Miles Robinson emerges as mainstay on Syracuse defense

first_img Published on October 14, 2015 at 11:28 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @ChrisLibonati Fast break. One-on-one. Just Miles Robinson and a defender.Except the ball was in his hands, not at his feet. And he was under this rim he couldn’t quite see in a gym — not a net on an open field.As the defender fouled him on the arm, he just elevated, elevated, began twisting and elevated more before jamming home a 180-degree slam dunk, sending the gym into a frenzy.“Me and the other coaches were hoping he would try out for basketball because we think he could definitely make Syracuse,” John Bowler, Robinson’s basketball coach at Arlington (Massachusetts) High School said.And the dunk didn’t even count. The referee didn’t call a continuation foul, but it’s one of the stories that made Robinson what Bowler calls the greatest athlete to ever come out of Arlington.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBowler says all of Arlington likes to watch Robinson’s soccer games online, and he never even played the sport for his high school because of club soccer rules. The No. 16 Syracuse (9-3-1, 2-2-1 Atlantic Coast) defender has imposed his 6-foot-2 frame on opposing offenses all season, and the Orange will need him to continue to do so when SU takes on No. 4 Clemson (10-1-2, 3-1-1).“I’m not sure,” Robinson said of how his parents produced him and his sister Rebecca, a sprinter on the SU track team. “People are always asking that. My dad’s a musician and my mom’s an engineer, like two non-athletic people.”Robinson’s athleticism was apparent from a young age. In his first years of playing club soccer for FC Bolts in Massachusetts, he hoisted himself up using the post of the net and flailed himself parallel to the ground to block a shot, Jane Madden, Robinson’s mother said.He always wanted to be able to touch a doorframe in the house when he wasn’t tall enough to do so. Robinson practiced jumping up and down to touch the doorframe. When he did hit it, he celebrated for a short time, then quickly moved on to trying to touch the ceiling.When his sister Rebecca was born, Jeffrey Robinson, the freshman defender’s father saw her strength and potential. He started her on activities around the Robinson household, and put her in youth soccer.“He would go to a lot of her soccer games when he was young and be on the sidelines and be doing the same things the kids were doing that were three years older than he was,” Madden said.Jeffrey joked he used his mother’s “recipe” to aid them in becoming the athletes they are. He called his methods “very well kept Robinson secrets” and said he would only divulge them later in his kids’ athletic careers.Robinson followed in his sister’s footsteps by design.“There were just a few things we did around the Robinson family household when they were young,” Jeffrey said.“I just tried to put her in a position to take advantage of what I saw as a natural ability … when he was born we had already had a few things set in motion.Bowler heard about Robinson before he saw him. Rumors about Robinson circulated to the varsity coach and he made Bowler’s varsity squad as a freshman, playing point guard. Robinson played forward as a sophomore, drilling his first dunk after an ankle injury.Robinson’s athleticism stands out because of the lack of athletes that choose soccer over other sports, his father said. Bowler said he thought Robinson’s athleticism would blend in among the other Division I athletes around him.But when Syracuse played Connecticut in the preseason, Robinson’s athleticism stood out just as it did when he posterized defenders during basketball games.Robinson playing at Syracuse fits the program’s design — SU head coach Ian McIntyre prefers athletic backs that can push forward. Against North Carolina, Robinson moved away from the net, but used his strength to nick a cross with his head and push it toward the net and rolled in.It was one of three goals Robinson has scored all season. That’s already tied with Skylar Thomas and Tyler Hilliard, who both had three all of last season. He’s been able to lean back on supreme athleticism to break the expected confines of playing defense.“A defender isn’t supposed to be up there getting a header,” Jeffrey said. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more