NEW YORK — Devin Robinson hasn’t made a decision on his future yet, and he doesn’t know exactly when he will have a resolution on that matter.
But he said Florida’s run to the Elite Eight, which ended Sunday at Madison Square Garden with a loss to South Carolina, would only encourage him more to return for his senior season.
“This does motivate me to come back and do this again, but I want to get further next time,” he said. “It was nice that we got this far, but it would nice to get further.”
He clarified that doesn’t mean he’s decided to come back yet. It’s hard to contemplate such a decision in the wake of a season-ending loss, especially as the Gators came just one step short of the Final Four.
Robinson, a 6-foot-8 junior forward, finished third on the team with 11.1 points per game and second with 6.1 rebounds per contest this season. He had one of his best performances in Florida’s NCAA Tournament opener, matching his career-high with 24 points and adding 7 rebounds in the win over East Tennessee State.
He had contemplated leaving school after last season, but a stress fracture in his foot and the ensuing recovery sealed his decision to return. He’s said he’s happy it worked out as it did while being a key part of this 27-win Florida team.
“I’ve got to go back to school, have a conversation with coach, talk to my parents and just pray on it,” Robinson said.
Gators coach Mike White, meanwhile, said he will try to “recruit” Robinson back for his senior season, but ultimately he would encourage to make whatever decision he and his family feels is best.
“I want Devin to do what’s best for Devin and his family, period. I will be as transparent with you as I’ll be with him — I’d love to have him back,” White said. “I love coaching Devin. I mean, he’s fun, he’s fallen in love with the game, I think he’s refocused on the game. It’s not about hype and talent anymore. He’s had fun learning what it takes to be a really good player, and I think he’s proud of his development. I’ve been proud just to be a small part of it, and obviously if he comes back we’ll be better than if he didn’t come back. Other guys are going to have to step up.
“But at the end of the day it’s about what’s best for Devin. So I’ll recruit him back to the best of my ability with the understanding that there’s a good chance or a chance at least that he might have to do what’s best for him.”