Jack Robison, a 6-foot-5 junior wing from Lakeville (MN) North, may not have started for one of the deeper basketball teams in the state last season.
However, that hasn’t slowed down his recruitment as he shined at the Wisconsin team camp in June earning him a scholarship offer from the Badgers and he was invited to the Minnesota football season opener versus Ohio State Thursday.
Robison averaged 4.1 points per game off the bench on a senior-ladened team with a season-high nine points against Apple Valley. The Panthers finished 13-7 this past season, losing to Rosemount 59-49 in the Section 3AAAA semifinals.
Robison will carry a much bigger load this upcoming season as the Panthers must replace their top two scorers and eight of their top eight.
Robison shined this spring and summer with the Howard Pulley AAU program.
Gopher Hole caught up with Robison recently to learn more about his Wisconsin offer, upcoming junior season and Southern dining.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, the AAU season is over. How pleased are you with how things went for you guys?
Jack Robison: It went really well. We had a good season. We were like 34-7. Did really well down in Georgia in the EYBL. Missed out on the Peach Jam by one point, but it was a really good time. We all played well towards the end of the season and put our names on the map, I think.
Gopher Hole: How about your own individual play? How pleased were you with how well you played?
Jack Robison: I think I played pretty well, especially towards the end of the season down in Augusta. I shot the ball well.
Gopher Hole: Schools couldn’t contact you until June. What schools did you hear from?
Jack Robison: Wisconsin. That’s pretty much it. Some of them have been in contact with Coach (Lakeville North head coach John) Oxton and my AAU coaches, but Wisconsin is the one.
Gopher Hole: Do you know what other schools at all? Has he said much?
Jack Robison: Minnesota is what he has told me.
Gopher Hole: You went to the Wisconsin team camp and played really well there and got an offer. Were you surprised about the offer?
Jack Robison: Yeah. I think that I deserve it, but it was pretty cool getting one from Wisconsin down there. It was pretty surprising, but it was just cool to get one from Wisconsin.
Gopher Hole: Wisconsin has a bit of a tie lately with Lakeville North with Nate Reuvers and Tyler Wahl. Do you know them at all? I know that they are a few years older, but do you know them at all?
Jack Robison: I know Tyler pretty well. I really look up to him and he was one of the first people to text me once I got the offer. I know Nate, too. He works out with the same trainer I do, so I look up to both of them a lot.
Gopher Hole: Have you talked to them much about college recruitment at all?
Jack Robison: Not much. Not really.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, it is so new, but do you like the recruiting process so far?
Jack Robison: Yes. It hasn’t been much, but it’s been fun for me.
Gopher Hole: Did you hear from family, friends or even people on social media once you got that Wisconsin offer?
Jack Robison: A lot of people said congrats and stuff. It was pretty cool.
Gopher Hole: Any Badger fans reach out to you?
Jack Robison: There are a lot of people in Lakeville that are Badger fans.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, they have a very loyal fan base. Anybody says “This is where you should be?”
Jack Robison: Not really. It’s kind of early, so it was just a lot of congratulations and stuff.
Gopher Hole: To be honest, a lot of kids don’t get a Big Ten offer as their first offer. Does that make you want to work even harder to hear from other schools?
Jack Robison: For sure. It’s super special to get my first one from Wisconsin. It’s an honor to get my first one from a school with that caliber.
Gopher Hole: You also have a teammate, Nolan Winter, who was also offered by Wisconsin. Have you talked to him about Wisconsin?
Jack Robison: He is probably my best friend. We went down to the Wisconsin camp together. We have the same assistant recruiting us. We talk about it a little bit, but when we hang out, we don’t talk a lot about stuff like that. We just hang out.
Gopher Hole: Have you even talked about playing at the same school? Does that ever come up at all?
Jack Robison: Not really. That would be cool, but I think at the end of the day we are both going to make our own decisions.
Gopher Hole: How well do you know Coach (Joe) Krabbenhoft?
Jack Robison: He played for Howard Pulley back in the day and he recruited Tyler, too. I’ve gotten to have a good relationship with him over the past few months.
Gopher Hole: You still have two more years of high school left, but have you thought about what are going to be the main factors that are going to make you pick School A over School B or C?
Jack Robison: Probably the relationship with the coaches. The campus feel and where
I think I’d fit in best with the team and the whole campus and everything like that.
Gopher Hole: What is going to mean to play Division I basketball?
Jack Robison: It would mean a lot. That’s been my dream since being a little kid, so it would mean a lot.
Gopher Hole: When you were little did you think that would be tough to accomplish, but now, obviously, you have done the work and you can see it down the road, right?
Jack Robison: For sure. Sometimes, it’s like wow, “can I really do that,” but I am in a really good high school program with Coach Oxton and a really good AAU program, Howard Pulley, Rene Pulley and all those guys.
Gopher Hole: Howard Pulley also had another kid in your age group get offered by Wisconsin, Daniel Freitag? You play AAU with him. Are you good friends with him as well?
Jack Robison: Yes. We’ve kind of had the same team since we were like in third grade. He joined a couple of years ago, but I’ve gotten to know him pretty well. We play really well together, I think.
Gopher Hole: What things are you really working on to continue to improve yourself as a player?
Jack Robison: Probably just getting stronger is the main thing for me. That will come. We spent a lot of time in the weight room over at Lakeville North here this summer and that is kind of my main thing right now.
Gopher Hole: You were traveling a lot in July. What was that experience like?
Jack Robison: It was a lot of fun. We were gone for like 19 days in a row down in Augusta and Atlanta. It was quite the experience. Staying in hotel room with your teammates for that long, but it felt good to get home, but it was fun.
Gopher Hole: Any funny stories to tell about being on the road?
Jack Robison: We ate at the Waffle House almost every single night. I’ve never had that before. I don’t think I’m going to have waffles for a long time.
Gopher Hole: What is an interesting hobby that you have that people might not know about you?
Jack Robison: I like to fish a lot and I like to play golf. Outside of basketball, that is wat I really like to do.
Gopher Hole: Have you ever golfed at the high school level?
Jack Robison: No. I just play for fun. Me and Nolan Winter play a lot together, but it is just a hobby for me.
Gopher Hole: Do you think it helps you for basketball in terms of focus and concentration?
Jack Robison: Maybe. I actually haven’t played that much this summer. I don’t have a lot of time. It’s fun to just take my mind off basketball sometimes and go out and have fun.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, last year was a crazy year with COVID, masks and things like that. You had a good team, but got upset in the playoffs. Is that a motivating factor that you guys have talked about to get even farther because to be honest, Lakeville North is usually in the state tournament?
Jack Robison: Coach Oxton has been using that as motivation for us. That was kind of our first talk. We kind of have a standard here and it was the first time in what like 8, 9 years when we haven’t been in the state tournament. It was disappointing. We are going to work as hard as we can to get back there this year and the next couple years.
Gopher Hole: You mentioned that Minnesota has reached out to your coach. Do you know much about their new staff at all?
Jack Robison: I don’t know a ton about them. I don’t know much about the new staff.
Gopher Hole: Lakeville North has produced a lot of players. They didn’t have one Division I player forever, but then they had Tyler Flack (South Dakota) J.P. Macura, Nate and Tyler (Wahl). Is it fun to see that other players have played at the same high school as you and gone on to be very successful in college?
Jack Robison: I definitely look up to all those guys. I was in like third grade when J.P. took our team to win a state championship. Tyler Flack, I remember going to “Meet The Panthers Night” and he would just put on a dunk show every single time. That was really cool and I look up to them. We watch a lot of Wisconsin games with Tyler and Nate there and when J.P. was at Xavier, we watched a lot of that, so it is really cool to see them go through and succeed at D1 level like they did.