But don't let a little youth and inexperience make you think the Tigers are just going to phone it in during the 2012-13 campaign.
"Got a lot of kids that are going to be playing varsity basketball for the first time. It's going to be an experience in itself to try and teach them to play the right way and for them to become productive Temple basketball players. It's going to take a lot of work. And I think we can get there, but it's going to take a lot of work," Robinson said.
Even with a younger roster, the Tigers bring back seniors Trevor Shell and Isaiah Strozier, who come in with impressive resumes of their own and will lead the team this season.
"I've got two great seniors. Isaiah Strozier and Trevor Shell are two top-notch athletes, but even better kids. Trevor Shell returns, who was First-Team All-Region, First-Team All-Area, was the Bowdon Christmas Tournament MVP. He's a heck of a ball player. Then Strozier is going to fill that leadership role and do a whole lot of filling the void that was left by those guys last year that went on to go play college basketball. Those guys are going to be the cornerstone of our success," Robinson said.
The Tigers got work done this summer and then amped it up heading into last week's season opener. In that work, Robinson has seen the willingness to work that shows him his team can be successful this year.
"I've seen a big willingness to learn and to uphold some of the traditions that the guys before them worked for. You see the desire to play the right way and desire to compete, falling in love with the workout and the work ethic, as opposed to looking for satisfaction in just the result. These kids want to do well and they work hard to do well. It's just experience that's the main thing we can't overlook — not this early," Robinson said.
The season opened with a 65-47 loss at Hebron Christian last Tuesday in Dacula. Elijah McFarland led the way with 17 points, while Strozier added 15 points.
That game, even with a loss, is something the Tigers can build from.
"That game was important for us. It gave us a chance to see what we can do well, who can do what and just kind of see where we are as a team. I think we are where we're supposed to be. Just like any team, we have to find our niche and find our identity and continue to work hard with our basic stand on playing tough defense, communicating and striving to get better," Robinson said.
The new Region 5-AA doesn't do the young Tigers any favors, either. Local rivals Bremen and Bowdon are added to the mix, while traditional powers Jordan, which made last year's state semifinals, and Manchester, the Class AA state runner-up, remain.
"With Bremen and Bowdon coming into the region, they've got great kids. Coach [Billy] Pollard does a great job at Bremen and has always done well. They've got great kids over in Bowdon. It's going to add a little bit of excitement, because we are so local and will be playing in the same region. It's still going to be tough this year, because we still have Jordan, Manchester, Kendrick, Spencer," Robinson said. "We've got a tough, tough region. There's no off-night in the region. We're going to have to pick up and work hard to give ourselves a chance."
That adds importance for players like sophomores McFarland, Rashaan Dobbs, along with juniors Kevin Kimbrell and Jake Lambert, to step up early in the year before region play begins in January.
"[McFarland and Dobbs] have the tools and they have the skills to play on this level. They've really stepped up big time. They've gotten so much better from their freshman years to their sophomore years. It's ridiculous. Kevin Kimbrell played JV last year. He's a big guy in the middle that's gotten so much better. We're happy with his development," Robinson said. "Jake Lambert, his work ethic and grit and demeanor kind of epitomizes what we're about as far as hustle. Just his whole make-up."
Robinson also expects freshman Briahious McPherson to step up this season and contribute productive minutes. Also, junior Mike Jones has started to separate himself through his work ethic.
And with the opening of the new gym coming in January, the players are hoping to live up to the expectations their coach has set. The Tigers will play their Dec. 4 home game against Mt. Zion at Temple Middle School and will open the new gymnasium on Jan. 11 against Heard County.
"I'm just hoping that these guys' work ethic shows in the way they play. They're great kids, they only know how to play one way and that's the right way. With the new gym being built, I think these kids are really excited about being productive and putting quality effort on the court. I applaud them for their effort, but it has to be a week-to-week ordeal to try to continue to get better," Robinson said.
Up next for the Tigers is a trip to Paulding County on Saturday for a 4 p.m. tip-off.