Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Robinson enjoys playing traffic cop

Numerous scoring options keep job exciting for Kansas University point guard


Whether he throws the ball inside or flips it to a wing, Russell Robinson figures he can't go wrong directing traffic on Kansas University's 2006-07 men's basketball team.

"We have so many weapons. Every possession it could be somebody different. You just try to hit the open man," the junior point guard said.

Led by Brandon Rush, who scored 21 points, the Jayhawks finished with five double-digit scorers in a 91-57 season-opening rout of Northern Arizona on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. That followed a pair of exhibition contests in which six Jayhawks averaged double-digit point production.

"It's what we want to do - get people easy baskets, keep everybody's confidence up, keep everybody happy. We have to keep doing that," said Robinson, who scored nine points with four assists against the Lumberjacks.

Julian Wright scored 16 points, Sherron Collins 14 and Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur 12 apiece in the opener.

"It makes my job a lot easier. At the same time, Brandon had four assists. It makes everybody's job easier," Robinson said of having a bunch of scoring threats available.

Only Rush and Mario Chalmers averaged double-digit scoring for the 25-8 Jayhawks last season, though Robinson averaged 10.7 points in Big 12 games.

"We're unselfish. I think it is our strength," Robinson said. "We want to share the ball, get easy buckets and get flowing."

Of course, offense many times starts with defense - something that will continue to be stressed entering Wednesday's 7 p.m. home game against Oral Roberts.

"Lately in practice, we've not been doing a good job on defense. That was the main focus of the game," Robinson said. "Come out and pressure them, not let them get comfortable."

Coach Bill Self, who hopes the Jayhawks will be able to push the ball even faster than in the opener, has been stressing defense and rebounding at daily workouts.

"Defense sets up the offense and creates runs," Robinson said. "That gets the crowd into it. We try to feed off that."

Robinson can envision the Jayhawks continuing to run and score at a rapid pace this season.

"We have the bodies to do it and it's to our advantage," he said. "We like to wear teams down. Getting easy buckets helps the morale of the team. Everybody starts to feed off that and bring energy to the game."

Ten players played at least nine minutes in the opener, so fatigue is not a problem.

"Coach talks about mental conditioning as well as physical conditioning, playing when you are not fresh," sophomore forward Wright said. "You have to make the right plays and right decisions.

"Games are different than practice. Coach stops play at practice sometimes and says things. In a game, it's sped up, you breathe a little harder because of the intensity of the game. We have to get in better shape. (But) it's still early in the season."

Watching Rhodes: KU assistant Kurtis Townsend traveled to Durham, N.C., on Friday to watch a practice of Bennie Rhodes, a 6-foot-6 senior from Mt. Zion Academy.

Mt. Zion coach Antonio Fozard told no campus visit had yet been set up for Rhodes, who also is considering UCLA, Oklahoma State and others.

"I think the coaching staff wants to watch some of our games this year before any visit is planned. All I really know right now is that Kansas is interested in Bennie," Fozard said, adding, "Bennie is a great athlete, a great person and a great student. Schools just want to get a look a Bennie during the season before they make any decisions about him."


OPJayhawk 13 years, 2 months ago

Memo to the writer of this article, and to others at the Journal World. While we are known as "KU", using "Kansas University" is annoying as he!!, and makes you look like an idiot. Please use "KU" or "The University of Kansas". "Kansas University" is NOT the proper way to refer to the university. You'd think the hometown paper would be aware of this. This is getting old, and its embarassing.

Bob Culwell 13 years, 2 months ago

Also, OP " it is" contracts to "it's". Perhaps you should make sure your own stuff is ABSOLUTELY PERFECT before you waste any of our time with your gripes.

tis4tim 13 years, 2 months ago

"Hell" isn't spelled with two exclamation points either. :D

kujeeper 13 years, 2 months ago

OP - Why worry about this, the LJWorld embarrasses themselves daily, WHO CARES?! Worry about something important, like Kline becoming your DA. Now there is a real problem!

JayCeph 13 years, 2 months ago

That better not happen. Kline should just run for 'Grand Kleegel' of the Klan or something.

Joe Ross 13 years, 2 months ago

Hey all! Get over to and vote for the KU analysts. K-State has been whipping on us for weeks!!! It'll only take a hundred votes or so to win this week so take 10 seconds and click over to cast a vote for the HAWKS!!!!

notoriousfox 13 years, 2 months ago

If I'm not mistaken, I believe it the whole Kansas University thing is part of the LJW style guide. It's not up to the writer of the story. As an employee of the LJW, the writer must follow company policy, and the style book says Kansas University.

CasperCorps 13 years, 2 months ago

Yeah what fox says... And its alot easier to fit into the title of an article too... Anyways I love the defensive mentality Self as brought to the team.... Florida is in trouble.... Go T.U.o.K! (The University of Kansas for all you politically incorrect folks)

mbowers 13 years, 2 months ago

casper corps is correct about florida being in trouble. i have been looking forward to the florida game since it has been posted. haven't been this excited about the jayhawks in a while now. lets go hawks!

speedy 13 years, 2 months ago

my diploma reads univ. of kansas! thats correct

gahawk 13 years, 2 months ago

As notoriousfox noted, Kansas University is LJW style and has been for at least 30-some years. Nobody else uses it. While I can appreciate the attempt to make the name consistent with KU, the simple fact is that the school's official name is the University of Kansas. I can't say I'm as annoyed by it as OPJayhawk, but for someone else to arbitrarily call it something different is as presumptious as you preferring to be called Charles and me deciding nonetheless to call you Chuck. Annoying, and not really your call.

jaybate 13 years, 2 months ago

I'm with OP, its never to late to get the facts right, even after 30 years. How long do you think they would get an advertisers branded name wrong?

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