Saturday, June 19, 2010

Former KU guard Russell Robinson hoping for spot in NBA

Former Kansas player Russell Robinson jumps between Christian Moody, left, and Chris Zerbe on his way to the basket during the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic at Free State High. Robinson played with the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Developmental League last season.

Former Kansas player Russell Robinson jumps between Christian Moody, left, and Chris Zerbe on his way to the basket during the Rock Chalk Roundball Classic at Free State High. Robinson played with the Reno Bighorns of the NBA Developmental League last season.


Russell Robinson has decided to shoot his way into the NBA.

“Yeah, I shoot the ball a lot more than I did when I was here,” said Robinson, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound former Kansas University point guard from New York. He averaged 16.3 points a game last season while playing for both the NBA Developmental League’s Reno (Nev.) Bighorns and Maine Red Claws.

“I shoot a lot better percentages and everything. I’m trying to get my game where it needs to be to be a good pro,” added Robinson, a starter on KU’s 2008 national title team known more for his distributing than scoring in his four-year college career.

Robinson — he’ll be playing for the Indiana Pacers’ summer-league team next month in Orlando, Fla., — attempted an average of 12.4 shots a game last year, including 4.3 threes per contest. Overall, he hit 44.5 percent of his shots, 37.4 percent of his treys. At KU, Robinson, who averaged a career-best 9.3 ppg in 2005-06, attempted just 5.3 shots a game and was a 40.6 percent shooter.

“Nah, I didn’t play in the all-star game,” Robinson said after Thursday’s Rockchalk Roundball Classic, when asked if he was so honored by the NBADL.

“I had a pretty good season. In my eyes I was MVP,” he said with a laugh. “I had a good season. I got better. I’m making good strides.”

Robinson — he dished 5.6 assists per game in 25 games after being traded to Maine — had some breakout performances in 2009-10. He scored 34 points off 10-of-20 shooting (four of eight threes, 10 of 11 free throws) against Dakota. He had 27 points against Fort Worth and 26 points in games against Idaho and Utah.

He realizes he’s getting to the point he needs to stick with the Pacers or perhaps head overseas, like former KU players Keith Langford and Sasha Kaun, who both are making over $1 million per year in Russia.

“They made it clear to me there’s an opportunity there,” Robinson said of the Pacers. “I just have to go out there and play well. This is the summer. We’ll see how it goes. I’ll play my cards from there. Hopefully I’ll be in the NBA. If not, I’ll be somewhere making money.”

Robinson worked out with the Pacers on Thursday morning then hustled back to Lawrence for Thursday night’s charity game, arriving at Free State High for the second half.

“It’s always fun to be back and see the fans happy (and) get some love,” Robinson said. “This goes a long ways. It helps me out throughout the season,” he added of receiving KU fans’ support.

Former KU and NBA center Scot Pollard wouldn’t be surprised if Robinson makes the Pacers’ roster.

“I said when I played pick-up with him as a freshman ... I went home and said, ‘Russell Robinson is a pro,’’’ Pollard said. “So far I’ve been wrong. I think he has the head for it. He may be a little short, but I think he’s got the game. It remains to be seen. He’s going to have to catch on a team that wants him and needs him. He won’t survive if he’s stuck on a team behind two or three guys. If he finds the right situation, I believe he can stick.”

Perkins hosts tourney

Perkins hosts annual golf classic

KU athletic director Lew Perkins hosted his annual golf classic Friday. Nearly 150 golfers participated in the event, which raises money for the Douglas County Special Olympics team.

KU athletic director Lew Perkins on Friday hosted a golf tournament at Alvamar to benefit Douglas County Special Olympics.

More than 100 supporters competed.

Proceeds from Perkins’ Golf Classic help fund purchasing of sports equipment, uniforms and travel for the local program.

“For me personally, Special Olympics is an organization I’ve been involved with for over 30 years,” Perkins said. “I can’t tell you how much I admire Special Olympians for what they have done with their lives. My wife, Gwen, and I feel very strongly about what the organization does, and we want to do whatever we can to help.”


Jeff Kilgore 7 years, 10 months ago

Good luck, Russell! You were always a family favorite. My son talked to you from time to time and really thought you were a great person. You're going to be a millionaire one way or the other!

Mike Bratisax 7 years, 10 months ago

Go deserve it and with your work ethic..I think you will find a spot somewhere.

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago

"Dump Texas, Embrace the Net"

USA Today reported a regional network tv analyst as estimating the Big 12 with the current ten teams could expect TV revenues of about $135M per year;that's only $13.5M per school if the revenues were divided equally, which they apparently won't be.

Again, I recommend KU refuse to subsidize Texas, and take whatever TV revenue it can get without Texas, OU, and TAM in the Big 12, or jump to any BCS conference that won't force them to subsidize the top football schools in the conference.

Next, start with a $300/year subscription.

This KU portal should attract about 50K active KU fans and 20K tertiary basketball fans that want the inside scoop on the Father of All Basketball programs.

The portal will:

--dispense scouting video of up coming opponents telestrated by coaches; --practice and scrimage feeds; --supplemental interactive window for games carried on TV and fed in an adjoining window; --half time interviews; --player interviews; --coach interviews; --player/team grading feeds a day or two after games; --special merchandize; --board for board rats; and --whatever else they can think of.

70,000 suscriptions * $300/yr = $21,000,000 + advertising clicks? $ 1,000,000 + merchandizing sales? $ 250,000 ____ = Total Revenues $22,250,000

Overhead $ 2,000,000
__ Net Benefit $20,250,000 + TV Rev (=split sans Texas) $10,000,000
__ Total take $30,250,000

The money is in the net, not in networks. The politicians have figured this out. The software people have figured this out. The bloggers have figured this out. Wake up Lew and Bernie. We don't need Texas anymore. They need us for their private network. Dump Texas unless they want to share equally. What the heck! Dump them because we just because they are jerks living in the past. Dump them, or you will get dumped, by smart KU alums that are net savvy.

Rock Chalk!

jaybate 7 years, 10 months ago

KU libre! Don't tread on us Texas, OU, TAM.

Carl O'Hair 7 years, 10 months ago

I love seeing good about Russell. He was my favorite player on the team the whole 4 years he was there and now it appears that he may have a chance to get an NBA contract. He was always a better scorer than most thought but did what was best for the team the whole time.

The thing I missed most after he was gone was the introduction that so many people loved to hear when the man said from New York, New York. I was one that went wild hearing that because of what Russell did for the team all 4 years.

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