Don't go searching for Tyree Robinson's name on the New Mexico State basketball roster. The former Durfee High star has adjusted his hoops course and is now at Youngstown State University in Youngstown, Ohio.
When Paul Weir this past spring left New Mexico State to become head coach at the University of New Mexico, that freed Robinson, one of his recruits, to play elsewhere. Robinson played the last two seasons at Odessa College, one of the best junior college basketball programs in the nation.
According to Leo Papile, founder of the Boston Amateur Basketball Club for whom Robinson played, New Mexico State "recruited the hell out of (Robinson) to stay."
Papile also said he heard Weir was interested in bringing Robinson to New Mexico but that may have been blocked by New Mexico State. He said national letters of intent sometimes include exclusions preventing a player, though released from his obligation to the school he signed with, from going to other specific schools, often schools in the original school's league and/or region.
Youngstown State competes in the Horizon League, which, Papile said, is an upgrade from New Mexico State's Western Athletic Conference. The Horizon includes Detroit Mercy, Valparaiso, Wisconsin-Green Bay, Northern Kentucky, Wright State, Illinois Chicago, Cleveland State, and Milwaukee.
"It's probably one of the top 12 conferences in the country," Papile said.
A year ago, Youngstown was 13-21 overall and 5-13 overall. Papile said YSU is projected to have a better season in 2017-18. Robinson could be a part of the improvement.
"They value what he does in terms of energy," he said.
Jerrod Calhoun was named Youngstown's new head coach on March 27. He was head coach at Division 2 Fairmont the previous five years, with a record of 124-38.
Robinson is in Ohio, at school, and competing in the Cleveland Am-Pro Basketball League. On July 1, he had 20 points and 10 rebounds and was named Player of the Game in the Underdoggs' 88-45 win over 2 Bro Basketball.
In the subsequent games he played in, Robinson posted point-rebound totals of 15-7, 18-9, and 13-5.
Article by Greg Sullivan.