Archive for Sunday, November 7, 2004

Robinson adjusting to environment

November 7, 2004


"Manhattan." When playing word association, Kansas University freshman guard Russell Robinson may not immediately think of purple and silver Wildcats -- at least not yet.

It may take him awhile to think of the Little Apple.

That's because he's the first Kansas basketball recruit from New York since Clyde native Terry Brown (who played from 1990 to '91).

As a 6-foot-2 combo guard from Rice Highin other Manhattan in the heart of N.Y.C., Robinson is trying to become adjusted to a new team in a completely different environment.

"When I first (arrived) here, I was like, 'Wow,' but I thought it would be like this everywhere else because no school's in the city. It's going to be different, regardless."

There are some schools in the city, like St. John's -- a university that lured away former Kansas assistant coach Norm Roberts in April after the vacancy opened following Mike Jarvis' departure.

Robinson signed with Kansas in part because of Roberts, a fellow New York City native from Queens who recruited him and formed a relationship with him.

"Norm obviously did affect me," Robinson said. "I was hoping he would be here to help me. I think the adjustment would have been easier."

The presence of Roberts gave Kansas a viable recruiting force on the East Coast after skeptics criticized former coach Roy Williams for never trying to compete for kids out East with fellow superpowers such as North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky.

The late addition of Alex Galindo, a 6-foot-7 guard from New Jersey, showed KU coach Bill Self still has an extremely deep talent pool that spans from coast to coast.

"(Self) can recruit anywhere he wants," Robinson said.

Robinson comes from a city as famous for its point guards (Stephon Marbury, Kenny Anderson, Rod Strickland, Mark Jackson) as its hot dog stands and subway system.

Robinson said he talked frequently to Strickland, a point guard from Robinson's borough of the Bronx, and current member of the NBA's Toronto Raptors.

What advice does Strickland share?

"Just keep working hard, stay in school and stay out of trouble," Robinson said.

Robinson added that he has also talked with Brooklyn native Marbury of the New York Knicks from time to time.

Full name: Russell Robinson Jr.Class: freshmanHeight: 6-1Weight: 185Hometown: New YorkHigh school: RiceMajor: undecidedBirthdate: January 24, 1986

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