Monday, February 20, 2012

Ex-KU star Dave Robisch keeps eye on current team


Former Kansas University basketball All-American Dave Robisch, who attended practice on Friday and the Jayhawks’ 83-50 home rout of Texas Tech on Saturday, definitely likes what he’s seen out of the 2011-12 squad.

“I think they are playing really well. Of course, Thomas is playing great,” Robisch, a KU standout from 1969 to 1971, said of junior forward Thomas Robinson, who scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished a career-high five assists against four turnovers in just 24 minutes.

“It’s good to see the improvement of Withey in the middle,” he added of junior center Jeff Withey, who, after scoring 61 points and grabbing 36 rebounds in the past three games, went for nine points and eight boards with four blocks and a batch of altered shots in 28 minutes.

“And Tyshawn is playing great,” Robisch gushed of senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor, who scored in single digits for the first time in 12 games, going for nine points, four assists and four turnovers in 27 minutes against the outmanned Raiders. “I’m really excited the way they are playing.”

The former NBA/ABA power forward had considered the possibility KU (22-5, 12-2) might overlook Tech (8-18, 1-13).

“I was concerned actually coming in that they might come out flat, but they didn’t come out flat,” Robisch said of the Jayhawks, who hit their first six shots and raced to a 44-22 halftime lead. “They played really well, which gave some guys an opportunity to play. Young (Kevin, 10 points, 17 minutes) came in and played well. Teahan (Conner, 11 points) hit some (three) threes. It was good for some of those guys to get some confidence.”

Robisch, 62, who lives in Springfield, Ill., is thrilled the Jayhawks are tied for first place in the league (with 12-2 Missouri) with four games to play.

“Coming in, with the players they lost, everybody was a little uncertain of what would happen,” Robisch said. “They’ve really started to play well. Coach (Bill Self) does a good job getting them to improve as the season goes on. Withey is a big key. He has come on strong. Last year he didn’t get to play much. Thomas didn’t get to play much. Those guys have come on and are playing great.”

More on milestone: KU’s victory over Texas Tech marked the Jayhawks’ 1,000th conference victory against 396 defeats spanning 114 seasons. No other team in the U.S. has reached 1,000 victories in league play. Kentucky is second at 962.

Here are other Big 12 teams’ marks in conference play: Texas, 822-529 in 106 seasons; Missouri, 760-634 in 106 seasons; Kansas State, 695-633 in 108 seasons; Oklahoma, 695-549 in 105 seasons; Oklahoma State, 675-498 in 103 seasons; Texas A&M;, 656-709 in 100 seasons; Texas Tech, 621-494 in 87 seasons; Baylor, 563-819 in 106 seasons; Iowa State, 549-804 in 105 seasons. KU has won a nation’s best 54 conference titles.

Woodard’s visit: Jordan Woodard, a 6-foot, 175-pound junior point guard from Edmond (Okla.) Memorial High, who attended Saturday’s game, has received scholarship offers from Memphis, Oklahoma and San Francisco, according to He also has received interest from KU, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Vanderbilt and others.

“I really like the coaching staff, and it seems they get along well with the players,” Woodard told “Coach Self was real honest with me and my family. He said that he likes me a lot and he likes my game. Coach Self thinks that I can be one of the next point guards that move in and run the team.”

Woodard is currently ranked No. 122 in the Class of 2013. He scored 29 points versus Edmond Santa Fe High in a game Self attended earlier this season.

Next: KU will meet Texas A&M; at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Reed Arena in College Station, Texas. The Aggies enter 13-13 overall and 4-10 in the Big 12.


Scott MacWilliams 8 years, 8 months ago

Hey Dave R., Glad to hear you're doing well. I always like to hear about Hawk alums, and it's great to see them back in AFH.

Wouldn't it be cool if the athletic dept. sent out free tix to a few former Hawks for each game, and have them sit right behind the bench?? There are so many still around, and it would be great for all concerned, the young guys and their elders who have been there. Howza 'bout it, Mr. Zenger??? A win/win/win??

Rock Chalk forever!!!

Kent Richardson 8 years, 8 months ago

Great idea about the tickets. I have always wondered if recruits see the respect and appreciation fans at AFH accord the former team members and if they factor this into their decision?

Karen Holmes 8 years, 8 months ago

Don't forget to vote every day until Feb. 28th for the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award. We are running 2nd behind Purdue. $5,000 goes to Athletic Department. Rock Chalk

DDDHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

I've been voting every day! The Purdue fans seem to be making a run, since we were in first place for quite awhile, until we got to the semi-finals. Let's go, Hawk fans!

Stan Unruh 8 years, 8 months ago

It was great to see Dave Robish on TV during Saturday's game. Was one of our all time favorites.... a super player and class act.

yates33333 8 years, 8 months ago

Texas A&M is probably the best 4 win, 10 loss team in any league in the country. Playing at home they are dangerous. A loss could really mess up this Saturday's game. Good Hawks!!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 8 months ago

I graduated with Dave in 1971 so I was able to watch every game of his four year career. He had the oddest, jump shot in basketball history....and he was deadly with it.

Also, I never saw him smile once in all those years...I think he was an android!! :)

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

And he was a fabulous weapon that people said could not run the floor...lacked athleticism. But then he ran the floor well enough for the NBA. Conventional wisdom is for suckers.

JD Roth 8 years, 8 months ago

I recall a headline from the Topeka Capital Journal Sports Page: Robisch Is Torrid: 27 points, 24 rebounds what a talent he was with Roger Brown, Fred Bosilevac, Bob Kivisto, Aubrey Nash, Pierre Russell, Isaac Stallworth and the boys. What a team!!

kupopp 8 years, 8 months ago

Loved to watch Dave Robisch back in the day. Before the times of instant statistics, we would stick around after the game to find out how many he had scored when he had a stellar game, and he had many.

Might I suggest: There are no ex-Jayhawks. Anyone who laid it on the line like Dave Robisch is a Jayhawk. Period.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Jordan Woodard's quote about Self saying he could be one of the next points to run the team should light a fire under Naadir, if the fire has flickered at all.

Man, that's got to be tough to read, when you are already under the gun.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Dig down Naadir. You can do it. Work...on...the...foot...speed. If Tyrel could do it, so can you. In Hudy you trust.

lv_jhwk 8 years, 8 months ago

His foot speed isn't the problem, and neither are other physical aspects of the game. The biggest part has been the mental side of things, from running and controlling the offense (heck, even dribbling safely) to positioning and technique on defense.

That said, the last few games have shown signs that he might be losing the "Naadir-in-the-headlights" moniker ever so slowly.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

If only self-assurance made up for what one misunderstood! :-)

School's in session.

Firsts, slow feet, short legs...

Its a tough combination stop a blow by turn and burn with.

Second, he's not strong at all...yet.

Third, his mental game is the least of his problems. He's a damn smart kid, who made tons of good choices in high school and even some early in the season, until D1 speed just withered away his confidence. What you are forgetting is that no matter how fast your mind works, it can't make weak muscles and short legs do something they can't do, i.e., play at this speed.

Naadir is like so many young guards. He has lots of physical abilities in a young body that just aren't up to playing with guys that have been lifting weights and playing D1 speeds for 2-4 years. He hasn't physically matured yet. He's got slow feet. He is having a heckuva time adapting to D1 speed.

Class dismissed.

xfitter 8 years, 8 months ago

Russ Rob had a tough freshman campaign, only to be one of the most highly thought of floor generals the Jayhawks have had. Nadiir may show something next year under Elijahs wing.

BainDread 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm disappointed that discussions regarding the all-time greatest Jayhawks often don't include Dave Robish. His career averages in scoring and rebounds are exceeded by few. I think we tend to overlook the greatness of players who played before the era of televised college basketball....or maybe us old-timers just don't speak up enough. I never got to see him play in person but loved listening to the radio broadcasts.

Steve Corder 8 years, 8 months ago

Hey LJW, how about a photo to go with the article?

wrwlumpy 8 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate - Who is on your Big 12 1st team?

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago


KU's starting five, plus Denmon and English.

I wouldn't say Denmon and English are better than anyone on our starting five, but I think they are the equals of them. So: I would have our five and those two alternates.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

I might have to make Royce White an alternate too. He can play.

Steve Brown 8 years, 8 months ago

Tough to compare players from different decades, too many what if's.

What if Ronnie and Calvin had the three point shot where would they be on the all time scoring ladder. What if Wilt was allowed to dunk it.What if Robisch could play as a freshman, and then what if if today's players stayed for four years.

What if our great teams of the 60-70's had a shot clock, then our oppenants wouldn't be able to take the air out of the ball and hold it for 5 minute stretches, trying to eliminate possessions for us, because we had the talent.

Dave and JoJo got us our 5th Final Four banner, the only one without Wilt.57, Clyde.52, Born.53 or Charile Black.40. It might be said our 1st of the modern era. Thank you David, you started a tradition, we have 8 more since then.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago


Robisch was an important player in the legacy, just as you say. Robisch suffered a lot of disrespect and under appreciation in national media, because these were the beginning of the years when KU was said to be playing plod ball. Robo played how Ted wanted him to play and KU had fine teams with him. Robo proved the critics wrong in the pros when he had a decent career there. And the guy was flat out one of the best shooting college big men ever.

JD Roth 8 years, 8 months ago

Robisch was deadly with that left handed jumper, yes he was!!

jayhawker4real 8 years, 8 months ago

Welll...Wilt not only could, but did use the dunk shot at Kansas. The "Alcindor Rule" was in place only from 1967 to 1978. Everyone realised how stupid the rule was except teams that didn't have any legitimate big men..

actorman 8 years, 8 months ago

JoJo wasn't on the Final Four team in '71.

I can understand why you might have been confused, since that '66 team was every bit as good as KU's Final Four teams, but JoJo never made it to a Final F our.

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