Sunday, April 22, 2012

Behind the Lens: Robinson’s reaction sums up KU defeat

A time-lapse of the 52 still photographs taken in 24 seconds of Thomas Robinson at the end of the KU loss to Kentucky in the national championship game.


I’ll offer one more story on our recent photo coverage of the Kansas University men’s basketball team in the NCAA Tournament.

After KU made the Final Four, photo coverage of each game had less to do with shooting numerous action photos and more to do with capturing key plays and player reactions in the final seconds or at game’s end.

I’m of the opinion that nobody cares much about a photo of a thunderous dunk in the first half of a game that a team eventually loses. So as the closing seconds ticked off the clock in the championship game between KU and Kentucky, and the score favoring the Wildcats, my attention turned to keying on a KU player, specifically Tyshawn Taylor or Thomas Robinson, and their reaction to the emotional loss.

As the buzzer closed out the Jayhawk loss, my camera landed on Robinson, his head down and Kentucky players beginning to celebrate in the background. Rather than take this one shot and look for other possibilities, I decided to keep my camera glued on Robinson.

In the sequence that follows, he leans over, alone, bracing himself on his knees. When photographing this it seemed like a long time, but my camera registers it as only a six-second span. Teammate Kevin Young walks into the scene next, and then I remember hearing a loud explosion.

I kept my camera to my eye and continued photographing. By the time Tyshawn Taylor stepped in to console Robinson, bright-colored streamers and confetti were falling from the ceiling and through my photograph. I realized what the explosion had been.

It was a surreal and beautiful visual moment and it set the stage for a photograph of the players, huddled together, supporting each other in the loss. I stayed framed on the scene until the three — Young and Taylor on each side of Robinson — walked off the court.

The entire sequence consists of 52 photographs taken over a 24-second period. I have no knowledge of anything else happening inside the entire Superdome during that half-minute.

I felt lucky to be in a position to photograph each of those moments and capture one that summed up the players’ emotional loss after a well-played game, tournament and season.


Chris Bruning 10 years, 3 months ago

But a small wound apurse, this was the funnest bball season for me.....8str8, 16-2 in league play, legendary Mizzou comeback, great postseason run showing off our teams heart and that we have thee best coach in college ball. RCJH!!!!!!

Pitthawk34 10 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

stm62 10 years, 3 months ago

It was a sweet, sweet season. There were such relatively low expectations this year. I expected this team to be about the worst KU team in 25 years, yet they proved me wrong and made it to the NCAA Finals. Incredible. My heart aged 10 years this season because of all the exciting, hard fought victories. The Jayhawks comeback against MU, the Tigers loss to Norfolk State. SWEET!!!

DoctorTK 10 years, 3 months ago

It was heart wrenching to watch this sequence, but I replayed it again and again. I am so proud of these young men and what they have accomplished. They are winners and will achieve wonders in their lives.

Thank you, Mike, for bringing these beautiful images to us.

Billy Derringer 10 years, 3 months ago

This season buried alot of bad flame outs from the past. Dating back to the Rhode Island loss, the Utep loss, the Arizona loss, Bucknell, Bradley, Vcu, now was our turn to break hearts an this team kicked as much azz as they possibly could. great year an it was great to kill a few ghost from tournament past. WE.. ARE.. KANSAS!!

Robert Berger 10 years, 3 months ago

Amen derringer29 !!! This run along with the Norfolk State win erases allot of bad memories...may those ghost rest in peace.

Billy Derringer 10 years, 3 months ago

How the hell did Bill Self do it? lost 3 incoming recruites, returned only one starter who is either hit or miss some games,a bunch or role players, a couple walk ons, a few transfers from not so hot places, an with only a hunch he had one real stud who is all heart an is fearless. the pressure to keep the team eliet Bill some how found a way to make magic an mastered a recipy to turn chicken sh!t in to chicken salad. wow cant wait to read the book! Bill you are at the top of your game.hope your land some great tutoring assidents this team was all about player devolpment and great coaching ajustments in game..

easyfive 10 years, 3 months ago

That was a semi Pro spiked team with the ugliest player ever on it! And Elijah did not travel, i don't care what the rule was it's just not right. Oh well, it just a game laugh it off

LAJayhawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Uh..... yeeeeaaaah..... he clearly traveled.

stinkybulldog 10 years, 3 months ago

100% a travel. Wish it wasn't. He cashed it, too! Would of put us down 3 :( Lets get it next year! RCJH!!!

Andy Godwin 10 years, 3 months ago

I was already walking up the stairs of the super dome. I had no interest in seeing UK celebrate.

Jeff Kilgore 10 years, 3 months ago

That one of dejection cannot erase the numerous games that we came back to win. I'll take playing in the championship game, win or lose, every year.

Bryan Swan 10 years, 3 months ago

I have cheered for the Jayhawks since I was a little kid...I remember the 1986 Final Four, but was a student at KU for the 1988 Championship as well as the loss in the 1991 title game...As an adult, I remember the frustrations of early Tourney exits, as well as the 2002 and 2003 campaigns...20 years after '88, I was dancing on Mass. Street in 2008...

Having said all that, this 2012 Final Four team is the one I was most excited to cheer for all season long...It was a lot like being a parent...Sometimes you got frustrated at "the kids" and always thought they could do more...and were so proud when they did...

Thanks you 2012 Jayhawks...Good luck to the seniors and T-Rob...

Withey, Releford, Johnson...we have unfinished business for 2013! Go get 'em!

Bryan Swan 10 years, 3 months ago

You could almost hear Tyshawn saying, "Hold your head high brother!"

Mark Lindrud 10 years, 3 months ago

We did so much this year that we didn't expect to do. When I was getting ready to watch that final game I knew no matter what that I was extremely proud of this team. Even though I was disappointed for the loss, I wasn't crushed because I was just to proud of these young men who kept proving doubters wrong and grew up as a team before my eyes. Travis, Jeff, EJ, it is now your team to lead as seniors and do us and each other proud!

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 3 months ago

I just wish I could see the vid. Would it kill ljw to create a YouTube account and post stuff there as well. Granted it would take a extra minute of time but...!

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 3 months ago

Now, tell me that 1st round draft picks don't care about their college experiences.

mikehawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Who would have thought this Jayhawk team would be one no one will want to forget, and the one all others henceforth will be remembered as the standard of toughness, heart and determination? The picture series captured by Mr. Yoder captures so much about the heart and soul of this team.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 3 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

DDDHawk 10 years, 3 months ago

Those pictures pretty much encapsulate the brotherhood that existed on this special team. They will stay in my heart forever! Thank you for those, Mike. Great work.

Stan Crown 10 years, 3 months ago

Certainly a special team. If you want, you can catch some of my ramblings on this year's team at Click on the April 6 post titled Rocky and the Jayhawks.

Kit Duncan 10 years, 3 months ago

Ahperse is right. For those of us who like to get our fix using iPhones it is frustrating when the LIW posts videos using Flash because we can only read the text without enjoying the video. I do have a computer but sometimes the phone is more readily available.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 3 months ago

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I have seen some comments that were ultimately removed. These did truly violate the Terms of USe flagrantly. I have also seen many comments that I felt could have been removed but weren't. Mine fell no where within these parameters.

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