Sunday, February 26, 2012

Thomas Robinson ‘great’ against Tigers

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson raises up the fieldhouse during overtime against Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson raises up the fieldhouse during overtime against Missouri on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime victory over Missouri on Feb. 25, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU players Tyshawn Taylor, Thomas Robinson and Conner Teahan

KU players Tyshawn Taylor, Thomas Robinson and Conner Teahan talk about the Jayhawks' 87-86 overtime victory over Missouri on Feb. 25, 2012.

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KU vs. Missouri

Box score

Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self had a heart-to-heart talk with junior forward Thomas Robinson on Thursday — a day after Robinson was whistled for a technical foul in the final minute of a 66-58 victory at Texas A&M.;

“I was really disappointed in him Wednesday. I think he was feeling pressure. Today he didn’t (feel pressure). He played to win. In no way did he think about anything but winning the game,” Self after watching Robinson score 28 points and grab 12 rebounds in KU’s 87-86 overtime victory over Missouri.

“He was great today. That’s what the best players do. They make plays with the game on the line,” Self added of Robinson, whose basket and foul shot tied MU at 75 with 16.1 seconds left.

His block of Phil Pressey’s driving layup with two ticks left assured overtime.

“Without being too critical, he was the polar opposite today than he was in College Station. That wasn’t him in College Station. Here’s a guy who didn’t play last year or as a freshman, wasn’t a McDonald’s guy (out of high school), not a highly recruited kid by highly recruited standards. He’s now one of two for national player of the year and has his family counting on him to do things and has everybody in his ear, doesn’t have people in his family necessarily tell him, ‘I’m proud of you regardless of what happens,’” Self added.

Robinson was beaming after the victory.

“It was big. Revenge, payback … it definitely feels good,” he said. “It felt like someone just jumped us (in building 19-point lead) and ran away, and finally we caught up with them. I can’t even put this into words. I don’t think I’m ever going to be part of something as big as this game was tonight. Just when I thought we couldn’t get to another level, we stuck together and got better tonight.

“I don’t think you can put a team in a tougher situation at home,” added Robinson, who hit 10 of 21 shots and eight of nine free throws. “We were down 19 against a Top Five team and we stuck to it and got through it.”

Withey ankle OK: KU junior Jeff Withey, who twisted his left ankle in the opening minutes, had two points and a rebound in nine minutes.

Withey did not need X-rays after the game. He will receive treatment in preparation for Monday’s 8 p.m. game at Oklahoma State.

He reported on Twitter on Saturday night that the ankle is OK and he’ll be in the lineup Monday.

“Thanks for all the support Jayhawk nation. My foot is fine. I sprained it, but I’ll be ready to play Monday. Rock Chalk,” Withey wrote.

Coach Bill Self said he asked Withey at the end of regulation, “Can you win the tip (if he jumped center in overtime)?”

“He gave me, ‘Uhhh.’ I said. ‘OK, you just answered my question.’ I don’t think he thought he could do it. I knew he couldn’t run.”

Self added: “It’s unfortunate he turned his ankle right off the bat. We played seven, eight minutes with Jeff and Thomas together and somehow won the game. Conner (Teahan, 4-for-4 from three for 12 points) played 37 minutes. Who would have ever thought that’s what we need to do to win? Kevin Young (five points, eight boards, 28 minutes) gave us good minutes, too.”

Series to end: Self reiterated Saturdays’ game would be the last the two teams play in Lawrence.

“The next coach (at KU) may play. The next president, next AD may force me to play, who knows?” Self said. “Missouri has to market their future. We are their past. For it to end like this is pretty cool for us, especially the way we lost the first game (blowing eight-point lead in 74-71 loss on Feb. 4 at MU). It’s a great rivalry. It’s two schools that fiercely don’t like each other hooking up and going at it. We saw the best they have to offer in Columbia. They saw the best we have to offer. It’s a shame it’s going to end, but it’s definitely going to end. Playing them once a year with nothing on the line doesn’t carry the same value as playing twice a year with a championship on the line.”

Recruits in the house: No. 1-rated Shabazz Muhammad, a 6-foot-6 senior forward from Bishop Gorman High in Las Vegas who is considering KU, Kentucky, Duke, UCLA, UNLV and Arizona; No. 33-ranked Tony Parker, 6-9, 250-pound center from Miller Grove High in Lithonia, Ga., who is considering KU, UConn, Duke, Georgetown, Georgia, Kentucky, Memphis, Ohio State, UCLA and others; and JaKarr Sampson, 6-8, 205-pound senior forward from Brewster Academy in New Hampshire, attended. A former St. John’s signee, Sampson was the No. 51-ranked player in the Class of 2011. He was not cleared academically by the NCAA, thus decided to attend prep school a year.

Semi Ojeleye, a 6-6, 215-pound junior small forward from Ottawa High, also attended. He has received scholarship offers from Kansas State, Marquette, Missouri, Nebraska, Northwestern, Oklahoma State, UCLA and Wisconsin.

Also, KU signees Landen Lucas, a 6-10, 245-pound senior center from Westview high in Portland, and Perry Ellis, 6-8 senior from Wichita Heights, attended. Conner Frankamp, a 6-3 junior guard from Wichita North who has committed to KU, was there, as was Brannen Greene, 6-6 junior commit from Mary Persons High in Monroe, Ga.

Faces in crowd: Former KU coach Larry Brown, as well as former KU assistant coach Lafayette Norwood, plus ex-Jayhawk players Eric Chenowith, Nick Collison, Xavier Henry, Matt Kleinmann, Raef LaFrentz, Christian Moody, Brady Morningstar, Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, Kevin Pritchard and Wayne Simien attended. Also in attendance: actor Rob Riggle.

Stats, facts: Tyshawn Taylor played 44 minutes, a season high for any Jayhawk and most since Brandon Rush went 44 against Texas on March 11, 2007. Taylor’s 44 minutes are most in a conference game since Aaron Miles, Wayne Simien, J.R. Giddens and Keith Langford all played 45 or more minutes against Texas Tech on Feb. 14, 2005. ... Taylor’s nine points in overtime are most points in an overtime period since Raef LaFrentz scored nine in the first overtime against Missouri on Feb. 4 1997 ... It’s KU’s first overtime win against Missouri since a 92-80 decision on Jan 13, 1992 at MU ... It’s the first OT game KU has won in Lawrence against MU, and only the second OT game against Missouri in Lawrence (Jan 22, 1920 was the first). ... KU is 4-3 all-time in OT versus MU. ... KU is 172-95 versus MU all-time. ... KU has won 24 games for seven straight seasons. ... KU has at least a share of an eighth-straight Big 12 title. Overall, KU has won 12 Big 12 titles and a Div. I-leading 55 conference crowns. ... KU has won 21 straight in Allen. ... KU has won 13 in a row over MU in Allen. ... Kevin Young had a career-high four blocks and career-best eight boards. ...


Larry on MU: Former KU coach Brown, who has spent the past several days in Lawrence watching practice, commented on MU leaving the Big 12 for the SEC.

“I don’t feel good about them leaving. They should stay in the Big 12 so Kansas and Missouri could play all the time,” Brown said.

“Oh man,” Brown exclaimed, asked if it was sad the Tigers were exiting. “I did a clinic a while back and spoke before the Missouri High School Coaches Association ... and coach Stewart (Norm, MU) came by and we spent a lot of time just thinking about the tradition and the rivalry. It’s pretty special, you hate to see it end.”


Jeff Schartz 9 years, 7 months ago

How much did the drama of the game affect the tone of the recruit's mindset? Next year's class could be overwhelming, in a "Chris Paul to the Lakers" kind of way.

Debbie Mangen 9 years, 7 months ago

How could a recruit sit thru that game in front of 16,300 and leave AFH with any question in his mind as to where he wanted to play his college ball? With all the former players, many from the NBA, in attendance showing the love for KU, how could they think of playing somewhere else?

I've called this team "the cardiac kids" all season, and today almost did me in.


Micky Baker 9 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, me too. My heart was in my throat. The last time I felt like in a regular season game was when UCLA had an 18 point lead in Allen Field House, and Jacque Vaugn did the 360 spin in the lane to tie it and the roof literally lifted off Allen Field House.

minnhawk84 9 years, 7 months ago

Mom: They would think of playing somewhere else if there is MONEY involved.....Kentucky and UNLV are also on his list.

brooksmd 9 years, 7 months ago

Not only all that, but throw in the best big-man coach in DMan and conditioning coach in AHud, there is no better place to prep for the pro's if you're a big.

Debbie Mangen 9 years, 7 months ago

And don't forget to vote daily for the best fans in college basketball! We're back in first place! You can vote once a day with each email account!

jayhawkinATL 9 years, 7 months ago

Yep, thanks for posting the reminder. Been voting with my 5 accounts everyday! LOL

april28 9 years, 7 months ago

Interesting to hear what Self said about T-Rob, sort of hinting at a lack of support from his family. Sad.

Great game T-Rob and Hawks. One for the ages....and you did it!

KU79 9 years, 7 months ago

It's been well documented, after his tragedies of last year, that he literally has only his little sister. He simply doesn't have any type of father or mother figure, or any family elder to say to him "I'm proud of you." It's up to the coaching staff and Jayhawk nation to say to Thomas . . . "we're all proud of you young man...good job!"

KU79 9 years, 7 months ago

It's been well documented, after his tragedies of last year, that he literally has only his little sister. He simply doesn't have any type of father or mother figure, or any family elder to say to him "I'm proud of you." It's up to the coaching staff and Jayhawk nation to say to Thomas . . . "we're all proud of you young man...good job!"

Benz Junque 9 years, 7 months ago

I think what was interesting is that Self basically said that Robinson was more concerned with his status in the National; Player of the Year voting on Wednesday than his team's performance. T-Rob got frustrated that he wasn't getting stats and lost his cool.

Thomas, as a KU fan, we want you to win the National Player of the Year, but we there is no pressure to do so. Everyone knows that you are an amazing basketball player. All of the NBA scouts know that you are an incredible player. You will be drafted in the Top 5, no problem. There is NO PRESSURE on you to win this award. Go out and ENJOY your last few remaining games in college. Play free of stress and go out there and compete as hard as possible. Whether you end with 10 points or 30 points, if you compete with passion and intensity, you have done your best.

Thomas Robinson was all about winning in the second half against Mizzou last night. If he plays at that level, he will be just fine come NPOY voting time. Some of it is out of his hands. IF guys keep driving at Anthony Davis and getting their shots blocked, there is nothing that T-Rob can do about that. Just enjoy you time with your team and go out there and try to make your first Final Four. THAT will put you in the "Greatest All-Time KU" list.

Robert Lofthouse 9 years, 7 months ago

KU lost to Kentucky in their second games of this season. Wouldn't it be thrilling to see KU beat Kentucky in KU's second-to-last game - then go on to whip Syracuse in the NC?

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 7 months ago

I didn't get the same thing from Bill's statement that you apparently did. I have never heard him suggest that Thomas or anyone else put personal things before the team. I think he was just saying that the pressure of being a candidate was one of the things bothering Thomas, and that he had no family to reassure him.

jayhawker_97 9 years, 7 months ago

congrats KY on his double career highs!! BTW, i wonder how many KU fans follow @phenom15balla. i'd love to see him in KU jersey!

lurkerhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Bill Self on continuing the rivalry says, "the next coach (at KU) may play."

I cannot fathom any other coach at KU other than Self. Best coach since Allen!

Joe Joseph 9 years, 7 months ago

So Ojeleye hasn't received an offer from HCBS? I can't believe Self would let a top-100 recruit from 30 miles down the road go elsewhere.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

I think it's a deal where he might need a player at another position rather than another 3. White will be here, BMac can play there, Greene can probably play there, and there is the project of developing Perry Ellis into a hybrid 3/4 along the lines of Julian Wright & McMorris. Not exactly sure what the scholarship situation is for next year (this year we're already at the limit with the assumption that Wesley goes back to walk-on status), but I think we're in more dire need of another point guard. So really it might be a wait & see situation if he can fill some other needs with the scholarships he has left.

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 7 months ago

I read on another post here a week or so ago that Ojeleye has a brother at KSU, and is unlikely to seriously be looking at KU for that reason...

Rock Challk!!

Jeff Schartz 9 years, 7 months ago

What you have done in three years here at the University of Kansas, Mr. Robinson, is turn the Jayhawk Community into the largest extended family known, perhaps in the history of this entire planet. Every single Jayhawk fan that I know, has taken Thomas into their hearts, with prayers and with love, and with faith that this young man and his sister, will prosper and glow in their time in our presence. Even though the tragedies are true, and the sad memories may remain, Thomas obviously has the faith, strength, and fortitude, to see this through, and I believe that is why HE IS TRULY BLESSED. WE LOVE YOU THOMAS, THANK YOU. WE ARE ALL PROUD OF YOU.

REHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

I feel a deep sense of appreciation to this entire squad for providing the Jayhawk Nation the opportunity, once again, to luxuriate in the throes of a Big 12 title. Since last April fans dreamed alongside you players, predicting with high hopes another league crown. What a splendid performance to nail it down! You are, indeed, a group of high achievers who have maintained focus and perseverance. Best of good fortune to you throughout the remainder of this season and your lives. The meat and potatoes sit steaming on the table. Now go for the gravy.

Alohahawk 9 years, 7 months ago

And don't forget to top it off with dessert.

Ben Simonett 9 years, 7 months ago

That game has to be one of the most powerful recruiting tools Bill Self has ever used in his time here.

We should really start thinking about how were going to free up some scholarships because a lot of talent just witnessed why they're going to want to be jayhawks.

DevilHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

We talk about highly-rated basketball recruits, but we should remember that there are no OAD players on the current team.

brooksmd 9 years, 7 months ago

And we still got a Big XII championship.

Kye Clark 9 years, 7 months ago

Are you sure those were bets and that KU fans weren't just paying you to go away?

JayHawkFanToo 9 years, 7 months ago

I guess that means the single-wide is fully paid?

Darren McSweeney 9 years, 7 months ago

I worry about you, sir, if your family's financial success depends on the success of the Missouri athletic program. Please consider purchasing a good bond fund, or perhaps dividend paying stock fund. If you put $1000 on every game our schools have played, you'd be in the hole $76000, enough to buy a nice home in many parts of Missouri. I advise that you take a good course in Probability and Statistics and Investing. Do they teach such things at Missouri?

SaltLakeHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

I'll give you credit, missouricat. You're doing something that is significantly above the average intelligence of an MU fan.

As an MU fan who bets on KU to win, you're using financial tools to hedge your emotional risk.

Props. That's brilliant.

Winning money every time MU lost probably prevented you from killing yourself as you watched MU get owned by KU all these years.

Did you win money when KU permanently closed down "Allen Field House East" (aka Hearnes Center) after yet another KU win? I hope so, otherwise you'll have no money to offset the horror of that memory. Obviously the vast majority of your memories of KU at Hearnes must be unpleasant... but gosh, I'd imagine that one takes the cake. For your sake, I hope you were hedged.

Did you win money when KU won the Orange Bowl and the National Championship in 08? Again, I hope so, otherwise your "root against KU" watch-parties must have been R E A L L Y depressing. Honestly, I can't even imagine the depth and darkness of that depression for the average (non-hedged) MU fan. The only thing that prevents a suicide watch in Columbia every year during March (you know, when the NIT happens) is the slight hope that KU might not win the championship in the real tournament. Non-hedged MU fans must have been offing themselves by the dozen.

As a KU fan, if I had to endure witnessing A N Y of the following things...

[a] MU winning 15 out of the last 19 meetings between our 2 programs [b] MU winning 8 conference championships in a row [c] MU winning the Orange Bowl and the National Championship... in the same year [d] MU having 14 final four appearances while KU has 0

... I'd kill myself.

But you've found a way to survive, so props to you.

Darren McSweeney 9 years, 7 months ago

I don't think he/she was betting on KU to win. He was betting on MU to beat the spread. He's saying that KU fans believe too much in their team and give too much of a spread, thereby putting the odds in his favor. It's not really true, however. If you look at the historical odds of beating the spread in the series, it's about 50/50, as the spreads are set by gamblers throughout the nation. Subtract gambling fees and you have what any financial advisor would consider a bad bet.

9 years, 7 months ago

$2,700? Congratulations certainly are in order. Anytime someone can double their annual salary via friendly wagers, a hearty celebration is warranted indeed!

Regardless, enjoy "competing" in the SEC :^)

REHawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Bye-Bye, Troll. We certainly won't MizzYou. Best of luck with Alabama football and Kentucky basketball. Send word when you stomp the Gators.

dtdjayhawk 9 years, 7 months ago

Saturday was the best game i have ever been to in my life . The atmosphere was something that words can't describe and if i tried it could never do it justice...the energy and emotion that filled Allen Fieldhouse was insane. I feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of it.

Thomas Robinson: You are a fantastic player and an incredible young man The entire Jayhawk family will be behind you and now and throughout the rest of your career. The love we have for our players is one that never goes away. I believe that you are a very special person and this season what you have given us is 100% proof of that. After the outcome of this game and all the emotion surrounding it you can't help but feel we will be nothing but perfect the rest of the way out. Cheers to an excellent BIG 12 tournament and a deep deep run in the NCAAA tournament.

Clear Eyes. Full Heart. Can't Lose. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!!!!

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