Robinson

Devin Robinson dunks during Florida's 62-61 loss to Ole Miss on Thursday in the O'Connell Center.

Devin Robinson knew that he had room to grow following his freshman season.

The 6-foot-8 forward from Chesterfield, Virginia, was thrust into a regular role for the Gators last year, appearing in all 33 games and starting in seventeen.

He received valuable playing experience, but his production, like most of his teammates last season, was mediocre at best.

Despite being a member of the 2015 Southeastern Conference All-Freshman team, Robinson averaged just 6.4 points and 2.8 rebounds per game last year while making 40.2 percent of his shots.

But after ending his freshman season on a high note — posting six double-digit scoring efforts in the final 10 games of the season — Robinson said he believes he can develop into more of an all-around threat, a sentiment shared by coach Mike White.

"(Robinson) should give you a huge weapon on the offensive glass, and that’s a challenge with Devin," White said.

"We have to get him to be more of a force on the offensive glass and use his length defensively. He’s really shooting the ball well now."

White added that Robinson has been playing small forward during the first weeks of practice not only because of the team’s depth in the frontcourt, but also because of Robinson’s ability to stretch the floor and shoot from range.

The sophomore bulked up a bit in the offseason.

He's gained 17 pounds over the last year, now weighing 195 after being listed at 178 as a freshman.

Robinson said he thinks the added weight will play a big role in his ability to hang tough in the paint.

"It’s going to impact it a lot. I’m going to be stronger. I’m not going to get pushed around as much as I used to last year," Robinson said.

"Just my overall game, getting to the basket, finishing through contact, everything I need to be a better player."

And, just as White pointed out, Robinson’s main focus of improvement has been offensive rebounding, another area in which the added weight should help.

"That’s my No. 1. (goal). I remember last year, I came in, all I felt like I had to do was score, score, score, but I understand as my year went on that you could affect the game in other ways," Robinson said.

"They really put an emphasis on ‘you’re 6-9, how many rebounds did you average last year? Three rebounds. That’s not good enough.’ So they want me to go crash the boards. They want me to play defense."

White and the Gators are relying on Robinson to do just that — help the team in other ways than scoring.

With redshirt senior Dorian Finney-Smith and redshirt sophomore John Egbunu beside him at the power forward and center positions, respectively, Florida’s formidable frontcourt could thrive this season.

Robinson also knows that the experience he gained while playing as a freshman last year will be of tremendous value heading into this season.

"I had to grow up at that time," Robinson said. "That’s when I really noticed what I can do."

And when the season opens on Nov. 13 against Navy, Robinson will be able to put his improvement to the test.

"Just happy to get the opportunity and the call and it just gave me the confidence to go in coming into this year that I know what to do and I know what to expect," Robinson said.

"I can get it done."

 Follow Alex Maminakis on Twitter @alexmaminakis