ATHENS, Ga. -- As much as he tries to avoid thinking about it, Gerald Robinson knows his college basketball career is winding to a close.
The last thing Georgia’s senior point guard wanted was to go out like a chump -- which is why his standout performances in two wins last week were so important.
“I’m pretty sure that was a couple of our focus, just focusing on the latter part of the season kind of like its own mini season itself, having 10 games left and focusing on winning those,” said Robinson, who led the Bulldogs to wins against Arkansas and then-No. 20 Mississippi State -- Georgia’s first consecutive wins in SEC play this season.
Robinson was named SEC Player of the Week on Monday after leading Georgia to an 81-59 win against Arkansas with a career-high 27 points, then forcing overtime with the game-tying layup at Mississippi State and scoring eight of his 13 points in the extra session as Georgia escaped with a 70-68 victory.
Just as important as his point production was the tone Robinson set for his numerous young teammates.
“We talked about how important his approach would be for our new players because it was going to be important for them to see this guy function the right way,” said Georgia coach Mark Fox, whose Bulldogs (12-12, 3-7 SEC) visit South Carolina (9-15, 1-9) on Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET. “If we were going to continue to get better, they had to see Gerald functioning the right way so we had lots of conversations about that and he’s been a pretty good worker.”
The Bulldogs were involved in several close games during the first half of their SEC schedule, only to lose all but one -- an overtime win against Tennessee.
After all the close calls, Robinson said last Saturday’s win in Starkville sent a valuable message to the younger Bulldogs that they can win in such situations, just as the Arkansas win taught them that they could play at a high level for a full 40 minutes.
“It’s definitely the same kind of confirmation, just showing these guys you’ve got to fight to the end. [The Mississippi State] game was close and we battled back and forth throughout,” Robinson said. “We didn’t start the game off very well that game, down (7-2) and it looked like it could have been more than that, but everybody fought back and I think the young guys are starting to understand college basketball is a long game and a lot of things can happen.”
The game might be long, but Robinson realizes his time is getting short. Counting Wednesday’s visit to South Carolina, Georgia has six games remaining in the regular season, and Robinson doesn’t enjoy thinking about how little time he has left as a college competitor.
“I don’t really pay too much attention to those things, but it does come to my attention. I am aware of it,” he said. “It is kind of bittersweet. I’m going to miss it obviously after my senior year, so I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can right now.”
Regardless, Robinson does not believe the end of this season will be the end of his playing career. Not if he can help it, anyway.
“I’ll play basketball as long as I can,” he laughed. “I’m not planning on sitting behind a desk anytime soon.”