Sunday, October 18, 2009

KU’s Robinson enjoys Late Night


The 25th-annual Late Night in the Phog was everything Kansas University freshman Thomas Robinson expected.

And more.

“The most fun thing for me? Watching those videos. That’s the most fun I had,” said the 6-foot-9, 230-pound power forward from Washington, D.C.

His eyes Friday night were fixed on the Allen Fieldhouse videoboard watching one piece on KU players now in the NBA, the other the annual “Dream On” video, which opened with mention of the Jayhawks’ recent on-court dominance in conference action.

“In 2005, Kansas won the Big 12 title,” the videoboard read.

“Since then, they’ve won it ....

“EVERY YEAR!” the scoreboard flashed, to the delight of 16,300 crazed fans.

Highlights of KU’s last five Big 12 title teams followed along with highlights of the Jayhawks’ 1988 NCAA title victory over Oklahoma and 2008 national championship victory over Memphis.

The Memphis footage included parts of coach Bill Self’s inspirational pregame and postgame speeches.

As far as the live action ... Robinson smiled throughout a dance number in which he wore 1980s style short shorts with KU’s four other newcomers.

Shortly after that, he scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds in the Jayhawks’ 20-minute intrasquad scrimmage.

At one point, he stole a rebound from junior standout Cole Aldrich. He also blocked a shot of frosh Jeff Withey, who moments earlier had blocked one of Robinson’s attempts.

“I don’t care who it is,” Robinson said of the opposition. “I feel that with my work ethic and mindset I can play and fit in anywhere.”

He’s had this work ethic a long time.

“My traveling team coach, coach of my AAU team, was super big on that. If you didn’t play hard he wouldn’t play you at all. I guess it helped me in the long run,” Robinson said.

Self has been impressed with Robinson since the player first arrived on campus last May.

He’s put on almost 20 pounds since becoming a Jayhawk.

“Physically he’s gifted, probably the most gifted of any incoming freshman,” Self said. “Xavier (Henry, 6-6, 220) may be second as far as bodies go. Those guys are pretty advanced for 18-years-old.

“He (Robinson) works at it hard, but he came in here looking pretty good,” Self added. “He’s no different than any other ‘big’ out there who takes pride in playing aggressively. One thing he’s got moreso than anything is a motor. His motor runs. That’ll certainly make the twins’ (Marcus and Markieff Morris, combined 21 points and seven rebounds at Late Night) motor run faster as well. There’s competition which is good, real good.”

Robinson laughed when asked if he wanted to put on any additional weight this season and throughout his career.

“Of course I do,” he said. “I just think of LeBron (James). He’s big but he’s still able to move. You never are big enough. It’s obvious he is getting bigger every year.”

Selby liked Late Night

Josh Selby, a 6-2 senior point guard from Lake Clifton High in Baltimore, completed his unofficial visit to KU on Saturday. Selby’s mom, Maeshon Witherspoon, told the family had a great time in Lawrence.

“What stood out the most about the visit was the fan support and atmosphere. Josh really enjoyed the visit,” Witherspoon said. “I really liked the place. It (KU) has the complete package to offer anyone.”

Selby, who is’s No. 4-rated player, has a list of KU, Baylor, Indiana, Kentucky, Miami and Syracuse.

“We are going to schedule a few more visits,” Witherspoon told Rivals.

Other uncommitted prospects who attended KU’s practice Saturday as part of official visits: Harrison Barnes, a 6-7 forward from Ames (Iowa) High, and Doron Lamb, a 6-4 shooting guard from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Va. Royce Woolridge, a 6-3 guard from Sunnyslope High in Phoenix who has committed to KU, also will complete his KU visit this morning.


JHWK 10 years, 3 months ago

I cannot wait to see this young man play! By January, once HCBS has the rotation set, the Jayhawks will be tough team to even keep up with up and down the floor, much less compete with.

Within the next month, I'd like to think we'd have a couple of these recruits seeing the light and making their commitment.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Sunday Sounds Like...Numbers...

The Rebounder:

Thomas Robinson sounds like a tall Bill Bridges. Bill Bridges had great rebounding numbers. Check them yourselves. Bill Bridges also had great force of character, great presence. When TR speaks, the few pics I have seen of his eyes, I almost wonder if Bill Bridges finally got sick of all the wimpy rebounders today and borrowed TR's body and decided to remind people of what real rebounding is. Bill Bridges has to be a little critical of today's rebounders strutting around in prison bodies, but pulling down numbers more indicative of a girl's school heart. Today's big studs that act like 8 rebounds is a day's work. For Bridges, that was a bad game. TR, you probably do not know Bill Bridges from Frederick Douglas, but you should. Everyone who loves rebounding should. TR, I am here to tell you that, kilogram for kilogram, Bridges was the greatest rebounder ever to play the game and by many, many kilometers. Even Wilt Chamberlain would have admitted, begrudgingly, the same thing. TR, you are the first great talent whose words and eyes pack the kind of force of character that Bill Bridges' words and eyes packed so long ago now. I have waited my whole life for another Bill Bridges, a modern Bill Bridges, a Bill Bridges with all the development the modern game, with its weight lifting and cardio vascular work, could produce. I have been waiting for a Bill Bridges with a few extra inches, a Bill Bridges that did not have to play through bad knees. But Bill Bridges is a huge standard to meet. He produced real numbers. He beasted on glass every night. Can you rise to his numbers, TR? I know that you can.

The Recruits:

Digitally speaking, Recruit Josh sounds like the number one. He is quoted and clearly likes KU.

Recruit Harrison sounds like the number zero. He is not quoted.

Recruit Doron sounds like the number zero, also. He is also not quoted, also. He is, to be more colorfully metaphorical, the Silence of the Lamb.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Selby looks like the best fit. Numbers favor him. Sherron gone to the L. Tyshawn probably gone to the L. CJ maybe staying, maybe leaving and collecting Social Security.

Is Lamb looking seeing numbers? Are Releford and Elijah after throwing reds, plus Morningstar and Reed returning, plus Tyshawn maybe staying one more year, plus Rolls Royce coming, are these problematic numbers? That's a lot of pluses operating on a lot of numbers.

And what about Barnes? Barnes the Beautiful, Barnes the Best, Barnes the Baking Hot, Barnes the Businessman, Barnes the Beast, Barnes the Ballistic Baller, Barnes the Ballyhooed, Barnes the Bankable, Barnes, Barnes, Barnes, is Barnes looking at Marcus Morris at the three next year, maybe even an outside chance of St. Xavier again also, and saying, numbers. Is he saying: better to be a Heel than a Hawk, a boy than a man, a part of Roy's dysfunctional family, rather than a part of Bill's latest edition of the greatest legacy of the greatest game?

Harrison Barnes, yes the talent at KU is now becoming much deeper year in and year out than at UNC. The topologies of competition are steeper along all five axes of the starting roster. Yes, Self now lands more good players year in and year out. Yes, Self is the better and more demanding coach. Yes, KU has now begun to stream more players with better professional careers to the L than UNC (because Self's players have all the tools Tar Holes have, plus they play great defense). But these are all the more reasons (and numbers) to come to KU. Practice with the best, under the best coaches, to be the best. Strength in numbers.

Which community do you want to live in? Chapel Hole? A great place to bounce, if you like the holy trinity of Chapel Hill: red dirt, white crackers, and ex KUers wearing powder blue, Sears blazers. What could be better for a young northerner than to get some life experiences south of the Cotton Curtain?

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Or would you rather live in Lawrence and go to KU? Lawrence is the best 100k college town in America. KU is a wonderful school. It has a terrific business school, not a good one. Did I mention smart, beautiful women without stupid accents in considerable numbers? Oh, and there is another legacy other than just being the axiomatic father of all basketball programs. There is a legacy of freedom loving people that supported an end to slavery with their blood. Kansas takes a step back sometimes, subtracting when it should add, for no place is perfect, but then it takes two forward on the number line. It is like Iowa that way. North Carolina is like, well, South Carolina, but with more people who can read and do computation. To be fair to North Carolina, it is a place where debate continues discreetly over the virtues of displaying the Confederate flag, but where they do not fly it over public buildings. This is called progress in a region where South Carolinians still fly the stinking thing over a public building. Go ahead, go to UNC. Just don't drive over a hundred miles south to go camping, hiking, or to a party.

You make the choice, Harrison.

How bad do you want it, fellas?

Harrison, do you want it bad enough to deal with Marcus and Brady and maybe Xavier at the three? I knew that you did.

Doron, do you want it bad enough to deal with Elijah AND Royce and Reed and Releford at the two? I knew that you did.

Josh, do you want to dish to Harrison and Doron and another incredibly deep and talented team? I knew that you did.

Numbers, numbers, numbers. There is strength in numbers. There is an unreasonable effectiveness in mathematics generally. Some how, some way, when one plays at pure mathematics, when one plays with numbers, one unlocks the secrets of the universe.

In the game of basketball, there are five positions. On the team, there are 15 players. In college basketball there 344 Division I teams. There are four great programs. But there is only 1 school where it all started.

Its all in the numbers.

See all of you in crimson and blue next year.

Sincerely, jaybate

P.S.: Harrison, if you truly love business and finance, if you truly are a numbers guy, if there is a mathematician lurking deep inside the great ball player that you are, a mathematician wondering if anyone else out there sees what you see, check out this link, to twink your interest.

Here at Kansas, we don't limit our athletes to sports. We love brilliant minds in sneakers, too. Intellectual beasting, as well as basketball beasting. One phase of the road to enlightenment passes through numbers, through mathematics. You can dunk. Can you knot?

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 3 months ago

"...Sears powder blue blazers." That's a keeper.

Why is it some coaches get so goofy with their attire at certain schools? Bruce Pearl - orange blazers and ties. Pitino - white suits Roy - Sears powder blue blazers. Doc Sadler - puts on a tie but still has his collar open. Huggins - always looks like he just got dressed for a swingers club. Majerus - Chris Farley look: fat guy in a little sweater.

Lance Hobson 10 years, 3 months ago

I totally agree with the Chapel Hill ragging. I have spent a lot of time there and it is totally overrated. The campus is nice and the school is top notch, but if you go a mile away you're in the ghetto where the class president risks getting shot in the head after making copies early in the morning. If you go a few miles away, vice a hundred, you're in Johnston County and the same areas where the storyline in movie "Wrong Turn" plays out daily. KU has a prettier campus and Lawrence is a better town, not to mention those accents in NC will drive you nuts.

TRob is already becoming one of my favorite KU players. There is a reason Self picked him over Daniel Orton despite being ranked lower. He has it.

KEITHMILES05 10 years, 3 months ago

Robinson is an extremely confident, smart, and congenail young man. Totally love his personality and what he brings all the way around. He's going to be special before he leaves KU.

kvskubball 10 years, 3 months ago

If X stays for a 2nd year, then I think he'll be playing a lot of SG, which is his natural 'Pro' position. So, plenty of room for another great SF/SG combo player like Barnes!

honk_for_hawks 10 years, 3 months ago

speaking of a robinson, russell looks like the favorite to get the cavs last roster spot.

Joe Baker 10 years, 3 months ago

The first time I saw TRob's recruiting clips, I felt this kid was going to be special. He brings talent and intelligence to his game. He resembles James Worthy's style of play.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 3 months ago

If I might add to Jaybate's comments about Bill Bridges, I had the pleasure of watching Bill play with the St.Louis Hawks. The closest analogy I can draw for you all is take Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, add a few inches and some pounds and there you have Bill Bridges.

The ultimate warrior with the heart of a no "mercy-given" assasin. That's the way Bob Gibson played, that's the way Bill Bridges played the game and, in my heart I am convinced that is the way Thomas Robinson is going to play the game.

You might as well stencil his number in the lane because that is going to be Mr.Robinson's Neighborhood!!!

Robert Brock 10 years, 3 months ago

I think that if we get a commitment from Selby we don't get a commitment from Barnes. Selby is a combo who loves to dribble around, drive it, shoot it, but is not likely to dish it out to anybody else. I am afraid that Barnes knows that and will not go where Selby goes. Just my opinion.

MikeOlmstead 10 years, 3 months ago are a loser. Nobody wants to read your ridiculous commentary.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Dear MikeOlmstead,

You are winner, a great man, a powerful man, a knowledgeable man, a virtuous man, a man of strong likes and dislikes, and above all, a man familiar with the business end of a hampster. ;-)

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

jaybate news service (jns):

the jaybate interview with MikeOlmstead:

jaybate: Thanks for coming into virtual space to talk sports with me, Molm, you don't mind if I contract your name to Molm, do you?

MikeOlmstead: Molm? Just a minute, let me check an online dictionary...(key strokes)...noun meaning fish feces...Very funny! So funny I forgot to laugh.

j: Does that mean its okay to call you Molm?

m: No, it's not.

j: How about Molmie?

m: NO!!!

j: Okay, then, let's get to the question everyone wants me to ask you.

m: Which is?

j: Are you a cross dressing hygrocephalic?

m: (key strokes, then more key strokes)...No, I am not.

j: Okay, then, let's get to the second question everyone wants me to ask.

m: Which is?

j: Have you ever actually seen a basketball?

m: (key strokes)...noun, round ball made of leather, or petroleum distillates...usually orange in color. Absolutely I have seen a basketball.

j: Next question.

m: Sure.

j: Do you ever fantasize about driving into bridge abutments before dark?

m: (key strokes)...very funny, wise guy. The answer is yes.

j: Is there any thing you would like to say to the fans about this season?

m: Chalk Rock!

j: Don'y you mean Rock Chalk?

m: (keystrokes)...uh, yeah, that's what I mean.

j: Thanks, Molmie. Thanks for taking the time for this in-depth interview. I think the fans have a much clearer take on you now.

jaybate 10 years, 3 months ago

Note: I suspect the person behind the alias MikeOlmstead is probably a decent person. Both the posts above by jaybate referring to the alias MikeOlmstead are fictions making fun only of the alias MikeOlmstead. No facts, judgements of character, criticisms, or praise of the person behind the alias MikeOlmstead are intended, either expressed or implied. Any similarities between the fictional MikeOlmstead portrayed in the above posts by jaybate, and the human being behind the alias MikeOlmstead, are unintended and purely coincidental. Malice is expressly absent. The posts were written entirely for comic entertainment. Rock chalk.

Joel Hood 10 years, 3 months ago

We walked past X and TRob after Late Night. These guys are men. I remember Darnell Jackson getting ripped around his sophomore year, but these guys are there now. If it is true that TRob just started lifting seriously a short while ago, he will be an absolute freak by next year.

BTW - I've read a few naysayers claiming Late Nite was dull. BS (Jesse - that is Bovine Scatology if anyone is offended.) It was fun and the hype machine was in overdrive. The scrimmage was even fun to watch - I cannot imagine the rotation won't be 10 deep. It will be great to see who rises to the top.

Steve Brown 10 years, 3 months ago

anyone know where to watch the afh prescrimmage video board tribute to KU past and current NBA players...

Priest Fontaine 10 years, 3 months ago

how can we watch that scrimmage online? or all of late night in the phog? dont care about seeing the ESPNU thing. I tried watching that while DJing at a bar in Brooklyn and seemed like KU was barely featured compared to Duke and NCU. Maybe I was just looking through records when they showed glimpses of the fieldhouse.

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