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Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Onetime Purdue recruit picks Musketeers


Arizona coach Sean Miller's ability to pull off recruiting coups this past spring was quite simply superb.

But the Wildcats appear to be done for now.

Across the country in Cincinnati, something with a similar good vibe has finally occurred for Miller's successor at Xavier.

XU announced Tuesday that it has admitted onetime Purdue recruit Jeff Robinson, a 6-foot-9, 210-pound forward from Lawrence North High in Indianapolis. Lawrence North also has produced Greg Oden and Mike Conley Jr. Robinson will attend summer school and be eligible for next season.

The Musketeers desperately needed another big after losing Derrick Brown a year early to the NBA draft. They also lost 6-6 small forward Kevin Parrom, who was released from his letter of intent and followed Miller to Arizona.

Reached while on the road recruiting, Miller's replacement, Chris Mack, said the addition of Robinson helps the team's frontcourt depth. The Musketeers were in a position where they needed to use four guards on a number of occasions. But getting Robinson should alleviate that issue.

Robinson wasn't admitted to Purdue, but Xavier was ready and willing to take him on. Besides Brown's departure, the Musketeers lost senior guards C.J. Anderson and B.J. Raymond.

XU will still be guard-heavy with Terrell Holloway, Dante Jackson and Indiana transfer Jordan Crawford, but the hope is that Robinson can provide some sort of low-post scoring pop. The Musketeers still have Kenny Frease and Jason Love up front. But they need another productive body and hope Robinson can deliver.

Xavier will need all the help it can get in an Atlantic 10 that has become even more competitive. Dayton is the clear favorite, and Richmond is a real threat to finish in the top three of the standings. And sleeping on teams such as Charlotte and UMass, let alone traditional A-10 powers Temple and Saint Joseph's, would be a mistake.

• Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon has the U.S. under-19 team at 5-0 through pool play at the basketball world championships in Auckland, New Zealand. The team has had balanced efforts throughout, but the most important thing that may come out of the event, save winning the gold, will be the increased confidence of a few key players next season. One of those is Pitt's Ashton Gibbs, who has been putting up solid numbers. He'll replace Levance Fields as the Panthers' starting point guard next season. Gibbs is second on the U.S. team in scoring with an average of 10.8 points per game and has dished out 14 assists and just three turnovers in five games.

• The Glenn Wilkes Classic, which will take place in November, has released its field and schedule. NC State had a chance to go to the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii for three games in December. Instead, it chose the Wilkes Classic so that it could stay on campus for a first-round game and then go to the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., for the last three games. In the games played on college campuses, Georgia State will play at NC State, Niagara at Auburn, IUPUI at Drake, Austin Peay at Akron and Howard at UCF. The Friday through Sunday games are set, too, with the headline game being NC State versus Auburn on Nov. 22.