Disappointing season for Robinson

This was supposed to be Angel Robinson’s year.

It hasn’t been.

The junior from St. Paul, Minn., was a unanimous selection to the preseason All-Big East team. This was an honor reserved for only three players in the league: All-American Maya Moore, All-American Tina Charles and Robinson.

Even Robinson has been unsatisfied with her play this year.

“I think it’s been pretty average,” Robinson said. “I’m just really trying to be as consistent as I can be. I’ve been kind of up and down this year.”

Robinson has not lived up to her preseason accolades. She has had a good season, recording the third most assists (127) and fourth most steals (64) in the Big East while landing just outside the top 20 in scoring average (12.3 points per game) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.1).

Yet, more was expected from Robinson than simply a good season. Despite playing close to four more minutes per game than she did last season, Robinson is averaging 1.6 fewer ppg and .6 fewer rebounds per game. She is also shooting 4.3 percent lower from the free throw line compared to last season.

To make matters worse, Robinson’s goals coming into the season were to improve her jumper and 3-point shot. Her field goal percentage is almost identical (37.3 percent this season versus 36.9 percent in 2008-’09) and her 3-point percentage has dropped from 30 percent to 25 percent.

Worst of all, she has 118 turnovers through 27 games this season, compared to 110 turnovers in 33 games last season. Robinson holds the dubious honor of leading the Big East in turnovers this year. Her 12-turnover performance against Georgetown in January is still tops in the Big East this season.

These difficulties stem from the added responsibilities Robinson has this year. Too much is expected of her. She not only handles the point duties for most of the game, but she is also the main and sometimes only scoring option on every possession.

“I’m always so focused on everybody else on the team and how they are playing,” Robinson said. “I haven’t really focused on myself. I think I can be a better player individually.”

She has tried so hard to involve her teammates that she has forced plays and turned the ball over.

“I don’t have any pressure at all,” Robinson said back in October. “I’m an upperclassman now, and I think my coaches and the team expect things out of me, too.”

Robinson was only half right, since her coaches’ and teammates’ expectations have created pressure to perform.

For all of her regression in other areas, however, Robinson has improved her leadership and taken the reigns on the court.

“She has really progressed as a leader,” junior Jocelyn Mellen said. “She has really vocally stepped up on the court, directing the team out on the floor.”

Robinson’s leadership has not translated into wins, however, and that’s what really matters, after all.

“I know for her the most important thing coming into the season was to win more games than we had last year,” assistant coach Cara Consuegra said. “So that would certainly be a disappointment for her.”