Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
The Recruiting Guy:
Attention flows to healthy Robinson
Bryant guard Khalen Robinson dribbles during a game against Bentonville on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at Bentonville West High School in Centerton.
Bryant senior guard Khalen Robinson is making up for lost time, and in doing so has become one of the hottest prospects in the nation.
He missed most of last year's spring and summer basketball circuits because of injuries, limiting his exposure to college coaches. He suffered a broken hand in the spring and had a strained meniscus in the summer.
Khalen Robinson highlights
He did play in the Peach Jam in July.
"That was all he played all spring and summer," Bryant Coach Mike Abrahamson said. "We know that's the reason why he's been kind of under the radar."
Robinson, 6-1, 170 pounds, finished the summer with scholarship offers from Southern Mississippi, Oral Roberts and Arkansas State University. Missing out on other offers because of injuries frustrated him.
"It just humbled me and made me work even harder," Robinson said.
Healthy and motivated, he was named to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette All-Arkansas Preps first team after averaging 18 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals a game while leading the Hornets to the Class 6A state title game this season.
"He led us in charges taken, I believe," Abrahamson noted.
Robinson has continued his strong play this spring with Dallas-based Pro Skills Elite in the Nike EYBL by averaging 17.5 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists a game while shooting 43.9% from beyond the three-point line and 83.7% from the free-throw line.
He has added offers from TCU, Appalachian State, Illinois, Florida and Iowa State since May 16 to go along with others from the University of Texas El-Paso, Louisiana Tech and Missouri State that he accumulated earlier in the spring.
"I just feel like hard work pays off, and I've done a lot of work that people really don't see," Robinson said.
The website 247sports has taken note of his play and recently rated him a four-star prospect, the No. 10 point guard and No. 68 overall prospect for the Class of 2020.
Robinson is the only 15-year-old to play up two age divisions for Joe Johnson Arkansas Hawks founder Bill Ingram when he played for the 17-year-old team two years ago that featured Razorback guards Isaiah Joe, Justice Hill and Desi Sills.
He has shown mental toughness and focus in overcoming last summer's injuries and disappointment.
"A lot of that comes from his parents," Abrahamson said.
His work ethic is strong.
"He lives in the gym," Abrahamson said. "He leaves one gym and goes to another gym."
Robinson, who earned state tournament MVP honors while leading Episcopal Collegiate to the Class 3A title as a freshman, is also drawing interest from the University of Arkansas, Virginia Tech, West Virginia and Georgia Tech.
Razorback Coach Eric Musselman watched Robinson during the April 26-28 evaluation period and plans to see him at Peach Jam on July 10-14 in North Augusta, S.C.
"He said his staff is really excited to see me play at Peach Jam and wants me to come on an unofficial [visit]," Robinson said.
He is aware of Musselman's extensive NBA background.
"He's an NBA coach, so that's always good," Robinson said. "He has those connections. He's a very energetic person."
College coaches often ask Abrahamson his opinion about Robinson's best position at the next level.
"He's definitely a point guard," Abrahamson said. "He has great court vision, he's a great passer. He's a willing passer, but he's also a scorer."
Robinson also checks the good character box.
"He's a great teammate, he's a great person and he's a great student," Abrahamson said. "He responds to every challenge you put in front of him. He wants to be coached. He wants to be corrected, but he's trying to get better. He welcomes that."
He said the coaching staff lucky enough to sign Robinson will have no worries.
"He's going to be someone that as a college coach you can go to bed at night and not be worried about what's going to happen," Abrahamson said. "He's probably going to be in the gym or the practice facility shooting."
Email Richard Davenport at [email protected]
Sports on 06/09/2019
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