Darla Robinson stopped coaching her son in basketball in junior high.
“That’s when he started beating me,” Darla said, laughing.
But Darla ingrained simple basketball philosophies and principles in her son, TCU standout point guard Alex Robinson.
Darla played for the TCU women’s team from 1982-84 under her maiden name, Darla Biggs. She was a point guard, the quarterback of the floor, and prided herself on setting teammates up for easy shots.
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“His game is very similar to mine. He always gets it into the post because that’s the most high percentage shot,” Darla said.
“He doesn’t take a lot of 3s because he wasn’t taught to. His first thought is to get inside and he’s always looking to pass. Passing is better than dribbling — that’s what he’s always been taught.”
Those lessons have been learned and perfected over the years by Alex.
Alex went into TCU’s game against SMU on Wednesday night leading the nation with 9.5 assists per game, including double-digit assists the previous two games. He’s the only player in the country averaging at least nine assists a game.
That’s a big reason why TCU’s team is the nation’s leader in assists, too, averaging 22.2 assists going into the SMU game.
Alex flashed his knack for assists in TCU’s 67-59 victory over SMU, finishing with seven. Alex caught the eye of SMU coach Tim Jankovich.
“Robinson is a great point guard,” Jankovich said. “He’s playing better than I’ve ever seen him.”
Alex now has 482 assists in his career at TCU, moving past Kyan Anderson for third on TCU’s all-time list. He is closing in on Corey Santee’s career record (575).
Alex shrugged off a question when asked if he’s gotten to the point where he expects double-digit assists earlier this week.
“Nah,” Alex said. “I just play and, at the end of the game, if I have double digit assists, I have double digit assists. If we play the right way, all things usually work out.”
As far as the school record, Alex said: “Me and Santee [a graduate assistant on Jamie Dixon’s staff] talk about it all the time. Santee says records are meant to be broken. Hopefully I can get it at home and have that moment with Santee. We’ve gotten really close these past two years.”
Alex couldn’t have asked for a better basketball experience after things didn’t work out for him at Texas A&M. Alex had a standout career at Mansfield Timberview and considered going to play for Dixon at Pittsburgh.
But the cold weather and distance from home didn’t appeal to him and he opted for the Aggies. But Billy Kennedy’s system didn’t suit his game and he opted to transfer to TCU under old coach Trent Johnson.
“I talked to his mom when he was transferring, but we didn’t have a scholarship at the time at Pitt,” Dixon said. “I told them that TCU would be a good place to go and little do you know how that all played out.
“But it’s been an interesting time. People always ask, ‘How have you turned it around that quickly?’ Well, we had a good point guard sitting here [Robinson] and we had another one coming in [Jaylen Fisher]. Usually that’s the biggest battle you have to face. You have to get it right too.
“Oftentimes you recruit that one guy and if he’s not good enough, then you’re not getting another guy for another couple of years.”
Alex has been everything TCU could have wanted. He followed his family’s legacy to the school, donning the same No. 25 his mom wore in her playing days, and has become an assist machine.
The all-time assist record is something he’s been eyeing since the off-season, and is something he wants to accomplish as a nod to his mom in her old number.
“It’s a huge honor [to wear No. 25],” Alex said. “That’s why I really want this record and to be able to just show, yeah I gave it my all and honored your name and your jersey. It’ll be a wonderful feeling, to be honest with you.”