Thursday, December 1, 2011


Thomas Robinson will get better

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson dunks on the Florida Atlantic defense during the second half Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson dunks on the Florida Atlantic defense during the second half Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters on Nov. 30, 2011 after defeating Florida Atlantic.

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KU vs. Florida Atlantic

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Kansas defeated Florida Atlantic, 77-54 on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Potential, many a wise man who makes his living evaluating athletes will tell you, is a French word for “ain’t bleepin’ got it yet.”

It’s a word not often used to describe a college basketball player who produces 19 points and 17 rebounds in a game as Thomas Robinson did in Kansas University’s 77-54 victory against Florida Atlantic, but it fits him.

Watching Robinson play basketball, two thoughts generally leap to the forefront:

  1. Have I ever seen a better defensive rebounder play college basketball? The reason that thought recurs might have something to do with never coming up with a name.
  2. How much better will he be once he makes better decisions offensively and realizes that although he has the skill to drive, it’s not always a good idea to showcase it if there’s nowhere to go with the ball.

Also, out of nowhere, in some games he’ll put up a shot from the perimeter, as if to show his outside shot has improved. It has, but it still doesn’t behoove him or his NBA Draft stock to showcase that in games when it’s not the smart play.

He’ll figure all that out because he cares, as long as someone’s not in his ear telling him anything that clashes with the words of his coaches.

Kansas (4-2) has played six games, and Robinson has six double-doubles. His 17 rebounds were a career high. He made 11 of 13 free throws, both career highs, as was the 84.6 percentage. He also matched a career high with four blocked shots, one of them that crashed so hard somebody should probably check the floor for dead spots.

After committing three turnovers and making four of 13 field goals, he didn’t feel as if he had any cause to boast. He can play much better, and he knows it. Florida Atlantic made him the focus of its defense all night.

“I made it tough on myself,” he said. “I knew they were going to swarm me, and I kept putting the ball on the floor over and over. Once I do that, it goes from two people to four people, and they’re just swatting at me. I made it tough for myself. It definitely was a little rough, but, I mean, it happens.”

The nice thing about Robinson as a player is that his flaws don’t originate from not putting forth effort. He always brings the energy, and Wednesday was no exception. The same couldn’t be said for many on a team that exhibited post-Hawaii blues.

The crowd didn’t have much energy either, although that could be traced in part to the music during the popular pregame video getting cranked way too loud, bombarding the senses of those in the audience and leaving them in need of recovery time. Too much of a good thing is a bad thing, and before you know it, a college building, even one as intimate and rich in tradition as Allen Fieldhouse, can begin to take on the feel of an NBA arena. It hasn’t yet, but if the volume switch goes unchecked, look out. Authentic noise generated by human emotion creates home-court advantages.

Robinson’s energy level never is a concern. Neither is his rebounding.

“I don’t go into the game thinking about having a double-double,” Robinson said. “Not being cocky or arrogant or anything, I feel that I can get that easily as long as I’m on the floor.”


kansaspike 10 years, 10 months ago

Let's just pretend those Leach articles never happened and see if anybody notices...

Dillon Davis 10 years, 10 months ago

I was thinking the same thing. lol you sly keegan you

Chris Bruning 10 years, 10 months ago

Keegan, what is up with you and Allen Fieldhouse playing their videos "way too loud"? You have pointed that out several times and i just don't get it. Pretty sure the fans love it and pretty sure it plays a part in us being at the #1 spot on almost every list of loudest arenas in america. Get some pretty bright pink earplugs if it bothers you that much.......

Bob Thompson 10 years, 10 months ago

I was at the Legends game, and the music was WAY too loud. I had my 9 year old grandson with me and he had his hands over his ears because the NOISE was so loud it hurt.

webmocker 10 years, 10 months ago

While I generally find Keegan's commentary not to my liking, IMHO he is correct about the volume of the music. Not only is it loud, but it distorts. I go to AC/DC concerts, I like my music loud, but the loudest I ever heard AFH was pre-video, pre-game, before a Kentucky game some years back. It was all crowd, and the thought of it still sends shivers down my spine. The video being as loud before FAU as it is before a game when the Big 12 Championship is on the line is essentially manufacturing emotion. Which I suppose is OK if that's what you want, but some prefer the variety of reality. So, yes, I take my bright orange earplugs when I go to AFH now, and I recommend others do, too, since there is nowhere I could find in the place to buy any.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

My last game at AFH was against Mizzou in 2007. I hadn't been for over 7 years and couldn't believe how loud and obnoxious the sound was. It was terrible. I much prefer listening to the fans.

Chris Bruning 10 years, 10 months ago

bunch of pansies posting today. you kidding me, the videos are the best part, the fans aren't as good as they once was....

actorman 10 years, 10 months ago

RCJ, that's an incredibly stupid comment. You can't really be dumb enough to think that a list of the loudest basketball arenas would in ANY way be based on the volume of the videos that are being played, can you??? Oh wait, are you in the third grade?

As for Keegan's specific comment about the volume of the videos, I can't say since I haven't been to AFH for a while now. But I can tell you that I find the volume and tone of the PA announcer to be incredibly irritating. I miss the days when Howard Hill would simply announce what happened, without having to scream at everyone as if he's trying to sell us a used car. Is it too much to ask to just have a PA announcer inform people without trying to always rev everyone up??? Maybe that makes me sound like an old-timer, but if so, so be it. And I bet you there are a whole lot of others like me out there. One of the reasons I love the college game instead of the pro game is that we're not being force-fed "entertainment" 24-7. I realize that college arenas are inevitably inching closer to the endless blather that we see in pro venues, but it would be nice to maintain at least some semblance of the old ways.

Chris Bruning 10 years, 10 months ago

The videos play a part of the WHOLE AFH experience. No students get louder and no videos get louder than in Phog Allen. Just check out Rupp Arena at pre tipoff on youtube and you realize how good we got it in Lawrence. I mean you can't even tell where their student section is hardly for Christsake. So when Keegan keeps bringing it up it's annoying....

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Keegs is still bitter about Perk moving him and the other j's to the cheap seats? :-)

Gary Wirsig 10 years, 10 months ago

OK, first off, I'm pretty old. My son (23) and I are going to the game against Long Beach State. So just for two more data points from different generations, I'll report back on how each of us felt about the volume of the videos. I won't even prep him ahead of time, so I get his honest evaluation.

...if anybody cares!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 10 months ago

My prediction: You...too loud, your son...perfect. :)

KUbsee69 10 years, 10 months ago

In most cases, that is just not the case today.

xfitter 10 years, 10 months ago

If it's too loud Keegan, you're too old!!!! Find another fanbase to annoy!!!!

Jackalope7 10 years, 10 months ago

In order for Thomas to thrive, Jeff must step up and grab some of the fucus of the defense. Once that happens, teams will be a little more hesistant to collapse on Thomas. That'll give Thomas the extra split second he needs to make a move. Plus, it would help if Thomas could figure out how to pass out of a double team. So many times, I saw the defense collapse on Thomas and he just tries to muscle his way out of it and still score. Maybe we don't run this style of offense and if he don't, then don't pay no mind, but if some of the guards or even Jeff would back cut their man once the ball has gone to the block to Thomas. All Thomas would have to do his hit the cutter with ball and we got easy back door lay-up all day long. I know the twins do this and destoryed teams with it.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

As far as T-Rob's game this year, the most impressive thing to me, and the thing that will help us win games is his free throw shooting.

Withey's FT shooting stands out as well.

Having never lost a game coaching from my sofa, I can safely say - as long as these two are shooting free throws at this pace - pound the ball inside to them and let them live at the line.

If we have excellent free throw shooting - we win games. They are FREE points. Keep up the good work guys!!

Machawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Actorman, I couldn't agree with you more!

yates33333 10 years, 10 months ago

Perhaps the most encouraging development thus far is the tremendous play of TRob and Withey. Absolutely Amazing and Inspiring!!!! Even with the less than full blast play last night they both looked awesome.

John Randall 10 years, 10 months ago

When the game you are most encouraged by is against a team with the least size we will see this year, I hope you can find other signs in the near future.

Dyrk Dugan 10 years, 10 months ago

i don't think TK watched the game last night. this article focuses on TRob and how he can improve his play (19 and 17, we'll take that anytime).

i mean, yes, he can's like saying a young Walter Payton, who ran for 150 yards as a rookie, needed to block better on pass plays. the story of the game was NOT the lack of Walter Payton's blocking skills.

like last night, the story of the game was Elijah Johnson. no points, no FTs attempted in 27 minutes. where was he? Self says he's a very good player, who hasn't figured out he's good. He goes for 23 vs. UCLA...hits the big shot vs. Duke...and he's AWOL last night.

when you're in big time college sports, if you're talented and want to be at that next level, you have to bring it every night. and that means EVERY night. Elijah has yet to learn it.

Now, can we chalk it up to a Hawaiian hangover. (see Duke result in Columbus OH). Maybe....we'll find the next few games. Because EJ needs to bring it back...and bring it each night.

Long Beach St. will beat us if we play like we did vs. FAU.

FinalFinal 10 years, 10 months ago

He is a beast....a 6'7" beast.

Reminds me of Richard Scott. Undersized, all heart, strong, and very little touch.

KGphoto 10 years, 10 months ago

Haha. Wow! Richard Scott? I agree that Scott played bigger than his measurements, but he doesn't want anything to do with Mr. Zero. Z is at least two inches taller, but more importantly he is about twice as wide as Scott. Robinson probably looked like Richard Scott when he was 13 years old.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

"Now Does Everyone See Why..."

...why Self hid Naadir from Duke?

...why Self hid KY from Duke?

...why, judging from the mega support strap TTob is wearing, why he can't get up very often?

...why EJ was not able to beat out Tyrel or Brady for starting slots last season?

...why Justin plays, because he has few blow by's, and KY doesn't because, despite good looking line score, KY is still a blow-by waiting to happen?

...why Self is playing hid starters 30 + mpg even against mid majors to g XTReme Condition his starters a la Shaka Smart?

...why Self does not yet put Good House Keeping seal of approval on aTravis?

...why Self was letting the team labor for a win...because he understands that despite all the problems, Withey and Justin coming along defensively to add to TRob means this team can run with the big dogs this season?

Rock Chalk!

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

1) There is nothing from last night to show why Self supposedly hid Tharpe/KY from Duke. KY played great against Towson. Neither has anything to do with a big picture plan. Self said after the UK game -- Other than Tyshawn, there’s no other kid on our team that’s played in a big-boy game like that where they had to deliver,” KU coach Bill Self said after the UK game. “They’ve always been reserves. I thought that was a different pressure tonight. ... We got flustered.” Maybe .. just maybe .. playing a player important minutes in a "big-boy" game, "where they had to deliver", under "pressure", might cause that player to get less "flustered" in the same type of "big-boy" game later. Maybe, right? 2) Perhaps Brady's performance vs. VCU is evidence as to why EJ should have been playing over Brady? Perhaps EJ's game vs. UCLA would support that? It is hard when the fact of Brady's performance in the biggest game of the year was a full-body flop, and many said that in that exact situation ... vs. a fast, athletic team .. Brady would be a liability. Not even the biggest Brady supporters have denied he was outmatched athletically in that game. Regardless, the result was as anticipated. The issue is not so much that Brady started or played, but that Self generally refused to go to another option .. EJ played 6 minutes after playing well and getting high praise from Self heading into the tournament, and Brady played 32 minutes. EJ would have been the better play in that game. I'll take EJ over Brady all day, any day, any situation. Does anyone really think we don't make it the Elite 8 last year without Brady? I personally think that we win the national title last season if Brady simply was not on the team. Just speculation. But that's the dichotomy on that topic. 3) Justin plays because he has to play. No choice .. he has to play. Missing the point in your criticism of KY. Justin is the better play now. What do we do if Justin/TRob/Withey roll their ankle at the 10 minute mark of the first half vs. Ohio St? KY will be forced to play. Better to get him experience when it's not forced. And in your post below, ask the "injury god" to smile on this team. That's the point. Sometimes he doesn't smile, and sometimes foul trouble arises. 4) I would be willing to take bets that Self isn't even thinking about Shaka Smart. That's your creation/speculation. He's not trying to extreme condition anybody. Self has a system, and he does what he does. He's playing to win the game at hand. We didn't pull away last night, so top guys played big minutes. It's that easy. No overthinking there. (cont)

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago


5) And it is a complete fiction that Self is "letting his team labor for a win." Interested to see any evidence of that. They played bad, and he didn't have better players on the bench. He didn't create that. He didn't under coach. Situationally, most all coaches let players play through difficulties. But Self didn't do, and doesn't do, anything out of the ordinary here. We've seen Self's quick hook for years ... just no one to really put in now with so little quality depth.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago


5) And it is a complete fiction that Self is "letting his team labor for a win." Interested to see any evidence of that. They played bad, and he didn't have better players on the bench. He didn't create that. He didn't under coach. Situationally, most all coaches let players play through difficulties. But Self didn't do, and doesn't do, anything out of the ordinary here. We've seen Self's quick hook for years ... just no one to really put in now with so little quality depth.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

I have been trying and trying and trying to give EJ benefit of the doubt and I will probably continue to do so, but with that said, I would take a 25/26 year old Brady over a 19/20 year old EJ any day of the week.

EJ has god given athletic ability that most of us dream of, but he's got issues between the ears that is troublesome and downright hinderance to his growth as a basketball player.

It's just one person's opinion and I'm a Brady supporter that is glad that we've moved on to the next generation of Jayhawks without Brady.

With that said, it's interesting that you only mention the UCLA game as your example to defend EJ. I'm waiting, praying, and any thing else you can think of for EJ to take that next step. I just hope I don't have to wait too long.

Jack Wilson 10 years, 10 months ago

Yes, agreed, on mentioning the UCLA game .. that was to contrast Jaybate selecting one game .. last night .. to suggest why Brady should have played over him. I do like looking at a body of work much more.

And I think you hit on why Self would choose Brady over EJ. More a known commodity. Safe. The highs may not be as high, but the lows aren't usually as low.

I think the best way to judge will be at the end of the season. Probably the only fair or reasonable way.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

Very true! I agree with that completely!

When I say EJ has trouble between the ears, I don't mean that in a negative way! What I mean, is that I don't think he completely understands the details and nuiances of the game. Is that bad? Not necesarily, but if you can't make up for it in other ways than that can definitely hold your progress. I think TT has this same problem as well!

With that said, it's amazing, I mean amazing how completely different Brady and EJ are as players! It's mind boggling actually! However, it just goes to show what having a Basketball IQ can do on the basketball court with limited athletic ability.

You know, just for one game, I would have loved to see Brady play against those Freshmen at Kentucky! It would have been interesting for sure.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

If you don't mind, HEM, I'm just going to savor the moment.


jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Please injury god, smile on this young team.

Please basketball fans, take note of a brilliant Self comment that we can all live and get better with: when things are going wrong for us individually, how can we help someone else on our team get better and so help ourselves by helping our team?

The man is a getting better genius.


jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Self is becoming the Gandhi of Getting Better!

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Self is becoming the Gandhi of Getting Better!

Benjamin Piehler 10 years, 10 months ago

Without actually reading the article, yes T-Rob is bound to get better. The question is, will it be in Lawrence or the NBA?

WilburNether 10 years, 10 months ago

"Have I ever seen a better defensive rebounder play college basketball?"

Obviously, you never saw Drew Gooden play.

John Randall 10 years, 10 months ago

Is my age showing because my first thought was Bill Bridges?

jayhawkjunior 10 years, 10 months ago

I was there last night (up in GA with my daughter) and the crowd was pumped before the game but it died down with, what was honestly, boring sloppy play. We drove and got fouled early but couldn't score and FAU was up before you could blink. KU finished the first half strong but then came out flat in the 2nd half. FAU played us even in the 2nd half until about 4 or 5 minutes left. It took forever for KU to get that first dunk to liven up the crowd and I think we got rejected by the rim at least 4 or 5 times. The Alley Oops were just oops with one sailing 3 feet over Robinson and another hitting the rim. Thomas got the ball right by the basket and then put the ball on the floor and moved away from the basket to take his shot.

Jordan J had about the best move by a KU player with a blow by with about a minute left.

Besides the silly TO's and the lack of steals, I would like to see this team be better in fast breaks. It seems like in 2 on 1's we charge or just miss the shot way too often.

Ron Franklin 10 years, 10 months ago

I think the offense needs to start going through Withey. He is showing his low post offensive touch is way way better than T Rob. This would leave T Rob open for his put-backs--which he excels at.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

Yes, brother blownjay, now your talking.

Withey increasingly is the straw that takes the team to the next level. We are looking here at a late blooming Kevin McHale.

With TRob and TT, we are very good down the middle team capable of 23-26 wins barring injuries.

With Withey becoming a player, we are looking at a 27-29 win club, barring injuries.

With Withey, the team is a faster version of last year's twin tower attack.

Withey is who creates the space for TRob to operate. And the more we play through Withey, the more TRob gets out of the double teams.

It is a beautiful thing to watch develop.

justinryman 10 years, 10 months ago

"Thomas Robinson will get better"

That headline just scared the 15 other coaches on the schedule and all the potential ones that KU could play in the tournament, all 341 of them!!

Beast Mode!

LJ Gee 10 years, 10 months ago

the story of this game going in was the bench and that is what it SHOULD have been coming out. Yes, TRob can improve his game but he is not by any stretch holding us back. The real X factor in this team's success is the play of Tharpe and Young. Yes, Tyshawn and EJ need to be more consistent (EJ totally disappeared last night) and Teahan needs to shoot a higher percentage from 3, but Tharpe and Young will determine how much of a bench we have and that is incredibly important, especially this year. Tharpe has shown the ability to provide a spark off the bench, create his own offense, and run the point pretty well, but he's also been really inconsistent. Young could be our best bench player if he could learn to play defense. He brings a ton of energy and I like his offensive game. Im fine with TT, EJ and TRob. The rest of the team is what will determine the level of success this team achieves.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm not fine with EJ at all! Too inconsistent and I don't trust him at all at the moment with the ball.

phi4life940 10 years, 10 months ago

Over/Under for Tyshawn Turnovers against Ohio State? --- 5 I'm taking the over.

Over/Under for Thomas Rebounds against Ohio State? --- 11 Under

Over/Under for how many times HCBS will yell while covering his mouth during the Ohio State game? --- 4 Over

Chris Shaw 10 years, 10 months ago

So, I was hoping over the next 3 games I would see some change before T-Rob steps onto the court against Ohio State.

1 game down, 2 to go and I hope to see some patience on the offensive end in the next two games. Unfortunately, I didn't see much of it last night.

I love T-Rob and as the article states, you can never ever fault T-Rob's effort! Actually, if the rest of the team would have played with T-Rob's effort last night, I don't think I would be so concerned about last night's performance.

T-Rob is a stud, but there were just a few observations from last nights game (In no particular order)

1) You can't dunk everything, but at the same time I like how he attacks the rim so it's a catch 22.

2) I was hoping for some calmness during his offensive post game, but it seemed to me it was more erratic and herky jerky than it has been all season. He's still not reading the defense well, but hopefully that will come with more reps and experience.

3) Also, when he drives right he's allowing the defense to catch back up to him when he goes under the rim. Instead of a quick turn over his right shoulder for a left hand layup or instead a quick pump fake going over the same shoulder and putting up with the right or just dunking it with right.

Instead, once he goes under that rim, he's turning over his left shoulder away from the basket and he has to completely turn 360 degrees in order to get the shot back up with his right hand. One, he's creating more work for himself and two he's allowing the defense to catch back up.

If he's going to get stuck like that, I would rather see him kick back out to the perimeter and quickly repin his guy below the block and get a quick dump in. That's an alternative, but he just turns over his right shoulder, I think would elimante some of his rushing down under the goal.

All in all, T Rob is a stud and once he understand his pace and speed and he can control those aspects with the overall speed of the game..............he'll be unstoppable! He's maybe already there, but he can definitely clean up a few things. Way to go T-Rob! You're a stud! Hope everybody else follows your effort level!

Ben Simonett 10 years, 10 months ago

3 was a good observation, I've noticed that a couple times as well, I'm also a little nervous of his tenancy to go too deep when he goes baseline, hes beats his guy yes, but he's leaving himself a very difficult angle to the basket by doing so. Not to mention his occasional stepping out of bounds

Also, as a 6'4" individual myself, I'm usually the tallest guy on the court when i play pick up games at the local rec center. So i can tell you from personal experience, it can be very frustrating playing against an entire defense of players smaller than you all swatting at the ball when you try to go up close to the rim. T Rob was getting alot of that last night.

jaybate 10 years, 10 months ago

TRob has a blown tread and he's just such a monster talent that he and Self are masking it.

And playing against runts never makes big muscular studs like TRob look good. It just makes them fatten their stat sheets.

TRob has a long way to go to be polished, but remember that unlike the Twins last year, and Cole his years, TRob is having to play with a three perimeter players without sound fundamentals and with chronic ADD. :-)

TRob was counting on TT, EJ, and Travis being his support group, and now it turns out that it's Withey that his year really depends on.

The perimeter players are never going to fully settle down the way recent perimeter players have. They are always going to swing between extremes...exactly what dominant bugs don't need, or like.

BalKUrog 10 years, 10 months ago

Regarding earlier Richard Scott and T Rob comparison, really they are dissimilar players. R Scott was a consistently reliable scorer in the low post (couldn't be stopped); T Rob is a physically superior dominant rebounder but is not yet a consistent scorer. Perhaps by mid-season he will be... I love T Rob; but I have to give props to Richard Scott, the KU low post phenom scorer that gave many a coach fits by his fast transition from defense to offense, strong post position, and relentless jump hook scoring from that position. It was beautiful to watch from the seats of AFH.

KUbsee69 10 years, 10 months ago

On the video volumn ... it's not the "loudness" it's the sound quality. The sound system in AFH is horrible. I think what bothers Keegan and most others that think it's too loud is the terribly distorted sound, not the volumn. Any audiophile knows what I'm saying. Clean, undistorted sound does not usually bother anyone, regadless of the volumn.

I've been surprised for years at the poor sound quality. A lot of money has been spent upgrading AFH over the last few years, but the sound system was apparently ignored. If it was "upgraded" in the process, then they hired the wrong audio consultant.

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