Thursday, February 16, 2012

KU’s Thomas Robinson, UK’s Anthony Davis neck-and-neck

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson vies for a rebound with Kentucky forward Anthony Davis during the second half Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson vies for a rebound with Kentucky forward Anthony Davis during the second half Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York.


Kansas University’s Thomas Robinson and Kentucky’s Anthony Davis head into the homestretch of the regular season as leading contenders for college basketball’s National Player of the Year.

An ESPN panel of 54 pollsters who vote for either the Wooden Award, Naismith Trophy, AP Player of the Year or Oscar Robertson Trophy has Robinson leading Davis 141 points to 112.

Robinson, a 6-foot-10, 237-pound junior from Washington, D.C., received 34 first-place votes, 19 seconds and one third in the network’s straw poll. Davis, a 6-10, 220-pound freshman from Chicago, received 20 firsts, 25 seconds and two thirds. Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger checked in at third, followed by Creighton’s Doug McDermott, Michigan State’s Draymond Green, West Virginia’s Kevin Jones, Missouri’s Marcus Denmon, Mississippi State’s Arnett Moultrie, Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan and Marquette’s Darius Johnson-Odom.

Robinson led by a more sizable margin during ESPN’s previous two POY polls.

“I feel more motivated right now than when people were spreading rumors that it was locked (for Robinson),” Robinson said Wednesday on Doug Gottlieb’s ESPN radio show. “You never believe that, especially with so much of the season left. Now that I see I have to compete with somebody else, that makes it better. Now you have a different motivation. It makes it competitive.

“(If) I’m going against somebody, of course I want to win,” added Robinson, who is averaging 17.8 points (off 54.6 percent shooting), 12.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.1 steals a game for the No. 4-ranked Jayhawks (21-5, 11-2 in Big 12).

Davis averages 14.0 points (off 65.1 percent shooting), 9.9 rebounds, 4.9 blocks and 1.5 steals for No. 1 ranked Kentucky (25-1, 15-0).

Kentucky defeated the Jayhawks, 75-65, on Nov. 15 in New York. In that game, Robinson scored 11 points off 5-of-12 shooting with 12 rebounds in 27 minutes. Davis scored 14 points off 6-of-8 shooting with six boards, seven blocks and three turnovers in 33 minutes.

“I believe Anthony Davis is going to be a better pro and higher-drafted pro. He’s a great shot blocker and affects the game more on the defensive end than Thomas Robinson,” Gottllieb, a former Oklahoma State guard, said on his show. “My argument of why Thomas Robinson would be player of the year at this point is if you take him off of Kansas’ team, I’m not sure they make the NCAA Tournament. If you take Davis off Kentucky, it’s still a good team, still a Top-25 team, and now they (with Davis) have a chance to win the championship. That is the argument. It’s kind of splitting hairs. They are different players. I’d take Robinson because of the effect and value he has to that specific Kansas club.”

Robinson said the Jayhawks have come a long way since November.

“I think we’ve lost every type of way this year — close shots, buzzer beaters, blowouts. We’ve experienced a lot,” he said. “For us to not be so deep talent-wise, we know our margin of error is very small. We have been able to stick together as a team, play hard and become successful from it.”

Chalmers in contest: Former KU guard Mario Chalmers of the Miami Heat will compete in the NBA three-point shooting contest on Feb. 25 in Orlando, Fla. Others in the contest: James Jones, Kevin Love, Anthony Morrow, Joe Johnson and Ryan Anderson. Former KU swingman Brandon Rush of the Golden State Warriors was not invited to compete in the all-star weekend event despite leading the league in three-point field-goal percentage. He has made 40 of 73 threes for 54.8 percent.

Next up: KU will next meet Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks beat the Red Raiders, 81-46, on Jan. 11, in Lubbock.


IrishCharlie 6 years, 10 months ago

UK ===== University of Kentucky

KU ===== University of Kansas

Is that difficult?

Cantkeepagooddudedown 6 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Alohahawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Guess the capacity crowd in the Phog should change the traditional yell to "Rock Chalk Jayhawk U K", and let everyone watching the game (TV audience or attending) wonder why the University of Kansas fans are cheering for Kenstinky. How many years have KU's fans been yelling that cheer incorrectly now? Is IrishCharlie going to be the only one yelling "UK", while everyone else yells "KU"? I'm sure that he'd have a lot of people correcting him, or berating his choice of colleges if he did. (Should also note that I can't recall ever hearing a TV commentator say "UK Jayhawks", it's always "KU", "Kansas Jayhawks" or just "Kansas.")

I guess the real question is: Where do your true loyaties lie, Mr.Charlie? Sounds like you're really one of those persons who enjoys crashing parties because you weren't invited. If so, please leave the premises. Now! Or the site police might send you home to be potty trained, because you stink like dodo. Never fails. Always one bad apple attempting to spoil the rest.

On a more practical note, if he is leading the NBA in that category, why wouldn't Brandon Rush be invited to the 3 point contest?

And to correct TRob's statement somewhat about losing deficits: KU's largest margin in a loss this season has been to Kenstinky (by 10 points), which is hardly a blowout. But when a team is used to winning almost every game, losing by any amount must seem like a blowout.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk KU!!

dylans 6 years, 10 months ago

Jayhawks = KU KU = The University of Kansas Acceptable slang = Kansas University It's kinda like saying ain't; it's in the dictionary, but it still isn't proper.

Jackalope7 6 years, 10 months ago

HAHA! Little uncalled for. But still funny.

coolsportsdad 6 years, 10 months ago

You really need a hobby. Needlepoint? Cross-stitch, maybe?

bad_dog 6 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps you should create a Facebook page, Irish...

Dan Harris 6 years, 10 months ago

I guess it is for your pea brain, get over it already !

Kye Clark 6 years, 10 months ago

It's obvious that Davis is going to be the no. 1 pick in the draft, and I tend to agree with Gottlieb that he will probably make a better pro. That shouldn't have any place in the discussion for who is college basketball POY. I also disagree with his reasoning for why TRob should be POY. I never like that argument, in any sport or award, that a player should be given an award because he's more valuable to his team. I disagree with it even with MVP awards, where the word "valuable" is built right in. That's not something a player can control, how well the rest of the team is put together, so why punish a player for that? I don't place as much weight as others do in how the player's team is doing, record/ranking-wise, because again, that's not always something that one player can help. Certainly there is an argument to be made that a player on a first-place team in the midst of a Final Four run (or a pennant chase in baseball) is performing under more of a high-pressure situation, but it shouldn't be an overriding factor. I think TRob is the POY, but I think so because I think he's performed better. I think the national media is overly-jocking Davis's blocks. They're important & impressive (KU fans are certainly lauding Withey for that added dimension he brings to our team), but I swear you'd think that was the only statistic worth anything the way they're wetting themselves. At any rate, I really hope TRob wins. Amazing what this young man has overcame and accomplished. Rock Chalk!

Redlandsjhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Right you are. With his way of thinking Peyton Manning should have been the MVP this year.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 10 months ago

That was a great way to make your point. 13-3 With 3-13 Without.

Sam Constance 6 years, 10 months ago

I disagree wholeheartedly that it's a "coin flip"

Teams don't gameplan to stop Anthony Davis. Therefore every single statistic or quality play that Davis earns comes under less focus/scrutiny and against less resistance than Robinson.

Now maybe if Davis was just blowing Robinson away statistically, you could make the case that he's making up for the comparative lack of resistance by how much he's producing. But the simple truth is that Robinson is producing more against stiffer resistance.

It's obnoxious to me that it's as close as it is. I can't help but think if Sullinger was the player with Robinson's stats, the Anthony Davis bandwagon would not be nearly as vocal from ESPN and its talking heads.

Nick Cole 6 years, 10 months ago

A coin flip? I disagree. A.Davis is an impressive talent, on a Kentucky team that is completely loaded with talent. But, the dude is 6'11" and can jump through the roof but is averaging less than 10 rebounds per game. Something is wrong with that, and rebounds usually come down to effort. T-Rob has been the most consistant player in the country on a team with one of the weakest benches in the NCAA, and has KU in a position to be a 1 seed. I think Davis might be a better pro (needs to pack on a ton of weight or he will get destroyed in the paint in the NBA), and will def get drafted higher, but I think Robinson is the better college player, w/o question. I don't think it's even that close. Robinson makes every player around him better. He scores and rebounds much better, even though he is shorter and less naturally athletic. T-Rob for NPOY!!!

HawksWin 6 years, 10 months ago

Does Gottlieb have a crystal ball? Thats what NBA has come down to predicting one's talent + brain + mindset based on "running mouths" that can only see without truly seeing. Let's just say Davis may have more talent, but TRob has his little sister to care for and is of a different mindset than Davis. So let's see whose stats show up on the NBA court. My NBA crystal ball tells me, TRob will shut the Gottliebs of the NBA world - as Lin has - provided TRob navigates well through life with good foundation & support system.

honk_for_hawks 6 years, 10 months ago

you seem upset that Gottlieb thinks Davis will be a better pro. And with all due respect, NO ONE has ever said TRob won't be a great pro. The reason Gottlieb and everybody else say Davis will go number one is because his defense is absolutely incredible. His ability to block shots due to his timing and ridiculous wingspan (something like 7'8" i believe) make scouts absolutely drool over him. On top of that, he was a 6'2" PG his junior year! He had a massive growth spurt and because of it, his offensive skills haven't adjusted. That is the reason Gottlieb says that. I don't mean to sound like a UK fan (because believe me, I'm not sure i despise a fan base in all of sports more than them), but I just had to say that because Gottlieb is probably one of the most KU friendly analysts in college basketball. I guarantee you he isn't doubting TRob

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

It's that dang Withey's fault. If he would quit playing so well, then T-Rob would have more points, more rebounds and more votes.

Back off Withey - you're killing us. We don't care about winning championships - we WANT that Player of the Year award.

(Please note use of sarcasm font)

Alex Berger 6 years, 10 months ago

And yet TRob's numbers really haven't taken a hit except this last game. He is still averaging 18 ppg and 13 rpg since Withey has been lighting it up. Withey is just hogging that spotlight right now because he has been a fantastic surprise (deserved). Game storylines have been "Withey had a great game! And ho-hum, Robinson did his thing."

Alex Berger 6 years, 10 months ago

I do really like this team. Tyshawn can score at will during the game, TRob is so dominant, and Withey has played his best when we have needed him. It's too bad we don't have a bench to give these guys a little more rest.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 10 months ago

And dang it Tyshawn, stop averaging 20 points a game in big 12 play. Your job is to pass the ball to TRob and Jeff.

Eric J. Baker 6 years, 10 months ago

Not that I'm missing your sarcasm, but I think Withey's unexpected dominance since the Mizzou game will actually open things up for TRob. Previously defenses could afford to double- and triple-team TRob because Withey wasn't perceived as a threat. But now that opponents' defenses are going to have play straight up on Withey, perhaps even double- or triple-teaming HIM, it's going to leave TRob wide open. TRob struggled a bit at the beginning of the year passing out of those swarming defenses, but once it clicked, it really clicked, and it opened him up even more. Withey's going to get to that point very soon, too, and that's going to open up both our guards and TRob.

Alex Berger 6 years, 10 months ago

I think playing against UK would be a completely different game if we met in the tournament.

Michael Bratisax 6 years, 10 months ago

But you actually make a good point. TRob is all about the team. As much as he would like to win POY, it isn't his first priority.

KansasComet 6 years, 10 months ago

Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor, and Jeff Withey. I hope they all earn "All-America" Awards this year. 1st and 2nd Team.

Alex Berger 6 years, 10 months ago

Withey has to have a lot more of his 20 pt, 12 reb, 5 block games if he is going to be an AA. I'm rooting for Withey too but I think he might have showed up too late in the year to be an AA. Tyshawn on the other hand should. He is one of the best players in the country at creating his own shots and changing momentum in games (mostly for the better).

KansasComet 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree with your excellent assessment, thanks!

jhox 6 years, 10 months ago

Gottleib is right in a couple of respects. Davis will be the first guy drafted, he has the highest upside. He's also correct in pointing out Kentucky has a better supporting cast. Robinson gets very little rest during games, unless he's in foul trouble. He's also gotten a lot more defensive attention because other than Tyshawn, and now Withey the last 3 games, we've not had any other consistent scoring threats. You could probably knock another 4 points per game off of Davis' average if he was double and triple teamed to the extent Thomas is. In fact, I believe you could say that about any other player in the country. Nobody has faced the defensive attention that Thomas has this year. On top of that he plays in probably the most physical conference in the country. He doesn't have the benefit of getting touch fouls. He's beat up on every single possession of every single game, and the refs let that kind of play go in the Big 12 (something that will hurt Big 12 teams come tournament time when we have refs who actually call fouls in the paint.).

Thomas is definitely the more deserving player. The only other guy who should even be in the conversation is Kevin Jones of W. Virginia, who should finish second, not Davis.

yates33333 6 years, 10 months ago

Too bad Gottllieb, who was a mediocre player at OSU, isn't at least a mediocre sports commentator rather than a loud mouth, opinionated talking head.

VaJay 6 years, 10 months ago

I think that's pretty harsh. He's one of the few national commentators that has any leaning towards the Big 12 & KU. He's always got good things to say about Self & KU. I think he's great. In college, while he wasn't the best shooter - he set the bar high in assists & was a good floor leader for them - mediocre - No.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 10 months ago

Agree .. Gottlieb is more than fair. Doesn't always say what we want to hear. But a staight shooter. He has no east coast bias.

captku 6 years, 10 months ago

Only KU fans would have come up with the timeliness of that chant. RCJHKU baby!

Gottlieb will never forget the Phog! He respects it!

FLJHK 6 years, 10 months ago

Gottleib and Jay Bilas are, by far, currently the two best national college hoop analysts around.

actorman 6 years, 10 months ago

In other words, too bad he doesn't always say exactly what you want to hear.

keith horinek 6 years, 10 months ago

On a side note, how about Coach Self for national coach of the year?

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

He has my vote!

I don't pay a lot of attention to the awards stuff, but who else is in the running for this? I really don't know.

It seems like he'd be a lock, since in this "down" year - his team is ranked #4 in the nation, he's within a hair of his 8th straight conference championship and has a very strong chance of his team being a #1 seed headed into the NCAA Tournament.

If that ain't coach of the year material, I don't know what is.

Kay Jensen 6 years, 10 months ago

Somehow, terribly, I think it will be Haith...

Dirk Medema 6 years, 10 months ago

Not after KU destroys the tiggers in the Phog.

NomadHawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Self has my vote for sure, though I think Mike Brey is also in the discussion. Gotta have a few runners up at least, right? I really hope its not Haith!

Rock_Chalk_NYC 6 years, 10 months ago

Davis = Unibrow Somebody show that dude a tweaser

Ben Kane 6 years, 10 months ago

maybe because it's early and i didn't get a lot of sleep last night, but some of you sound pretty whiney about this. more defensive attention, gets beat up, harder schedule, the only attitude i like is TRob's.

"I feel more motivated right now than when people were spreading rumors that it was locked"

The fact is that if TRob continues to bring it, he will win it. If he pulls too many more of those disappearing acts he won't. It's not tvery important compared to team accomplishments.

I'm most grateful that his being favored all season has brought extra media attention. When being mentioned, most analysts are quick to point out the great training from Danny and that fact that he really didn't get to play much last year. This kind of attention has to be a huge boost to recruiting and I wonder if it's got the attention of Shabazz who most considered a zero chance of coming to ku and has now announced that he will take an official visit the weekend of the final battle in the war.

REHawk 6 years, 10 months ago

At the moment, I view Davis as the National Freshman of the year, hands down. Thomas, National Player of Year whose scoring and rebounding have flourished even under such heavy focused defensive attention in a league where brutal pressure on big men is allowed.

Clarence Haynes 6 years, 10 months ago

Notwithstanding (I put on my shorts the wrong way) Gotlieb's assertion, TRob will also be one helluva pro!

jaybate 6 years, 10 months ago

(Preface: This is a response to memhawk and some others that keep remarking about my sleep habits.)

I swear. I sleep. And sleep well. :-)

I just divide sleep into First Half and Second Half with an hour half time. It works for me. And about every fourth or fifth night I sleep all the way through. I look on that fourth or fifth night as my sleep clock's leap year.

People tried to make me worry about it, but then I found most of those persons were having trouble sleeping at night, or had gotten on the ambien bus themselves. Some wound up in ERs from sleep medicine interactions with their booze. No, I don't know any Whitney Houstons, or Michael Jacksons, that accidentally checked out, but the stats say its a big problem in the age of substance abusers mixing mood control meds with booze. But i digress.

I went the other way. I took what life and my genes gave me. I don't always do this, but I did in this instance, because the alternative seemed unhealthy. I embraced a new sleep pattern. I said no to sleeping pills, which I mercifully never started, and cut out all the caffeine and alcohol after 5, which means almost no alcohol for me, except on a night out to dinner.

Our nation, largely through the commercial stimulation of what I call Big Sleep (i.e., the sleep industry) worries way too much about blocks of 8 hour sleep.

Its ridiculous, if you stop and consider our evolutionary roots.

No animals I know of sleep non-stop the whole night. Brain scanning reveals a wide variety of sleep waves. And bears sleep almost all winter. What is right is what is right for you.

My tip off to this was when I learned Bob Hope had learned to cat nap intermittently all day long and was incredibly vigorous into his 90s. Accept your own sleep patterns.

I do agree however, that over all, it ought to add up to something consistent for you, and something usually between 7-9 hours. Though there have been guys like Bucky Fuller that got by on vastly less for many decades of their lives.

The only reason anyone even cares about sleeping nonstop is because of the unnatural rigidity of working 8-5 5 days a week, or the horrendous stress of needing to and not being able to get hired.

jaybate 6 years, 10 months ago

Imposing fake norms for "healthy" sleep is big business, too. There is basically a sleep economy with specialists telling you how to sleep, specialists chemically augmenting your sleep, specialists keeping you awake with caffiene and meth, bed manufacturers, sheet and blanket manufacturers, pillow makers, bedroom decor suppliers, etc., etc. They want to f!@#$ with your sleep habits, as much as the car makers want to f!@#$ with your mobility habits. And they always need the next new product to keep the revenues your cost.

The older I get, the less sleep I need, too.

It probably has to do with not staying out till 2 am three days a week and ramming every new kind of mixed drink and the latest fat-driven cuisine down my throat, too.

All I know is that if you have to take ambien to make it through one day, or so a month, do what you have to do.

But if you have to take something regularly, or you obsess all day long about fatigue and having to get to bed early, then take it as a hint that you need to become more human, more yourself, and not more pharmanetic (note: my term for the pharmacological equivalent of cybernetic organisms, i.e. drug augmented).

Note: I am a layman. I am not dispensing medical advice here. I am just opining about my expeience and interpretations of things.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 10 months ago

When I have had trouble sleeping I think of what I read about Roy Williams who could exist on 4 hours a night apparently. I then think well if ole Roy could do it then so can I, then I fall right to sleep.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 10 months ago

When I have had trouble sleeping I think of what I read about Roy Williams who could exist on 4 hours a night apparently. I then think well if ole Roy could do it then so can I, then I fall right to sleep.

Jocelyn Kennedy 6 years, 9 months ago

Best post I've read in a while - although I always enjoy your thoughts, Jay - I believe sleep is a natural thing and one should sleep when they're tired and not force it when they're not.

Dan Pawlowski 6 years, 10 months ago

Gottlliebs head is like his shorts. He tends to have it on backwards.

JHawk74 6 years, 10 months ago

From the NBA Davis has more upside potential to TRob. NBA always drafts people on potential more than actual skill set. Most of the top draft choices have not been the best NBA player but it doesn't stop the NBA teams from drafting on potential. You may hit a Jackpot like Lebron James and have a franchise player. If TRob continues to work hard and play smart he may have the potential to be a solid NBA player or even an All-Star NBA player. You could argue Withey has more NBA potential with his ability to block shots and change the game defensively. But we all know right now that TRob is the better player and probably the top college player this year. Doug G could say if we lose Taylor we would not be a top 25 team this year also. This year KU has two dominate players and we rely heavily on them because the lack of depth. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 10 months ago

So let me understand...3 people from ESPN don't even think TROB is one of the three best players in college basketball and additionally 13 don't think that Anthony Davis is not one of the 3 best players?

ESPN does a lot of these things for moronic stories. Here are two players that are clearly a notch above everyone else; however, they get these smaller universities with an athlete that puts up huge numbers against a non-conference and a conference of who are they playing, and for some reason everyone thinks they should be POY.

The race is a two man race, at least the voters either had TRob or Anthony Davis as the Top Player.

karken1992 6 years, 10 months ago

Ok. I didn't see anyone else say anything but really??? Neck and neck?? Robinson leading Davis 141 points to 112 Robinson 34 1st, 19 2nds, 1 3rd Davis 20 1st, 25 2nds, 2 3rds

I personally believe in east coast bias but where are you from Bedore? Neck and Neck is stretching it a little to create a story don't you think? I can't crystal ball it and say for sure that Robinson will end up winning it but as of this moment with almost double the 1st place votes of his next closest competitor, neck and neck really?

Scott Smetana 6 years, 10 months ago

You took my post idea. Since when is 141 to 112 neck and neck?

TRob will win because he's a Junior, better stats, and nobody likes Calisleazy.
TRob will seal the deal when he destroys Mizzery

Alohahawk 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree with your premise about "neck and neck". It isn't at the moment. But there is no question that they are the only two left contending for the crown.

Bedore is taking for granted that Davis will catch up to TRob by season's end because he has improved his point total significantly since the previous poll. So it could reach a point where it is "neck and neck".

What the article illustrates is that TRob must continue to put up great numbers (points, rebounds, Etc.), as well as play solid defense.

chaggs 6 years, 10 months ago

In order to promote (in a small way) athletes staying in school, I think the POY should only consider Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors. Your thoughts?

Steve Brown 6 years, 10 months ago

I think frosh should not play until the soph year when they prove they can make grades and mature. Then again, I miss poodle skirts....can't go back to 1959 ....embrace the change.

Andy Tweedy 6 years, 10 months ago

You must have liked the cheerleaders outfits Saturday then!

Steve Brown 6 years, 10 months ago

Jeff will continue to give triple double type performances as long as teams double and triple team TRob.

Therefore, the better Jeff's numbers the more tribute it is to Thomas Robinson. This is logical so you tweaters out there let the voters @ ESPN see the truth.

Woody Cragg 6 years, 10 months ago

I laugh every time I listen to or see Gottlieb...he was the absolute worst free throw shooter I can ever remember in recent conf years. May have been less than 50%. I may take time to google it.

Alohahawk 6 years, 10 months ago


Sort of relates to the article about Brady Morningstar. He's leading his D league team with an 84% freethrow rate. I remember the game when he flubbed the freethrow attempt like it was a hot potato. Although he did shoot a decent % while at KU. (He's also shooting a high % of his 3 pointers.)

Kye Clark 6 years, 10 months ago

Kenny Gregory & Richard Scott were abysmal free throw shooters for us as well!

Woody Cragg 6 years, 10 months ago

Yep, career avg FT% was 37 & the change. Actually got worse the more he played. What an "expert." LOL!

6 years, 10 months ago

One way a point guard can compensate for such atrocious free throw shooting is with assists, and home skillet could drop some serious dimes with a career average of 8.2 per game at OSU.

jaybate 6 years, 10 months ago

gott was the man to foul from tip off.

The reason his assists were so high is that he had to pass it before he got fouled. :-)

His broadcasting career is probably one of those freak occurrences that have to do with contacts, or nepotism.

What other explanation makes as much sense about a broadcaster with a mug like that?

Or was he just a really hard worker at school in broadcast journalism? ;-)

6 years, 10 months ago

Queue obligatory mention of said player/broadcaster’s checkered past at Notre Dame prior to transferring to OSU :^)

actorman 6 years, 10 months ago

I really don't get all the bitterness towards Gottlieb. As someone else pointed out, he usually gives the Big XII and KU a fair shake. And he tells it like he sees it, which is what an analyst is supposed to do.

He doesn't talk down to us like we're five years old and need to be lectured, and he doesn't spout one cliche after another. You might not always agree with what he says, but he usually backs it up with specifics so you at least have to respect with that.

Why all the venom towrds him?

Woody Cragg 6 years, 10 months ago

I stand corrected-his FG% was 37 & FT was a whopping 45%.

gchawk 6 years, 10 months ago

I guess if you can't play, you coach. If you can't play or coach, you announce!

Alex Berger 6 years, 10 months ago

I just don't think Anthony Davis is the best player in the country. His defense is crazy awesome as a shot-blocker but he is not a dominant rebounder like Robinson and he is not a great scorer. Robinson is 50th in the nation in ppg (17.8), as well as 2nd in rebounding (12.0). Davis is 1st in blocks (4.9) and then is not even in the top 150 in ppg (14) or top 20 in rebounding (9.9). And Davis and Robinson play around 31 mpg. Are blocks that important? Robinson is definitely stronger than Davis so who is to say that Robinson's presence in the middle isn't a defensive presence? Or is this a case of voters just voting for the best player on the best team? I really hope the voters get this one right and so far Robinson deserves it.

justinryman 6 years, 10 months ago

I think one reason he gets so many blocks is that his own guards can't stop penetration so then you have a smaller player coming in the lane where he can sit and wait and poach his blocks.
His blocks aren't on post players mostly. I am not saying he isn't any good at it, but when his own team can't stop penetration he's their last defense and he comes up huge for them. Blocks isn't the only stat in the game.

Alohahawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Interesting analysis. If that's true, it would seem to indicate that Davis's blocking ability won't be as effective in the NBA, where he'll be required to play more straight up man to man, and less as an "in the lane" blocker. Would be something to keep as a reference point when both play in the NBA.

When it comes to NBA ready bodies, TRob is definitely more prepared to grab and hold onto rebounds. Davis doesn't have near the muscle mass of TRob. Thank you, Miss Hudy.

actorman 6 years, 10 months ago

I agree that TRob deserves POY over Davis, but one thing people are overlooking is FG percentage. People keep pointing out that TRob is averaging more points than Davis, but Davis has a much higher FG percentage and people should at least give him credit for that. It's not just about blocked shots.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 10 months ago

1] Something tells me, Mr. Robinson will have a "HUGE" game at home against a weak opponent this Saturday night. Can you say "triple double"??!!

2] At this rate, teams may start doubling up Jeff and freeing up TRob.

3] I think that, though it should have absolutely no bearing on the voting, the fact that the voters are human, Thomas' personal story is so compelling that it can't help but be a subtle and maybe even a tie breaking thought in the voters minds.

4] As REHawk so concisely put it, they can vote Davis the Freshman of the Year thus honoring both players. I would count on this scenario.

5] Everybody hates Calipari, anyway.

Alohahawk 6 years, 10 months ago

Everybody but the Kenstinky backers and World Wide Wes (or whatever his moniker is).

Oh, and Brlycream, the hair oil company.

rwhawk 6 years, 10 months ago

2 - really? I don't think anybody is going to purposefully free up the leading NPOY candidate. Maybe the guards will come down and swipe at the ball, but not the PF.

jaybate 6 years, 10 months ago

Lin is definitely a kid that wanted it baaaaaad!

He ate a ton of rejection and he is sure soon to start the round of physical abuse that all young guys coming into the L get until the refs are given the word to protect them.

And have you seen the wings on that guy, Slayr?

Mario Chalmers had some knuckle draggers.

But I think Jeremy would have to have the tailor lengthen Mario's jacket sleeves two inches before he could be sartorially resplendent.

Its going to be really interesting to see who starts punching Jeremy Lin out first.

He appears to have a breakable nose, so that's where it all usually starts. :-)

Unless his team gets behind him and considers him not a guy taking a job from a friend, but rather a friend.

It will be interesting to watch.

Alex Berger 6 years, 10 months ago

Yeah I don't get it. In the article he is saying the TRob is the most valuable player in the country. That should be something that homers like the hear.

BigBlue4KU 6 years, 10 months ago

The ESPN crew seems pretty enamored with the Ken Pomeroy stats. Robinson is #1 in KenPom's POY efficiency ratings at .554, Davis is #4 at .459. I agree that the media has created Davis as a POY candidate. There is some very good competition for the label, but I don't think Davis should even be in the conversation as one of the top two. And why is it that the Media seems to encourage the idea that Davis creates Kentucky as the DEFENSIVE powerhouse. In every single efficiency rating I've seen, including Pomeroy, Kansas is in the top 3 of defensive efficiency, always ahead of Kentucky. I think Robinson is an effective defender, is not required to be a shot blocker (though Kansas leads the Big 12 in shot blocks), on one of the top defensive teams in the country! Offensively his stats eat Davis up. There are other players in the country (i.e. Sullinger, Jones, even Zeller at UNC) that have impressive stats compared to Davis as well. How he is creeping into the POY conversation at such a high level is a comment on how much of the sport has been taken over by the "talking heads!"

Joseph Kuebel 6 years, 10 months ago

How he is creeping into the POY conversation at such a high level is a comment on how much of the sport has been taken over by the "talking heads!"

How he is creeping into the POY conversation at such a high level is a testament to how much of the sport has been taken over by the "talking heads!"

Craig Lang 6 years, 10 months ago

I normally like Jay Bilas, but this season he has gone on a campaign to replace Robinson with Davis as the POY. In every appearance on ESPN, he talks down Robinson's accomplishments and repeatedly asks "Why is Davis not in the lead for POY?" I think he is the primary reason that Davis is in the conversation now.

Alohahawk 6 years, 10 months ago

I remember Dukie V's comment during the one (?) KU game he broadcast this season (Just recently) that TRob ws definitely his POY. Less than a week later it was Davis this. Davis that.

Vitale is like a politician. He always says what is popular with the crowd he is in at that moment. A real homer boy.

Sam Constance 6 years, 10 months ago

It's clear that ESPN groupthink, and the hype machine that results from it, is in the Anthony Davis for POY camp. Blocks are an exciting part of the game, and Davis is very good at changing opponents' shots. But the simple truth is that blocks aren't such a definitive statistic that they should supercede other, more important considerations when identifying the player of the year.

Rather than looking at one statistical line (and a statistic that is admittedly flawed anyway in terms of measuring a player's ACTUAL defensive ability) to tip the balance, perhaps the voters should look closer at characteristics that MATTER in how the game is played, not just numbers.

For example, Davis and Robinson differ in a very simple, but illustrative way. Davis is the equivalent of your Tyson Chandler or Serge Ibaka in the NBA. Coach tells them to go be active, be a ball hawk, create havoc, make the "hustle" plays. But never in a million years is a coach going to go to either of those players and say:

"We're going to feed you the ball consistently and frequently to establish you as a force inside so that the rest of our offense can flow effectively"

In other words, Kentucky isn't looking to Davis to LEAD their team, either in his play or his leadership skill. He's been told to play a style that resembles a glorified pickup game (only with actual defensive discipline). Robinson, on the other hand, is the guy that everyone KNOWS they have to stop if they want to beat Kansas. The amount of pressure on him and resistance to his accumulating stats is much higher than what Davis is facing.

If we used working out at the gym as a metaphor, both Robinson and Davis would be doing 100 rep sets, but Robinson is doing it with 200 lbs. whereas Davis is doing it with 125 lbs.

If the writers are so obsessed with statistics, how about the number of double- and/or triple-teams each player has faced this year in accumulating stats? I have no doubt that Davis has faced VERY few sets with multiple players guarding him over the course of the season.

PS: bootstrapping onto something AlBerg said--Davis has about 4 more blocks per game than Robinson. Some of that is just that Davis is super long and has good timing, like our own Jeff Withey. But it's worth noting that sometimes good post defense involves playing in a way that prevents a player from getting off a shot at all, or allows them to get off a bad shot that is basically unblockable (ex: fadeaway, hook shot), which reduces the sexy "blocks" statistic, but is no less effective. Given Robinson's skill set, it's reasonable to think that at least part of the reason for having fewer BPG is that he's stronger and doesn't get pushed deep into the post, eliminating a shot-blocking opportunity, while maintaining solid team defense.

It would be a shame for Robinson to miss out on this award for something as isolated and potentially misleading as the blocks statistic.

Kye Clark 6 years, 10 months ago

I think you nailed it!

ESPN is out of control with its ability to influence things of this nature. Their analysis and commentary is not only the most prevalent media outlet, it leaks into other outlets (i.e. the Gottlieb ESPN radio show being cited on this article). While I certainly enjoy the benefits of being able to watch every KU game due in large part to ESPN's expansion, one has to wonder if their reach has overstepped their role in the world of sports.

Ethan Berger 6 years, 10 months ago

So Robinson is averaging 4 more points 3 more rebounds but Davis is averaging 3 more blocks and suddenly that makes him player of the year? Since when was this award a defensive award?

jaybate 6 years, 10 months ago

"Broadcasters Aren't Credible and Will Be Replaced by Comgens in the Era of Rich Media Interfaces"

To be fair, the broadcasters apparently work for a media-gaming complex.

Where do you think the action is bigger? In the whiskey and parimutuel horse racing capital of the world, or in wheat country?

I don't begrudge the national sports broadcasters being apparent whores for the media-gaming complex.

I resent (but only a little now) that they don't admit it.

The internet has eroded the credibility of presstitutes in political and economic reporting. It is doing the same in sports broadcasting.

Long term, I really think this is all gravitating to virtual talking heads, broadcasters made at Pixar. There's really no reason for these guys, once everyone gets their act. Digital cartoon characters will be a lot more entertaining. The Industrial Light and Magic generated sports broadcasters of the future will be projected into the action. They will be able to run around virtually among the players and be part of the entertainment. I used to think the players would become comgens (computer generated), too, but I was wrong about that. And intrinsic part of post-sports entertainment spectacles involves human sacrifice; this is a constant through out the millennia of civilizations. Hopefully, humans will never need other humans to be killed again, but everything old is new again, sooner, or later. But some kind of human scarifice, some kind of unsimulated suffering seems a requirement. So: players have to remain real. But broadcasters? They would be much better as comgens. Comgen broadcasters would synergize with rich interaction media much better than live broadcasters. Every viewer will be able to carry on his conversation and banter with his own comgen broadcaster. Gottlieb real is overwhelmed by more than a couple talking heads in the studio. He could never carry on 20 million conversations at once about the game, but Gottlieb Comgen could and would.

What we are watching now is going to seem in 20 years like the horse and buggy era.

Rich media interface is really going to change things.

ParisHawk 6 years, 10 months ago

I like "presstitutes", that's a keeper though not to be applied "loosely".

No one wants to be in a private conversation with a Comgen. We were moving toward one conversation with 20 mil people, but now are moving back, "right-netting" if you will. This board is about the right size ;)

Ryan Mullen 6 years, 10 months ago

Do you write for Woot! If you don't you really should.

kellerman411 6 years, 10 months ago

I actually disagree with the notion that Anthony Davis is a better NBA pick than T-Rob. Davis dominates college because of his length, timing and reflexes but, he is not ready to play against men. I think Thomas's strength makes him a safer bet in the NBA draft. Obviously long-term planning let's one believe that Davis will gain a little weight and get stronger but Thomas is there now and he's proven that he can stay incredibly athletic while carrying the necessary weight to hold your own in the league. T-Rob is your classic turn-key NBA 4 guy. He could walk into the league tomorrow and immediately compete.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 10 months ago

If I may interject a radical idea that all of you have seemed to have overlooked. A precedent has been set for Co-Players of the Year. for this award.

In 2005-2006, Adam Morrison of Gonzaga and JJ Redick of Duke shared this award.

If you tell me that the vote count came out exactly even, I have some swamp land in Olathe I would like to sell you.

I will go out on a limb and predict that both players, who are perceived as tied in voting, if they both maintain their current paces of play, will both be named POY!!!!!!!

This the honest voters and the goofballs at ESPN all get their way!!!

HawkKlaw 6 years, 10 months ago

I have a feeling Anthony Davis would raise his eyebrow at this article.

Mike Kendall 6 years, 10 months ago

Davis is an awesome shot blocker. I saw Kentucky play at Vandy and they will be tough in the Big Dance. Having said that. T-Rob will finish strong. He should get the award. It will be a real disappointment if he doen't win it.

Good luck, T-Rob.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 10 months ago

If we all step back and look at this "rebuilding" season as a whole, it's almost overwhelming:

1] In position for a #1 seed. 2] In position to win consecutive conference title number eight 3] Have leading candidate for player of the year. 4] Enigmatic point guard now one of the best in Division One, 5] Project big man, now a national force and possible draft pick. 6] All achieved with three pros, three seniors and three recruits not playing. 7] Bench composed of walk-ons, projects and a freshman ranked 293 out of 340. 8] Ten games against Top 25 opponents.

Just another season at the University of Kansas, I guess!! : ^ }

Jocelyn Kennedy 6 years, 9 months ago

Wish I could recall all those posts from the beginning of the year "We're not even going to the dance" "Not worthy of Kansas tradition"...

Ray March 6 years, 10 months ago

34-20 isn't exactly "NECK-AND-NECK" Bedore.

It's a pretty sizeable lead for T-Rob.

Scott Smetana 6 years, 10 months ago

Have we ever had a season POY? Danny? Did they even have that award way back when?

Here's my thoughts/goals for the rest of the year:

-Win the season conference and smash the hell out of Missery. -Robinson POY -OK to lose in Big 12 tourney, I really don't want a #1 seed. We play better as an underdog and #1 puts a huge target on our back. Plus naysayers who know nothing will say we choked again if we go out before the final 4.
-Kensucky and Missery go out early in the tourney! -Make Sweet 16.


Jeff Coffman 6 years, 10 months ago

Started in 1969 else we may have had another; however Danny Manny 1988 was Player of the Year.

GeoHawk15 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm getting into this conversation a little late today, but I've seen a lot of good posts touting TRob's stats vs. Unibrow. One thing I'd like to point out that I hope the POY voters recognize is how much more of a complete player TRob is.

We all recognize that Davis is solid offensively and might be one of the best defensively, but TRob is more well-rounded. He dunks, he rebounds, he makes ally-oops, he steps out and knocks down jumpers (even the occasional 3), he creates off the dribble, and more recently he's been feeding other players (e.g. Withey). Davis stands around the post while the guards drive and he either receives the dish or cleans up the garbage. When most of your points are dunks, of course your FG % is going to be high!

Honestly I don't watch a lot of Kentucky's games, but of the highlights I've seen, I don't see a muilti-dimensional game in Davis' play that I do in TRob's. That is why I see TRob as POY vs. Davis.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 10 months ago

How about this:

National Player of the Year: Anthony Davis National Coach of the Year: Frank Haith Big 12 Champs: Missouri Big 12 Tourney Champs: Baylor National Champions: Kansas

See how irrelevant everything else can be?

captku 6 years, 10 months ago

All I got to say is that Coach Manning has really done some wonders with TRob, and now the hard work on Withey is starting to show. Coach Manning for Asst Coach of the Year!

Steve Brown 6 years, 10 months ago

I keep searching the field to see which cindarella team beats MU in the elite eight, maybe Vandy, Davidson, LongBeach or San Diego State.

Most fitting would be Creighton or Wichita State Shockers.

Go Mizzou get yourself another EEight banner boys.

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