As usual on Tuesday evening, Stanford Robinson was a bit fatigued. It was the first day back at school after the winter holiday vacation, which meant the return of a 5 a.m. knock on his bedroom from his mother, followed by a train ride nearly the length of Metro’s Orange Line, then a bus ride to school.
But the 6-foot-3 junior guard, who said he usually skips breakfast and — if anything — gets fast food for dinner, had plenty of energy left for third-ranked Paul VI Catholic’s biggest rival. With a handful of college coaches making the trip just for the Panthers’ 77-66 victory over ninth-ranked O’Connell in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference game before a capacity crowd of 1,200 in Fairfax, Robinson showed an array of offensive moves: floaters, drives, three-pointers and a left-handed follow slam dunk that is sure to live on in Internet highlight videos.
By the time it was over, Robinson scored a season-high 23 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had four assists, three steals and two blocks.
“I’m always tired,” said Robinson, who lives in Landover but makes the daily commute with his 14-year-old brother, Isaiah, a freshman. “Coach [Glenn] Farello and [assistant] coach Doug [Martin] tell us to push through that brick wall.”
If Robinson was tired, it was difficult to tell. Perhaps no player in the Washington area has made a bigger splash over the past few months. While his first scholarship offer came before his freshman year from Rutgers — Scarlet Knights Coach Mike Rice drove down Tuesday, then hit the road afterward — the attention from college recruiters has picked up significantly. Robinson is nearing 20 scholarship offers, the latest coming last month from Wake Forest, Marquette and Villanova.
“His versatility and his will to win stand out. He’s a scorer but he’s also a playmaker,” Farello said. “He rises up in big moments. That was his most complete game. That’s what we’ve been working on. We’ve been challenging him to step up.”
Robinson had plenty of help Tuesday. Center Coleman Johnson, a Fairfield recruit, matched his season-high with 18 points and had six rebounds and guard Patrick Holloway scored 16 points in front of his future college coach, George Mason’s Paul Hewitt.
But the star clearly was Robinson. As the Panthers (11-1, 3-0) went on an 18-2 run in the first half to take control, Robinson stole a pass and went the length of the court for a layup, then later converted a three-point play, banking in a scooping left-handed shot while being fouled. He finished 9 of 13 from the field, with two of the misses coming on tip-in attempts.
“When I’m not on, it’s my shot selection,” Robinson said. “That’s what we’re working on as a team.”
Sophomore guard Romelo Trimble scored 19 points for O’Connell (9-4, 4-1), which lost its third consecutive game and plays fourth-ranked Gonzaga on Thursday.