7 Footer Liam Robbins from Drake Commits

eker0016

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They’re not going to give him a waiver, for going to a school that’s farther from home. They’ll see through the uncle angle too.

It’s a matter of if the NCAA approves the one-time free transfer rule, and if they then allow that to go into effect for 2020-21 school year. Could STILL screw us by saying his transfer was during 2019-20 school year. We’ll see
There is no "close to home" angle, it is a family hardship waiver. It's just that your family tends to usually be clustered near where you grew up. He has two family members with the Gophers, and I could see them conceivably stretch the waiver to apply to the COVID-19 situation.

Family hardship waivers are some of the most common and most controversial waivers decided by the NCAA. The reason it is so controversial is many student-athletes in football and basketball request these waivers, and whether one is granted or denied can seem inconsistent.

The key thing to remember is that a student-athlete is arguing that the best thing for the athlete and his or her family is to allow the athlete to play immediately and that the athlete needs to transfer to assist with an ill or injured family member. The NCAA measures this in three areas.

  • Nature of the injury or illness: The injury or illness should be life-threatening and involve an immediate family member (parent, legal guardian, or sibling). Waivers that are denied typically involve an extended family member (aunt, uncle, grandparent, etc.) unless that family member raised the student-athlete.
  • Student-athlete’s responsibilities related to the care of the family member: The more involved the student-athlete is in the day-to-day care for the family member, the more likely the waiver is to be granted.
  • Chronology of events: Waivers are more likely to be granted if something changed that prompted the student-athlete’s transfer like a diagnosis, the actual injury, or a worsening condition. Waivers are less likely to be granted if a family member has been ill or injured for a while, and nothing changed that require the student-athlete to transfer.
Probably the hardest thing to overcome is that it sounds like Drake is unhappy about this and won't be cooperative (like Pitt with Carr). That is something taken into account as well:

If transferring from an NCAA or NAIA school, the athlete’s previous school states in writing that they have no objection to the athlete using the one-time transfer exception.
That said, it does truly feel like the NCAA is random in the way it grants these things. I couldn't believe it when Quade Green got ruled immediately eligible for Washington this year (and then promptly two months later ineligible for academics), or Justin Fields in football. Who knows.
 

cjbfbp

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Not sure how that works. I am by nature a optimist but as a practice i wait and see how newcomers play together in the Big 10 before i go crazy. I have seen a ton of guys that were boasted about come into this program and put up really strong numbers but do not win. Internet guys saying Robbins was pursued by blue bloods, really who ? What elite program offered ? That does not mean he will not do great but let's see it.
At this point, I don't know why his offers, or lack of, coming out of high school would matter. He led Drake in scoring and rebounding as a soph while achieving a 25.5 Player Efficiency Rating and a Win Shares Per 40 Minutes of .171. Those advanced stats, while not as good as Daniel's numbers as a soph, are still very good and significantly better than anyone not named Daniel Oturu on this season's Gopher team.

Will he have a drop off in the Big Ten? Probably, at least initially anyway. Regardless, I really don't think we could have expected a better transfer than this. Kudos to Pitino for hiring the right Associate Head Coach!
 

BleedGopher

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per Bossi:

On Sunday, Minnesota emerged as one of the big winners of the 2020 transfer cycle when Drake 7-footer announced that he was transferring to play for Richard Pitino and the Gophers.

A native of Davenport, Iowa, who was lightly recruited after prepping at Bel Aire (Kans.) Sunrise Christian, I did not see Robbins play in high school. However, I've had the chance to watch him develop at Drake where he averaged more than 14 points, seven rebounds and just under three blocks per game as a sophomore.

I am interested to see how well Robbins translates athletically to the Big Ten, but he's big, takes up space, has excellent timing as a shot blocker and good touch on the offensive end, out to about 15 feet, meaning he could extend into a pick-and-pop guy.

You never can quite be sure what you will get when a guy transfers up a level, but Robbins has improved drastically over the past few years and if he continues that trend he could go a long way toward plugging the hole that is left by Gophers' sophomore big man Daniel Oturu's departure to the NBA.


Go Gophers!!
 

cjbfbp

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Yep my first thought. Very slim chance he'll ever play with Carr.
Well, regardless of whether he does or doesn't, I don't think we can expect to see a repeat of the Daniel and Marcus show and, in some ways, that's a good thing because a two-man team wasn't enough to get us over the hump. This team needs more contributors. I'm thrilled by this acquisition (I think we got as good of a player as we could have expected in the transfer market) but at least one more piece needs to be added.
 

MplsGopher

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There is no "close to home" angle, it is a family hardship waiver. It's just that your family tends to usually be clustered near where you grew up. He has two family members with the Gophers, and I could see them conceivably stretch the waiver to apply to the COVID-19 situation.



Probably the hardest thing to overcome is that it sounds like Drake is unhappy about this and won't be cooperative (like Pitt with Carr). That is something taken into account as well:



That said, it does truly feel like the NCAA is random in the way it grants these things. I couldn't believe it when Quade Green got ruled immediately eligible for Washington this year (and then promptly two months later ineligible for academics), or Justin Fields in football. Who knows.
Thanks for posting the info.

I think - and believe me this is just a wild guess, I'm the opposite of an expert - that a family hardship waiver is a little ridiculous. Unless I missed it, his family members aren't sick. And moving from Des Moines to Minneapolis is moving farther away from his family in Davenport. His uncle isn't his family, and his uncle isn't sick either. In fact, an argument could be made that the uncle recruited him to the team (not saying he broke the rules, but just flies in the face of the waiver).

I could easily see it getting denied.

I think it's going to be if they approve the new rule and allow him to hop on that, or bust.
 

Otis

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I'm pretty excited! The last guy we had who lost a lot of weight to get into playing shape performed pretty well! I miss Big Mo!

Mo and Matz would both help next year so should this young man!
 

Holy Man

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Thanks for posting the info.

I think - and believe me this is just a wild guess, I'm the opposite of an expert - that a family hardship waiver is a little ridiculous. Unless I missed it, his family members aren't sick. And moving from Des Moines to Minneapolis is moving farther away from his family in Davenport. His uncle isn't his family, and his uncle isn't sick either. In fact, an argument could be made that the uncle recruited him to the team (not saying he broke the rules, but just flies in the face of the waiver).

I could easily see it getting denied.

I think it's going to be if they approve the new rule and allow him to hop on that, or bust.
His uncle and cousin are his family. That is biology and generally accepted social norms. Whether it's enough to grant the waiver, I don't know. I'm not nearly as pessimistic as you, but neither am I as optimistic as some of the others. This is the NCAA. Another player could have the exact same set of circumstances and get the waiver while Liam is denied.

The scattered approach by the decision makers is what we should all fear. If it requires Drake's cooperation, we're hosed. At this point, hopefully it's not. Since the NCAA is driven by money, Minnesota is worth more than Drake, so we're at an advantage there.
 

MplsGopher

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His uncle and cousin are his family. That is biology and generally accepted social norms. Whether it's enough to grant the waiver, I don't know. I'm not nearly as pessimistic as you, but neither am I as optimistic as some of the others. This is the NCAA. Another player could have the exact same set of circumstances and get the waiver while Liam is denied.

The scattered approach by the decision makers is what we should all fear. If it requires Drake's cooperation, we're hosed. At this point, hopefully it's not. Since the NCAA is driven by money, Minnesota is worth more than Drake, so we're at an advantage there.
But neither his uncle nor his cousin are ill and therefore need Liam to transfer to Mpls to take care of them. That was the intent of the waiver.

Obviously, these waivers can just be a giant farce. Maybe that will happen in this case too, in which I would simply conclude that the U of MN deserves the fair and equal treatment that every school seems to be getting.

If it was just about money, I don't see why the NCAA would've denied Carr immediate eligibility simply because Pitt objected. Carr couldn't help Pitt make money, no matter what, so why limit the money that Minnesota could make?

Anyway. My best hope in this case is we just forgo the farce of these waivers, and go straight to how it should be: one free transfer for all athletes, in all sports. And they let that apply retroactively, at least for transfers in the 2020 calendar year or something to that effect.
 

leib0039

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The NCAA can lie all they want, but they 100% look at the school/player when determining eligibility. There was absolutely 0 difference between Carr and Justin Fields, except Fields was a star QB going to play for an Ohio St team that needed a QB. Thus ratings went up, thus money went up, thus he gets a waiver. If Duke/UNC/Kansas want a waiver in bball they get it 100% of the time, if its Minnesota/VaTech/Texas Am its more like 50/50 depending what side of the bed they roll over to in the morning. I don't care what rule the NCAA goes with (all get 1, all have to sit) but make it 100% universal, there should be no grey area or have any biases.
 

CentralGopher

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If he has quicker feet than Freeman he may be the starter. Freeman looked plenty slow to me this past year.
 

Urbandale

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Not sure how that works. I am by nature a optimist but as a practice i wait and see how newcomers play together in the Big 10 before i go crazy. I have seen a ton of guys that were boasted about come into this program and put up really strong numbers but do not win. Internet guys saying Robbins was pursued by blue bloods, really who ? What elite program offered ? That does not mean he will not do great but let's see it.
Robbins was in the portal a matter of hours before he declared for Minnesota. This wasn't a shopping trip. He had one intention in mind, and one only. I also have no doubt that higher profile programs would have come calling if he'd been on the menu a bit longer.
 

salzie

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I can see all of that aligning but it really will not amount to much unless we are great defensively. We need a top 20 defense to be a contender in the BIG 10.

don't get me wrong, I want to content in the B1G but for next season I'll be happy with a Tourney appearance. I'll consider a sweet 16 run a good season.
 

MplsGopher

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don't get me wrong, I want to content in the B1G but for next season I'll be happy with a Tourney appearance. I'll consider a sweet 16 run a good season.
Making it to the Sweet 16 would be more meaningful and more difficult than contending for the conference title?
 

GopherBlood666

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Yeah, if he's eligible next season, there is no question that he is the starter. Better chance of Oturu changing his mind and coming back as the starter than Freeman starting over Robbins.
Pretty much Freeman getting 10 minutes a game this year will be a huge step up for him hard to not see Robins as starter if he is eligible
 

eker0016

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Thanks for posting the info.

I think - and believe me this is just a wild guess, I'm the opposite of an expert - that a family hardship waiver is a little ridiculous. Unless I missed it, his family members aren't sick. And moving from Des Moines to Minneapolis is moving farther away from his family in Davenport. His uncle isn't his family, and his uncle isn't sick either. In fact, an argument could be made that the uncle recruited him to the team (not saying he broke the rules, but just flies in the face of the waiver).

I could easily see it getting denied.

I think it's going to be if they approve the new rule and allow him to hop on that, or bust.
I agree that it would be a little ridiculous and but less so than some of the other waivers that have been granted recently. For the sick family member thing, I could see them reasoning that in this era of COVID-19 and social distancing he needs to be with his family for support etc. He included some of this rationale in his announcement ("and be surrounded by family in these unprecedented times").

From the NCAA website, here's the language that Justin Fields used:
Specifically, immediate eligibility may be provided to a transfer student-athlete, provided: (Fairness/Well-Being/Operational)
a. The transfer is due to documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete's control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete;
b. At the time of transfer to the certifying institution, the student-athlete would have been athletically and academically eligible and in good standing on the team had he or she remained at the previous institution;
c. The certifying institution must certify that the student-athlete meets percentage-ofdegree requirements; and
d. The previous institution's athletics administration does not oppose the transfer.
Pitino will argue for "a", Drake may not cooperate for "d".

I think it is clear Pitino thinks he can get him eligible. Pitino knows this is a do-or-die season, so why would he take a guy that has to sit out? He was also telling Morris Udeze he wanted him to play this year, so Pitino seems pretty confident in having him eligible this year (whether by NCAA rule change you mentioned or the family/hardship exception).

Regardless, I'm happy to have him on board.
 

MplsGopher

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I am too.

I think it's a take for Pitino regardless if he sits or not, so that would be why. Obviously he's hoping, one way or another, to have him play this upcoming season and will try to do that. Hope it works out.

And I agree that these family hardship waivers are a farce at this point. Very much abusing the original intent of them.
 

builtbadgers

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Robbins was in the portal a matter of hours before he declared for Minnesota. This wasn't a shopping trip. He had one intention in mind, and one only. I also have no doubt that higher profile programs would have come calling if he'd been on the menu a bit longer.
The articles said the blue bloods were after him. They were full or had better recruits or got better transfers like Duke did. Scholarship grid at schools with tons of progress on recruits reveal who even had room. If these hacks are calling Iowa, ILLINOIS and maybe Missouri blue bloods that is simply his opinion. None of the 5-6 blue bloods had a offer out. Duke took two who were much more sought after.
 

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I'm pretty dang happy about this pick-up. He's about as good as we could ask for, in regards to a transfer center. Obviously, hoping he pans out and continues to get better.

Assuming he can get eligible right away (I'm more optimistic than some others), I think Pitino should use this last spot for Walton or a SF. Even if Curry cannot return to form, we have Robbins/Omersa/Freeman at the 5, with Ihnen/Mitchell/Omersa at the 4. If Curry can play solid minutes (love the kid, but that's a big if), that's a lot of depth in our frontcourt. It would be nice to have more length at the 3, unless of course we throw Ihnen there at times.
 

short ornery norwegian

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As Les posted earlier, this is an interesting story. Kid weighed 300 lbs in HS. didn't even play varsity ball until his SR year. No offers out of HS. One coach described him as "fat."

So he went to....Sunrise Christian Academy. (that sounds familiar). Changed his eating patterns, started working out seriously and lost over 70 pounds.

Makes sense that after that kind of a weight loss, it would take some time to acclimate to the new body and refine his skills. Ala Mo Walker.

Gophers might have gotten a little lucky here. We will see.
 

JimmyJamesMD

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As Les posted earlier, this is an interesting story. Kid weighed 300 lbs in HS. didn't even play varsity ball until his SR year. No offers out of HS. One coach described him as "fat."

So he went to....Sunrise Christian Academy. (that sounds familiar). Changed his eating patterns, started working out seriously and lost over 70 pounds.

Makes sense that after that kind of a weight loss, it would take some time to acclimate to the new body and refine his skills. Ala Mo Walker.

Gophers might have gotten a little lucky here. We will see.
Never heard of it
 

Otis

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What were his foul/min rates his first two years? I'm kind of liking the fact we have two huge bodies to go in the middle with 10 fouls to put a little fear in the hearts of people driving the lane against our defense next year. That really helps a defense.
 

eker0016

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What were his foul/min rates his first two years? I'm kind of liking the fact we have two huge bodies to go in the middle with 10 fouls to put a little fear in the hearts of people driving the lane against our defense next year. That really helps a defense.
His per 40 minutes numbers put him at 9.1 fouls his freshman year, 4.4 this year. Compare that to Oturu (4.6, 3.2) and Jarvis Omersa (5.6, 6.9).
 

salzie

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Making it to the Sweet 16 would be more meaningful and more difficult than contending for the conference title?

I like tourney runs.

Of course, you're better positioned to make run if you're seeded higher....
 

oleboy41

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If you’re 7ft tall and don’t have D1 offers out of high school you’re pretty shitty in high school.

Cool for him to find the motivation/coordination/coaching or whatever it took to be a sought after D1 transfer. I hope he is great.
Gillepsie was 6'9" out of HS and was riding the bench at Augsburg, a DIII school his freshman year. A few years later he's 2nd team all conference on a top 3 team in the country. It can happen
 

builtbadgers

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What were his foul/min rates his first two years? I'm kind of liking the fact we have two huge bodies to go in the middle with 10 fouls to put a little fear in the hearts of people driving the lane against our defense next year. That really helps a defense.
Excellent post, thanks for the info and the point about the defense.
 
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