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Robbins lands quickly in Minnesota

Liam Robbins

MINNEAPOLIS — One day after announcing his departure from Drake University, 7-foot center Liam Robbins arrived at a new destination.

Robbins returned to Twitter to inform the masses he was headed nearly four hours north to the University of Minnesota, where he will step in to help fill the void left when the Golden Gophers lost 6-10 sophomore center Daniel Oturu to the NBA Draft.

Robbins, a sophomore, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he intended to file a waiver to the NCAA in hopes of being eligible to play right away rather than sitting out the mandatory year for transferring from one Division I program to another. He will have two years of eligibility remaining after posting a big second year for the Bulldogs of Des Moines.

Robbins, a Davenport Assumption graduate, averaged 14.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game in his sophomore campaign at Drake — all marked improvements from his freshman year.

Minnesota priortized replacing Oturu immediately after he announced his intentions to declare for the NBA Draft, and Robbins looks to fill the bill.

“I originally started this process because I wanted to challenge myself against tougher competition and see what my options were after putting my name into the portal,” Robbins told the Star Tribune. “I got contacted by 25 schools, but after talking with (head coach Richard) Pitino extensively last night and my uncle (assistant coach Ed Conroy), this was the best place to challenge myself and also be surrounded by family. With the pandemic going on, to be surrounded by family was very important to me.

“Oturu was a fantastic player. Hopefully, I can replicate that and make Gopher fans proud and help Minnesota win some games.”

Robbins was the captain of this year’s Missouri Valley Conference Most Improved team and a member of the All-Defense squad as well.

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