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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Keegan

Victory the end for T-Rob, too

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson is hugged by head coach Bill Self as he is recognized before the fieldhouse during the senior speeches.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson is hugged by head coach Bill Self as he is recognized before the fieldhouse during the senior speeches.

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2012 KU senior speeches

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Senior speeches from Tyshawn Taylor, Conner Teahan and Jordan Juenemann following KU's 73-63 victory over Texas March 3, 2012.

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KU vs. Texas

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Kansas defeated Texas, 73-63, on Saturday, March 3, 2012, at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 73-63 victory over Texas on March 3, 2012.

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Kansas vs. Texas

Box score

No manufactured drama will follow Thomas Robinson into the postseason. Everybody, from coach Bill Self to Robinson himself, realized long ago that the issue of whether he would return to Kansas for his senior season was not an issue at all. So why fake it?

Still, because Robinson is not a senior, he did not give a senior speech Saturday night after his final game in Allen Fieldhouse. He got everything but that, though, in the way of being honored by his coach and the 16,300 late-night spectators.

“We’ve all been blessed to watch a kid grow up, right before our eyes, who has a legitimate chance to be National Player of the Year, who has sacrificed so much for the good of all of us,” Self said to the crowd. “Let’s recognize No. 0, Thomas Robinson.”

Robinson faced every direction and waved thanks to the crowd and even blew a couple of kisses. He said later he was afraid he would have to speak and had nothing prepared.

Self said he received letters urging him to let Robinson speak, but he didn’t believe that was right. After all, it’s called Senior Night, and Robinson is not the first junior who did great things for Kansas basketball who left a year early. Wilt Chamberlain, Paul Pierce, Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Cole Aldrich and the Morris twins come to mind.

“If you want to speak, though, you could stick around for one more year,” Self said into the microphone.

Robinson might have been the only one not to hear him because he was deep in an embrace with Tyshawn Taylor.

During the post-game, post-speeches news conference, Self reiterated that Robinson won’t be back when he said, “Thomas, playing his last game, played well, he just didn’t make free throws.”

Shortly before that, Robinson was asked to say what the message of his speech would have been, since he won’t ever get to give one.

“I’m never going to regret being a Jayhawk,” Robinson said. “Ever.”

He didn’t need to give a speech. His play in his final game in Allen Fieldhouse said all that needed to be said about why he will be missed so much.

Bouncing back from a so-so first half, Robinson dominated the second half of KU’s 73-63 victory against Texas. Robinson totaled 25 points and 14 rebounds, and 18 points and nine boards came after halftime.

Robinson and senior Tyshawn Taylor ensured Kansas of an undefeated season in the fieldhouse, where Taylor went 68-1 and Robinson went 50-1 during their careers, the lone loss coming to Texas, the day after Robinson’s mother died.

The mere fact Robinson decided to participate in that one showed how much his second family, the Kansas basketball team, means to him, how much comfort he drew from teammates after losing his grandmother, grandfather and mother in less than a month. The multiple tragedies left Robinson and his baby sister, Jayla, then 7, without the main sources of joy in their lives, other than each other. Jayla, being cared for by her father in Washington, D.C., could not make Saturday’s game because she was performing in a play.

If she performed as well as her brother, she no doubt received a warm ovation.

Robinson’s 22nd double-double of the season places him one behind national leader O.D. Anosike of Siena.

Robinson’s case for national player-of-the-year honors is strongest when his numbers against top competition are studied.

In games against eight ranked opponents — seven ranked in the top six in the nation at tipoff time — Robinson averaged 19.8 points and 12.3 rebounds. In those games, he shot .556 from the field and .762 from the line.

Even if Robinson doesn’t beat out Kentucky’s Anthony Davis for national player of the year, Robinson’s jersey will hang forever in the rafters, after he’s named a first-team All-American.

Comments

Daniel Kennamore 2 years, 5 months ago

I'll never be as happy to see a Jayhawk get his name called on draft day as I will be for T-Rob this summer...whether they left early or not.

Lesser men might have been broken by the tragedies of the past year...he adsorbed them to become the wonderful and strong man he is today. He's the poster-child for everything that is good about college athletics and being a Jayhawk.

Rock Chalk and good show, young man.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 5 months ago

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Beautiful way to end the regular season and your career in The Phog, TRob. You've joined that elite group of Jayhawks, the ones who are discussed and admired by the Jayhawk Nation, forever. We'll miss your leadership and abilities. But most of all we'll miss the boy who was forged, through the trials and tribulations you went through, into the young man you've become. You made us realize that life isn't just fun and games, but includes all those things which must be factored in, both the good and the not so good. All those things which make a person what they are in life.

You're also leaving with us a rememberance, the memorial tree to your mother, which should grow and florish as you will in your life.

Was disappointed that the two commentators, Knight and Mussberger, did not mention that TRob completed another double-double on this, his finale in AFH and for the regular season. Which means they also failed to mention anything about his being second in the nation with 22 double-doubles.

Is it me, or did it appear that the two (mostly Mussberger) have been reading the comments and topics mentioned on this board over the last week or so. (Wilt's 100 point game and who threw him the ball for his final two points, and that Wilt was one of if not the best all-around atheletes in America. A number of things about numerous KU players, all of which came close to being direct quotes from our different posters, Etc.) If so, I guess you could consider it a compliment to our posters. And that they spent some time doing research/their homework before the game.

Finally, this game seemed almost to duplicate the Oklahoma State game. Methodical win, with purpose. While one of the opponent's shot most of their shots, making a high percentage, quite often in a ridiculous manner.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Was going to add, but forgot, under the comments they may have read on this board and in articles by the LJW, that Mussberger brought up KU's recent home court record in AFH - that during Self's tenure, KU has won 8 conference championships, while losing only 7 home games.

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myopinion 2 years, 5 months ago

Thomas will never really leave KU, and KU will never leave Thomas. He will have a home and a family here always.

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jayhawker_97 2 years, 5 months ago

TRob doesn't have to 'try' hard to be POY, he's played hard enough to earn it. the guy is getting better with his footwork, too. a necessary tool in the NBA that not a lot of 'em have it. it's a blessing to see him develop to this far in a span of only how many games? simply amazing..

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John Randall 2 years, 5 months ago

Don't forget to keep voting, even tho' the CBS poll doesn't determine anything.

http://www.cbssports.com/collegebasketball/player-of-the-year

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Alohahawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Just voted, again. TRob is leading 55%, to 34% for Davis, and 11% for Green. It may not count directly, but public opinion never hurts. The sports writers can't completely ignore what the public thinks. In a race this close, one sports writer's vote could make the difference.

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Jeremy Bolinger 2 years, 5 months ago

Thomas Robinson will go down as my favorite Kansas Jayhawk to date. What he has endured in his life, and how he has overcame everything thrown at him speaks volumes about what kind of young man he is. No matter how his NBA career turns out, he'll always be a hell of man because he's always done it the right way!

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Billy Derringer 2 years, 5 months ago

Dont think TROB was a 5 star player, worked his azz off and an became so strong athletically--mentally-(how many foul outs this year?)an a leader on an off..Most of all will leave lawrence a better MAN. this people is why i dont get all caught up on KU just landing 5 star-OaD players, an enjoy wittnessing a kid blossom like a flower or a awesome blossom from Chili's. just mature an become better player an person.....WELL DONE TROB.....

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ccarp 2 years, 5 months ago

We'll get to hear your speech when we put the Robinson 0 in the rafters :-) Thanks Tyshawn, Conner, Jordan, and Thomas.

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Lawkan 2 years, 5 months ago

I don't understand why these guys leave early. Surely getting to play at Kansas, playing for championships, earning your degree, and being the star player is worth more than a years rookie salary. Instead he will be traveling all over the country to sit on the bench beside Cole, Darrel, Marcus, Xavier, and Josh. If you are better prepared when you get in the league you will make your money on the second contract.

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akl6593 2 years, 5 months ago

Are you serious? Have you been under a rock the last 18 months?

Oh nevermind...you're a troll.

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Jack Wilson 2 years, 5 months ago

Lawkan: I agree. I mean, that degree is really going to mean a lot when TRob is 45 years old and doesn't have a financial worry in the world. Who cares about the risk of injury, or a down season, or that he is now supremely ready for the NBA, or the fact that he has given three years to this program? Who would want to sit on the bench a bit in the NBA and earn guaranteed millions, when you could put everything at risk returning to college? There's no way that I would want to guarantee my family's future, and perhaps even my family's next generation's future -- an extra year of college is really that important.

Seriously, though, like the Morris twins, this is what we want, right? Guys that are not top 10 guys out of high school. That develop into lottery picks. Not guys that presume they are lottery picks and have their sights set down the road before they get here. Guys that understand that hard work is what will get them to the next level.

As fans, we can't be selfish enough to demand a full four years in a situation like TRob's. Or the Morris twins. This is the best selling point for guys that really work best in Self's system .. his "program."

I would be disappointed and even concerned if TRob game back. He's earned it and it is time for him to take his game to the next level.

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cjeter 2 years, 5 months ago

+1 I love the fact that Self doesn't recruit like that scumball Calipari. I'd take Trob and the twins over 10 one and dones

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Alohahawk 2 years, 5 months ago

+1 Good points, all.

Difference of night and day: TRob learned, and earned his right to leave. Selby learned and earned....what?

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Jonathan Allison 2 years, 5 months ago

Not to mention that he ALREADY has played at Kansas for Championships and been the star player. And he likely will be only a few online courses and maybe a couple correspondance credits from earning that degree if he really wants it.

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sundancewierdo 2 years, 5 months ago

You go to college to get a better job, right? Well he has a fantastic job offer that anyone would be an idiot to pass up. He is not like the other guys who leave early. He has a little sister to take care of, and he needs to move on with his life. He could have gone last season like Selby, but he made the right decision. His draft stock cannot get any higher and it's not worth staying. He's already made many good decisions and leaving after this season is one of them. He's still hungry, and has alot left to play for this season and we fans hope he can get what he wants...

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PhogAdvisory 2 years, 5 months ago

Depends on what kind of an atmosphere you're into. I've only been to Kincade's once, but it's a sleeker, newer, more "party-bar" kind of place, from what I could tell. Lottie's is in this old brick building with long wooden tables and gives off this laid-back, old-style pub feel (If you've ever been to Dempsey's in Lawrence, it reminds me of that). Also, they tend to have amazing monthly beer-and-pizza specials, they've got 15-odd beers on tap (including Boulevard!) and their food is delicious. It's bar food, but it's really good bar food. My friends and I like to get the hot wings and the mac+cheese and make the "Bill Self," a la 23rd Street Brewery in Lawrence. :)

I don't have anything bad to say about Kincade's, but Lottie's is my KU bar of choice.

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Doug Cramer 2 years, 5 months ago

I have always been a HUGE T-Rob fan.

Y'all may criticize me for this...but I think he could use another year to polish his game for the NBA.

The NBA is just so dominated with talent. I never would of thought a guy like Marcus Morris would bounce around in the D-League like he has. Thought Cole Aldrich would of made an immediate impact...but that hasn't been the case either.

Look at Xavier Henry...of course we all called that.

Just would like to see T-Rob become as prepared as he can under Manning and Self...and then go in as a lottery pick...and become an NBA star right away.

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Kyle Rohde 2 years, 5 months ago

I too have been surprised how badly most of KU's guys have struggled in the League the past few years. Arthur, Chalmers and Rush are really the only ones to do much, while Collins, Aldrich, Selby, the Morrii, Jackson and Wright have also struggled so badly. However, I think T- Rob has more of an NBA game than most of those guys so don't begrudge him leaving, especially considering family situation.

The message he talked about is perplexing though; why would he think anyone believes he would regret being a Jayhawk?

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rockchalk_dpu 2 years, 5 months ago

I think it's the idea that had he gone some place closer to home, he could have tried play ball and help his family out last year. I wonder if he blames himself for not being there, but I certainly hope he doesn't because these things have happened for a reason and we've all watched him grow as a man because of it.

Sad to see that he'll leave because it's a joy to watch him play, but I'm so happy he has to ability to chase his dream and take care of Jayla. His stock will never be higher and as HEM said above, the risk of injury and potential problems far outweighs any "benefit" he may have by staying another year. Let's just hope he's back in the Fieldhouse a couple more times in the next few weeks giving speeches after making it to the Final Four and winning the title.

RCJ

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Jan Rolls 2 years, 5 months ago

Did you go to college. If you did why. To get out and make money. Enough said. He'll make more in a year than you will in a life time. Get real.

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sundancewierdo 2 years, 5 months ago

He'll be a lottery pick. He is as prepared as he's going to get. Some say A Davis is dominating T Rob on the statsheet in everything but points and boards. Well, T Rob has been doing this facing constant double and triple teams. Imagine how many points he'd have if that weren't the case? When he does get a 1 on 1, he takes it to the hole and scores. He may not start but there will be plenty of playing time.

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Anonymous58 2 years, 5 months ago

Come on people....like Tyshawn said last night....I don't come from a family like some of the other guys who just talked...how can you blame these kids for wanting to better their lives and their families lives. They have given so much and it is not easy to come to such a structured environment with so many demands and scrutiny. Almost every kid in college thinks they are adult and ready for the next phase, yet, those of us who have lived it, would like to see all kids stay a bit longer before they face the real world of responsibility and family. You can't tell them that and so you let them go and learn for themselves. I understand how that life changing paycheck is impossible to turn down.

On another note, take a look at the KC Star web site bracket. They have Texas A&M coach as M. Turgeon and KU coach as Billy Kennedy.....Really....Really can that be. Bill Self is not even listed as a coach in the big twelve. Hummmmm...a Missouri paper makes this mistake. I wonder if it was intentional....

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Anonymous58 2 years, 5 months ago

Come on people....like Tyshawn said last night....I don't come from a family like some of the other guys who just talked...how can you blame these kids for wanting to better their lives and their families lives. They have given so much and it is not easy to come to such a structured environment with so many demands and scrutiny. Almost every kid in college thinks they are adult and ready for the next phase, yet, those of us who have lived it, would like to see all kids stay a bit longer before they face the real world of responsibility and family. You can't tell them that and so you let them go and learn for themselves. I understand how that life changing paycheck is impossible to turn down.

On another note, take a look at the KC Star web site bracket. They have Texas A&M coach as M. Turgeon and KU coach as Billy Kennedy.....Really....Really can that be. Bill Self is not even listed as a coach in the big twelve. Hummmmm...a Missouri paper makes this mistake. I wonder if it was intentional....

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 5 months ago

Let's see....TRob or Anthony "Unibrow" Davis?

I believe voting for POY also is influenced by factors like, "who was their coach?" and "who did they play alongside?". I have to believe that Calipari has far less respect nationwide than Self. I also believe that the distance this year's KU team has come, due largely to Trob, after losing the scoring and rebounding that we lost from last year, should concrete his value as the POY. But, sharing the COY honor, if Self was to receive that honor, needs to go to DManning.

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Alohahawk 2 years, 5 months ago

Agree with your premise about POY and the respect Coach Self has amongst his peers and the press. Let's hope it plays out along those lines.

Technically speaking, COY is awarded to the head honcho. However, I think it is understood that it isn't just the head coach, but the entire coaching staff that is really being honored with the COY award. Coach Self and most head coaches would probably agree. Otherwise, knowing how things revolve in this crazy sports world, someone would have come up with a similar award to be given to an assistant coach.

I'm sure all of us would agree, Danny Manning is deserving of every honor that can be bestowed upon him. I'm 100% certain HCBS would agree with that.

And I may be wrong, but isn't there a "Danny Manning" award presented to a Jayhawk during the final BBall banquet?

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Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 5 months ago

If not, there should be, at least in the case of this year. Cole should have received such an award as well, if there wasn't one then.

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jaybate 2 years, 5 months ago

Even among the increasingly long list of bigs who have developed at KU under Self (and Manning), its just plain phenomenal how far TRob has come.

And he is no where near his ceiling yet.

He's got a good jump shot from 15-22 developing and he can run the floor as well as anyone with his size and strength that I've seen come out. He still has some awkward moments, but good lord, he's only a junior with one full season of starting under his belt.

Were he to come back next year, he could score as much as Self wanted him to, and rebound even more. Hell, the guy can learn to do anything. He learned to shoot free throws for gosh sakes! I know he's becoming an accomplished dribbler and with another year of work could easily bring the ball up regularly.

Fantasy: TRob comes back, polishes his dribbling, and becomes a point guard! Yeeeeeeessss!!!!

He could do it.

Mr. Robinson can do anything he puts his mind to.

How would point guards like to guard Thomas? :-)

He would be the next Magic Johnson, though he could never dribble as well. But even Magic would have trouble guarding Thomas when Thomas put it on the deck and went to the rim. And Derek Rose trying to stop Thomas on dribble penetration? Fugggeddaboutit!!!!!

I'm serious about this.

Thomas is one of the greatest athletes his size and strength I've seen.

Rock Chalk Mr. Robinson!

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 5 months ago

It would be nice to settle this Player of the Year battle.....head-to-head.....in April....in New Orleans....in the last NCAA basketball game of this season!!!!

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Mike Kendall 2 years, 5 months ago

No doubt---Oakville. Just like Mark Twain---built yourself a raft and float from St. Louis down to the Big Easy! Hope it happens. We need some new material on our video board at AFH---Rock Chalk!

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Alohahawk 2 years, 5 months ago

I think POY is decided before the Big Dance.

I posted this once before. Let TRob and Davis arm wrestle for who wins POY. No contest!! TRob would win, hands down. (Or maybe I should say, Arms down.)

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HawkKlaw 2 years, 5 months ago

Let's just hope they don't have a "brow-off"! TRob wouldn't stand a chance!

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defensehawk 2 years, 5 months ago

T-Rob has been my favorite player since he came to Lawrence. I'm so glad he decided to become a JayHawk three years ago. I don't see a talent ceiling in the immediate future for this young man. He has shown what hard work, dedication to your dreams and a God given talent can accomplish. I will still watch him next year even though he won't be wearing a Kansas uniform on the outside he will always wear one in my world. Thanks T-Rob!!!!!

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Vroo 2 years, 5 months ago

You said "His play in his final game in Allen Fieldhouse said all that needed to be said about why he will be missed so much." That suggests we only care about Thomas because of how he plays. He's a member of the Jayhawk family and we'll miss him because we miss members of our family when they move on to new opportunities.

Look at the picture at the top of the article. If you didn't know who these people were, you'd think that Bill and Thomas were related, with the expressions on their faces.

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