Sweet Sixteen: #2 Ben Gordon vs. #3 Cliff Robinson

Ben Gordon vs. Cliff Robinson

#2 Ben Gordon – (2001-2004)
by Tyler Wilkinson

In Rd 2, Gordon defeated #7 Kevin Freeman, 163-34

In Rd 1, Gordon defeated #15 Alex Oriakhi, 205-1

Ben Gordon has no idea who Cliff Robinson is. I’m not sure if that’s true, but given Gordon’s ice-cold demeanor, I’m sure he doesn’t mind the rumor.

The difference between Gordon and Robinson can be summed up thusly; Gordon won an NCAA Tournament. Robinson won an NIT.

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Oh, I’m supposed to keep going? Alright.

Ben Gordon’s time at UConn is notable for big wins and big shots. In 2004, with center Emeka Okafor slowed by injuries, Gordon shouldered the load and lit Madison Square Garden up – winning the Big East Tournament for UConn, as well as its Most Outstanding Player award for himself. Following his super-human performance in the Cube, Gordon and company went on to run the table, culminating with Gordon hoisting UConn’s second National Championship trophy.

Career Points: 1795

Career Rebounds: 415

Career Assists: 437

Career Steals: 125

Career Blocks: 19

#3 Cliff Robinson – (1985-1989)
by Peter Bard

In Rd 2, Robinson defeated #11 Albert Mouring, 157-16

In Rd 1, Robinson defeated Ryan Boatright, 145-13

You’re not going to get me to say a single bad word about Ben Gordon. He was an elite offensive player and a tremendous athlete, and it’s a travesty that he was never named to an All-American team at UConn.

That being said, being great doesn’t make you automatically better than Uncle Cliffy. Cliff Robinson was more versatile (he played all three frontcourt positions both at UConn and in the NBA), more explosive (he topped 40 points several times in the NBA), and contributed more on defense (he mad two All-NBA Defensive teams).

Gordon definitely has Robinson beat in team success, having won National Championship as a junior, but it should be noted that he wasn’t the best player on the team at any point in his UConn career. Robinson suffered from a lack of support, which limited the team’s success in his time there, and also cost him in the draft, as the program’s lack of visibility during Robinson’s college career led to him falling to the second round.

Despite being an unheralded draft pick, Robinson was an immediate contributor in Portland, and he had a lengthy and productive career in the NBA.

Playing at UConn during the beginning of Jim Calhoun’s tenure already cost Robinson once. Don’t punish him again. Vote for Uncle Cliffy.

Career Points: 1664

Career Rebounds: 668

Career Assists: 136

Career Steals: 110

Career Blocks: 116


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Tyler Wilkinson

Owner & Editor-in-Chief of ADimeBack.com — founded in 2012 to provide additional useless insight on UConn sports.