When Jaylen Fisher went down with an injury, Alex Robinson knew much of the obligation would fall on him to help fill the void for TCU basketball. So far, the junior who transferred from Texas A&M after attending Mansfield Timberview, has been up to the challenge.
He’s shooting 60 percent in the three games since Fisher’s absence, including 2 for 4 from 3-point range. He’s averaging more than 10 assists and four rebounds in the stretch. He had a season-high seven boards in Monday’s win against No.7 West Virginia.
All of Robinson’s numbers are up significantly from the season’s first 15 games. His 17 assists against Iowa State in the first game without Fisher are a TCU record.
TCU (15-5, 3-5 Big 12) next plays a non-conference game against Vanderbilt (7-13) at 3 p.m. Saturday in Nashville as part of the Big 12-SEC Challenge. The Horned Frogs resume Big 12 action at Oklahoma State on Tuesday.
If it seemed like TCU players were huddling more against WVU, they were. After losing five close games in the league, including two in overtime, a sort of circling the wagons mentality was necessary to snap out of the funk.
“One of the big things we did [Monday] is we huddled a lot more and we talked to each other a whole lot more and talking each other through it,” Robinson said. “I think that helped us out a lot. Communication was huge for us this game and it’s going to be huge for us the rest of the season.”
Against the smothering press of West Virginia, TCU gave Robinson help, but he carried much of the load for 39 minutes. Being on the same page with his teammates was an integral component against the Mountaineers.
“Conditioning is not an issue. He doesn’t get tired,” Dixon said. “That’s a relentless pressure you’re facing against West Virginia. When it came down to it he was the guy making the plays and getting the penetration and making the passes.”
Robinson had nine of TCU’s 20 assists.
“Robinson is as good as anybody in our league at finding open people,” West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said.
TCU at Vanderbilt
3 p.m. Saturday, ESPN2