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Kansas defeats Texas, 69-66

  • 3 p.m., Jan. 21, 2012
  • Frank Erwin Center, Austin, TX

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Emotional rescue: KU, Thomas Robinson hold it together, edge Texas

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor, right, gets a bump from teammate Naadir Tharpe after the Jayhawks' 69-66 win over Texas on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor, right, gets a bump from teammate Naadir Tharpe after the Jayhawks' 69-66 win over Texas on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at the Frank Erwin Center.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

KU coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 69-66 victory over Texas on Jan. 21, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson

Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 69-66 victory over Texas on Jan. 21, 2012.

Download podcast

KU vs. Texas

Box score

— Thomas Robinson answered his wake-up call shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday in his AT&T Executive Center hotel room, flipped on the TV and was surprised to see his picture on the screen.

Kansas University’s junior forward from Washington, D.C., had tuned into an ESPN “Game Day” feature story on Saturday’s one-year anniversary of the death of his mom, Lisa.

“Seeing his sister (Jayla) on TV ... it definitely made him smile,” said Elijah Johnson, Robinson’s roommate, who monitored the reaction of his teammate on such an important day. “I think he needed that. It started his day off right. It started his day off good.”

The 6-foot-10 Robinson once again made his loved ones proud — he tweeted the simple message “FOE” (Family Over Everything) 90 minutes before the game — by scoring 17 points, grabbing nine rebounds and coming up big in crunch time in the Jayhawks’ 69-66 victory over Texas in Erwin Center.

“Today was an emotional day for Thomas,” KU coach Bill Self said. “To go through what he has gone through and know this is the anniversary and wake up watching that ESPN special and all that stuff, to go out and perform like that ... I think that showed a lot about him.”

Self held a short meeting with all the Jayhawks except Robinson on Friday, telling them to skip the ESPN report on Lisa Robinson’s passing.

“Elijah texted me saying Thomas watched it,” Self said. “I said, ‘How’s he doing?’ He said, ‘He’s OK. He wants to break down, but he hasn’t yet.’ I’m sure he’ll lose it here pretty soon. I think our guys picked him up today pretty well.”

Self spoke with Robinson about the ESPN special prior to the game.

“I said it made me proud to watch it,” Self said. “He said, ‘Coach, it made me proud to watch it, too.’”

Robinson — his inside feed to Jeff Withey resulted in a basket and foul shot to erase a 66-65 deficit and give KU a 68-66 lead with :37 left — said he was holding up fine.

He had not only his coaches and teammates around Saturday, but also Angel Morris, mother of KU’s Morris twins. She made a special trip to the game to make sure she was there if Robinson needed her.

Angel, who supported Thomas so much in the year since Lisa’s death, said Thomas was doing so well, she didn’t even bring up the significance of the day with him.

“I wouldn’t say it was too emotional,” Robinson said of Saturday. “No disrespect or anything, but that’s something I have to live with every day. For the media, it’s the anniversary, but for me it’s every day.”

Robinson was sent to the free-throw line in a crucial situation — with 8.8 seconds left and KU still up, 68-66. Texas coach Rick Barnes called a timeout to ice Robinson.

Thomas missed the first free throw, but knocked down the second, meaning KU had a 69-66 lead with one possession to go.

Texas’ J’Covan Brown (24 points, 20 the second half), who was guarded first by Travis Releford then taken by Elijah Johnson on the switch, missed a three with two seconds left, assuring KU its 16th win against three losses (6-0 in the Big 12). Texas fell to 12-7, 2-4.

“I’m still shaking,” Robinson joked of his nerves at the free-throw line.

He had just one rebound the first half. No matter, as the Jayhawks, who had game-high leads of 15 points in both halves, still led by 12 at the break.

“I don’t think that’s happened to me all season,” Robinson said of grabbing just one board in 20 minutes. “Coach pointed that out to me. The second half I had the mind-set, ‘I need every rebound.’”

Robinson and Withey (12 points, 8-for-9 from the line) had clutch plays late to go with the all-around excellence of Tyshawn Taylor, who scored 22 points and had four assists against no turnovers.

“Let’s call it (like it is) ... it was Tyshawn Taylor. He controlled the game,” Self said. “He didn’t turn the ball over. He made shots, and when the game was on the line he got fouled and made a three-point play.”

First, KU’s Johnson hit a shot at 2:55 to slice a 64-60 deficit to one bucket. Then after a Clint Chapman miss, Taylor was fouled by Myck Kabongo on a jumper, hitting the free throw to give KU a 65-64 lead. Brown hit two free throws at 1:53 to put Texas up by one again, leading to the Withey and-one.

“We did a good job taking care of the ball,” Taylor said.

KU had just six turnovers to Texas’ nine.

Self was so happy with the lack of turnovers and poise in coming back from the four-point deficit he called it “the best win we’ve had all year. It’s what we needed. The last one or two possession game we’d played was Georgetown in early November. Our guys stepped up. Jeff showed some guts making those free throws, and we defended the last possession well.”

Still, Brown, who made seven of 26 shots (three of eight from three), had a chance to hit the game-tying three before the final horn.

“He still got a look that scared me,” Taylor said with a smile. “I thought it was going in when he shot it. To win on the road like this against a talented team like Texas is good for us. It shows toughness from us.”

KU will meet Texas A&M at 8 p.m. Monday in Allen Fieldhouse.

Comments

jhawkr 2 years, 2 months ago

Oh the road games to come ..........

We have no real bench. Only two guys came off the bench other then Young's TWO minutes of court time. Wesley didn't do bad, but Teahan and his 1950's Hoosiers body and quickness leave a lot to be desired. We are only one bad officiating crew on the road from being exposed to having no bench. And Coach has never shown any propensity to allowing the team to play ZONE as practice for a game when we are in serious foul trouble and have to play it to conserve fouls and effort.

Withey's not equipped to play 30 minutes with any all out effort. He works so hard to get a rebound only to miss a shot point blank several times. I know that he's improved some and he did make 8 of 9 FT's. But to only shoot 2 of 7 with only six rebounds in 30 minutes is what should be expected of a bench player. Maybe I should be satisfied with him, but to make a very deep run he has to improve in the likes of what we have seen out of Tyshawn in the past 3 weeks.

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drymartinie 2 years, 2 months ago

I know it is a quibble, but can we please give up constantly referencing T-Rob as 6-10. This site mentions it EVERY opportunity they can...are they trying to inflate his size for the NBA scouts or something? When he was jawing with 6-7 Alexis Wangmene they were EXACTLY the same height.

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kubiggestfan 2 years, 2 months ago

Way to go T-Rob and company.....GO JAYHAWKS

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

Ralster said -- "Not only is TT's fire burning, that kid is in afterburner-mode. Think of it as Sherron-like, but with bigger upside and verticality."

Can you believe we're suggesting TT has more upside than Sherron?

Unbelievable. True, but unbelievable.

Is the TT/TRob tandem better than Collins/Aldrich? Could that be possible?

Unbelievable.

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MrPilot 2 years, 2 months ago

So is Jesse not doing the stats recap stories anymore? I always looked forward to those after every game. :-/

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Ron Franklin 2 years, 2 months ago

I heard last night that the folks associated with KU raised 300,000 for Jayla. I wonder if Thomas will pay it forward when he makes his millions this summer. For the sake of ALL of the children in need, I sure hope so.

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Benjamin Piehler 2 years, 2 months ago

AFH is AFH.... however, asides from Maui, we seem to play a bit flat on the road. The only thing concerning about that to me is that none of our away games thus far have been in very intimidating venues. Its been said many times that this team isnt as deep as usual for KU; they will be out for blood in Manhattan, and surely Columbia, knowing they will get a good shot at us this year. I wouldnt write off the games in Waco or Ames either.

Bill Self said at the beginning of the year this team has to get used to "winning ugly"... and maybe thats all there is to it.

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Steve Brown 2 years, 2 months ago

“We did a good job taking care of the ball,” Thank you TT.

FOE: TRob your hard work and dedication is paying dividends on the court. thank you.

JeffW. you are moving from an average footer to pretty darn good, it's fun to watch you play. thank you.

Angel: an answer to prayers, thanks for your big heart.

Team: enjoy every possession, get some stops, pass the rock, take good shots, fight for loose balls, celebrate the opportunity. RCJHKU.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 2 months ago

Off topic, but last night I was covering the Olathe NW vs. Blue Valley NW high school game. I bring it up only because Willie Cauley, who signed with Kensucky, plays for Olathe and on some recruiting websites is ranked higher than Perry Ellis. I know these recruiting websites do this for a living and know more than me, and that they base most of their analysis on player performance during the AAU circuit, but I just don't see it. He played extremely soft, despite being 6 inches taller than anyone else on the court. He scored a paltry 9 points, and didn't get many rebounds either (I'd estimate 5 maybe). When he got the ball in the post, while being guarded by much smaller players, he often faded away as opposed to going up strong. For the 3-game tournament, he scored less than 30 points combined. In contrast, Ellis scored 87 points in a different tournament, including 31 points in the championship game (which Heights won).

Anyway, just wanted to share because I know some fans were questioning why we were never in on Cauley. While I know he's a legit 6'10" and athletically gifted, things you can't coach, I felt comfortable in knowing Self landed the best player in the state.

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741hawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Just finished watching (for the third time) "The Street Stops Here" on ESPN Classic -- Documentary about Coach Bob Hurley, St Anthony's High School, and Tyshawn as a senior.

I've never hated on Ty. Been a fan since seeing him in a summer league game before his freshman season. He was SO fast!

I've always understood how much more difficult it would be for Tyshawn to go to college, play for the Jayhawks and be in the limelight (coming from an inner city Jersey school) than it would be for a high school graduate from Johnson County or Wichita, for example.

I'm no longer surprised by how young men mature as players and as people under Coach Self's program.

So happy for Ty's success, but even more for the TEAM's success . . . the importance of which Ty learned from Coach Hurley.

Rock Chalk.

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jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

I don't doubt MU is good.

But KU is better, and barring a 25% trey shooting performance we will beat them by 10-15.

I suspect Self will make them pay for being one big and four guards.

There are two ways to do it.

First Method: Rotate Thomas and Jeff and Justin and wear their big down with physical play, while going small elsewhere with Conner and KY at the 4.

Second Method: Go big with Thomas and Jeff and play some zone on defense. Our usual starting line up playing zone would destroy Fizzou on the defensive end, and just overpower them on offense.

Really, we're going to be these guys into the next century.

The minute I saw they barely beat Baylor, I quit gripping.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

I have watched Missouri as often as possible; and am impressed with their play. To date, Haith seems to be doing a masterful job of extracting unified team play from Anderson's talented recruits. A very difficult thing to do, as Bill Self and assistants learned their first year at Kansas. In analyzing the Tigers lineup, pundits still harp on their lack of height down low, esp. after the loss of Bowers. But they proved in yesterdays matchup with Baylor that their speed and spacing is capable of giving any worthy opponents absolute fits. They are very very tough to defend, still active buzzsaws on both ends of the court. Depth-wise, they are as limited as the Jayhawks; but reserves Dixon and Moore give them more experienced and valuable minutes than does our bench. A terrific group of passers, very hard to double team at any position.

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daverinoku 2 years, 2 months ago

"storm Columbia and snatch their souls"

I like that!

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

Also, on the Big 12 -- Anyone doubting MU being for real should really check that at the door. Objectively, they are a handful. Tough to matchup with. Quick. Good shooters. Best passing team I've seen this season. Our defense is our ticket there. We need to storm Columbia and snatch their souls. They are not a deep team either. Our worry is our also advantage -- how do they matchup with Withey and TRob on the floor? How do we play defense with Withey and TRob on the floor? TRob vs. English? That could equal foul trouble.

Should make for a couple of unreal battles.

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

After last night's game and a second review of the game: 1. Tyshawn - played his best game of the year. The zero turnovers were a big part. But he drove in the lane and did deliver important passes for scores. His three point shooting continues to really be the surprise of the season. Late, he pressed and tried to make things happen driving. He got bailed out on a foul call that probably wasn't a foul, on another that his shot hit the bottom of the backboard and TRob grabbed and slammed, and then one that was a foul. He said in the KC Star that big players make big plays, and that's what he was trying to do ... it just appeared he pressed late in the game and things just went our way. But that is nitpicking. Against Kentucky, his other 0 turnover game, he was out of control. He was perfectly in control this game. Just an outstanding performance. 2. Releford - defense was good. Self switched EJ to Brown for a while, but switched Releford back to him late thankfully. But offensively, we are back to Mr. Passive. If you re-watch the game, you'll see easily over 10 times where Releford has a clear opportunity to drive -- meaning his defender is overly committed one way or the other. It's not wide open, but obvious that he could make a penetrating move that could lead to a layup, dish, midrange jumper, or other opportunity. He takes the opportunity once. He passes on multiple shot opportunities. It is a puzzling and frustrating thing to see. It's like the guy didn't show up offensively and made a conscious decision to be a wallflower on offense. 3. Withey - Like his increased activity on the offensive end. He's getting lower, better post position. I see his butt getting into the defender, which creates space. And who can't learn from his tremendous free throw stroke? 4. TRob - Played a solid, under control game. Every team game plans for him. Passing quickly out of the double is still an issue. And it doesn't appear that we have any set plays out of the double. Is anyone seeing a set play, or us trying to create scoring out of that double? I don't. 5. EJ - Just a thought. It seems easier to shoot the three from directly in front of the rim; at a 45 degree on the wing; or the corner. EJ takes many of his 3s from just off center. I'd be interested to see his % from various spots. Seems that he's better from directly in front, or at 45, than in between. 6. Wesley - Just in over his head. Wish we had a real option as backup off the bench. Achilles' heal? He just can't hang. Just wish we had a big body that could defend a bit. Wesley and KY just don't have the beef. 7. Teahan - A bit better relatively speaking than Wesley. But a one trick pony. Most we can hope is threes go in at 50% the rest of the way, and his defense is adequate.

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Scut Farkus 2 years, 2 months ago

I have to admit I'm pleasantly surprised by TT's play, but I think the contributions by Withey have been the difference. We knew TT was good and he would be excellent if he reduced his TO's, and he has, and is now most likely the best PG in the Big 12, but Withey has become a force inside. One more year with Manning and he could be a lottery pick next year, especially if he masters that little baby hook.

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always_a_jayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

As to the game itself, I didn't get to see it; but it sounds like KU nearly blew it. Glad they had the necessary poise to recover and win the game. 6-0 in the Big 12, baby! Anyone else in the league able to say that? That's what I thought. Rock Chalk!

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always_a_jayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km6Gef4-xAU

For those of you who missed it, here is the link to the special report on T-Rob.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Of the ESPN T-Rob anniversary cut, Self told Thomas, "It made me proud to watch it." That one word goes far to define the character and leadership magnificence of Bill Self.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

We can't be messin' with the FOE handle. Personal player and team psychology at work there. Any fan tampering could lead only to alienation, IMHO.

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 months ago

Six down...ten to go...heck, why lose any now!! "RCJHGKU!!!!!"{

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southwindjay 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey dub T's, no TO's!!! Keep the fire BURNING!

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Bellator 2 years, 2 months ago

I wish the FOE thing would just go away. To me it was just a Morris Twin thing and it meant F the coaches, the fans, the media. The problem with it, especially with the Morris Twins, was when they really felt the chip on their shoulder they played great and without out it they were very average. I'd rather have guys like Hinrich and Collision who just "brought" their game every night because that's who they were and the didn't need to make up real and perceived slights to motivate them.

This is the first time I've heard it this year and I hope it's the last.

I'm sure there are those that disagree but FOE to you :)

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Kent Kossoy 2 years, 2 months ago

Announcers also claimed that the Big 12 was the only conference to have 3 teams in the top 10. Who is the third team besides Baylor and KU?? Misery is in the SEC (Southern Enema Conference. )

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jhkprd 2 years, 2 months ago

I missed the ESPN special on Robinson. Anyone know where I can see it?

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doolindalton 2 years, 2 months ago

TRob has got to get over his "nerves" at the free throw line. This was a conference road game against a mediocre team which KU almost lost at the free throw line. It's not the tournament where every point is desperately needed.

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Danny Hernandez 2 years, 2 months ago

About the only way a team like misery can beat anyone is to retain their players all 4 years(not talented enough to bolt early) while the other talent laden teams like Kansas & Texas lose players early to the NBA, forcing them to reload quicker than anticipated.

misery will lose 5-6 seniors this year and when they reload, I mean, rebuild, it will be ugly for them next year.

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Shawn Otrimble 2 years, 2 months ago

I think hearing about Angel Morris being at the game for Thomas speaks volumes of the family atmosphere at Kansas University. I believe we have the best coach in all of college sports. Just with what he has done in this season already, he deserves to be up for National Coach of the year. We truly are blessed at KU.

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baldwinjhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

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

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KansasComet 2 years, 2 months ago

Let's embrace this home and home with the Missouri Tigers. After all, it is the last one. I like good rivalries. Let's send them out of the Big XII the right way!

Losing a parent at an early age is extremely difficult. The only advice I can give anyone in that situation is take time to smile about all the good times that you had with your parent. Think of all of the things that really made you appreciate them and say "Thank You". When you are alone, just take time to reflect. It is okay, the pain never goes away, but it can be managed in time. I say all these things from experience, being 10 years old when my father passed away...decades ago.

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yates33333 2 years, 2 months ago

Unfortunately, the Mizzou quitters have an excellent team. They will give Kentucky a run for its money (no joke intended) next year. Florida also, but Florida is still an unpaid college team. I hope we can beat Mizzou in Lawrence. They seem to play as well on the road as they do at home. Of course, ideally we can beat them in Columbia.

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KULA 2 years, 2 months ago

OMG, could Missouri actually be #2 when the rankings come out Monday afternoon?

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Jeeveshawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Good for Thomas. He managed to have a game only slightly below his averages, which is not a bad thing at all, considering how high he set his bar, and doing it on such an emotional day for him. With a clutch free-throw that caused UT to shoot a three he may have won this road game for us, and he definately conquered one of his demons.

He is not the only one, as Tyshawn Taylor had an astounding 0 turnovers. I was surprised to hear he only averaged four per game (although that is alot for just 1 player). Though I would have been happier if he got his 4 to's and we also outrebounded the horns like we should have, Tyshawn showed that if he listens to HCBS that he can fix the problem that has haunted him from day 1, and this will lead to making Kansas a much more efficient team. Now we will get plenty more possesions against Missouri because we will get every single rebound, and our turnover problem is slowly being mended by the almost perfect coaching processes of Bill Self.

I would like to see Travis get back into his scoring mode (not that I was disapointed in his performance today), and I miss the days at the beginning of the season when Teahan was a sharpshooter, who when he had the ball and he was wide open you would think: "There's 3 points!," but now when he looks like he is about to shoot you think: "He may get this, if he is having a good shooting day." Other than that I think every jayhawk lived up to his full scoring potential, but the game was kept somewhat close because of our poor reboundind, the inability to hit free-throws, and the Longhorns all playing to their maximum potential. It was a good road win for KU, as we continue to dominate a conference so tough as the Big 12.

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BleedCnB 2 years, 2 months ago

Jayhawk Nation is behind you T-Rob, No doubt your mom is up above proudly proclaiming that you are her son. Whenever you need a shoulder no doubt your teammates will help you out,......and Jayhawk nation will also be there for you. God Bless you Thomas, I know how hard it is to lose mom. I had to deal with that 2 years ago and I still think about her every day.

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actorman 2 years, 2 months ago

“'Seeing his sister (Jayla) on TV ... it definitely made him smile,' said Elijah Johnson, Robinson’s roommate, ..."

Gary, don't you mean Elijah Robinson? Weren't you listening to Verne Lundquist?

Great win, guys. The team is looking stronger and stronger all the time.

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JurisJayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

0 Turnovers for TT. That's awesome. I know he'll turn it over, but this is huge for his confidence. He's been playing outta his mind and I love it.

Great win against UT. Rock Chalk!

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