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Vanderbilt Basketball Player Report Card: Liam Robbins

When healthy, Robbins was Vanderbilt’s best player. And that’s a huge qualifier.

NCAA Basketball: Vanderbilt at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

Yep, Vanderbilt’s best player this season ranked eighth on the team in minutes.

And only some of that was due to injuries! Sure, Robbins missed 11 games in the 2022-23 season — really 12, since he only played four minutes against Kentucky before going down with the injury that ended his season. But for reasons that only Jerry Stackhouse understands, Robbins only averaged 23 minutes a game in the games he appeared in. Over a six-game stretch from December 22 through January 14, Robbins played 121 minutes and didn’t start. No, nobody understood why. It just was. In spite of his limited playing time, he also scored 92 points and blocked 19 shots over that stretch.

Imagine if he’d been playing 30 minutes a game!

Robbins wasn’t just Vanderbilt’s leading scorer, he was an efficient leading scorer; among players who used more than 28 percent of their team’s possessions, Robbins ranked 10th nationally — and first in the SEC — in Offensive Rating. He also led the country in fouls drawn per 40 minutes and ranked second (behind 7’5” Jamarion Sharp of Western Kentucky) in block percentage. He was an absolute force on both ends of the floor.

On the other hand, it was like if senior-year Luke Kornet had had his minutes limited for some reason (Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuke averaged 31.5 minutes a game) and also missed a third of the season to injury. The overall feeling of Robbins’ two years at Vanderbilt is what could have been: what if Robbins had been healthy last season when Scotty Pippen Jr. was on the team? Or what if he’d been healthy this season? Vanderbilt might not be on a six-year NCAA Tournament drought.

Grade: A