Advertisement

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement

Videos

2012 KU senior speeches

video thumbnail

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

Videos

KU vs. Texas

video thumbnail

Kansas defeated Texas, 73-63, on Saturday, March 3, 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' 73-63 victory over Texas on March 3, 2012.

Download podcast

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

Vroo 2 years, 1 month 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.

0

defensehawk 2 years, 1 month 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!!!!!

0

Tony Bandle 2 years, 1 month 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!!!!

0

jaybate 2 years, 1 month 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!

0

Martin Rosenblum 2 years, 1 month 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.

0

Anonymous58 2 years, 1 month 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....

0

Anonymous58 2 years, 1 month 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....

0

Doug Cramer 2 years, 1 month 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.

0

midwest_muser 2 years, 1 month ago

A question. Put this on another thread. Going to Chicago this week. Better place to watch game? Lottie's or Kincaid's?

0

Lawkan 2 years, 1 month 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.

0

ccarp 2 years, 1 month ago

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

0

Billy Derringer 2 years, 1 month 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.....

0

Jeremy Bolinger 2 years, 1 month 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!

0

John Randall 2 years, 1 month 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

0

jayhawker_97 2 years, 1 month 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..

0

myopinion 2 years, 1 month ago

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

0

Daniel Kennamore 2 years, 1 month 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.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.