Unlike many other head basketball coaches, Derrin Hansen encourages peer pressure.
For example, Brett Barney made the decision to transfer from Wichita State (a perennial NCAA tournament team) after visiting the campus, meeting the team, and discussing his prospects.
For Lamel Robinson, it was fellow Kansas City players KJ Robinson (of no relation) and Zach Thornhill–along with the rest of the Omaha team–that encouraged him to come play for coach Hansen.
“What made Omaha the place for me was the environment when I came to visit,” Robinson said.
Robinson, a four-star recruit from eastern Missouri felt comfortable with the team. “It felt like home,” Robinson said. “The players welcomed me with open arms. The coaches also. I feel that’s the place I should be.”
Robinson will join the Mavericks in the fall of 2019. For now, he will compete worry-free in his senior year of high school.
“I wanted to have this done,” Robinson said.
Over his incomplete career at Park Hill South High School, Robinson has garnered two all-state selections and an average of 23.8 points per game as a junior, after achieving an average of 21.3 a game as a sophomore.
Robinson will join transfers Brett Barney and Logan Strom, who announced their intention to attend UNO earlier in the summer. Strom will sit out a year due to NCAA regulations before playing for the Mavericks in 2019; Barney will be eligible immediately.
Despite his stature (he is only 5 feet 11 inches tall), he likes to be physical in his play style. “Everybody is going to talk about height… I like guards that play with a chip on their shoulder,” Robinson said.
He is proficient at the long shot, but he’s known for slashing his way to the rim to either score or create an opportunity for others.
The Omaha men’s basketball program will be glad to have Robinson. Zach Jackson, Omaha’s star guard, will be graduating after the 2018-19 season, leaving the team without one of their best three-point shooters. As such, the Mavericks only managed nine wins in the 2017-18 season, which was their fewest since 2001 under Kevin Lehman.
Mitch Hahn, another senior, will also graduate in 2019, leaving the team desperate for talent beyond the arc. Although Hahn is a forward, he enjoyed opportunities from deep many times over the 2016-17 season which ended in a Summit League Championship game.
The Mavericks will begin their season on Nov. 6 against Minnesota at 7 p.m. Central Time.