Kansas defeats North Dakota, 84-58

  • 3 p.m., Dec. 31, 2011
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Elite company: Thomas Robinson posts first KU 30/20 game in 50 years as Jayhawks rout UND

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson pulls back for a dunk off a breakaway against North Dakota during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson pulls back for a dunk off a breakaway against North Dakota during the second half on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 84-58 victory over North Dakota on Dec. 31, 2011.

Download podcast

ESPN video

Highlights: KU vs. North Dakota


KU vs. North Dakota

video thumbnail

Kansas head men's basketball coach Bill Self addressed the media after defeating North Dakota, 84-58, on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

The only players in Big 12 men’s basketball history to score 30 points and grab 20 rebounds in a game are ...

• Blake Griffin (twice)

• Kevin Durant

• Michael Beasley

• Mario Boggan

• ... and Kansas University’s Thomas Robinson.

“Nice names right there,” Robinson, KU’s junior power forward from Washington, D.C., said with a smile, after setting career best marks in points (30) and boards (21) in the Jayhawks’ 84-58 rout of North Dakota on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

“That’s good company,” chimed in senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, who also had a big day with 18 points and five assists.

Robinson hit 10 of 14 shots — including the first three-pointer of his career — and nine of 12 free throws. He grabbed 13 defensive rebounds and eight offensive, all adding up to KU’s first 30/20 performance in 50 years.

Wayne Hightower scored 36 points and secured 21 rebounds in an 88-73 victory over Missouri on Feb. 13, 1961. The incomparable Wilt Chamberlain is the only other Jayhawk to hit for 30 points/20 rebounds (seven times).

“It definitely was a great accomplishment to get that,” Robinson said after grabbing the most boards by a Jayhawk since Nick Collison’s 21 versus Syracuse in the 2003 NCAA title game. Robinson’s 30 points were most by a Jayhawk since Marcus Morris’ 33 versus Iowa State last season.

“Coach’s big thing before the game was to get momentum before conference, to send a message and get in the flow of everything. We wanted to make a statement today that we’re ready,” Robinson added.

KU will meet Kansas State at 7 p.m., Wednesday, in Allen Fieldhouse in the Big 12 opener for both teams.

Coach Bill Self can only hope Robinson plays as well as he did Saturday. The 6-10, 237-pounder passed quickly out of double-team situations on a day he tied a career high with four assists.

“If I didn’t get those assists, I probably wouldn’t have 30 points,” Robinson said. “Coach has been stressing to me for 90 percent of the season if I learn how to play the game outside of the double-team, eventually the offense would come through me. I fought it a little bit. I finally listened to him and the man knows what he’s talking about.”

Self smiled when told of Robinson’s comments.

“That’s nice of him to say that,” Self said. “Thomas gets frustrated too easy. Teams that double-team him ... the best way to get them not to double-team him is to be very effective passing the ball out of double-teams as opposed to going one-on-two. I told him if we were patient and he became a better screener and passer, he’d score more points. He certainly had an opportunity to today. He only took 14 shots and still gets 30.”

Self said he’s been especially proud of Robinson during this holiday season — Robinson’s first Christmas without his mom, grandmother and grandfather who all died in a month span last winter.

“This is a tough time of year for him. It is so good to see him come out and play. He played with joy today, the first time I think he has played with joy in a while,” Self said.

“The last few weeks have been very trying for him. He’s handled it pretty well. I don’t think he’ll ever completely get over it. Maybe do a little better each and every year as you move forward.”

Robinson was able to spend some time with his sister, Jayla, over Christmas in Washington, D.C.

“She’s doing well. Thomas is happy about that. He feels good about that situation knowing she is doing well (living with her dad) and is healthy. I think that’s a big relief for him coming back after Christmas,” Self said.

Robinson said he’s been pleased with his play so far for the Jayhawks, who went 10-3 during the nonconference season.

“I wanted to be the best player in the country, to achieve the expectations set for me. It was something I’d never seen before,” Robinson said of preseason expectations. “I didn’t want to let anybody down. We still have a long year ahead and we have a lot of goals to meet.”

Of his improvement since last season, he said: “I can’t even put it into words. I know I’m a better player. I am more patient. I know more about the game. It’s all about having more experience on the floor. I’m still getting better.”

Robinson and Taylor scored 12 points apiece the first half as the Jayhawks took a comfy 37-21 lead into the break. Travis Releford scored 11 of his 14 points the second half, while Elijah Johnson netted 11 total points and Conner Teahan nine. Jeff Withey, who was ineffective in a short eight-minute stint, had just two points and two boards. Nobody else scored.

“I thought Tyshawn and Elijah did some good things, but we can’t go 6-for-27 from three, that is ridiculous,” Self said. Johnson was 2-10 from three; Teahan 1-6 and Taylor 1-3. “We have better shooters than that, but our two best ones go 3-for-16. We will do better than that, but we did some good things today and I thought the guys that played the majority of the minutes did some really good things offensively.”

As far as the story of the day ... “Thomas scored the most points ever, gets the most rebounds and he played the most unselfish he’s ever played. I thought he played great. He needed that. That was really good,” Self said, adding, “He is a terrific kid.”


fansincewilt 7 years, 4 months ago

That's some pretty good company he's keeping.

chriz 7 years, 4 months ago

"The man knows what he's talking about." Love it.

jayhawker_97 7 years, 4 months ago

"I’m still getting better.” - you got that right. we're gonna see more 30/20 in the upcoming big-12 conf games. they'd better be afraid!

batchief0190 7 years, 4 months ago

Didn't Collison have a 30/30 game a few years back.I can't remember who they played or what year it was, but Dickie V gave him a standing ovation

NH_JHawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Collison had 24 points and 23 rebounds vs. Texas in AFH back in 2003.

WilburNether 7 years, 4 months ago

It was nice to hear Wayne Hightower's name come up. He was a fine, do-a-bit-of-everything kind of player.

Tony Bandle 7 years, 4 months ago

Kentucky, Duke, Georgetown and Ohio State plus UCLA and USC......I don't want to hear anybody bitching about our non-con schedule.

Except for the Davidson hiccup, we'd be Top 10 right now.

Let's just wait and see how good these Big 12 teams really are!!

They might drive to a league championship but the road still goes through Lawrence!!

LAJayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

As of Friday, mizzou's SOS was 324 out of 345 (according to KenPom). They're a good team, but they did themselves no favors in playing William and Mary, Kennesaw St., Binghamton, Northwestern St, Niagara, Mercer, SE Missouri St, Navy, etc.... and they barely knocked off Old Dominion.

I'm not trying to diminish how good of a team mizzou is (and they can't help it that Cal, ND and Villanova aren't very good this year), but I do think our very tough non-con is going to give us a significantly bigger advantage going into conference play.

CrissaxJayhawk16 7 years, 4 months ago

I completely agree! I think Mizzou is pretty good but we would have the same record as they do if we played their schedule. We weren't blown out at all by our opponents either, our worse loss was by ten points! That's pretty good for playing Kentucky, Duke and Ohio State. Yeah we lost to Davidson, but let's not act like North Carolina didn't lose to UNLV, anyone is beatable. Davidson caught us on a bad night. Conference play should be interesting this year, I'm excited to see what the other Big 12 teams are made of and what we're made of.

Clarence Haynes 7 years, 4 months ago

TRob opened up ESPN Highlight Express this morning!

LAJayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Um... what??

We're ranked 27th nationally in 3 point percentage and 1st in the Big 12...

Tyshawn is shoot 51.4% from trey, for the love of James Naismith.....

LAJayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

Woops, my bad, that was last years stats. We're actually ranked 203 right now....

But TT is shooting 51%.

FLJHK 7 years, 4 months ago

Of all the great Jayhawk players of recent years, I think TRob will have the most productive career in the league. Dude is amazing and only getting better.

tical523 7 years, 4 months ago

T rob was very impressive yesterday, played so smart and in rhythm with the offense. You know you are a stud when you can have a quiet 31 points, I would have thought he had like 24 or so. Great to hear his excitement about passing because quick passes out of double teams will make him impossible to guard and our offense very very efficient. . . .now if we could just get EJ to take it to the cup instead of being Kyle Corver out there. Rock chalk T ROB.

addlime 7 years, 4 months ago

"I wanted to be the best player in the country, to achieve the expectations set for me. It was something I’d never seen before,” Robinson said of preseason expectations.

While I love the motivational aspect of all this, I hope T-Rob understands that the fans don't necessarily expect this of him. There are some fantastic ballers in the NCAA right now, and he is clearly one of them. I hope he doesn't feel any pressure to live up to anyone else's goals but his own. We'll all enjoy his performances and appreciate him no matter what.

AsadZ 7 years, 4 months ago

It is great to see T-Rob getting 30 pts/20 rebounds. No doubt he had a great game and he has worked very hard for it. I am really happy for him considering how he has battled tragedies in past 12 months. It is also pleasing to see how he is learning to play within himself and not do too much when double/tripl teamed, he is letting game come to himself.

I'd hope that we continue to see improvement in his game as competition gets tougher during upcoming conference games.

Rock Chalk T-Rob - F.O.E

Tim Orel 7 years, 4 months ago

You should click the photo so see the full thing. That's an outstanding photo and worth keeping for a long, long time.

Mike Kendall 7 years, 4 months ago

Ring, ring, ring! Hey, T-Rob---the phone call is for you. It's the NBA calling. Should I take a message?

Notice all the players that were listed above and accomplished what T-Rob did against North Dakota were NBA lottery picks. You keep good company, Sir Thomas! Keep improving--Rock Chalk!

lee3022 7 years, 4 months ago

The numbers are far less important to me than the learning. Coach is a man who knows what he is talking about. That is why players come to Kansas. They learn and grow and develop from the coaching. Now Thomas can set his sights on Wilt's seven times.

Hammertoe 7 years, 4 months ago

The Best Coach in Kansas is name Bill S (ynder). It's football season.

Marshall Ballard 7 years, 4 months ago

Does Bill "Synder" also teach spelling?

Maybe Hammer took one too many shots to the head...should have had the Browns do that concussion check there buddy!

Ben Simonett 7 years, 4 months ago

"Coach has been stressing to me for 90 percent of the season if I learn how to play the game outside of the double-team, eventually the offense would come through me. I fought it a little bit. I finally listened to him and the man knows what he’s talking about.”

Why does it always take 3 years for the kids to figure that out?

jayhawktalk 7 years, 4 months ago

Unless I missed it while scrolling through the comments, no one noticed and/or mentioned TRobs arms in that picture? Are you freaking kidding me? That doesn't even look real!?!

Dude looks like a super hero that stepped straight out of a comic book.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.