Posted: 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013
Last year, I wrote a couple of times about James Robinson's shooting woes. Things didn't get better as the year went along and while he was (rightfully) praised for his heady play and better than 3:1 Assist-to-Turnover ratio, the one thing Robinson struggled with was his offensive efficiency. When it was all said and done, Robinson was a below average 37% shooter from the field.
The good news this season so far is that his free throw shooting has been much better. It's too early to tell if that will hold up, but Robinson has made an astounding 92% of his free throws (22 of 24), significantly up from the 79% he made last season. Robinson has also been better beyond the arc, connecting on 36% of his attempts as opposed to only 31% last year. The sample size there is much smaller than his numbers at the free throw line (he's 4-11 on the season), but still, it's encouraging.
Where Robinson hasn't made many strides is his overall shooting. He's again right at 37% on the season and for a point guard, that's just a really substandard number.
I made this point earlier in a comment in a thread, but his shooting is really kind of disappointing because it's still the non-conference season. Pitt has played some pretty bad teams and things are only going to get more difficult in the ACC games. At this stage of the season, you want to see all of the players having an easier time and padding their stats a little. Robinson's shooting has just been a problem area, despite the games against some weaker foes.
He's also in a bit of a slump lately - over the past two games against Duquesne and Stanford, Robinson was a combined 3-14.
As I said before, he shoots so infrequently that it hasn't been a big problem for Pitt. And when you factor in the other offense the team has gotten, his shooting hasn't really hurt. The other thing is that I hate pointing out the poor shooting when he's playing pretty well otherwise. In addition to the improved areas I noted earlier, he's averaging more assists and fewer turnovers this season. But if he got to a point where he could knock down open shots, Pitt would be even deadlier.