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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Keegan

Thomas Robinson’s game (not head) expanding

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Bill Self weekly press conference: Jan. 9, 2012

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Kansas head men's basketball coach Bill Self addressed the media at his weekly press conference Monday, Jan. 9, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Thomas Robinson and Travis Releford talk before Texas Tech game

KU forward Thomas Robinson says he doesn't have the green light from KU coach Bill Self to take it coast to coast after getting a rebound. "More like a yellow," Robinson said with a laugh. He and KU small forward Travis Releford talked to media members on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Two days after Thomas Robinson freed himself late during a coast-to-coast drive with a behind-the-back dribble, and five days after ESPN’s Dick Vitale chose him as his mid-season college basketball player of the year, teammate Travis Releford talked about an advantage to Robinson flying solo.

“We can just take off,” Releford said. “We don’t have to wait for the pass.”

So, Thomas, do you have the green light to dribble the whole way?

His smile answered the question before he did.

“I wouldn’t say that,” Robinson said. “More like a yellow.”

Once a game, Robinson will do something he hadn’t done before, such as Saturday’s behind-the-back dribble in transition in the victory in Norman, Okla. Afterward, he’ll smile and make sure to say he won’t make a habit of it.

He has hit a three-pointer, has played the point in transition setting up others for easy buckets and routinely has hit elbow and baseline jumpers, demonstrating how far his game has come so quickly.

Rebounding and scoring close to the basket remain his bread and his butter, and he hasn’t forgotten that.

Robinson (12.1 per game) ranks second in the nation in rebounding to Siena’s O.D. Anosike (12.4) and is tied for third with 10 double-doubles.

Averaging 17.5 points per game, Robinson has the same number of dunks (39) as the rest of the team combined. He’s shooting .534 from the field and .659 from the line.

None of those statistical achievements could be attained without Robinson’s most obvious, least talked-about improvement. He doesn’t commit personal fouls nearly as frequently.

As a freshman, Robinson got whistled for 5.5 fouls per 30 minutes, 4.2 per 30 as a sophomore and 2.7 this season. Avoiding foul trouble has enabled Robinson to average 30.9 minutes per game, second only to Tyshawn Taylor (32.1).

Robinson has had passive defensive games, none worse than Davidson, but overall his coach has no complaints.

“I think he’s playing better defensively, I really do,” ninth-year Kansas coach Bill Self said. “I think he’s playing his man a little better before he catches it, and he has done a good job of staying out of foul trouble, knock on wood. I think he’s getting smarter.”

As a team, depth-challenged Kansas has avoided foul trouble.

“Against K-State, in a game in which there’s usually a ton of fouls called, we were able to play pretty consistently with our feet and our head and not do a ton of reaching and grabbing inside,” Self said.

The coach said he hasn’t talked to Robinson about Vitale’s mid-season award, which shows he doesn’t fear his best player’s head will swell from it.

“It’s a great compliment to hear that,” Robinson said. “But the Player of the Year’s not given out until the end of the year, so I’ve still got a lot more work to do. The whole focus is to get the conference championship and then win the tournament.”

Comments

FoCoCoHawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Let's not forget Nick Krug and his awesome photographs. More than a few are truly works of art.

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JJHawq 2 years, 3 months ago

I'll agree with JB here that LJW has taken it to another level the last 12 months from a journalism standpoint. There is some incredible talent at the paper now with Newell and Tait. The coverage of the conference and coaching changes this year have been amazing. The "jayhawks in the league" blog is SICK.

if you follow kusports or jesse or mctait on twitter - you're in for another treat as well. i'm out there as @jotajotahawk on twitter - and not only do they interact on the blogs and message boards - but they are replying to messages on twitter as well.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR EFFORTS AND YOUR LACK OF SLEEP.

RCJHGKU!!!!

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AsadZ 2 years, 3 months ago

I am worried about Iowa State. They have some pieces and can score from many places. They are deadly on trey which has been KU's problem this year. KU will have to play very good D especially on perimeter to win on Sat.

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AsadZ 2 years, 3 months ago

Just watched HCBS PC from 1/9. He had some great comments. One that struck me was on players getting better over the years. He said something like lot of times coaches get credit for players getting better over the years but the biggest reason for improvement in their game is that they want to get better themselves.

This comment was in response to a question pertaining to players staying at school and also red shirting like Travis R.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 3 months ago

By the end of this season, I feel that TRob will be one of the most "NBA Ready" players in Kansas history. Height, length, movement, power and desire......he has it all.

It would be awesome to see him somehow matched up with Durant and the Thunder!!!

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Michael Leiker 2 years, 3 months ago

Just don't think you can call Robinson elite until he is shooting better than 53% from the field. Not trying to take anything away from him, but historically he just is not on the level of other POTY big men.

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Milton Bland 2 years, 3 months ago

Keegan, Your writing sucks. Did you ever take a composition class?

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Keith Hummel 2 years, 3 months ago

OK - but is T-Rob as humble as T-Bow. Just curious. Maybe we can get a story on that tomorrow.

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REHawk 2 years, 3 months ago

Dis-illuminator, if you are much of a reader, and really care about detail regarding everything Jayhawk hoops, then you are missing some fine stuff by skipping jb's posts. At least a quick scan is well worth the investment, I always discover.

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

TRob's 5.5 fouls per 30 minutes as a freshman should remind Justin Wesley that he will get it nailed down next season.

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syceda 2 years, 3 months ago

This team will peak at the right time and we know who the best player in the country is. RCJH

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jaybate 2 years, 3 months ago

The next step is for TRob to hang a 30/20 on a first tier team within the flow of the offense.

He will do it, after EJ gets untracked sometime during the next 5 games.

TRob needs everyone on the perimeter respected to have a career night against a top team.

This will happen soon.

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