Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thomas Robinson named to Wooden Award Top 50

KU forward Thomas Robinson (0) and guard Tyshawn Taylor discuss strategy against Tennessee Tech Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU forward Thomas Robinson (0) and guard Tyshawn Taylor discuss strategy against Tennessee Tech Friday, Nov. 27, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Thomas Robinson’s motto of “No Days Off” seems to be paying off.

“A summer of hard work ... I’m glad it’s being recognized,” Robinson, Kansas University’s 6-foot-9, 237-pound junior basketball power forward, said Monday after being named to the John R. Wooden Award Preseason Top 50 list.

“This means a lot to me. It’s a great accomplishment. I’m honored to be on that list,” added Robinson, who received glowing reviews for his play at the Amar’e Stoudemire, LeBron James and adidas Nations camps in July and August.

Happy for himself, Robinson was dismayed KU teammate Tyshawn Taylor didn’t join Big 12 players Marcus Denmon (Missouri), Perry Jones (Baylor) and Khris Middleton (Texas A&M;) on the Wooden preseason list.

“I can’t use the exact language I want to, but, I mean, I am very upset he wasn’t,” Robinson said of the senior point guard from Hoboken, N.J. “Tyshawn is one of the best guards in the country. He’s one of the fastest guards in the country. He knows how to play the game. But you know, all this stuff is just writing. It’s just potential. It means nothing. The real players will come out in November. Tyshawn will be here in November. He will be one of the best players in the country.”

Robinson — he revealed his “No Days Off” mantra while attending KU’s first session of summer school — averaged 7.6 points and 6.4 rebounds a game his sophomore season. He hit a team-leading 60.1 percent of his shots and 51 percent of his free throws.

“I am just going to do whatever I’ve got to do for my team to win. If it means to average 10 points and that will make my team win, that’s what I’m going to do,” Robinson said. “I’m going to play hard, and whatever numbers I end up with, that’s what I end up with.”

Of his free-throw accuracy, he said, “That’s an area that will go up. I will put my team in danger of losing games if it becomes ‘Hack-a-T-Rob,’’’ he added, aware NBA teams would regularly foul Shaquille O’Neal at the end of games because of O’Neal’s inability to hit free throws, a strategy referred to as Hack-a-Shaq.

“I can’t be missing free throws especially if I am going to be the guy that is looked at to finish games this year. Free-throw percentage is something I made a focal point this offseason.”

One of the highlights of the summer was being singled out by Miami Heat standout James at James’ camp in Ohio.

James made a point to tell Robinson he was “strong.”

“That was cool to get a compliment from LeBron, one of the greatest players in the game,” Robinson said. “For me to hear him say I was a good player meant a lot to me, but that also made me more hungry to come to school here and get more players to recognize how good a player I am. That was just the start of it.”

KU’s Marcus Morris was named to the Wooden Award Preseason top 50 last year and later made the 10-member Wooden Award All-America team. Transfers, freshmen and medical red shirts are not eligible for the preseason list. These 50 players and others will be evaluated and considered for December’s midseason list, with the 20-player final ballot released in March. The Wooden All-America Team will be announced the week of the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight. KU’s Danny Manning won the Wooden Award in 1988. It has been in existence since 1976.

Boot camp continues: Monday marked the start of the second and final week of Bill Self’s preseason Boot Camp. Players gather at 6 a.m. at KU’s practice facility for 50 minutes of sprints, defensive slides, backboard touches and other conditioning drills. Players are also expected to be on time for weightlifting, pickup games, classes on campus and nighttime tutoring.

“It's Boot Camp,” Robinson said simply, as he headed toward KU’s weight room for afternoon lifting. “It’s Boot Camp,” he repeated with a smile.

List of Wooden candidates: Tim Abromatis, Notre Dame; Harrison Barnes, North Carolina; Will Barton, Memphis; Dee Bost, Mississippi State; William Buford, Ohio St; Allen Crabbe, Cal; Aaron Craft, OSU; Marcus Denmon, Missouri; Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt; Ashton Gibbs, Pitt; Michael Glover, Iona; Drew Gordon, New Mexico; Draymond Green, Michigan St; JaMychal Green, Alabama; Jorge Gutierrez, Cal; Tim Hardaway, Michigan; Elias Harris, Gonzaga; John Henson, UNC; Tu Holloway, Xavier; Robbie Hummel, Purdue; Joe Jackson, Memphis; Scoop Jardine, Syracuse; John Jenkins, Vandy; Orlando Johnson, UCSB; Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette; Kevin Jones, West Virginia; Terrence Jones, Kentucky; Perry Jones, Baylor; Kris Joseph, Syracuse; Jeremy Lamb, UConn; Kendall Marshall, UNC; Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota; Ray McCallum, Detroit; Doug McDermott, Creighton; Khris Middleton, Texas A&M; Reeves Nelson, UCLA; Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure; Alex Oriakhi, UConn; Thomas Robinson, KU; John Shurna, Northwestern; Peyton SIlva, Louisville; Joshua Smith, UCLA; Jared Sullinger, Ohio St; Jeffery Taylor, Vandy; Jordan Taylor, Wisconsin; Casper Ware, Long Beach St; Maalik Wayns, Villanova; Keith Wright, Harvard; Patric Young, Florida; Tyler Zeller, UNC.


Ferd Magellan 8 years ago

I just love his swagger. My confidence would have taken a major hit if I experienced the same kind of personal loss at his age.

Dennis Mahorney 8 years ago

Seems like every article is an inch different.

Scott Oswalt 8 years ago

He's really good, but better than the Morris twins? I don't know about that... The twins can bang down low and step out and hit the three.

Brian Powell 8 years ago

I think he's better rebounder, better post defender, better hustle and endurance, and better go-get-it around the rim.. but not better overall?

Alec White 8 years ago

I would agree with all your points BP2U, except you could pretty much just sum up the last three (hustle, endurance, and better above the rim) as "better athlete." You could do the same thing on the offensive side of the ball, saying the Twin Towers are better three-point shooters, jump shooters, passers, and free-throw shooters (all true, BTW). I would take the Morri over TRob because of their offensive versatility and superior basketball IQ, but I also do agree TRob is a rebounding machine and defensive presence.

Jabez Harlan 8 years ago

I wouldn't say better player. Better character obviously. T-rob is a different kind of player than either Morris. Better rebounder and hustler yes. Not a better ft shooter or 3pt shooter.

However, I love T-rob more than either Morris and I am really excited to see him and Taylor take over this year!!

Alohahawk 8 years ago

TRob's the man. He knows what he needs to really concentrate on (such as freethrows), to accomplish his and the team's goals. If I were an opponent, and knew it was my job to contain Thomas, I'd be shiverin' in my trainers. Just keep on the floor as long as possible, Thomas, and you'll do fine. This year Mr. Robinson's neighborhood will be home-based in The Phog.


KULA 8 years ago

Congrats to TRob--looking forward to an awesome year! Just up that free throw percentage a bit and cut down on the fouls so you can stay on the court. Possible All American and Big 12 Player of the Year?

Jonathan Andrews 8 years ago

Congrats to T-Rob!

I don't mean to be negative, but see at least 5 guys here who don't even belong in the discussion for top 100 player in college basketball. Ezeli, Craft, Jackson, and that punk Gutierrez, just for example. And Tyler Zeller had to make it, just so UNC could be the only team on this list with 3 players??? :smh

funkitect 8 years ago

unc actually has 4 players... zeller, henson, barnes and marshall...

agreed, it's ridiculous. the media is already trying to hand over the championship to unc... typical bend-over-backwards bias...

lee3022 8 years ago

All the more fun when we beat them in a repeat of 2008!

Jabez Harlan 8 years ago

Ohio St and UCLA also have 3 players on the list if I am not mistaken.

Jabez Harlan 8 years ago

UCLA- Drew Gordon, Josh Smith, Reeves Nelson

Ohio St.- William Buford, Jared Sullinger, Aaron Craft

tis4tim 8 years ago

You know, because Gutierrez was on the list, I had to look up the award to see what the requirements are in determining a winner.

From the Wooden Award website:

"Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award Trophy presented to “The Outstanding College Basketball Player in the United States,” is given to the player who receives the most points in the annual balloting. A candidate’s performance in the regular season, conference tournaments and postseason are taken into account by voters, as is the player’s character."

If character is taken into account, I don't see how that "punk" (as crooner aptly put it) makes the list. Because he did, it appears character is ancillary at best.

AverageCitizen 8 years ago

Not saying I agree but Tyshawn's character has also taken a hit and blown out of proportion because of his silly titter/facebook comments and the exaggeration of the bball and fball scuffle. Maybe that is why Tyshawn didn't make the list. I don't know if Gutierrez only acted like a thug in the KU game or several times but maybe he only showed out only on the court. Reputation is a strange thing. Here's hoping Tyshawn's maturity and bball skills change some peoples mind by mid season and he gets considered.

DDDHawk 8 years ago

Thomas, congratulations on this honor! With your talent and dedication to getting even better, there will be many more to come! Keep up the great work. We can't wait until the first game of the season!

actorman 8 years ago

I love it: FOE last year, NDO this year.

Michael Pannacciulli 8 years ago

6-9...wasn't he about 6-7 when he arrived? His skills are now matching up to his pro body and motor...gonna be a big year for TRob.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years ago

Hudy worked on the physical part and Lebron made his head bigger, combining for the two inch increase.

Mike Kendall 8 years ago


I am looking forward to seeing Thomas play this year. I would love to see him have a great game against a quality opponent, like a Kentucky, for example. Kind of like what Cole Aldrich had against Roy's boys and Carolina in the Big Dance a few years ago. Rock Chalk!

REHawk 8 years ago

Tyshawn, I hope to see you hit the court with an edge in November. We know that you are a much better player than Gutierrez and some of the guards on that Wooden list. Show the NCAA Div. I hoops family who's who!

jaybate 8 years ago

Tyshawn Taylor is going to be one of the five best point guards in America without a doubt.

It is very likely that he will be one of the two best point guards in America.

It is possible that he will be the best.

He is faster and quicker than every other point guard in America right now.

It takes any player a year to transition from one position to another.

His learning season is behind him.

Tyshawn Taylor is going to kick ass and take names later this season.

He is battle tested. He bas seen it all in college basketball. He knows what he has to do and he finally has the emotional and physical maturity, and the experience at the position that the position requires.

He will be the best defensive point guard in the USA from October 15 on; there will be no other point guard that can defend as well as he can. Period.

In terms of single season, Tyshawn is apt to have one of the best seasons of an KU point guards if he avoids injury, but he probably won't get credit for it, because the team will probably not win 30 games and he will not have overwhelming bigs that allow him to free lance and gamble constantly. He is going to have to spend a lot of time managing the team through an extended ugly phase that may not resolve before February.

But Tyshawn is just a fabulous athlete that has grown into fully rounded basketball player with all of the fundamentals hard wired. His concentration has been a problem, but he relentlessly got better at that until at the end of last season he was on task 95% of the time. This off-season his quotes and behavior suggest he can finally stay on task 100% of the time. With unwavering mental focus, Tyshawn is the best guard in America this season. With unwavering focus, Tyshawn will be first round draft pick. If he shoots 40 percent from trey, as I expect him to do with a healed hand, he will be a lottery pick.

There will be no other guards in college basketball this season with the kind of speed and quickness that will allow him to step on an NBA floor and defend the very best guards in the NBA immediately. He will be able to do that.

Tyshawn is gold in a debt currency economy.

His value is set to rise.

Steve Gantz 8 years ago

Jaybate, my side habit is the Wisconsin Badgers and I believe that Jordan Taylor is the better Taylor. I really hope Tyshawn matches him because then we'd have one fantastic guard. Still hoping to see that from Tyshawn.
Rock Chalk (go badgers!)

Ben Simonett 8 years ago

Jordan Taylor and Maalik Wayns are faster and overall better PGs than tyshawn taylor right now.

although not proven at the college level yet, Ausin Rivers and Marquies Teague will most likely prove to be better PGs next season as well,

now factor in others such as Kendall Marshall, Josiah Turner, Kangaroo from Texas, Ashton Giibs, and there is little chance Tyshawn is a top 5 PG next year.

jaybate 8 years ago

P.S.: And as momma always said, "jaybate, sugar, you can't teach speed and quickness to a child. Either you got it, or you ain't."

Joe Baker 8 years ago

Free-throw percentage is something I made a focal point this offseason.

237 lbs of pure muscle. I believe if his FTs improve to 70% or better, he'll have his desired season. Stay focused on and off the court TRob, this season is yours big man. Please go out and have fun and the numbers will come. Ignore the hype and expecations. Play your game, your way and listen to the coaches.

Rock Chalk

jaybate 8 years ago

P.P.S.: The moment Wooden died, hype and regional appeals apparently eclipsed talent as a factor. Wooden must have imposed some credible standards. This list is a joke. I know Tyshawn is being penalized for having thrown a punch at a football player, but that was a couple of years ago and, my god, at least he took his own SAT, goes to a school where players actually attend classes and graduate, and was an exemplary citizen last year and his freshman year. John Wooden would be absolutely incensed at Tyshawn Taylor being left off this list. Here are the players on this Wooden list that are not as good of players, as Tyshawn, nor better citizens than Tyshawn.

Tim Abromatis, Notre Dame; Will Barton, Memphis; Dee Bost, Mississippi State; Allen Crabbe, Cal; Aaron Craft, OSU; Marcus Denmon, Missouri; Festus Ezeli, Vanderbilt; Ashton Gibbs, Pitt; Michael Glover, Iona; Drew Gordon, New Mexico; Draymond Green, Michigan St; JaMychal Green, Alabama; Jorge Gutierrez, Cal; Tim Hardaway, Michigan; Elias Harris, Gonzaga; John Henson, UNC; Tu Holloway, Xavier; Robbie Hummel, Purdue; Joe Jackson, Memphis; Scoop Jardine, Syracuse; John Jenkins, Vandy; Orlando Johnson, UCSB; Darius Johnson-Odom, Marquette;
Perry Jones, Baylor;
Kendall Marshall, UNC; Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota; Ray McCallum, Detroit; Doug McDermott, Creighton; Khris Middleton, Texas A&M;
Andrew Nicholson, St. Bonaventure; Alex Oriakhi, UConn;
John Shurna, Northwestern; Peyton SIlva, Louisville; Joshua Smith, UCLA; Jeffery Taylor, Vandy;
Casper Ware, Long Beach St; Maalik Wayns, Villanova; Keith Wright, Harvard.

Being selected to the Wooden Award list used to be an honor.

Now it is just another hype award.

Alohahawk 8 years ago

You mis-spelled Missery and Evillanova.

jaybate 8 years ago

Frankly, if I were Thomas Robinson, I might consider playing a great season, winning the Wooden Award, and then declining it with a statement that reads: "To be associated with John Wooden in any way is a great privilege and honor and I want to thank those that voted for me. I also want to say that it was a goal of mine to win this award. But John Wooden was such a principled man and he so believed in devotion to team and teammates, and to fair play in all things, that he would have wanted me to decline this award this year, to call attention to the disrespect and unfairness this organization evidenced when leaving my exemplary teammate, Tyshawn Taylor, off this list. Tyshawn is as good of a person, student, teammate and basketball player as I have had the privilege in my young life to associate with. Coach Wooden most certainly would have wanted me to decline the award in hopes that by so doing, I will help prevent further oversights to future players. And so I am doing what Coach Wooden would have wanted me to do with a heavy heart and sorrow that I cannot in good conscience accept this award, even though I worked as hard as I possibly could to get better in hopes of winning it. Please accept my sincere apology, and please be more careful in selecting players in the future. Thank you."

Theutus 8 years ago

Principled, and with devotion to team and teamates? Taylor has violated team policy and/or put us in national headlines (in a negative light) multiple times. He's shown less team commitment and principles than any other player on the roster.

I'm hoping the kid finally has a breakout year this year... But lets not completely forget about the past 3. He was front man in the fight with the football team... His facebook antics embarrassed the school... He got caught doing god knows what last year and suspended mid-season (really high principles and devotion to your team and teammates, getting suspended mid season).

By all means, i hope he's grown up... But trying to claim he's a bastion of principles? Laughable. He hasn't even proven he can get through a season without doing something stupid and getting suspended for it.

That being said, it seems like he's finally realizing this is his last opportunity... I hope he comes out and shows that he's matured and actually leads this team. He definitely has the ability, it's just getting that head of his screwed on right.

jaybate 8 years ago

This was a truly vile post, even for you.

Truly, you are lower than a pipe worm on a vent in the Marianas Trench.

This kid is a wonderful kid and you have just dumped all over him.

This kid is preparing to lead this team through the toughest schedule any Self team has ever faced, and you have the fantastic tininess of testes to bust his chops for punching a football player.

Why I would have made him a letter man for that alone!

This kid just lead last year's team to a conference title and 30 win season in his first try at being a point guard.

Finding your post was like finding a turd in my milk pitcher.

Finding your post made me feel like George Patton finding a battle fatigue case in the tent with all the rest of the physically wounded men.

It outraged me to see this post among actual Jayhawks talking sports.

You stunk up this tent, Theutus.

You disgraced a 4 year man as he prepares to lead a team in XTReme Muscle ball.

You have given aid and comfort to our enemies.

You have justified the horrendous oversight of the Wooden list.

Your alias makes me sick!

I used to loath you, but I thought you were a Jayhawk.

Now you are a disgrace to the word Jayhawk.

Now you are a small, pitiful, treasonous alias, giving off a vile odor in a tent full of brave fans and lion hearted players.

Tyshawn Taylor has more courage and valor and honor in one hair on his arm than you have in your entire virtual body.

Dismissed, you nauseating piece of human excrement. :-)

KGphoto 8 years ago

Nice. I'm keeping this. Especially this...

"Now you are a small, pitiful, treasonous alias, giving off a vile odor in a tent full of brave fans and lion hearted players."

Can I use this on Ahperse?

Joe Baker 8 years ago

This is TTs year. We've been waiting for him to breakout for the last 3 yrs. He showed some flashes of his potential last year and then just settled for TT as usual. This is not a usual TT year.

TT - this is your senior year. Please play like a senior leader and live like a senior leader on and off the court. It's go time, it's showtime, its NC time...Rock Chalk Style.

Review this before every game:

jaybate 8 years ago

“No Days Off”--He is a driven player. Drive + talent = greatness.

But Thomas, you still need to take some breaks.

Ben Simonett 8 years ago


"He’s one of the fastest guards in the country. He knows how to play the game."

Is Tyshawn one of the faster guards in the country? Yes. Does he know how to use that speed to his advantage i.e. "how to play the game"? three years of evidence suggests no, he doesn't.

Dont get me wrong i truly hope tyshawn finally figures it out this year, but if i had to put money down i would wager he doesn't.

jaybate 8 years ago

Don't get me wrong, I truly hope Tyshawn leads the team to another 30 win season, after leading it to a thirty win season last year, and when he does, don't get me wrong, I hope he Twitters, all you guys that were disrespecting him: "Hey, you bunch of ingrates, kiss my vacuole. :-)

Ben Simonett 8 years ago


i've learned to put disclaimer son all my realist posts to prevent the ineveitable flaming that I attract whenever i say something not completely positive about our beloved basketball team.

that last sentence was my CYA statement.

KGphoto 8 years ago

I think the thing that sets TT apart at the point guard position is his combination of speed and length. When he drives the lane from the arc, he only needs two steps and a long arm extension to bank it high off the glass. If he is able to get that cursed runner of his to fall, he will be nearly unstoppable. That's a big "if", but he can create that shot for himself anytime he wants.

I'm also hoping we see a whole lot of alley-oops from these two this year. Some of those coming after TT draws the double team on those drives and leaves Mr. Zero alone under the rim.

Sally Presson 8 years ago

TT is a great player, but he's got to keep his head on straight. His comment last year, he'd have to see which tyshawn shows up is way scarey. Either the good Tyshawn or the bad Tyshawn. This year is it, I'm looking forward to the "Good" Tyshawn. Love, love T-Rob, always have from his first day at KU. And he keeps on amazing us with his strong character and work ethic. He will be an outstanding role model for our new guys. Can hardly wait for late night!!!

Go Hawks!!!

lee3022 8 years ago

That Thomas is included here and follows so many great big men in college basketball from KU is an amazing tribute to the coaching staff and training staff. There are no better in the country.

People here have generally been disenchanted with the recruits this year. Yet given a year under Hudy and they will sport muscles like Thomas who was routinely panned as a freshman. They come as boys and leave as men. Kudos to them all.

Alohahawk 8 years ago

I don't disagree that Hudy and Manning are a great combination. However, TRob was a man-child when he arrived at KU. I believe it was said he did, among other exercises, about two hundred pushups a day while in high school. He's added bulk, but it's not like he was average-sized when he got to KU.

And, on a completely different note: I don't know if it is just my computer, but I tried to get back to this post since my earlier post above (about 3 hours), to check that it posted okay. Don't know if it was advertising that caused the problem, but I kept getting the header with the picture of TRob, followed by an even larger picture ad for Gaga or Dada, whatever the name was. The post just locked up and I had to exit off the internet completely. Has anyone else had this same problem? If it was the advertising, I hope this isn't something that continues or gets worse (hint, hint, LJW).

I didn't have problems when I went to the other KU sports posts, just this one, which is the most recent and could indicate that more advertising will be added in the future. Is the all-mighty dollar (advertising) going to ruin this site like it is doing to college conferences?

mikehawk 8 years ago

For Tyshawn to be among the elite point guards, he must develop a jump shot that can be respected. It doesn't have to be a three (although that would be wonderful), but he needs at least a pull up to go with this speed. He also needs to develop a higher level passing game. While I love Tyshawn, he relies so much on his speed and drive, it leaves his game slightly one dimensional. Some of these deficiencies could be offset by complimentary skills evident in the 2 guard, whomever that turns out to be. When Tyshawn wants to, he can play great defense and increases his value immeasurably. He seems hot and cold defensively, however. Maturity in Tyshawn, or lack thereof, has been his greatest weakness. However, seniors tend to grow up with the reality that "this is it." For T-Rob to really blossom, he needs consistent help from Withey, or it is just going to be collapse on Thomas time. He won't get the luxury of everyone keying on one of the twins. His limited offensive skills require two or three other players demanding respect, which will enhance his success. It is critical he learn to stay out of foul trouble, or it may be a long season.

jaybate 8 years ago

Correction: for him to be an elite pro point guard he has to develop a jump shot that can be respected.

But in college ball, shooting at the point is completely unnecessary to be called elite.

Baja KU aka UNC has produced an endless stream of hapless shooting point guards that are routinely considered elite.

Woody Cragg 8 years ago

JB, have you digressed or what? TRob is da' man! TT is an apparition, an after thought, a Jersey Boy. Are you alright? He'll have his moment-likely many of them, we'll see. Just w

ait patiently to drive the big bus, he won't disappoint. If TRob could stay thru his Sr yr, & injury free, he'll be top dog in the whole show. Danny has his karma, & we've all a bond with him that reason can't explain. He could be the absolute greatest Jaybird EVER! It's could be another + "Majical Mystery Tour", all over again old friend. So ride the wave bud, even ole' Gen Patton said, "victory is fleeting."

Vernon Riggs 8 years ago

Can anyone give me the latest news on Braeden Anderson?

REHawk 8 years ago

Alohahawk, my computer did a similar lockup on this article fifteen minutes ago.

dcwlives11 8 years ago

T Rob's the man, know without a doubt that he is gonna have a phenom season, just hope that Tyshawn plays to his full potential. At the end of last season he was playing great. T Rob's is one of the strongest players in the country Tyshawn is one of the quickest. Strength & Speed is never a bad combo!!

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