Monday, March 26, 2012

Thomas Robinson unanimous AP first-team All-American

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson delivers a jam before Detroit center LaMarcus Lowe during the first half on Friday, March 16, 2012 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson delivers a jam before Detroit center LaMarcus Lowe during the first half on Friday, March 16, 2012 at CenturyLink Center in Omaha.


Kansas forward Thomas Robinson has even more in common with Blake Griffin now. Not everything, though.

Robinson, who played through personal tragedy as a sophomore reserve, capped his junior season by being a unanimous selection to The Associated Press' All-America team Monday, a day after leading the Jayhawks to the Final Four.

The 6-foot-10 Robinson averaged 17.9 points and 11.8 rebounds this season and he was a first-team pick by all 65 members of the national media panel that selects the weekly Top 25.

The last unanimous pick was Griffin in 2009.

"It's a blessing to be named even in the same category as Blake Griffin," Robinson said. "For that to happen, I'm glad all the hard work is paying off."

Robinson did find some similarities between them besides being Big 12 Player of the Year.

"That man jumps out the gym. He looks like a superhero when he takes off," Robinson said. "But we both try to be aggressive. He knows what he does well. I feel the same way. I know what I do well."

Joining Robinson on the first team were Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, the first repeat All-America in three years, freshman Anthony Davis of Kentucky, Draymond Green of Michigan State and Doug McDermott of Creighton.

Davis received 63 first-team votes while Green, the lone senior on the team, got 53. Sullinger had 30, one more than McDermott. The voting was done before the NCAA tournament.

Robinson received nationwide support as a sophomore when he lost his mother, grandmother and grandfather in a three-week period. He not only became a starter this season, he became a star.

"It's an unbelievable honor for a kid that came as a semi-highly recruited guy, played seven minutes as a freshman, 10 minutes as a sophomore, endured the tragedies he's had and then somehow made so many sacrifices, not only for the betterment of himself but the betterment of all of us.," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "To be unanimous, it's just something that blows me away."

Robinson is Kansas' first All-America since Wayne Simien in 2005.

The 6-9 Sullinger, who was selected East Regional as he led the Buckeyes to the Final Four, is the first repeat All-America since North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough in 2009.

"It means a lot when your name is with Tyler Hansbrough, Psycho T. He was a great basketball player," Sullinger said with a big smile as he used Hansbrough's nickname. "It means a lot. I think it's a credit to my teammates."

Sullinger, the first player to repeat as a freshman and sophomore since Chris Jackson of LSU in 1989 and 1990, averaged 17.6 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 53.9 percent from the field. He is the fourth Ohio State player to repeat joining Jerry Lucas, Robin Freeman and Garry Bradds. Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said it's no surprise Sullinger has already sealed a place in the history of the program.

"I think that's one of what was important to us when Jared came here," Matta said. "We knew he was going to be a special player. And to see him get these accolades he has received and won at the level he's won at speaks volumes to the player he is and that select category and only being a sophomore let's you know what a great player he is."

Davis burst onto the national scene as part of the Wildcats team that spent most of the season ranked No. 1 in the poll and then entered the NCAA tournament as the overall No. 1 seed. The 6-10 Davis was chosen the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 14.3 points, 10 rebounds and 4.6 blocks while shooting 64.2 percent from the field.

The last Wildcats to be first-team selections were freshmen John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins in 2010. At least one freshman has been on the first team five of the last six years.

"It means a lot, especially for a freshman," Davis said before admitting he surprised himself this season. "I thought I would just come in here and hit a couple of shots, block a couple of shots, get a couple of dunks. I never thought I would be this successful in college."

He said he has been successful because of opportunities.

"My teammates have been doing a great job of giving me the ball," he said. "And basically, all the teams that were driving inside, giving me a chance to get blocks. We're just out there having fun."

The 6-7 Green averaged 16.1 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.5 steals while doing everything the Spartans needed on the way to sharing the Big Ten regular season title, winning the conference tournament and being a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

He is Michigan State's fourth first-team selection joining Magic Johnson, Shawn Respert and Mateen Cleaves.

"It's an honor because those are the guys who I looked up to, paved the way for me, starting with Magic and going to Respert and Cleaves," Green said. "Those guys, every time I walk into the gym I see their names up in the rafters and that's a goal that everyone has who's playing. Just being mentioned in the same sentence with those guys means a lot. All of them are winners, all of them are great players and all of them are successful and great people."

McDermott is Creighton's first All-America and he joins three-time selection Pete Maravich of LSU as All-Americas coached by their fathers.

The 6-7 sophomore was third in Division I in scoring with a 23.2 average. He averaged 8.2 rebounds and shot 61 percent from the field, including 49.5 percent from 3-point range.

"It's really special. It really hasn't hit me yet. Later down the road it will," McDermott said of his selection. "It's something real cool to be in the company of some of those names. Creighton never had one. It's really cool to be able to be the first, especially with all the great players who have been at Creighton over the years."

Coaching a son who is the star of the team did bring about a different problem for Greg McDermott.

"It could be a situation where if your son was a borderline player that your fans get upset if you put him in the game," he said. "Our fans get upset if I take him out."

Junior guard Isaiah Canaan of Murray State was joined on the second team by seniors Marcus Denmon of Missouri, Tyler Zeller of North Carolina, Jae Crowder of Marquette and Kevin Jones of West Virginia.

Sullinger was the only member of the preseason All-America team to make any of the postseason teams. Harrison Barnes of North Carolina, Jeremy Lamb of Connecticut and Jordan Taylor of Wisconsin were honorable mentions. Terrence Jones of Kentucky was the fifth member of the preseason team.


8 years ago

Let the parade of awards continue! :^)

8 years ago

TT made third team:

(Includes list of TRob's and TT's awards so far this season)

Danny Hernandez 8 years ago

damn, I was sure TT would be at least a 2nd team AA...

Alex Berger 8 years ago

Tyshawn is underrated on the national level. Hopefully he will set the record straight this weekend.

Jeffery Barrett 8 years ago

Nice brackets.......except for the obvious......and the egregious.

Ben Kane 8 years ago

I will definitely have to be there when he comes back for that one...

that's one way to make up for not getting to give a senior speech.

Ben Kane 8 years ago

on a side note, it appears frank martin is the mildcats for south carolina... he must have been really ticked at the AD for the samuels thing. I'm sure i wouldn't wanted to have been the one who had to tell him.

Jeffery Barrett 8 years ago

I called this last season. It was only a matter of time before he left. And for him to leave for South Carolina?! Must really be pissed.

Jonathan Allison 8 years ago

Agreed he, probably wishes that he would have taken the Miami job last year.

Alex Berger 8 years ago

To the rafters for TRob! I hope he gets player of the year too, I just don't see how Anthony Davis gets it. His blocking stats are awesome but he never gets double teamed and he is the least of their opponents worries offensively. TRob on the other hand gets double and triple teamed because we don't have a consistent three point threat. Hopefully the voters see this instead of the dumb "Best player on the best team" fallacy.

Sam Brockert 8 years ago

Yea, when he was out with his boo boo in the baylor game, it REALLy made Kentucky falter didn't it?

Cameron Schienebeck 8 years ago

The unibrow gets 10 points a game off lob passes and is allowed to sit back play help defense. Great talent but has no post skills and isn't even close to being as good a player as TRob.

Jonathan Allison 8 years ago

exactly. He gets wide open shots and dunks. And he gets a ton of blocks because the guards know that they can overplay on the perimeter and force their man inside.

He doesn't even have close to the skills and the heart that TRob has and I think that he will be exposed at the next level.

Jonathan Allison 8 years ago

And I don't even think that he's the best player on his own team. I've watched them a lot this year and he looks like a role player.

The guards do the bulk of the work, Anthony Davis gets the bulk of the credit, and Terrence Jones gets what he deserves (hosed).

gchawk 8 years ago

Congrats Thomas, this is a well deserved award, you've definitely earned it.

jhox 8 years ago

Congratulations, Superman! You've earned all of these awards, and then some. Let's hope the voters are smart enough to tab you player of the year as well. If they don't, they will have lost all credibility.

DRsmith 8 years ago

2 voters already lost all credibility.

justinryman 8 years ago

I think they figure he will be ruled ineligible in a year or two and the KY season will be vacated. I don't know just a guess.

Steve Jacob 8 years ago

Two AP voters thought Anthony Davis was not a top 5 player? Anyway, nice job Robinson, and props to Sullinger, he would have been a high pick last year and came back to put OSU in the Final Four.

RJ King 8 years ago

I wonder if the 2 have a thing about not voting for a freshman???? (Kind of like the Baseball HOF voters who simply refuse to put anyone in on the first ballot.) Neither makes sense, but just trying to figure out a reason.

Scott Smetana 8 years ago

Unibrow's ceiling potential is very high in the NBA, but currently he is not the best player on Wildcat's team. That would be Kidd-Gilchrist or even Terrance Jones.

JHAWKNPHX 8 years ago

Congratulations T Rob!!!! Two more games, lets get in done!!

justinryman 8 years ago

I have a feeling they will give Thomas the unanimous vote here and then give Davis the the AP player of the year.

It's like how the NFL writers gave Aaron Rodgers the MVP, but gave Drew Brees the Offensive player of the year. If Rodgers wasn't the best QB or offensive player then how could he become the MVP???

Just a gut feeling

Oh and Thomas congrats. Your family is smiling down on you!!!


friendlyjhawk 8 years ago

Robinson grew enormously in the past 3 years as a man and as player. He deserves very good word that comes his way. Proud to have him as a Jhawk!

HAWKTOPIA 8 years ago

Players are judged on their peaks. Scoring, Rebounding, defense, etc. But few players can play with TRob when he plays at his peak. If his energy is high (and he keeps from reaching) he is un-stoppable! Congrats Thomas! RCJHKU

Only one game left to win, the next game! Game on Hawks!

HAWKTOPIA 8 years ago

One player can make the difference for a team. Be that player!

Tony Bandle 8 years ago

I think the two AP voters have a thing against unibrows!!

jayhawkinATL 8 years ago

Wonder if this bodes well for TRob to get the nod for POY???

Vittorio1224 8 years ago

The media voters are not supposed to take into account "feel good" stories, but how can you not in this situation? What an unbelievable set of circumstances for a young man to go through before he even turns 21?! I lost my late mother to cancer when I was 33 and I was devastated for months!! This guy not only plays the next day, but he goes on to become a UNANIMOUS ALL-AMERICAN the very next year after only playing 10 minutes//game the prior year!!

Congrats T-Rob. You are a grade A bonafide stud. Period. Thanks for making the Jayhawk Nation proud!

Alohahawk 8 years ago

+1 And plus one to all the positive posts above. My personal congratulations to TRob on a well deserved accolade. If you were a British citizen I'm sure the queen would have honored you with a knighthood. "Sir Thomas (or Sir TRob), knight of the Phog". Yes!

Ron Franklin 8 years ago

Great Job TRob. Now please finish your dunks from here on out : )

fansincewilt 8 years ago

Who would have ever thought it possible? But, it is not done. I am thinking these guys have their eyes on the big prize. I would hate to be the one standing in their way.

GeoHawk15 8 years ago

So proud of you TRob! Can't wait for you to show the whole country next weekend what a warrior you are! Rock Chalk!

Dyrk Dugan 8 years ago

Great job TRob! congrats and you fully deserve it. Wow, what development in a year's time...great coaching...and great work ethic by you.

Now let's get the Buckeyes in the FF! Go Jayhawks!

Alex Berger 8 years ago

Great article on Tony Parker! I would love to have a Jared Sullinger type player in Bill Self's system. It would allow our post players to operate the same as they did this year with Withey not needing to be the primary offensive contributor on the post. I don't understand the scholarship situation right now though. Unless Withey leaves it seems that we have already locked up all our scholarships.

Jeff Coffman 8 years ago

Forgot "Only" in the title.

He was the only Unanimous first team selection.

KansasComet 8 years ago

Thank you Thomas Robinson for being a Kansas Jayhawk!

Ben Kane 8 years ago

more good news, just heard that Jerod Haase is off to UAB.

Jean Robart 8 years ago

Please tell me that TRob will be back for his senior year.

Kevin Studer 8 years ago

No. He won't. And he shouldn't be. He's more than ready.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years ago

And here's to you, Mr. Robinson Jayhawks love you more than you will know (Wo, wo, wo) God bless you please, Mr. Robinson Heaven holds a place for those who play...for KU (Hey, hey, hey...hey, hey, hey)

Alohahawk 8 years ago

Nice. One of my all-time favorite movies. And with a simple message: "Plastics." Although, there's nothing plastic about TRob. He's all ironman.

I could envision TRob making Lawrence his home during the NBA's off-season. As well as bringing his young sister, Jayla, to Lawrence where she could major in music at KU. Perhaps she could sing your version of the song when his jersey is raised to the rafters of AFH. What a memory that would create. Anything is possible.

weatherguy48 8 years ago

I'm really gonna enjoy watching what this guy can do in the NBA. Assuming Tyshawn finds his way into the NBA this summer, I'm going to buy the next NBA basketball game and assemble the following team:

PG: Mario Chalmers SG: Brandon Rush SF: Marcus Morris PF: Markieff Morris C: Cole Aldrich

With Tyshawn and Trob coming in off the bench as dual sixth men.

It will be glorious.

JayHawkFanToo 8 years ago

Are you restricting yourself to recent players? I would like to add Pierce, Hinrich, Collison and Gooden to the mix and Shady when he is healthy. At the end of the bench Xavier and Selby.

Alohahawk 8 years ago

Sounds like the roster for another "Legends in the Phog" game. I'm sure the AFH crowd, as well as the ghosts in the Phog, would enjoy Round Two. Add some popular songs from each player's years, and make it as festive as possible. Just need a young lady dressed as Cinderella to represent this year's team.

ohmixmaster 8 years ago

So incredibly proud of T-Rob, words cannot even describe it. BTW, in case you haven't seen this, you'll get a great laugh at this one last truthful beat down of Mizery.

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