out, I would so be there.  Mainly because I have a billion questions of Lange.
  • I thought you could get away games on this Mav tv deal.  This is a bummer.
  • My wife is watching Gossip Girl in the other room.  I’ve watched a total of 10 minutes of that entire show.  I feel like I could make a 8 minute montage of Blake Lively sobbing horribly based on the snippets that I have watched.
  • A double dribble was called?  Is that a new rule?
  • It looks like the West side of the court is still cursed.  Every shot is a brick.  Brick Yard Brewing needs to have a stand in Baxter Arena.
  • The right plug in my headphones does not work.  I’ve gone through 3 pairs of headphones this year.  Don’t ever let me buy you headphones.
  • We’re hitting some threes!
  • Amber Vidal and Bobbi Beckwith are really active at the top of the zone.  Central Florida is having a bit of an issue getting the ball past the two of them.
  • As I say that, a UCF player makes a cut right by the two of them and gets a two point basket.
  • So many Remy Davenport threes.
  • I am a big Vidal fan.  This could be a really odd comparison, but her handle of the ball and movement to the basket reminds me a lot of NBA’s Rod Strickland.  Super weird, right?
  • Remy Davenport looks more serious and more confident than last year.  She looks ready.
  • Look at how much deeper this team is.  They only graduate one player, someone might transfer out, but hopefully not half of the team… If they can keep a bulk of this team together and add the three players sitting out this year, they are can be a very tough out for teams next year.  Dare I say, a top 3 team in the Summit?  I’m seriously just throwing out a number, because I do not know much about the other teams in the Summit other than South Dakota State.
  • The Mavericks’ plays along the top of the key with the passes are really good.  Vidal and Beckwith are finding Davenport and Brecht open with ease.
  • Jonathan Green just asked if this would be the last media time out, and he got a hard NO from a woman’s voice.
  • UCF is making it a close game here in the final four minutes.  Please don’t make me break my computer on the second day of me owning it.
  • Rylan Murry liked one of my tweets.  I am pretty upset with him on his plug of Gossip Girl and Vampire Diaries.
  • You can sense the nervousness in Jon Green’s voice that he is seriously terrified that he may have cursed the sealing the win.
  • Why can the men not bring the ball up to half court like the women?  I’m seriously going to break this thing and it’s stupid super sensitive mouse touchiness.
  • I like Caroline Hogue.  I liked her the second I saw the words “record” and “blocks” on the press release of her signing with Omaha.
  • Over the summer, when I was looking at the roster of new players, I was very afraid of how Lange might do rotations and figure out minutes for all the players.  I know it is just one game, but this looks pretty good so far.
  • 10-of-39 threes for the team.  I know it’s not a great percentage, but when was the last time the Lady Mavs hit ten threes?
  • 17-22 from the free throw line, I like that.
  • I think the girl that told Green NO on the final media time out just had a had a conversation with him over the commercial audio that they would go to one more break and where she would put the audio file of the game.  I love mess ups like this in broadcasts.  I just sit at the edge of my seat like: oh my gosh, someone cuss someone else out…please!
  • The three freshman that played on the team combined for 28 of the team’s 75 points.  Those three are going to be handfuls for the Summit over the next few years.
  • A buddy and I, have an over/under bet for women’s basketball.  We had a pretty low number of wins for UNO’s basketball team because of uncertainties that we had, but I selected the over.  I’m liking my chances for a free Growler of beer.
  • The woman told Green to have a great rest of the end of his day.  Hopefully he can get home and watch his precious football (and volleyball).

 

A hopefully decent attempt talking about Lady Mavs basketball

Before moving forward, I would like to point out to you that I worked 40 hours over the course of 3 days and got very little sleep while trying to write this in the little free time I had, so I was probably a little delirious, and noticed several errors and typos while skimming over this and I fixed as much as I could, so if there is a problem, see my assistant.  I do not have an assistant, so good luck with that.  There were many stretches where I just sat at my computer, wondering where the heck I was.

So I now have been to a few UNO women’s basketball games.  It is not my lack of interest or lack of support as to why I have only been to a few games.  During my time as a student at UNO, I would have night classes or work during most of the home games.  After the transition, I lived in Utah which was close to no fun, and after moving back it has seemed like I would always have a scheduling conflict with the women’s teams home games.  I listen to most of the games on the radio while I am working out, or doing other stuff.  But I was able to make it Thursday night, and I got to tell you I feel pretty good about this team moving forward.

Let’s think about the lady Mavs’ division one life.  First thing, they lose their coach.  They find a new coach in Chance Lindley, who was an assistant at Arizona.  Lindley would guide the Mavs to wins over three division one opponents in their first year:  Western Illinois, Texas-Arlington, and UNO (holy crap they beat themselves! – no, no, that is New Orleans).  In his second season, Lindley and his staff were able to pick up Carolyn Blair-Mobley, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State, who made an immediate impact to help seniors Paige Frauendorfer and Jamie Nash create a big time Big 3.  The lady Mavs were able to go 17-11 overall in their second year of transition.

Then, in a way, the whole thing comes crumbling down.  The seniors graduate, which is kind of a given, and on top of that 4 other players leave the team, Cathleen Cox is injured, players decommit, and Lindley unexpectedly leaves the school.  Brittany Lange is given the opportunity to fix the situation, which it appears she is becoming more and more comfortable dealing with day by day.  To top things off, Cox is injured again, Brianna Bogard injures herself as well early in the season, who seemed to be expected to be a big piece of the offense, which the injuries and transfers leaves the team with one senior, 3 juniors, and 5 freshmen to be the players night in and night out.  If you do not know anything about basketball rosters, that is not a lot, and why are you here?  This year, Lange was given the chance to have a little more depth on the team, really just one more player added to last year’s roster would have seemed like a ton more depth, but it is a full roster now for sure.

 

It is incredibly difficult to rebuild a women’s basketball team.  First of all there is very little parody in women’s basketball.  My wife and I have discussed this on a number of occasions.  On the men’s side, there are a million six foot tall shooting guards to knock down threes, and their dream is to play college basketball.  There just are not as many girls that have that same love of basketball that can play at a highly competitive level.  You also have to consider how many girls in high school basketball are playing it as their second sport, many go on to play volleyball, or soccer, or softball at the collegiate level.  Combine that with a bunch of high school coaches that do not know what they are doing and go with a Hey This Volleyball Girl is Tall so Let’s Just Keep Feeding Her the Ball Even Though She Has no Hands approach. Basketball is just kind of the side job for many of them.  I mean no disrespect to women in college basketball, I hope this should show as a sign of respect really to the ones who do play and have quality careers who put their love of the game and carry out for success.  My wife mentioned at her high school, the basketball team had 7 players (throughout 3 different classes) go play division one, but none of them went on to play basketball.  It was a second thing for all of them.  My wife averaged 5 steals a game as a freshmen on varsity, and ended up playing college softball over basketball (although Belmont tried to get her to play her 5th year of eligibility for the basketball team, she beat the team in a scrimmage three point competition, Remy Davenport also has the same form on her shot as my wife as a FYI)  With no parody in the sport, it creates situations in which the # 5 team in the country cruises past the # 15 team in the country by 30 points.  So yes, rebuilding, especially in transition, is no easy situation in women’s basketball.  It takes a committed coaching staff and patient athletic administration to get through the tough times, two things that UNO seems to have.

By the way, my wife is in her high school’s athletic all of fame for softball and basketball.  The high school athletics program has apparently gone down hill in the last couple of years with some new high schools opening up and taking away some of the high level athletes.  We went to her award ceremony which was at half time of the boy’s basketball game.  We sat through girl’s game which was before the boy’s game.  One of the teams scored a total of one point in the third quarter.  It was the 6th layer of hell for me.  If any coach is ever reading this, I urge you to not go recruit for girl’s basketball in the Vancouver, Washington area (Vancouver is the Council Bluffs of Portland, Oregon).

It did seem to take a little while to find a consistent lineup this season, but after finally settling in with a lineup, the Mavs seemed to pick things up, along with improving some fundamentals and especially their free throw shooting.  Before the month of February the Mavs went 6-15, but were able to get to double degit wins by going 4-3 in the month of February.  The Mavs were able to pick up wins against Western Illinois (finished 3rd in Summit League), North Dakota State (6th), Fort Wayne (9th), and Denver (T-7th with UNO) in the month of February, they also play competitively against the two top teams in the conference South Dakota and South Dakota State.  So yes, the lady Mavs were able to end transition on a positive note.

With a more consistent lineup, the Mavs were able to get going, but the Mavs were able to move through the month by huge performances from sophomore Mikaela Shaw.  How big?  23.1 points per game and 8.7 rebounds throughout the month of February big.  Those are superstar numbers, like Other Teams Are Going to Stick Their Hands in Their Armpits and Then Smell Their Hands When Shaw Comes to Town, Because They Are Going to Be So Nervous type of superstar.

Looking ahead to the future, it may be comforting knowing that Mikaela Shaw (as of before the start of post season) led all sophomores in the Summit League in scoring, as well as rebounding.  The only player that averaged more points than her that will be returning for next season will be Western Illinois’ Ashley Luke (assuming neither of these players leave for some reason).  I would also like to extend this and point out that Madi Robson led all sophomores in assists.  And yes, teams can pick up some stellar junior college players, and transfers from Florida that can just dominate the conference.

So the Mavs had their best season during transition with Frauendorfer and Nash leading the show.  Having your power forward and point guard as your main characters is never a bad thing.  Yes, I know Shaw is listed as a guard, but seriously, come on, she plays the 4.  When your 4 and your guard are your main characters, you can utilize the pick and roll game a ton, look at any team that had Jerry Sloan as their coach.

Mikaela Shaw’s Twitter handle is shawesome_43, and I do not think I have ever seen a more appropriate twitter handle for a young college person, she is freaking awesome.  She can score in a variety of ways, she can drive left, drive right, score on the baseline, knock down a 15 footer, knock down a three, I would not be shocked if she could dunk.

Shaw has easily become a star over the last two years.  Let me just throw a few numbers out at you.

  • I mentioned that she led all sophomores in points and rebounds this season, right?
  • Her 38 points is the most by any lady Mav since transition, it was also the most by any woman in the Summit League this season
  • Her 721 is the most career points in the transition period, Frauendorfer had 755 and Ericka House had 732, Shaw did that in her freshman and sophomore seasons, Frauendorfer and House scored their points as juniors and seniors
  • After her sophomore year she already ranks 38th on the career overall scoring chart
  • After her sophomore year she ranks 27th on the career rebounding chart

And that is just the scoring, she can rebound, pass the ball, block shots, defend the post, defend the perimeter, and her three point shooting has gotten better and better.  I watched a play where she was on defense and went up to contest a shot, and she did not even block the shot, she literally just grabbed the shot out of the air and started a break down the floor.  Is Grab Shot Out of Freaking Air a statistic?  If it is, she at least averaged 0.1 this last season.

Like I said, rebuilding anywhere is difficult, especially for a women’s team in transition, by the way, have we praised Brittany Lange for taking this job over?  Rebuilding a team in the middle of transition, that has to be a coach’s worst nightmare, especially taking the risk of starting your career with that.  With basically an entirely new roster in her first season, Lange essentially got a job at one of those start up companies.  Anyway, it is difficult to rebuild a team, and someone like Mikaela Shaw is a great marketing tool…no, no, no I am not saying we use her, it will just come naturally.

The smaller schools have to rely on that one above the rest of the conference player to market their program.  The outsiders who essentially know nothing about the the smaller teams, they need to hear something is interesting is happen to pay attention.  At this level, people want to hear about someone like Mikaela Shaw doing great things and they want to go see it for themselves.  They want to sit around and talk shop afterwards and feel better about themselves and ponder real philosophical stuff like “yeah, she can score at UNO, but could score at a bigger school?”  The high school kids want to learn from that player.  If you went to high school in Omaha from 2001-2003, you would have seen every high school kid wearing their socks real high, growing their hair out (high school kids tend to grow their hair out anyway), trying to become a knock down three point shooter trying to be Creighton’s Kyle Korver.  Go to a UNO softball game.  If you went and saw UNO take on the Huskers last year, the middle school girls were there to watch Nebraska’s Tatum Edwards pitch, and they were there to learn from UNO’s Allie Mathewson.  Every time Mathewson stepped up to the plate, the younger kids were up at the fence, studying her batting stance, wanting to be the next Allie Mathewson.  The younger kids see the Mathewsons and the Shaws as the heros.  The Nebraska girls that go in and dominate.  The Nebraska Cornhuskers did not exist to those girls in those games between the Mavericks and Huskers.

Should it be amazing that she even came to UNO?  I do not know.  Per press releases from athletics and the Omaha World Herald, I have not seen any other offers she picked up other than a walk on role at Nebraska, but I have to tell you, a walk on offer to a small town Nebraska kid might be a better thing than a full ride some place else from a sports stand point.  I do not know for sure if Deweese, Nebraska is a small town, but I am just just going to go with my Omaha instincts on this one and say yes it is a small town.

Let’s not look at this like it is the Omaha Shaws, it is still the Omaha Mavericks.  If you would have gone to a women’s game, you could have seen the other pieces of the future.

I am going to take a side step before moving on.  The players who never got to play after transition, should not be forgotten.  Taijhe Kelly’s blocks, Nash’s ridiculous amount of steals and assists, House’s threes, Bough’s ability to do a little bit of everything, Frauendorfer’s…just Frauendorferness, and everyone else.  They all helped the UNO program move on, I am simply just looking at what we have moving forward.  If anything the players moving forward have a little bit of the past in them.  Barajas has signs of playing like Kelly, Shaw has similarities to Frauendorfer, Robson to Nash, and so on.

So it is not just Mikaela Shaw that we have to look forward to.  Madi Robson, if you are a point guard, you will have nothing but respect for her.  If you love a score first point guard, then I always think there is something wrong with you, and her career average of 5 points per game will not impress you.  If you watch her though, you will take notice of what she does for the Mavericks.  She keeps the team moving, keeps communication up, finds players in their spots, sets screens on bigger players to get her teammates in a better position to make a play.

I have not seen if UNO has a +/- stat for games, I know North Dakota State does (just sayin’), but the second to last home game of the year against IPFW, I cannot stress to you how important she was in that game.  If there was a +/- stat, I am pretty sure the Mavs would have been up 15 points whenever she was on the court.  There was a stretch in the second half when she was on the bench where IPFW had dwindled down UNO’s lead to one possession, and I was thinking to myself – Where the Heck is Robson?  Then what do you know, Robson comes into the game, and controls everything to a point to where the Mavs get back up by a few possessions.

She scored 15 points that game, and most of it were free throws as IPFW was fouling to try and get back into the game, but I swear she was capable of scoring much more.  No matter what guard got on Robson, she would break that player down, IPFW could not stay in front of her.  I was sitting next to some older gentlemen, who I assume were former UNO players, and every time Robson would break down their defender they would just laugh and cry out, “they have no chance at guarding her.”  She would get by, and find the open player, or bring it back up to the top of the key so the Mavs could set something else up.  You could tell that she had that game completely under control.  While on the bench, the team was talking less, the defense was breaking down.  It is not like they just muted themselves, I am just saying that while Robson was on the court, you could clearly hear the players better and more frequently.  Taijhe Kelly was probably the second most talkative on defense, calling out whatever she saw.  Not saying no one else was talking, those were just the two players that were clearly keeping up the talk.  When Robson was on the bench, she was like a undergraduate coach, yelling whatever she could out to players, scolding them for mistakes.  Scolding may be the wrong word, from everything I have seen, Robson does not have a mean bone in her body.  I have not seen a college player (in person) take over an entire game without the need of scoring since Tyler McKinney at Creighton.  Also, just a little bit ago when I shot out some numbers about Shaw, after Robson’s sophomore year, she is 16th in program history in assists.

So you take Robson and Shaw, you have Davenport coming off screens as the three point specialist, Vanessa Barajas as the rim protector, add transfer Marissa Preston to the crew, as well as incoming freshman Caroline Hogue, who is apparently a block specialist herself, and you have the recipe for a quality basketball team.  So there is some hope for this improving basketball team that showed promise down the stretch of transition, and we know anything could happen, like (this is where some hypothetical situation is mentioned, something so horrifying, you vomit and crap yourself and cry out “no player deserves that”).  Add that in with a committed coaching staff, and athletic administration that wants to put in their support, and you have a girls team that can climb the standings in the conference. and who knows what the limits are.