It’ll take some time for Thomas Robinson to get over the disappointment of not being invited to play in the McDonald’s All-America basketball game.
“I am kind of (ticked) off, but will use it as motivation,” the future Kansas University power forward said.
Robinson took out some of his frustrations at the recent Roundball Classic high school all-star game on March 22 in Hagerstown, Md. The 6-foot-8, 225-pound senior from Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., scored 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the Nationals’ 103-101 victory over the Americans.
Robinson — he averaged 16 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks a game for Brewster this past season — was asked if he felt he had something to prove in the fourth-annual game featuring players from the East coast.
“No, I will prove that next year (at KU),” said Robinson, who has already discussed the McDonald’s snub with KU coach Bill Self.
“He told me not to worry about it, to use it to motivate me,” Robinson said. “It’s an all-star game. It doesn’t mean anything once you get to college.”
Robinson — he’ll next compete at the Reebok All-America game as a teammate of KU signee Elijah Johnson on April 18 in Robinson’s hometown of Washington, D.C. — had two rim-rattling dunks and also hit several jumpers at the Roundball Classic.
“I hit a few 15-footers. A lot of people don’t know about my (offensive) game,” noted Robinson, who is known as a fierce rebounder. “That’s one of the reasons I chose Kansas. Coach Self will help me develop my game to where I can show I can do more (than rebound).”
Robinson, who is Rivals.com’s No. 18-rated player, showed some toughness late in his senior season. He grabbed 17 rebounds in a game while playing with a broken bone in his left, non-shooting hand. He doesn’t need surgery.
“I’m fine,” Robinson said, noting he’d arrive at KU in June for summer school.
He said he was impressed with KU’s play this past season.
“I’m not surprised. I’ve seen the team,” Robinson said. “I knew they’d be good. I’m glad they proved people wrong.”
He said the sky could be the limit next year if Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich put off the NBA draft for a year.
“If they came back, it’d be a blessing,” Robinson said. “We could have a championship team.”
In fact, some are already tapping KU as a national title contender for next season if Collins and Aldrich return and if the Jayhawks can add either Xavier Henry or Lance Stephenson in recruiting.
• He was right: Robinson proved prophetic when asked an hour before tip of the national title game which team would win.
“Michigan State has been messing up everybody’s brackets, but I go with North Carolina,” Robinson said.
• Reebok rosters: Here are the rosters for the Reebok all-star game.
Team Finish: Elijah Johnson, Thomas Robinson, Mike Moser, Dexter Strickland, Junior Cadougan, Naji Hibbert, Andrew Fitzgerald, John Jenkins, Rodney McGruder, Dante Taylor, Erik Murphy.
Team Create: Mfon Udfofia, Maurice Creek, Lorenzo Brown, Joe Burton, Tim Frazier, Ari Stewart, Richard Howell, Fred Gulley, Isaiah Philmore, Terrell Vinson, Isaiah Armwood.
• Pastner to hire Henry?: A source told the Sporting News on Monday that new Memphis coach Josh Pastner “would hire former Kansas player Carl Henry as the program’s director of operations, which would keep signed recruit Xavier Henry, Carl’s son, in the program.”
The Memphis Commercial Appeal said Pastner was “instrumental” in the recruitment of Henry. Pastner will be introduced as Memphis coach today.
Carl Henry said last week that Xavier wanted to attend KU in the wake of John Calipari’s hiring at Kentucky.
• Ellis update: Perry Ellis, a 6-foot-8 freshman from Wichita Heights, recently became the first freshman in Kansas history to be named Gatorade Player of the Year. Ellis, 15, has already been offered a scholarship by KU and Memphis.
“People ask me about college, but that's still a long way away," Ellis told the Wichita Eagle.