Just don’t call Utah Valley a peaking team just yet. Forward Geddes Robinson believes the best is yet to come.
“I think we’re getting there step by step,” Robinson said. “There’s still a lot of things we need to work on as a team, as a whole. We just have to get a better feel for each other, but we’ll get there eventually.”
It appears ready to happen sooner than later. The Wolverines seventh win in a row came on the road at Texas Pan-American, a one-game sample of UVU’s burgeoning play. Four players scored in double figures led by Isiah Williams’ 21 points. It marked the second game in a row Williams went for 20-plus and the fourth time in 2012.
Meanwhile Robinson (somewhat) came to earth, Thursday, snagging nine rebounds to go along with six points. It was just the second time since Dec. 19 that he registered less than 10 rebounds in a game, coming after 16 and 18-rebound nights against Chicago State and NJIT, respectively. The performances earned Robinson his third Great West Conference Player of the Week award.
The senior forward ranks ninth in the nation in rebounding at 10.9 rpg and third in offensive rebounds per game (4.3) as of Friday.
Hunsaker has continually pointed to Robinson’s offseason workout regime as the reason behind his breakout year. Bench play has also been a factor. Hunsaker’s tightened rotation usually starts with swingman Alfonzo Hubbard coming in for Ben Aird, leaving the 6-5 Robinson to slide from forward to center in a small-ball lineup.
Despite giving up several inches and pounds to matchups on defense, the arrangement has worked thanks to the versatility of Hubbard and starting forward Keith Thompson.
“We’ve got a lot of athleticism and size on the wings, as far as Keith [Thompson] and [Alfonzo Hubbard],” Robinsons said. “We have pretty good rebounding guards from what I see in Isiah and Holton. Taylor comes off the bench and he’s six-six. I feel like we have a lot of size, we just come together and play defense, get some stops and put some bodies on somebody.”
“Obviously everybody wants to have a good flow of offense, but I feel like defense is where it’s at,” Robinson added.
Sophomore guard Holton Hunsaker continued his torrid free-throw shooting Thursday, hitting eight free throws in the final 1:04 to preserve the win. The feat moved his free throw shooting to a sterling 92.4 percent, good for third in the nation as of Friday.
Utah Valley continues its road trip this week with games at NJIT and Chicago State before returning home Feb. 13 to host Montana Tech.
By Matt Petersen