Originally published March 5, 2012 at 12:05p.m., updated March 6, 2012 at 12:00a.m.

Thomas Robinson wins AP Big 12 Player of the Year

MU coach Frank Haith named coach of year

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson goes up for a dunk against Oklahoma State on Monday, Feb. 25, 2012, at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson goes up for a dunk against Oklahoma State on Monday, Feb. 25, 2012, at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla.


Kansas University junior power forward Thomas Robinson on Monday was named the Associated Press Big 12 Player of the Year one day after the conference coaches accorded him the same honor.

The 6-10 junior from Washington, D.C., followed in the footsteps of KU forward Marcus Morris, who won the award a year ago.

“It shows how hard he’s worked, and how hungry he is,” KU coach Bill Self said. “He’s had three lottery picks play in front of him (Morris twins, Cole Aldrich), averaged eight and 15 minutes a game the last two years. But when his number was called and opportunity knocked, he certainly made the most of it.”

The only Big 12 player averaging a double-double, Robinson received all 18 AP votes from a panel of sports writers and sportscasters who cover the league on a regular basis.

Robinson was joined on the AP All-Big 12 first team by teammate Tyshawn Taylor, Texas junior guard and Big 12 scoring leader J’Covan Brown, Missouri senior guard Marcus Denmon and Iowa State sophomore forward Royce White, who was also selected as the league’s Newcomer of the Year.

First-year Missouri coach Frank Haith was selected as the AP Big 12 Coach of the Year after the Tigers set a school record with 27 wins in the regular season. KU coach Self, who along with Iowa State’s Fred Hoiberg was the coaches’ choice as co-Coach of the Year, indicated he voted for Haith.

Haith received nine of 18 votes in the AP voting, while Self received seven and Hoiberg, two.

Oklahoma State guard/forward Le’Bryan Nash, who missed the last three games of the regular season because of a broken left hand, was named the Big 12’s Freshman of the Year.

The 6-7 Nash, who averaged 13.3 points and 5.0 rebounds, got 11 of the 18 votes as the top freshman. Texas guard Myck Kabongo got four votes, and Baylor forward Quincy Miller got three.

There was an expanded AP All-Big 12 second team, with six players because of a voting tie for the last spot.

Ricardo Ratliffe, who last season as a junior college transfer was the league’s top newcomer, was on the second team along with Missouri teammate Phil Pressey, Baylor’s Pierre Jackson and Perry Jones III, Oklahoma State’s Keiton Page and Kansas State’s Rodney McGruder.

Robinson is the sixth Jayhawk to be named the AP Big 12 Player of the Year.

“He’s obviously had a fabulous year, and he’s been so consistent from a production standpoint throughout the season,” Self said. “Even when he doesn’t have his best game, he still finds a way to get 15 and 10 on a bad night. ... He’s had some monster games for us.”

Kansas had back-to-back Player of the Year winners only one other time. Jacque Vaughn won the award in 1997 and Raef LaFrentz in 1998, the league’s first two seasons.

“A guy that kind of size, obviously a lot of his points are point-blank range, but he can step away from the basket. He can make the 15-footer, and he’s just a man on the boards,” Haith said of Robinson, who had 53 points and 25 rebounds in two games against the Tigers this season. “When that ball goes on the rim, it’s hand-to-hand combat with him.”


championhawks 10 years, 9 months ago

Funny how the writers give the Haith coach of the year but the coaches voted for Self and Hoiberg!

Tribehawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Not saying that HCBS and Hoiberg aren't deserving, but I suspect many of the Big XII coaches decided to freeze out Mizzou for nearly imploding the conference.

JayHok 10 years, 9 months ago

What did Haith do to win COY besides walk into five seniors who could shoot threes?

If Kansas plays Mizzou in the Big 12 tournament, there's the incentive right there for the team. Dooley, Townsend and Manning can mention this to the players for their eventual players only meeting ---'HCBS beat Haith by two games in conference. HCBS and our entire team got jobbed by Alden's handshake hug with Don Daily in the Mizzou tunnel. The result is Haith gets the COY even though HCBS beat Haith by two full games and would have beat him by four full games without Don Daily being part of the officiating crew that night in Columbia. We'll never know how much money passed hands between Don Daily and Alden. It very well could have been zero money---Daily is a well known Missouri fan who lives in Missouri. But here's a more important question. What should we do about it today.'

Steve Quatrocky 10 years, 9 months ago

Coach Self needs our support as we know he's the real COY! The Star is doing a straw poll between Coach Self, Coach Haith and Coach Hoiberg, here:

and right now, Mizzou has been stuffing the ballot box.

Ed Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

Bigger question...what are we going to do about it Thursday and Friday so we have real locker room fodder for Saturday! Nothing matters that has already happened but now we can break the tie and lock a #1 seed, win another Conference Tourney and send mizery on their way. Then, maybe we get to watch mizery and nebraska on the bottom during hoops season on a regular basis.


Jace FitzGibbon 10 years, 9 months ago

wait what? i thought it said last night that bill self won the co coach of the year....?

master16 10 years, 9 months ago

that's the actual big 12 award that the coaches themselves vote. Haith won the Associated Press Big 12 COY.

Alec White 10 years, 9 months ago

Two different teams---one voted on by the coaches and one voted on by the Associated Press. Frank Haith winning Coach of the Year is laughable. I honestly didn't have a problem with Self and Hoiberg sharing the award; The Mayor did a great job with transfers and misfits. But Haith inherited a talented squad that he didn't recruit. Meanwhile, Self just goes about his business and takes home an 8th straight conference title with a 16-2 league record.

I also had a weird feeling that Tyshawn was going to get ignored on the first team in favor of Perry Jones III or Pierre Jackson. Good thing everyone recognized he's just as valuable to our team than TRob is. Rock Chalk

Levi Chronister 10 years, 9 months ago

I wish HCBS won it as much as the next Jayhawk does, but Haith took players he didn't recruit (which is harder than coaching players you did recruit), lost Bowers for the year and still finished second in the conference. He did all that without a Top 5 NBA pick or a possible first-rounder at point guard. KU was picked to tie A&M for the Big 12 title before the season.

Self did a great job and he would have been a deserving winner. As would have Hoiberg. As is Haith. To say him winning is laughable is actually itself laughable.

cobweb 10 years, 9 months ago

Haith will probably be fired before next season if the scandal continues to escalate.

VaJay 10 years, 9 months ago

Who cares? In a week, they will have fallen off the face of the earth!

lurkerhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

something to do with impermissible benefits while Haith was at UofMiami.

10 years, 9 months ago

Congrats, TRob and TT! Let the well-deserved awards collection continue :^)

Dan Edwards 10 years, 9 months ago

Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy. T-Rob EARNED this award. I believe he is the first KU player ever to win AP POY.


Dan Edwards 10 years, 9 months ago

Heh, oops. Didn't see the Big 12 qualifier...

But when it's all said and done I do believe he will be the National POY as well.

actorman 10 years, 9 months ago

I don't believe he'd be the first anyway. Didn't Danny win it?

VancouverHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Hersey Hawkins won it in 1988 - he averaged a ridiculous 36 points per game.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 9 months ago

Danny Manning was named AP POY as an FYI.

VancouverHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

No, he wasn't. Hersey Hawkins was the AP POY in 1988. David Robinson won it in 1987. Maybe you're thinking of some other players of the year award.

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 9 months ago

Naismith Player of the year in 2008...

You are correct though, did not win the AP vote.

kufaninmo 10 years, 9 months ago

Am I reading this wrong or do you mean 1988, not 2008? I'm hella drunk right now, mind you...

RJ King 10 years, 9 months ago

Bill Self is to college b-ball as Meryl Streep is to acting. Always superb - but each year a great performance by a previously unrecognized individual (Hally Berry, Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, etc) draws the votes. People take consistency for granted. An always-deserving, but repetitive choice is boring compared to the sexy choice of a new kid in town.

So let Haith have a trophy. Give it up for MU's great season. Think bigger. It's not about one-time, yearly honors. It's about bricks (TRobb, TT, Sherron, Morri, Cole, etc). mortar (TRele, EJ, Reed, M-Star . . . ), and cornerstones (Self, Manning, Roy, Larry . . . ) that continue to build our magnificent program EACH AND EVERY year.

And let Drew have his prized recruits. Check out the link below and dream about the magic Self continues to make, while we finish out another charmed season.

actorman 10 years, 9 months ago

Good points, but perhaps "bricks" is the not the best choice of words to use when describing basketball. Just saying ...

Ludwig Supraphonic 10 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations to TT and TRob! For HCBS, I suppose sportwriters get bored with a story of consistancy and excellence. Haith receives his 15 minutes of glory. It's great to be a Jayhawk where second place does not exceed expectations.

ahpersecoachingexperience 10 years, 9 months ago

Not sure how being in second place by 2 games with horriable losses against ksu, osu, and a 19 pt second half comeback qualifies you for coach of the year!

april28 10 years, 9 months ago

+1. Must have been all those unproven players....oh wait....they were all bad

JayHok 10 years, 9 months ago

He was one Don Daily call in Columbia from ending up four games out of first.

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

Bill Self and his team won the conference title, Self's eighth straight conference title, with a rebuilding team that beat MU in the decisive game. Bill Self is not embroiled in allegations of recruiting improprieties at his prior schools.

Frank Haith and his team finished second in the conference using Mike Anderson's players, while coaching under a cloud of allegations about recruiting improprieties. Frank Haith lost the decisive game to Bill Self.

Frank Haith is AP Coach of the Year.

And enemas are floral bouquets.

Mallory Rempp 10 years, 9 months ago

I wish there was a "like" button, particularly for that last sentence. Made for a good chuckle.

katman52 10 years, 9 months ago

Maybe Missouri will make a T-shirt commemorating Haith's accomplishment!!!

kufaninmo 10 years, 9 months ago

Haha K state would make a commemorative DVD, and it'd be all kinds of emotional and sh!t too. Like Frank crying, but then completely psychotic and sh!t.

UncleMiltyN 10 years, 9 months ago

Haith must get a trophy for this....I'm thinking some fan needs to appropriate this hardware for reconditioning. For years I've wanted to hand out the Tyus Edney 4.8 trophy to the player that hits the basket that finally knocks Fizzou out of the Tourney.

Alohahawk 10 years, 9 months ago

As the old adage goes, "The proof is in the pudding."

And I'm certain HCBS will always prefer a conference championship (a much tastier pudding) over being named as conference COY, whether by the AP or even by his peers - the conference coaches. Same as the Jayhawk Nation will.

As for the prose about flowery irregularity, Jaybate, you pulled that one out of your.... Or were you thinking of a certain next door state's anemic mental aberations?

Then again, after that last two liner, maybe I shouldn't have brought "pudding" into this discussion. Got my hat on to ward off anything flung in from MU. ([ ;>)

All in fun. No malice intended.

Hail_To_Thee 10 years, 9 months ago

ABSOLUTELY deserving are Robinson and Taylor.

Robinson has become one of my favorite of all time. A young man who has gone through as much adversity and distraction as he has and who can still carry himself the way he does is a show of tramendous character.

I want to personally thank you Thomas Robinson for the enjoyment you have given me and my family this year watching you and this team and to let you know how proud every KU fan is to have you as a part of our family. It has been truely an honor to cheer for you this year and i think I speak for all the KU family when I say that we are very proud to be able to say that you whore our colors. Now its time for you to get out there and take advantage of what you so rightfully deserve. Take care of yourself and your sister Thomas and may God bless you with a very successful next step.

Tyshawn, You matured into what everyone has been looking for. You finally found it. It being something that only you know what "it" is. You finally get it. And again, we are very thankful for your time here at KU as well. Even with all the ups and downs, wall posts and tweets, you have proven that you deserve to wear that uniform and as with the case with Thomas, we're honored to have you as a part of this family. You had a break out season this year and it is unfortunate that noone outside the KU family realizes that. But know that nomatter who earns those honors, you are a champion in our books. Thank you for the 4 years you have offered us and may God also bless you with a successful next step.

As for Frank Haith.........................

gojhawx 10 years, 9 months ago

I don't know about being proud of TRob whoring our colors. I think you meant "wore". Anyway, it did make me chuckle a little. And yes, I know it was an honest mistake...but I still thought it was funny. Rock Chalk.

Hail_To_Thee 10 years, 9 months ago

HaHa. Whoops.

Try to be sincere and I screw it all up with a misspelling. ;)

actorman 10 years, 9 months ago

Well said, Hail.

One caveat: I wouldn't say that no one outside the KU family realizes it, since he did make first-team All-Big-XII. Unfortunately, no one outside the Big XII family seems to realize it -- which is a real shame because he certainly deserves at least second-team All-American. Of course we don't know that for sure yet; let's see what happens when the All-Americans are announced.

Sam Constance 10 years, 9 months ago

It's clear the AP voters cared about results in the context of expectations more than they cared about the quality of the results.

Which is another way of saying they penalized Self for being consistently amazing and rewarded Haith for being consistently mediocre.

Maybe someone should let them know that it's "Coach of the Year", not "Most Improved Coach".

Let's take expectations out of the equation for just one moment, since Self and Haith have both played a significant role in establishing their respective expectations for this season (Self by winning 7 straight titles, Haith by having 7 previous years of lackluster results). Without expectations, here are what they each accomplished:

Bill Self 1) 26-5 overall record 2) 16-2 Big 12 record (only the second team to win 16 games in Big 12 regular season history) 3) Big 12 regular season title, outright by 2 games 4) Top 5 strength of schedule opposition

Frank Haith 1) 27-4 overall record 2) 14-4 Big 12 record 3) SECOND place in the Big 12 title race, by 2 games 4) 50+ ranked strength of schedule opposition

So the only advantage for Haith is item #1, overall record. That is the best case (sans any argument about expectations) that can be made for Haith, and it is rendered irrelevant by point #4. Seems like a no-brainer to say that a 40-something ranking difference in strength of opponents is worth at least one win. Not to mention the fact that, when playing 18 games against IDENTICAL competition, Self surpassed Haith by two games.

Scott Smetana 10 years, 9 months ago

Mizzou's new strength of schedule released today: #79 None of their hype would have happened this year if they'd played anyone with size (like KSU) and we had held our lead there. Soooo happy to see them drop off the face of the earth after this season.

Mallory Rempp 10 years, 9 months ago

Frank Haith...Coach of the year? You mean the guy who blamed the refs for giving us the win after we overcame a 19-POINT LEAD? Are you FREAKING kidding me?! B.S. Bill is twice the man he is.

hbjayhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

I want to thank Coach Self and the 2011-2012 Jayhawks for one of the most exciting and rewarding regular season's in KU history. T-Rob, Tyshawn, we will miss you guys like none other. Best wishes for a tremendous March Madness run. FOE

blindrabbit 10 years, 9 months ago

This should be fun; Haith coach of the year! Ya, how much crow to eat when Haith's 9 year Miami U. mess catches up with him! Please, tell me to wipe the smirk off of my face.

SoCalAlum 10 years, 9 months ago

  1. Congratulations to the players for this recognition...and for such a great season to date (I have a feeling it's just going to get better).

  2. re: AP many good posts and comparisons above (I look forward to seeing more), esp Marchphog re: SOS. If you have a need for an operational definition of "cupcake schedule," look no further than MU's non-con this season. Coach Haith really is co-COY, sharing with his AD who put together that schedule. The only team missing was NJ Institute of Technology.

  3. Beat writers dissing Coach Self? Despite his considerable charm, I see him as man of great pride and those writers will likely get some significant payback for this frank (sorry, couldn't help it) disrespect.

Steve Gantz 10 years, 9 months ago

Congratulations TRob.
Coach Self is a victim of his own success, can't possibly pick him every year. Misery's strength of schedule is in the 70's, ours is 9th.
Misery had a great year, ours was better. The article linked to above rates coaches on how well they develop players. In their metric Calipari is #1 (no joke) and Self is #9. (also no joke)

Rob Keeney 10 years, 9 months ago

The COY banner they will hang will look great next to the NIT participant banners.

april28 10 years, 9 months ago

I think they should hang it right next to their Final Four banners....

actorman 10 years, 9 months ago

Don't forget the banners they have for their regular-season wins against KU ...

actorman 10 years, 9 months ago

Not to mention their banners for being good enough to make the Final Four but not quite getting there.

Dan Harris 10 years, 9 months ago

yeah but they have made 4 final 8's(great 8's?) so put that in your pipe and smoke it! ''sarcasm font"

Hank Cross 10 years, 9 months ago

If only the HCs could for vote for the B12 COY, I find it interesting that it ended up a 3-way tie among 10 HCs. If Self, Haith, and Hoiberg each had 3 votes, who got the other vote? And did one of the co-winners (say Haith) throw his vote to Drew or Martin to prevent Self or Hoiberg winning outright? Pure speculation of course.

championhawks 10 years, 9 months ago

didn't the coaches vote end up in a 2-way tie? With Haith taking the AP votes?

actorman 10 years, 9 months ago

Yes, I think oxcal is combining the two COY awards.

10 years, 9 months ago

“Sources: Syracuse’s basketball program repeatedly violated its internal drug policy”;_ylt=Aslus2N80JSeFbHFaZA5jnHevbYF?slug=ys-syracuse_basketball_investigation_drug_violation_030512

Possibly nothing to see here, but I found this part interesting:

“…four sources said the breadth of potential violations could apply to Syracuse seasons as far back as 2001 and include the 2002-03 national championship season.”

UncleMiltyN 10 years, 9 months ago

I thought McNamara was a little too "focused" when he was throwing those 27 footers in. Maybe we could have given a little to Collison to improve free throw shooting. :)

actorman 10 years, 9 months ago

Let's not forget the horrible call that fouled out Langford. Maybe the ref had taken a little himself and wasn't quite seeing straight ...

KansasComet 10 years, 9 months ago

Congrats to Thomas Robinson! Well deserved. Hopefully the Wooden is next!

KansasComet 10 years, 9 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor All Big XII. Hopefully All-America as well!

Jeff Coffman 10 years, 9 months ago

I just want to know how Keegan voted...if he voted for Haith...we need a new beat writer.

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

As for Frank Haith -

"I don't want to talk to you no more, you empty headed animal food trough wiper. I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."

jaybate 10 years, 9 months ago

...empty headed animal food trough wiper."

In part because of the swaggering noun stacking...PHOF!

nuleafjhawk 10 years, 9 months ago

lol - all credit goes to the "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" crew!

Iandhi 10 years, 9 months ago

"Go away or I will taunt you a second time."

JayHok 10 years, 9 months ago

Don Daily says, 'Thank you, sportswriters.'

Mike Alden says, 'Thank you, Don.'

Frank Haith says, 'Thank you, Mike.'

JayHok 10 years, 9 months ago

One Jayhawk fan says, 'Because Kansas would have beat Mizzou by 4 games if not for a referee from Columbia changing the outcome of the game. Let's face the facts no AP sportswriter gives the COY to Haith if they end up four games out of first. This award belongs to Don Daily as much as it does to Mike Alden, who provided a hug in the hallway after the game for somebody very special named Don Daily."

REHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Word has leaked that voters representing the AP were in a close deadlock over the selection of Big 12 COY. Frank Haith, on a recount, barely won out over Scott Drew, who accomplished, with his talented Bears, a feat which no other conference coach could possibly have done. Lost 6 games.

ParisHawk 10 years, 9 months ago

Finalists for the Wooden Award just announced: TRob on the list as expected. Votes due mid-March, after conference tournaments and first weekend of the NCAAs.

jwolf 10 years, 9 months ago

In a league as good as the Big 12 was this year, Probably nobody had two players better than everybody else's top player, but thanks to the voters anyway. As for Coach(ing staff) of the year. Haith probably was the better teacher this year, but the story is about how he made a good short team even better, not did he recruit them or not, and it's not fair to convict him of something where there is no evidence he was involved yet. Self and company deserve praise and there is no way the Big 12 coaches should vote COY to a program re-aligning itself by choice, even though we all know Texas and ESPN are the real problems here. I mean really, if Missouri almost imploded the conference what did CU, NU, and TA&M do? If Self really voted the way he said he did ??? well, he can't vote for himself, and he bucked the conference on this, more praise to him, but Hoiberg was also good. On Kansas City being more Kansas than Missouri?, if we took a vote on the 5 county 1.5 million residents it would not come out a Kansas win. Kansas City is turning into a City divided not by conference members but a city divided by two differences conferences. If we thought the old rivalries were good, wait till this thing heats up.

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