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Aaron Robinson looks to make a name for himself on Quinnipiac men’s basketball team

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Sierra Goodwill

During his first two seasons with the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team, Aaron Robinson played a total of 74 minutes and saw the court in just 10 out of 61 games.

Seven games in to this season, including two games where he did not see any playing time, Robinson has already played 66 minutes. But his most impressive performance yet came Wednesday night against the University of Massachusetts.

He may be number zero on the court, but there were no zeros next to Robinson’s name on the stat sheet. He contributed eight points and seven rebounds in the Bobcat’s 68-66 win over one of New England’s most established programs.

“It feels great, man. I was talking to (head coach Baker Dunleavy) at the beginning of the season and he was just telling me to stay ready because it’s a long season and things change,” Robinson said. “I just had to keep my head on straight and keep at it in the gym. I knew my moment was going to come and once it did I just wanted to take advantage of it.”

The junior’s 21 minutes against the Minutemen is a career-high, but that kind of court time might become the norm. Dunleavy takes the responsibility for Robinson’s lack of playing time and attributes it to being uncomfortable with the unknown.

“It wasn’t so much anything Aaron was doing wrong,” the head coach said. “I think I was feeling out my preference as far as how many guys I wanted to play. That eight-man rotation at first just felt very comfortable. It was probably more of a comfort zone for me and that’s not the way it should be.”

Eventually, Dunleavy realized that he had an eager set of legs on his bench that were willing and able to help his team’s success.

“Aaron just kept earning it in practice and I was really excited about the energy he brought,” Dunleavy said. “You need that off the bench. I had no doubt that when we put him in the game that we’d get great energy, but we’re getting great production as well. “

The seven rebounds that Robinson contributed were crucial in the Bobcat’s victory. UMass had size and numbers, but Quinnipiac was able to hang with the Minutemen, only getting out-rebounded by four.

Robinson knows how important it is to attack the glass when playing a four guard lineup.

“When you go against bigger teams you tend to get out-rebounded,” the junior said. “Me being a bigger guard, I try to go in there and use my size to my advantage and get rebounds and play hard.”

Besides his impressive outing on the court on Wednesday night, Robinson has an even more admirable quality. Despite his first two years being underwhelming in terms of game-time opportunity, he has never lost faith in his own abilities.

“I think my biggest strength is my confidence. I come in and look to impact the game as soon as I get in. A lot of times if I’m open I’m not afraid to shoot or give my teammates the ball,” he said. “It’s been a rough first couple of years not playing, but it’s a whole different feeling when you’re contributing to a team’s success and seeing it pay off not only in the win column, but in the stat sheet as well.”

Aaron’s twin brother, Andrew Robinson, has been an integral part to the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team playing over 20 minutes in every contest this season and averaging 8.3 points per game.

He couldn’t be happier to finally be sharing the spotlight with his sibling.

“It feels amazing because I know how hard he works and how much he’s put in these past two years,” Andrew said. “It means a lot. Being his brother, I obviously know what he’s capable of, but it’s nice that everyone else now gets to see it.”

Andrew admires his brother’s ability to stay positive during two grueling years when he was itching for the playing time they both thought he deserved.

“He’s always had a great attitude, even before when he wasn’t playing. But now, he’s just reaping the benefits of all his hard work so that definitely comes with some confidence as well.”

The twins also have an upper hand: their unique ability to find each other on offense. Aaron’s one assist against UMass was to Andrew behind the arc.

“I think we’ve always had that twin bond just playing middle school, high school and AAU together,” Aaron said. “I always look for him and I know he always looks for me too. He’s a great shooter so I just try to find him shots as much as I can and through our offense we stress giving the extra pass, so if I can swing it to Drew I’m definitely going to do it.”

And there’s a little extra gratification every time a brother-to-brother shot finds twine.

“I know he likes seeing me do well and I like seeing him do well, so we always look for each other,” Andrew said. “We’ve developed this chemistry where I just know where he’s at and he knows where I’m at so it works out.”

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