The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

January 6, 2011

‘Mo’ Robinson was one of WVU’s best big men

MORGANTOWN — MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University men’s basketball fans — and many others — called him simply “Mo.”

But Maurice Robinson was one of the most productive big men who ever played the game as a Mountaineer.

The 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward/center from Welch excelled against bigger, heavier, stronger opponents from 1975-78. He appeared in a total of 105 games, including 75 as a starter.

“Those were the best four years of my life,” the Morgantown businessman said recently. “It was a challenge sometimes, but I enjoyed playing basketball up here.”

He put together an impressive set of statistics, including a scoring average of 12.4 points and a rebounding gait of 8.4 per game for his career. His four-year collections were 1,307 points and 881 rebounds.

Robinson, who played an average of 27.6 minutes per contest, had a career total of 11 games in which he played the full 40 minutes.

“It was a challenge out there every day,” he repeated. “In one game, Pitt put in a ruffian and he comes from behind and he hits my head with his fist.

“He wasn’t in the game very long that day, though.”

Other career stats included: 546 field goals in 1,034 attempts (52.8 percent), 215 free throws in 351 tries (61.3 percent), and 146 assists.

As a senior, Robinson was credited with 24 steals and 24 blocked shots. So he was productive at both ends of the court.

Bob Huggins, current WVU head coach and one of Mo’s teammates, had this to say of Robinson recently:

“For the good of our team, he had to play center against taller, stronger players. But Mo did a great job the years I played (guard) with him.

“We’ve remained close friends since then.”

Robinson, who’s 54, has been manager of the CVS Pharmacy in Sabraton for 21 years. He never left Morgantown since coming to WVU on scholarship in the fall of 1975.

Robinson had been a Class AAA All-State center at Welch High. It is now consolidated with two other schools, Gary and Northfork, forming the current Mount View.

He is a member of the WVU all-time team for 1976-85.

“I didn’t mind sacrificing for the team,” Robinson said. “It wasn’t a bad thing all the time (playing against bigger guys).”

While still listed only 215 pounds in records, he remembers that he put on as many as 15-20 pounds after becoming an upperclassman at the university.

Maurice and wife Roselle have been married 31 years and have two sons and a daughter. Marlan was an outstanding basketball player at Morgantown High a few years ago. But major injuries in an automobile accident prevented him from further athletic competition.

Daughter Matine and son Marcel are the other children.

Robinson’s career highs included 35 points against Penn State in 1978 and 20 rebounds versus CCNY in 1977.

But it was a powerful all-around performance in a rare victory over Notre Dame that Robinson remembers most — and for good reason.

He scored 21 points and pulled down 15 rebounds in that 81-68 triumph on Feb. 19, 1977 in Morgantown. Jodey Gardner was the coach and he had a four-year record of 59-53.

Besides Huggins, Robinson’s teammates included such standouts as Warren Baker, Tony Robertson and Lowes Moore.

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