There very well may come a moment on tonight's Purdue vs. Michigan Big Ten Conference men's basketball match-up when members of the Boiler Nation will take to social media and tweet “That awkward moment when you are watching our program's best player's son torch us.”
That possibility exists when the Boilermakers (10-8, 3-2 Big Ten) visits the No. 3 Wolverines (17-1, 4-1), which has several players capable of doing serious damage, including freshman forward Glenn Robinson III.
“He's a great kid,” Purdue coach Matt Painter said. “He's really worked hard.”
If the name “Robinson” sounds vaguely familiar to the young Purdue fans, it should. And to the middle-age members of the Boiler Nation, it is the impetus of tears of joy.
Robinson's father, Glenn Jr., left Purdue following a two-year career as the top pick in the 1994 NBA Draft. Despite playing just two seasons in West Lafayette, “The Big Dog” ranks eighth all time in Boilermaker scoring. His son isn't averaging 25 points per game during his first season of competition as his father did, but Robinson III has been very good.
He's a good feel,” Painter said. “And he knows how to play.”
Robinson III is one of four Wolverines to average in double figures (12 points per game) and is leading Michigan in rebounding (5.8 per game). The 6-foot-6 forward is connecting on nearly 58 percent of his shots, including 39 percent from long range.
Painter played with Glenn Jr. and followed Robinson III during his days at Lake Central High School.
“We recruited (Robinson III),” Painter said. “But we actually ran out of scholarships.”
Purdue had received a verbal commitment from current freshman wing Rapheal Davis all the way back in the spring of 2009, and when it added forward Jay Simpson to the class of 2012, there was no other need for another forward.
“We really liked him,” Painter said. “He's a good player. He really made strides from his sophomore to junior year.”
Tapping this state
In his six seasons at Michigan, coach John Beilein has done a nice job of venturing across the state line and finding talent in Indiana.
The current Wolverines boast three freshmen Wolverines from the Hoosier State.
Aside from Robinson III, guard Spike Albrecht (Crown Point) and forward Mitch McGary (Chesterton) have also played in all 18 games. Robinson III has also started every one of those games, thus far.
Beilein has also signed Hamilton Southeastern High School standout Zak Irvin as a member of the 2013 recruiting class.