Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thomas Robinson wows crowd at Stoudemire skills camp


Thomas Robinson’s powerful, one-handed slam dunk off an alley-oop feed from Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine highlighted play at last weekend’s Amar’e Stoudemire Skills Academy in Chicago.

“I mean, the whole gym went crazy after the dunk,” Robinson, Kansas University’s 6-foot-10, 240-pound junior power forward from Washington, D.C., said Tuesday in Allen Fieldhouse.

He echoed comments of ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan, who said Robinson’s jam “caused plenty of stone-faced NBA scouts in attendance to cast each other knowingly excited glances.”

Robinson — he worked as a counselor at the camp for high school big men with Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis, North Carolina’s James McAdoo, Duke’s Mason and Miles Plumlee and others — admits the dunk resembled last year’s acrobatic, one-handed jam against Arizona in the Las Vegas Invitational.

“I think that one was better,” Robinson said of the ’Zona dunk, “but this one was off one foot.”

Robinson — he will also attend the upcoming LeBron James and Adidas Nations camps — said the Stoudemire experience proved valuable.

“I think I kind of showed more people that I’m more versatile with my offensive game. I drove the ball to the basket a lot at the camp,” Robinson said. “I know what I can do. It’s just me using these camps to show other people.”

As far as other big men ... “Sullinger is Sullinger. He can perform,” Robinson said. “Really, the player who stood out to me was Alex Oriakhi from UConn. Obviously Anthony Davis is good. Once he gets more weight on him, he’s going to be a really good player,” Robinson added of the 6-10, 215-pound Kentucky Wildcat.

The high school crop of big men included KU targets Willie Cauley, Landen Lucas, Mitch McGary, Julius Randle and Robert Upshaw.

“They were real good,” Robinson said of the preps. “Bigs are changing more now. They are becoming more versatile and able to do multiple things.”

There were hordes of NBA scouts at the Amar’e camp held just days after the 2011 NBA Draft.

“Watching the draft was different than watching it in other years because I felt I could have been in it,” said Robinson. He briefly considered leaving KU after two seasons, dismissing those thoughts in an attempt to expand and improve on his game in preparation for the next level.

“I’m pretty biased when it comes to my teammates — Marcus and Markieff (Morris) — I felt they should have gone earlier in the draft. Not many players are better than they are. Of course I’m proud of them.”

Markieff was picked No. 13 overall by Phoenix and Marcus No. 14 by Houston. currently has Robinson listed as the No. 16 overall pick in the 2012 Draft.

Before all that, Robinson is intent on having a stellar junior season.

He was asked if his goal is to be an All-American?

“Yes. I won’t settle for anything else,” said Robinson, who has been playing against the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Cole Aldrich in pick-up games and is enthused about working out with former KU center Sasha Kaun, who will be in town the next few weeks following his return from Russia, where he plays pro ball.

“Of course I think expectations will be high for me. I try to put my expectations higher than anybody else so that way I know that I won’t fail for our fans or coach (Bill) Self or my teammates. I want to be the player of the year this year. I won’t try to settle for anything less than that,” Robinson said.

Recruiting: Christian Sanders, a 6-foot-2 senior-to-be from St. Thomas High School in Houston, will make an unofficial recruiting visit to KU on Thursday, ESPN’s Dave Telep reports. He has visited Stanford and also has Maryland, Texas and Colorado on his early list. He’s son of former KU guard Brad Sanders ...

Former Vanderbilt forward Andre Walker visited Wichita State on Monday and Tuesday. It is believed the 6-foot-7 Walker, who is also considering Xavier and Marquette, will not be visiting KU after all. His dad had said earlier this week a trip to KU was in the works.


100 11 years, 5 months ago

Something about Thomas, now, not 365 days ago, but now, his heartfelt powerful words of leadership & self-drive, along with what he went through last year just reminds me so much of the driving force of the painful personal losses turned upside down & charged & ignited like an all knowing lightening bolt from above into Allen Fieldhouse that pushed us into the attainable reality of greatness with our 1988 & 2008 teams...

I feel like this team is driven by a true leader that stayed for a PURPOSE instead of jumping ship to the NBA & it is undoubtable to me now after reading Thomas's words ( as he was told by Darnell Jackson himself, who also suffered a huge loss in 2008, to put the energy of these tragedies into making himself the best player & teammate he can be on the court).....


onlylookin2score 11 years, 5 months ago

Quite Right. It is most definetly Robinson's and Taylor's team now.

Robinson alluded to driving the ball...the guy can get up above everybody... Imagine Releford on a drive and kick by Robinson...The Defense collapses and leaves Releford open on the perimeter or able to cut in.... I think HCBS ought to design some plays with Robinson in mind... just after a defensive rebound where he pulls it down...passes to TT or a PG and trails as if to set up a pick... PG drives the ball steadily and Releford waits in the wings... TT crosses the half court line and proceeds... only to give it up to the trailing Robinson and have him drive to the weak defensive side with a TT pick on the PG, penetrate, stop wait for the D to overcompensate to the weak side and jump for the pass to a wide open Releford or whomever.... who the hell is isn't going to try and stop a specimen like Thomas Robinson from getting any closer to the basket

Alot of fans seem to think this a perhaps weaker team... But I think HCBS is right about this team and last years... he's said both resemble the 2008 squad..... a bunch of athletes and some damn good defenders...

TT can penetrate, Elijha can, I think Naddir will be able too as well, and something tells me Releford will be working on his penetration skills, after all he can already post up on players several inches taller than him..... then you Have Thomas... I can recall him wanting to bring the ball up the floor on several occasions last year....I'm sure some video exists of him doing it... all I'm saying is he's driving at this camp... and last year He clearly exibited behavior indicitve of "wanting the ball".... I stand by my one of my previous posts... I believe (barring injury or suspension) he will be a top 5 draft pick next year. And I also believe KU will make it to the Final Four come March...

100 11 years, 5 months ago

Responding to Maxhawk (below):

First of all, no one associated with KU was excited to read that story. Personally im not sure of Self's policy regarding clubs, but certainly it has been reviewed recently. Most programs allow kids to have a relatively normal experience as long as they understand they cannot give the program a black eye.

That said isn't it interesting how things can be taken out of context? First of all he was with KU players & a guy associated with the team. From the reports the bouncer was starting something with the basketballer's friend who was brought along. TRobb never hit anyone. He had no alcohol.

Like a teammate, he stood up for his friend. I don't like that he was caught up in the situation, & again it's a wise time for Self to think about & possibly change his weekend policy.

But Thomas's actions to me, wreak of a guy, caught in an uncomfortable situation... Where he stood up for his friend.

That's what teammates do.

Now, I'm like you, I don't want anymore of these situations, just because you always know there will be some drunk or boisterous bouncer "fan" who is really a slug from Columbia or elsewhere, just dying to take advantage of the situation.

No one is perfect; but look through the stories & you'll see Thomas was sticking up for a friend. Didn't throw a punch.

Now it's time to learn from that and Focus on team.

Do I think Thomas is a leader?

Even in that parking lot scene, where they shouldnt have been, more leader traits are revealed to me.

A wimp let's his 5'7" friend get beat up.

Thomas didn't let it happen.

DDDHawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Thomas, I can't wait to see you on the court this year. The best is yet to come!

Martin Rosenblum 11 years, 5 months ago

Andre Walker went to Wichita for a visit?

Vandy to WSU. Interesting thought process on his part. A trip to Lawrence is in the works, according to his dad. He's only "considering" the other two schools mentioned. So, he's been to Kansas once and will return to the state soon. Only, his return will be to the only true program of choice in the state. I don't find it too difficult to read between these lines.

Martin Rosenblum 11 years, 5 months ago

What graduate program does WSU have that this guy couldn't get at Vandy?

If he does get into a graduate program somewhere beside Vandy, would he then have any more eligility for Basketball as a graduate student?

KUFan90 11 years, 5 months ago

"I want to be the player of the year this year. I won’t try to settle for anything less than that,”

Anyone else think he'll be improving on that #16 projected draft position? : )

ldjayhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Surely Andre Walker will add experience to our big man front-line, but judging on the fact normally transfers take a year to adapt - and Walker only has a year eligibility left - I am not convinced how much of impact (and positive impact on the team) he could actually bring.

On another note, ESPN ranks the KU incoming recruiting class 22th in the country. I know it's not the usual top 5 class we expect, but if I am honest I was surprised to see that we got as "high" as 22th - according to ESPN.

Guess time will tell.

msthompson37 11 years, 5 months ago

I like the SIR THOMAS nickname. He is the man.

Spencer Goff 11 years, 5 months ago

Nutz wants you to know that Nutz is stoked for next season.

Time's up let's do this! Leeroy!

actorman 11 years, 5 months ago

"On another note, ESPN ranks the KU incoming recruiting class 22th in the country."

I would have thought KU would at least be 19nd or higher.

If Sir Thomas (I like that name too) can play at Naismith Award level -- and I don't see why he can't -- there's no reason this team can't be at least as good as last year's team, especially if TT also plays at a high level.

actorman 11 years, 5 months ago

"I would have thought KU would at least be 19nd or higher."

Okay, mea culpa. I make fun of someone else's use of the language, then I put in something redundant like that.

KULA 11 years, 5 months ago

Great job for Thomas. Maybe now Bill won't be afraid to play him in crunch time in March.

Jeeveshawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Its good to see that Thomas can do well agains other elite players in the country.

Timmay97 11 years, 5 months ago

With the amount of playing time Robinson will get (assuming he stays out of foul trouble) he will be in the top 5 in the nation in rebounding. This guy is a machine on the boards.

Also, I can totally see Robinson being a Dennis Rodman kind of NBA player. Though he might develop more offensively at KU, that will not be required for whatever team he ends up on in the NBA. He will simply do the dirty work under the basket and rebound.

Either way, I love this kids mentality....but most of all, I love his build. Thomas is chiseled beyond belief. It would HURT to play against him down low.

Best of luck for the upcoming year Thomas! We will all be watching!

Jhawker400 11 years, 5 months ago

The more and more I look at this year's team, the better I feel about this year's really really high end potential. This could be a 30-win team. And that starting lineup is going to be SO NASTY DEFENSIVELY. Key to this starting lineup is (like someone else has already mentioned, WITHEY!!!)

C - Withey PF - Robinson SF - Releford SG - E. Johnson PG - T. Taylor

PF - Traylor SF - McLemore PG - Tharpe

possibly one more big man - kevin young/braeden anderson in the rotation???

I'm not worried about this year's team at all. I worry about next year's team if the recruiting class isn't stellar. We need multiple bluechip guys to sign and stay.

Jhawker400 11 years, 5 months ago

I honestly think Robinson may end up being a lot like Emeka Okafor in todays game. Averaging 10ppg-10rpg-2bpg but the biggest parallel that I draw that Im SHOCKED nobody's mentioned is:

A MORE OFFENSIVELY GIFTED ANTONIO DAVIS!!! Look at what Davis did between 00'-03' and that what I see T-Rob doing career-wise.

Lance Hobson 11 years, 5 months ago

I thought we were toast when the twins and Selby left, but there is something about this kid. We may have a pretty decent run next year.

Ben Simonett 11 years, 5 months ago

Based on what i saw from last year Trob is a poor mans version of Ben Wallace

If he does what the Morri did last summer, put up at least 1000 shots a day and do everything danny manning says, and ends up developing a soft touch to go with his physical play he will be a lottery pick.

whats the latest phrase? "no days off"?

Dirk Andrews 11 years, 5 months ago

There's no doubt T-Rob has the passion to be great at this game. I just hope he can use that passion and intensity to his advantage and learn to finely tune it. 90% mental, 10% physical. He has a sick first step, and if he develops a better jump shot, he'll be almost unstoppable. What a great kid.

CrissaxJayhawk16 11 years, 5 months ago

It's articles like this that make me excited for next season. I knew that I could depend on Thomas, he's an incredible person. He's exactly the type of man that should be representing Kansas basketball. Yeah so he's gotten in a fight or two, oh well he's a guy, that's what guys do. Either way he's an incredibly strong person and I have nothing but respect for him. I just want T-Rob and the rest of the 2010-2011 squad to prove to all of those sports analysts that they are not a rebuilding team. We don't need to rebuild, we reload. Rock Chalk!

HawkNVegas 11 years, 4 months ago

Where's the video? I wanna see that dunk.

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