Wolverines, 'GR3' dash South Dakota State's tourney hopes

2013-03-21T21:30:00Z 2013-03-26T22:42:04Z Wolverines, 'GR3' dash South Dakota State's tourney hopesAl Hamnik (219-933-4154)
March 21, 2013 9:30 pm  • 

AUBURN HILLS, MICH. | If John Beilein's fourth-seeded Michigan Wolverines were any younger, they'd need babysitters.

Coaching one of the youngest teams in the nation, Beilein entered Thursday night's Midwest Regional date with South Dakota State having played a steady rotation of six freshmen and one sophomore through a 27-6 season.

Those seven "kids" accounted for nearly 50 percent of the total minutes played.

Region products Glenn Robinson III (Lake Central), Spike Albrecht (Crown Point) and Mitch McGary (Chesterton) were among Wolverines making their NCAA tournament debut.

And already, Robinson is considered a potential NBA draft pick at 6-foot-6, 210 pounds.

He matched Tim Hardaway Jr. with a game-high 21 points as Michigan whipped the Jackrabbits, 71-56.

Robinson hit 8-of-9 shots while Hardaway was 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.

The energetic 6-10 McGary, making his third start, added 13 points and nine rebounds. Albrecht, playing backup point guard, was scoreless in five minutes.

"It was a confidence booster for everyone," McGary said. "Everyone's shots were falling, except Trey's."

Burke missed 10 of his 12 attempts, finishing with just six points.

Draft web sites say "GR3" has an NBA-ready body, explosive moves around the basket that make scouts drool, is extremely mature for a first-year college player and project a 6-10 wingspan.

"I just trust in my coaches, my parents, my grandma. That's how I block that out," Robinson said. "I try to stay away from that talk. I'm the type of guy who looks at one day at a time.

"I kinda laugh about it. It's definitely an honor being mentioned. But I think I need to forget about that until after the season. We'll see what happens."

Scouts say the only negatives are his unselfishness with the ball and lack of vocal leadership, neither worthy of being benched.

Back in November, had Robinson being the 15th pick of the Dallas Mavericks in its mock draft.

"I don't 'demand' the ball sometimes. It comes from being a great teammate," he said. "I have great vision so I look to pass (first). That's something I need to work on -- to stay more aggressive."

With proud papa Glenn "Big Dog" Robinson looking on at The Palace of Auburn Hills, Glenn III had four points, only two shot attempts and a team-high five rebounds the first half of a 30-26 Wolverines' lead.

Second half, different story, as "GR3" became the aggressor and scored Michigan's first 11 points.

"I just got more open," he said. "We started to penetrate and they found me in the corners and everywhere on the wing. It felt great coming out of my hands."

South Dakota State guard Nate Wolters, (22.7 ppg.), one of only two seniors on the team, didn't get his first basket until the 13-minute mark.

He set school single-game scoring records with 53 points and nine 3s against Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne on Feb. 7.

Thursday night, Wolters was held to 10 points on 3-of-14 shooting for SDS (25-10), with Robinson among those guarding him.

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