Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Robinson not just a ‘motor’


Kansas routs Pitt. State in final exhibition

The Kansas men's basketball team wrapped up exhibition play by crushing the Pittsburg State Gorillas, 103-45. Freshman forward Thomas Robinson scored 17 points for KU.

Audio clips

2009 KU-Pitt State men's basketball

Reader poll

Who impressed you the most against Pittsburg State?

  • Marcus Morris 4% 170 votes
  • Markieff Morris 2% 89 votes
  • Thomas Robinson 88% 3202 votes
  • Xavier Henry 2% 100 votes
  • Other 1% 44 votes

3605 total votes.

One of the coolest things about the game Dr. James Naismith invented in Springfield, Mass., as it’s played today, is that no two players are alike.

When a new player comes along and one hoop junkie who hasn’t seen him play mines impressions from another who has seen him, the question, “What player does he remind you of?” quickly surfaces.

The delayed response starts with a name and then a qualifier that describes how the players differ. Far more differences than similarities are listed, and the conclusion is reached that he really isn’t like anybody.

For example, try answering this question: What former Kansas player does Thomas Robinson call to mind?

Darrell Arthur? He runs the floor like Arthur, is the same height and has similar leaping ability. If you’ve been in many such comparison discussions, you know the next word: but.

But he has a broader build, a far more aggressive approach to the game, especially when rebounding, better post moves and has much more upbeat body language, particularly in the area of facial expressions. He has neither the shooting touch nor range of Arthur.

Darnell Jackson? His enthusiasm and energy recall Jackson, but he has far longer arms, better footwork with his back to the basket and does more of his scoring close to the hoop.

Cole Aldrich? They share insatiable hunger to rebound, and both are comfortable playing with their backs to the basket, not as common a trait among basketball players as in eras past. The faster, quicker Robinson doesn’t have as many ways to score yet and although a good shot-blocker, doesn’t have Aldrich’s shot-blocking range, is two inches shorter and is more liable to turn it over.

In Tuesday night’s exhibition against Pittsburg State, Robinson was nothing short of the best player on the floor. Dominating a Div. II football school doesn’t compare to doing it against Big 12 competition, but the way he amassed 17 points, seven rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals portends a long, lucrative career for the muscle-bound, 6-foot-9 freshman from Washington, D.C.

And the most encouraging moment didn’t make a box score that showed KU with a 103-45 victory. With 40 seconds left, Robinson sprinted to the corner to chase down a loose ball. He didn’t quite get to it, which is entirely beside the point.

So many Robinson highlights play over in the mind when reviewing this game: executes quick drop-step followed by a bank shot after a catch on the block; pump-fakes to send his defender in the air, banks in the shot; catches a pass from Tyshawn Taylor on the break and slams it home; jumps into the passing lane, dribbles the length of the floor and throws down another one-hander; blocks a shot off the backboard, sprints to other end, collects a missed dunk by improved Marcus Morris, is fouled, hits both free throws; one-handed jam on which he is called for a technical for hanging on the rim; misses a jumper, doesn’t sulk, sees an opportunity to cut to the basket, receives a pass from Chase Buford and throws down a one-hander.

Words such as “active” and “motor” have been tossed around a lot about Robinson. He’s far more than that. He’s talented. He’s skilled. He’s smart. He’s every opponent’s nightmare.


Dirk Medema 10 years, 2 months ago

"... portends a long, lucrative career for the muscle-bound, 6-foot-9 freshman from Washington, D.C."

Muscle-bound? Don't you mean muscular?

Muscle-bound would imply a stiffness, lack of flexibility that seems out of place here.

Glad to hear the + about all the F, as well as the on going development of the S & entire team.

Billy Derringer 10 years, 2 months ago

well if you are asking me i would say that this young player reminds me a hell of alot like richard scott from the early 90"s teams-if you all remember scott was a horse who seemed to always be around the ball and seemed to hit like 70 percent of his feild goals once he learned what his game should be-he doesnt seem to have a good jump shot yet, but a la 'd block' he could in a few years,one of the things that i personally like from him is something called "swagger"and he doesnt seem to worried about a screw up every now and then, just goes on to the other end of the court for a monster block or dunk this was a nice get mr. self

NH_JHawk 10 years, 2 months ago

It's hard not to think ahead to the ultimate destination for this team. Was that really Mc. Morris with the monster jam? Thomas Robinson was more than impressive showcasing both his offensive skills and his relentless pursuit of going after loose balls/rebounds. What a player! I know it's VERY early and it was only vs. Pittsburgh St., but if last night's display was any indication of what's to come, then this is certainly going to be one special season. I feel sorry for Hofstra...

jcsmith 10 years, 2 months ago

T. Robinson is going to be HUGE for us. Mark my words.

ohjayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

derringer - Richard Scott remains one of my favorite KU players of all time. He was 6'6", but played like he was 7'6". He never took a play off and is a very undervalued former player, in my opinion.

Aron Hayes 10 years, 2 months ago



Joel Hood 10 years, 2 months ago

derringer & ohjayhawk,

TRob does post up like Richard Scott, but he runs better, is stronger as a freshman, and is much taller and longer. Richard Scott was listed as 6'7" -- but actually closer to 6'5". TRob is legit 6'9". Nice to see the Danny inspired moves shining thru once again.

Phoggin_Loud 10 years, 2 months ago

It's great to talk about Richard Scott again. He is still one of my All-Time favorite 'Hawks. The thing I remember about him was his unbelievable lower-body strength. He moved the bigs with his hips. Plus, he was always in the right position. I remember 'Ol Roy would use film (yes, film) of Richard with his bigs to illustrate correct body positioning in the paint. TRob has a long way to go to become as refined as Richard, but the tools seem to be there.
D&mn, I must be getting old, but it is fun to remember the teams of old. I can't wait until Friday when the season starts for real.

kvskubball 10 years, 2 months ago

Dreaming of an Indy April!

TRob's energy and physicality remind me of Kevin Garnett..LOL

He's not anywhere near KG, yet...but he's got 'IT"

I was very impressed with the energy the freshmen brought to the game...They also seem to be more game ready than last year's freshmen...That could be due to the competitiveness of practice this year...This year's depth means everyone gets pushed!

Thought Teahan did the right thing to not redshirt...

PT will be a huge 'carrot/stick' this year...

I liked that the Morris twins went to the basket, instead of settling for jump shots, or looking for 3 point shots. We know they can make some of those, but against smaller foes, they should look to get to the rim and dominate the paint...Looked like they made an effort to do that last night, and did well at it!!...Well done!

Last year, seemed like everyone not named Sherron or Cole were tentative on the offensive end...I didn't see much hesitation last night...I saw a lot of attack mode. I luv it!

Now, will some guys tighten up when the chips are down? I hope not. I hope they keep their confidence and keep attacking!

The 2008 team was a little bigger in the frontcourt than the team on the floor last night, but this team is overall more athletic....A bit more ready, earlier, than those bigs...

Cole and Sherron were quiet for the most part. They looked to contribute and did...but on a night when you could have asked "Where were our two All-American candidates?", it didn't matter because the younkers were having a blast and decided to play!

One of the things I liked about last night is that we seemed much less careless with the ball than we were last year...That is huge, IMO!

I think these guys are ready to go hunting! The 'Big Game' to bag this year....Let's check the list:

Clean our OOC schedule.... Win the Big 12.... Win the Big 12 tournament... Win the NCAA tourney....

Ultimate of ultimate goals??? Go undefeated...

It all starts Friday night!!!!!!!! Let's pound the round, and ground Hofstra on Friday!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 2 months ago

I am so happy all of you are seeing what I've known about Mr. Robinson for over a year and why I was so ecstatic that he is a Jayhawk. He has the heart of a warrior, the body of an upperclassman and something rare in players....I'll call it "ball radar".

Bill Bridges had it. Dennis Rodman had it. Elgin Baylor had it. Paul Pearce has it, It is the ability to not only play above the rim but to possess an uncanny ability to anticipate the ball trajectory almost as soon as it leaves the shooters hand, thus giving a headstart advantage and allowing the player to play bigger than he is.

Well, at 6'-9" and 230 with a chance to grow another inch or two and gain 20 pounds without a loss of quickness or mobility, puts TR in a very exclusive category.....future NBA Star!!!!!

gojbirds 10 years, 2 months ago

I like the Richard Scott comparison. I was just a young buck when he played, but he was one of my favorites. I'll throw to thoughts out. One, at times TRob's upper body strength reminds me of Wayne Simien. He's strong like Darnell, but leaner. If he develops the j like Wayne he will be. Two, it's fun to compare him to players past, but he seems to be shaping up like someone against whom we will compare future players.

Overall, I like this kid. I'm mostly impressed by his attitude. He's upbeat, hungry and mature.

Beak 10 years, 2 months ago

I like the Richard Scott comparison as well. Also showed vision passing the ball too (see, Julian Wright).

Jeff Hargate 10 years, 2 months ago

gojbirds, I agree with you. I told my wife last night at the game that he reminded me of Wayne...who was sitting right behind the bench.

gthejayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

One word and one word only can describe T-Rob... "Beast". I've NEVER seen a freshman big as dominate as Mr. Robinson!

nocaljayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

Based on the highlights I've seen (i.e. the ones on this site), TR reminds me a bit of Drew Gooden, who was athletic and active and could score in a number of ways.

kerbyd 10 years, 2 months ago

"He's every opponent's nightmare."

Kinda like the sound of that!

Sparko 10 years, 2 months ago

I don't like the Richard Scott comparison because Robinson has better body control, confidence, and can play better defense. Already. I was astounded. That was the best Freshman performance I have seen since Norm Cook's first game--and this was more complete. Wow. You can see he has practiced hard and LISTENED to coaching. If this team keeps playing loose and selflessly, they have no ceiling.

KUFan90 10 years, 2 months ago

I also would draw a comparison to Alonzo Jamison.

NebraskaJayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

I like the Richard Scott comparison as Scott was also one of my favorite Jayhawks of the past. The thing that Richard Scott did better than anyone though, was his ability to post up. He was the best a putting his man on his hip (big butt) to gain a perfect angle to the rim which eleviated any height disadvantage he normally had. I haven't seen Robinson play yet, but if he can post like Scott, then we're in for a treat. I just hope he can hit free-throws better than Scott. :P

These comparisons don't mean a whole lot though, considering the competition we're playing. I don't like to get too excited during these warmup games. Let's see how they look when the enter Big XII play. :)

kcmostwanted 10 years, 2 months ago

I like the Blake Griffin comparison ....Thomas Robinson future top 5 pick.... :-) I'm just glad Coach Self grabbed him before he went to the Dark Side (Coach Cal's side)

Tony Bandle 10 years, 2 months ago

Come next semester, Withey, X, Robinson. Johnson, CJ.....this Jayhawk team of new comers would beat any other school's team of newcomers except for maybe Kentucky who they would play even...then Collins, Aldrich, Taylor and Marcus would come in and crush the kittycats!!

My brother told me that Bobby Knight has said that, because of the ferociousness of the Kansas defense, he lists KU's starting five as #1 team in America....and the bench second five as the #2 team in America!!!!!

Nice, huh!!

kranny 10 years, 2 months ago

I personally don't think you can compare him completely to any of those players. Darrell Arthur didn't have much of a shot his freshman year either and didn't have near the motor or aggressiveness, Arthur didn't have the moves either. That up and under move he did on the mid block had shades of Manning. The pass catch on the run and dunk looked like the ups of Rush. If he developes a 10-15 footer, we can say so long Mr. Robinson and he'll be saying hello NBA after his sophomore year.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 2 months ago

Good point Drgnslyr.... it'll never happen, but if it was OK for Sherron, I'd love to bring him off the bench 3 minutes into the game. I remember him exploding off the bench a couple of years ago at Manhattan. I'm looking for a great year out of him with much less minutes and pressure.

rastameta 10 years, 2 months ago

Good to see people talking about Richard Scott.

My all time favorite KU basketball players are Richard Scott and Steve Woodberry. Both were and still are extremely underrated players.

Scott, is still the best player in the post I have ever seen at KU. He really know how to get leverage and his shots didn't get blocked even though everyone had a few inches on him.

Feeling nostalgic now...

jayhawker97 10 years, 2 months ago

yeah, agree with y'all.. Mr.Robinson will hit a jackpot in NBA. Heaven holds a place for those who pray - that's right... Mr. Robinson is your nightmare! he's very versatile, he's got moves, lots of muscle, explosives, capable of passing, stealing, blocking, spotting underneath, confidence and most importantly: he never quits! Mr.Robinson will be BIG.. yes!!!
another year of greatness for KU & fans!!!

!!!!!!!rock chalk!!!!

FlaHawk 10 years, 2 months ago

Ilike the Bill Bridges reference. He was a strong re bounder that could score. KUdid not have great teams during his tenure but he was a man amoung boys. Saw him play in th eold pre-season Big 8 tourney in KC (58-61)! Bill alsted 13 years in the NBA and average a double-double for his NBA career!


PSMayer how about an article on Bill Bridges and another trip down memory lane?

Blake Post 10 years, 2 months ago

Robinson is another threat for Killer Kansas. nebraska must die

kvskubball 10 years, 2 months ago


You said.... "kvskubball, KU will not go undefeated. There are too many good teams on the schedule, especially in the Big 12, for that to happen"

That's why I called it the "Ultimate of Ultimates"...against a tough schedue, if it happens, this will be the 'Team of their Generation', like the last undefeated team was...

If it were going to be easy...then it would have been done in the early 90's by the UNLV team or by Phi Slamma Jamma...noone has been perfect since Knight's team did it.

It takes great basketball, but it also takes great mental toughness, and at least a smidgen of luck, maybe a whole bucket-full of luck! It means 'being on' every night. It means not giving in to the pressure to perform.

This team has the talent to win every game. We don't have the experience that would make me believe that we have a great chance to win 'em all, but we have enough for me to say, that with the right attitude, a lot of work, and the desire to try to do it, it could happen. It will be far from easy, and it can only be done one game at a time!!!

I hope the guys want to at least try to do it, and that they believe that if they work hard they do have a chance to do it. Is Texas going to be tough in Austin? VERY MUCH so...but Tennessee is going to be tough too, as will KSU at Bramlage....

The opportunity starts this Friday. I hope that is how the team will look at something worth trying for. If they do their best, and it doesn't happen, well nothing is lost...Let's not overlook anyone...start with Hofstra tomorrow! Go for it!

Rock Chalk JayHawks!

KANSTUCKY 10 years, 2 months ago

Hofstra, then meet me in St. Louie to kick some Memphass!

Joe Baker 10 years, 2 months ago

He has neither the shooting touch nor range of Arthur.- Keegan

I've always compared him to James Worthy!

This shooting touch is fair, but obviously HCBS does not need him shooting too far from the paint. He has the ability and much like Mk, will develop his short range and long range. If he does, he will be a complete nightmare for opponents.

He will be a complete package on the court. I think he has more potential than Griffin! I see him working finesse into some power. The twins said it best. If he realizes how strong he is, he will be unstoppable!!

I'm ecstatic to have him playing at KU. We are fotunate to have such a talent.

suttonku 10 years, 2 months ago

I havent read any of the other comments but has anybody brought up the fact that Robinson is more athletic than Arthur, Jackson, and Aldrich? Thats the main take away for me...Arthur's game his freshman season was not that great...I can remember him missing easy buckets and his shooting was not great either. Now, Arthur did develop the shooting range and touch eventually. I think Robinson can develop the touch and range that Arthur graduated with (although does not seem to have it anymore)...In fact I think Robinson is ahead of where Arthur was his freshman year. I think Robinson shoots better now that Arthur did his freshman season.

Which brings me to another point...Isn't Arthur a classic case of a guy who needed one more season at KU? This guy will do nothing in the NBA, absolutely nothing. Demarre Carrol will be a better player than Arthur and that to me is very sad. If Arthur has stayed another season at KU he could have become more of an Amare Stoudemire type player.

Ron_Kellogg 10 years, 2 months ago

Please, let this be the last reference in print to Robinson's so-called "motor"

FairgroveJayhawk 10 years, 2 months ago

Robinson is not only a high performance motor, but he has a set of speedy wheels, stout frame and a shiny grill, with radar to boot. Sorry Mr. Kellog you'll have to address Bill Self directly as he is the one who got the whole motor thing started.

Can't wait until the Hofstra beat down.

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