Originally published April 8, 2012 at 04:38p.m., updated April 8, 2012 at 11:43p.m.

Thomas Robinson to announce decision to enter NBA Draft on Monday

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, second from left, smiles as he and teammates Travis Releford, left, Tyshawn Taylor and Jeff Withey respond to questions during a press conference on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Superdome.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson, second from left, smiles as he and teammates Travis Releford, left, Tyshawn Taylor and Jeff Withey respond to questions during a press conference on Sunday, April 1, 2012 at the Superdome.


Kansas University junior basketball forward Thomas Robinson will announce his intentions to enter the NBA Draft at an 11:30 a.m. news conference today in Allen Fieldhouse.

KU coach Bill Self confirmed to the Journal-World on Sunday that Robinson would be turning pro. Self indicated he would say no more until the news conference.

The news of the 6-foot-10 Robinson’s leaving, of course, comes as no shock. It has long been believed Robinson would be entering his name in the 2012 NBA Draft following this, his junior season.

He’s listed as the No. 4 pick overall by and No. 2 overall pick by

Robinson, who was a first-team consensus All-American and runner-up to Kentucky’s Anthony Davis for the Wooden Award and AP player of the year, averaged 17.9 points and 11.8 rebounds a game as the Jayhawks stormed to their eighth consecutive Big 12 title and reached the national championship game.

Last week, Self told the J-W’s Tom Keegan: “The thing is, he’s earned the right to move on. This kid finished second for national player of the year, consensus All-American, he’s going to get his jersey hung, won the league, took his team to the finals. And in the finals, everybody talks about Anthony Davis, who was great. Thomas had 18 and 17. Missed two dunks, had 18 and 17. He’s a stud, and it’s time. So many of us have said or believed you’ve got to strike while the iron’s hot. Iron’s hot for him.”

Banquet tonight: Today’s KU basketball banquet figures to be the most festive since the 2008 dinner that honored the NCAA champs.

Ninth-year coach Self believes a throng of 1,000 or so fans, who will break bread at 6:30 p.m. at the Holidome, are eager to recognize the accomplishments of this 32-7 team.

“I’ve gotten a lot of letters and several e-mails. I haven’t gone through all of them yet,” Self said of appreciative correspondence. “The thing that amazes me is from our Jayhawk Nation, the sense that I get, it was the most pleasant of surprises. I got the impression that we had tempered expectations enough and rightfully so that anything that happened like it did this year would be a bonus.”

After all, this is the KU team that played with no McDonald’s All-Americans and just one returning starter — Tyshawn Taylor — from the Morris twins-led 35-3 Big 12 title/Elite Eight team of 2010-11.

“You know this program has won more games than anybody in the history of college basketball the last six years. There has never been a run like we’ve been on as far as winning games,” said Self, whose team was 197-29 over that span. “You can say Florida was a better run. They won two (titles in going 68-11 overall in 2005-06 and 2006-07), we’ve only won one. Still, we’ve been on a terrific run, but this was going to be the transition year, without question. But you couldn’t tell Thomas or Tyshawn or those kids that.

“And they played at such a high level, and it wasn’t always pretty, but they bought into how we needed to play to win.”

His Jayhawks, nicknamed the “Comeback Kids” by junior guard Elijah Johnson, gritted their way to several come-from-behind wins in the NCAAs. KU led at halftime in just one of the six games — against No. 15-seed Detroit Mercy. The Jayhawks were ahead of Detroit by 10 after 20 minutes, but trailed Purdue by six and North Carolina State by one, were tied with North Carolina, and trailed Ohio State by nine and Kentucky by 14.

“It was a great team to be around,” Self said. “I felt like the ’08 team I probably had a better idea of what was going on around it because we were always ranked in the top five, all year long. And you just kind of felt the media attention and all that. Hey, this one, I was in the eye of the storm and didn’t have a clue what was going on around it. It was just a remarkable feeling.”

He has replayed the Kentucky game in his mind a few times. KU trailed by as many as 18 the first half. KU cut it to five late but could get no closer in a 67-59 defeat.

“During the course of the game, we missed three dunks,” Self said. “We executed perfectly on two plays down the stretch that most times you’re going to come away with five points, and you come away with zero. We missed some key free throws. That could have easily been a one-possession game. And what I told our guys all along: ‘We’re not going to blow these guys out, let’s get it in the last five minutes and see if the collar gets tight.’

“And we were one possession away from really making it a stressful-type environment, but Kentucky’s great. They’re better than us. But for one night I thought we could be better than them. We just weren’t that first half. We just dug ourselves too big a hole.”

Still Self can’t help but wonder, what if?

“We had a loose-ball play, we were down five, and we didn’t get the loose ball,” he said. “If we get it, it’s three (point game) because it was going to be a break-away layup. And we end up having to foul and they make free throws.”

He’s proud enough of the effort to be willing to watch the tape of the title game in coming weeks.

“I won’t look at it to learn anything from it. You don’t look at a tape and say, ‘We could learn from it if we just make our dunks.’ Geez, we just missed them, and they’re plays we’ve been making all year long. Kentucky’s just terrific. It’s hard to simulate that type of length. We think Jeff Withey’s long. He’s not long compared to Anthony Davis, and although Jeff is long, but compared to that, that’s just a whole different deal. He can guard a point guard, switches on ball screens. It was just a hard team to score on.

“And then you think about it, ‘Well, why don’t you just shoot threes?’ Well, that’s not who we are. Well, ‘Why don’t you have a stretch four man?’ That’s not who we are. You’ve got to play within who you are. We actually did that. We ran some good offense in the first half and just came away empty.

“Thomas rushed a couple of shots, but at the end of the day, I walked out of there sad for our guys that we lost because they were hurting so bad. They never ever dreamed that anybody could beat them. Very, very proud of them at the same time.”

Woodberry to Tulsa: Former KU guard Steve Woodberry will be named an assistant coach on Danny Manning’s Tulsa coaching staff, the Tulsa World reported. Woodberry has worked the past six years as assistant coach at Missouri State. He attended Tulsa’s spring football game Saturday. Former KU player Brett Ballard and former KU manager Justin Bauman have already been named to the Hurricane staff.


RockChalk26 2 years ago

Congrats T-Rob! Best of luck in the future


ku_foaf 2 years ago

Good Luck and thanks for the memories, Thomas.


Alex Resnik 2 years ago

Looks like Scott Drew is what all of us thought he is.. a freaking cheater. If you read a little further down in the article it says that the Equestrian team is facing sanctions... wow Baylor, wow.....


Bruce Rist 2 years ago

not to get off track... Any idea who is replacing Danny Manning on the coaching staff?


KUFan90 2 years ago

Woodberry working with awesome is that! Tulsa is my new second favorite team!


Joe Baker 2 years ago

Could Parker be waiting for TRob's official word? Parker is set to announce April 11. Apparently Shabazz and Parker will both announce on 11 April.

May be a great day for UCLA or a bitter sweet day for KU. We lose TRob, but may gain Parker. I really don't think dook is in the mix. I think he's down to UCLA, KU and OSU in that order. His parents like dook, but Parker has said he likes dook and has reservations about their big man development. He joked about a 5'11 coach teaching him post moves at dook. At this point anything is possible. I'm not getting my hopes up on Parker too much except we have an equal shot at him.


KEITHMILES05 2 years ago

TRob will be going on another journey in life and the last 3 years has been something he never dreamed of. I pray for his guidance as the KU family will not be there for him and he has a support system to help him.

The article states 2008 had a basketball banquet. That is absolutely false as Lew Perkins cancelled that after we won the championship. There was no banquet and Lew refused to return the ticket holders money. That was a mini scandal also. LOL


KansasComet 2 years ago

Hopefully, Jamari Traylor will do a great job next year, after having a year to learn from one of the best. Kansas has the best Basketball Program in all of College Basketball.


Justin Kruse 2 years ago

Maybe Self and T-Rob are playing a late April Fool's joke on all of us and he's going to announce tonight that he's staying! Best prank ever!

But seriously, good luck Thomas. You deserve this and we've loved watching you these past three years. You will always be a Jayhawk first, no matter where you are.


REHawk 2 years ago

Thomas, we know that a huge chunk of your heart will remain in Lawrence where your return will always be received warmly. And, hey, with the Jayhawk coaching tree expanding almost exponentially, you might someday walk in the shoes of Danny Manning, occupying the pine as a Division One coach, carrying on the style and tradition of your Jayhawk mentors. Very few Jayhawk players have ever received so many best wishes for a bright early departure from Kansas Basketball. Here's hoping that your sails catch the very best of all winds. Come home often.


Steve Yeakel 2 years ago

Great season by players and coaches. The NCAA Tourney is the most important thing to me, much more important than the Big 12 regular season or tourney, and we erased some of the pain or early tourney losses this year. I hope that Coach Self switches his focus to that being the most important thing. I would never trade him for any other coach, just hope that he makes this one change in focus. Great job Jayhawks!


Danny Hernandez 2 years ago

And here's to you Mr. Robinson. You've been a great ambassador for Kansas University. We will never forget you, ever!

And Thank you for everything....Now go make your mark in the NBA


baldwinjhawk 2 years ago

How many players returned for another year and watched their NBA stock plummet? I can name two right away. Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones. They were two top five picks last season. Maybe top 15 now. How many players have returned one more year and torn an ACL and tha was the end of a career? TRob has responsibilities and we gotta respect that and what he did for this team this year. Good luck! And may the odds be Ever in your favor! RCJH


Jayhawk_4_Life 2 years ago

You'll have multiple millions of fans the second you're drafted in the NBA: Jayhawk Nation. We love and respect you as a person, not just a player. Keep up the hard work and the sky is the limit for you. FOE.


Dan Pawlowski 2 years ago

Miss you T-Rob but I wish you all the success in the NBA. Most of all I wish you get drafted by a team that can use you immediately so you can get some major PT. Jayhawk Nation has your back. Godspeed.


STLJayhawk10 2 years ago

No one is more deserving of millions of dollars than thomas robinson. A hell of a man and has been through more than anyone can imagine. Good luck in the nba trob. Ill miss your passion and enthusiasm for ku. Once a jayhawk always a jayhawk. #foe


Mark Lindrud 2 years ago

We knew he was going and I'm looking forward to him doing great in the NBA. Good luck TRob. Take care of your sis and I wish you well. You'll have the money to finish your degree.


IrishCharlie 2 years ago

Pay cut..................


Hibachi33 2 years ago

Good luck and Thank you Thomas!

I wish you a long and successful NBA career followed by a great post-basketball life.


Hawktacular 2 years ago

I am very happy for Thomas Robinson. He is certainly one of my all-time favorite Jayhawks. Just a question for a few that have posted about TRob taking custody of Jayla. How exactly would an active NBA basketball player (the travel, the time away, etc.) take custody of a minor?


DDDHawk 2 years ago

Thomas- KU fans will be behind you for the next part of your journey, whatever it is. Good luck!


Alohahawk 2 years ago

A toast to Mr. Thomas Robinson, affectionately known as TRob and the number "0". This season's team, fans and coaches owe you a lot, and we extend our congratulates for everything you've achieved, both on and off the court. You were an important cog in this season's success, a season which no one can ever thank you enough for. Yes, your jersey will be hung in the AFH rafters, but that will only be a small part of the reason you'll be remembered at KU. (Not that the accomplishments it will represent will be any less appreciated.) >I'm just one of many KU fans, but I extend my personal appreciation and a huge "Mahalo." for representing KU so very well. While it may be difficult to leave KU and your teammates, just remember, "Home is where the heart is.", and there are a lot of Jayhawk fans in Lawrence and around the Jayhawk Nation whose hearts go with you. And the tree you planted, a special part of the Robinson family's legacy, will continue to live on at KU. Rock Chalk Jayhawks, K U!! (All caps)


lee3022 2 years ago

Thomas has given us so much of his life already that he definitely needs to move forward with his career. What a great three years! I agree with those who point out the need to establish a home for Jayla. He can begin to put some stability in her life. We do have players coming in to man the 'bigs' position as well as Withey and Young and others. It is a natural part of the process - when they are ready for the next step we encourage them to take it. Thanks Thomas.


Jack Wilson 2 years ago

TRob is exactly what we want here. Just like the Marcus and Markieff. Three year players that developed into studs and earned their NBA draft positions not on "potential", but on what they actually did on the court. Here's to more like him.


Hank Cross 2 years ago

He done all he can and we can ask no more. If someone offers you the opportunity TRob has - you take it. Take it before you get injured playing TCU, etc.

Best of luck TRob - you'll always be remembered as one of our favorites.


Benjamin Piehler 2 years ago

Thomas has some grown up problems to deal with. The money he receives for signing will go a long way towards getting custody of Jayla. It would be a mistake to risk that.


Oread420 2 years ago

He would be an idiot if he stayed. He might go as high as #2 and definitely has the skills now for the next level. I wish him luck in the Pros, the same with Tyshawn.


rockchalkxii 2 years ago

Can't wait to see him in the Association. I definitely think he can be an All Star on a consistent basis. It will be fun seeing him when not being double/triple teamed. Good luck Mr. Robinson and we'll see ya when you get your name in the rafters!


KUUBERFAN 2 years ago

Go T Rob...You showed up every night for old go reap your hard work with those nice NBA bucks.. so you can take care of little will be missed.


BPSkelly 2 years ago

He should go pro while he's a top 3 draft pick. Why risk that? The money between 1st and 3rd isnt that great anymore with the NBA salary cap... its not like he "gains" even if he were to come back and be the first pick.

College is there to get you ready for lifes next step. He's more ready now than most of us were probably when graduated.

Good luck to him. It was sooooooo much fun watching him develop and play.


Eric Baker 2 years ago

I would be upset if he DIDN'T leave. It's the perfect time, he lead us to the title game, he can finish his degree in his own time, and he has an amazing opportunity to be a top NBA player. Reap your rewards, Thomas Robinson!


JHAWKNPHX 2 years ago

You have exceeded your duties here at KU TRob!! Go get your paycheck and 0 will be up top in 5. In this day and time with the 1nD we need our pro players to leave before 4 yrs. Sad to say but kids want the fast track to $$$ and it can be a KU just as well as UK. We love you TRob and I will always wear my 0 jersey as I have with the 25 and 13. Great luck and RCjHK!!!


ajtaylor 2 years ago

Anyone know where the banquet is being held? The Holidome? And what time?


Clarence Haynes 2 years ago

He has been on what is already a long journey from his early days in DC! Lawrence and KU has served him well and in turn he has left us something to be proud of! Looks like that journey continues to a new venue and I am sure that T-Rob will make us all proud that he wore the Crimson and Blue! God bless him!


ahpersecoachingexperience 2 years ago

Anyone suggesting T-Rob should stay needs to be punched in the junk!

So long T-Rob, see ya in the rafters!


Ryan Michael 2 years ago

According to Andy Katz, Self already told him that Robinson is declaring for the draft...

No surprise at all, but that should pretty much settle it.


Shawn Otrimble 2 years ago

Please don't be selfish people. Thomas has earned all of our respect and we can only hope that we some day get a player with such drive and determination. He represented what it means to be a jayhawk at the highest level. It's time for him to go get a big paycheck, God knows he deserves it.


Ichabodhawk 2 years ago

He doesn't need the money to take care of Jayla. Jayla has all the money she will need for a while because of the scholarship fund and everything that was set up for her last year. This decision can't be about the money to provide for Jayla this decision will be made because he has nothing left to prove. It's wishful thinking that he will stay.


KUUBERFAN 2 years ago

Good for T Rob....going to get paid. He did his best at old KU. Heres to a sucessfull NBA career. Now lets get that last big recruit and have a fantastic 12-13 campaign...


Brennan Keller 2 years ago

Time for T-Rob to take his game to the next leve! Rock Chalk!


PAjayhawk22 2 years ago

Sorry pitbull but its apples and oranges. TRob is more than "pretty good", he's a top 3 prospect and is much more polished and NBA ready than the twins were. Not saying i know the Morris' life story but TRob's motivation and determination is undeniable. It would be selfish of us fans to want him to stay when he has such a bright future ahead of him. Would LOVE to see him go to his hometown Wizards!


NanaJayhawk 2 years ago

Please don't go. Just hang in for one more year. Get your degree and then go on with the rest of your life.


Paula Kissinger 2 years ago

Better stick around another year and get your degree. Make your mama proud. Don't end up like Marcus. You are pretty good but could use that extra year and there is life after basketball that, at any time, can be taken away from you.


Jackalope7 2 years ago

I'm ok with this. He's been nothing but a model player and person. He did it the right way. I don't own a KU Jersey, but if I did, it would have "Robinson" on the back of it. Do great things in the League, T-Rob. And thanks for the memories. RCJH.


Kyle Coffey 2 years ago

p> reporting that Self told Andy Katz that T-Rob is gone.. Sad day, but happy that he can support Jayla and that he was able to fight through his tragedies.


Andy Rieger 2 years ago

The picture with Marcus, Tyshawn and the Game while in LA last night reaffirms expectations and destroys hope. What a stud.


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