Archive for Sunday, January 23, 2011

Texas snaps streak, Jayhawks cope with loss of Thomas Robinson’s mother

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson looks to go up against Texas forward Tristan Thompson on January 22, 2011 in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson looks to go up against Texas forward Tristan Thompson on January 22, 2011 in Allen Fieldhouse.

January 23, 2011


KU vs. Texas

Kansas head coach Bill Self addressed the media after falling to Texas, 74-63 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 74-63 loss to Texas on Jan. 22, 2011.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Texas coach Rick Barnes

Texas coach Rick Barnes talks to reporters following his team's 74-63 victory over Kansas on Jan. 22, 2011, at Allen Fieldhouse.

Thomas Robinson’s baby sister, Jayla Paris, cell-phoned her big brother late Friday night.

The news was the worst possible kind.

Their beloved mother, Lisa, had just died, apparently of a heart attack, in Washington, D.C.

“Thomas couldn’t stop crying. Coach (Bill) Self was there. He cried. It was just real emotional,” Kansas University junior guard Tyshawn Taylor said of an impromptu team gathering in sophomore forward Robinson’s Jayhawker Towers apartment, which began before midnight and lasted well into the wee hours of the morning — the same morning of Saturday’s 74-63 loss to No. 10-ranked Texas in Allen Fieldhouse.

It was a loss that snapped No. 2 KU’s 69-game homecourt winning streak, something that meant so very little to the Jayhawks compared to the heartbreak their teammate, who had two points and five rebounds in eight foul-plagued minutes in Saturday’s game, was going through.

“T-Rob is like my brother. If he’s crying, I’m crying, too,” said Taylor, whose mom, Jeanell, and other mothers of KU players also were in Robinson’s apartment, with Jeanell massaging Robinson’s back for comfort.

“I’ve lost people, but this was different. It just felt kind of like, ‘Dang, I wish I could do something to help him, but I can’t do anything.’ Seeing him hurt like he was hurting last night, it was rough on all of us,” added Taylor, who said he was unable to sleep except maybe an hour, tossing and turning all night.

KU coach Self — he said he spoke with several experts who told him it was important to let Robinson decide whether he wanted to play against Texas — said the scene in Robinson’s room, “was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.

“But it was probably something that was humbling and also made you proud because those kids and families and everybody ... they do care about each other an awful lot,” Self added.

Self said Lisa Robinson was just 37 years old. Her passing followed the death of Robinson’s grandmother in late December and death of his grandfather, who died a week ago today.

Self said he was told Lisa Robinson had had severe migraines since the death of her mom, which forced a trip to the hospital following her dad’s death.

“What I told our guys ... 16,000 people that were here today and supported us great like they do every game ... they go home sad and disappointed,” Self said. “He (Robinson) is one of those guys. (But) he goes home ... he doesn’t have a mother anymore. It certainly puts everything in perspective because you are going to wake up three or four days from now, and people will be doing their own things, and the world keeps going on, and that’s the reality he’s going to live with the rest of his life.

“It’s unbelievable,” Self went on. “Stop and think about it. He’s got a 9-year-old sister left in his family, and she’s half the country away and how his life has changed so much overnight. It’s a pretty sad thing. People deal with it all the time, and he’ll deal with it like a man, but still your heart certainly hurts for (him) and his family.”

The scene in Allen Fieldhouse was somber before Saturday’s game.

Angel Morris, mother of the Morris twins, called Robinson out of warm-up drills on the south end of the court to give him a big hug and utter words of encouragement.

Marcus Morris, who scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds, wept while standing next to Robinson during a moment of silence in the fieldhouse before the game.

“For anybody to lose their mom ... it’s sad to even say anything because you don’t know what to say,” Morris said. “(He’s a) tough kid. To want to come and be with us and still play today ... he showed a lot of toughness. I hope he’ll be OK and get better.”

Tyrel Reed, who had 17 points off 5-of-9 three-point shooting, spoke with wet eyes in the interview room.

“T-Rob is such a young kid and a great teammate, a great person,” Reed said. “I’m just so proud of him the way he’s grown up from the time he was a freshman until now. He’s made such strides. To go through what he’s been through in the last three weeks with all his family, I don’t know of anybody that has happened to. I can only imagine the hurt he’s feeling. I want to be there for him ... tough kid.”

Self called Robinson “a stud” and said he was amazed he played.

“I think in more times like that, you see teams get off to an emotional good start,” Self said. “We played well, too (early). I felt it was emotional. I felt like we didn’t have much gas in the tank in the second half, but a lot of it is because of Texas’ play, too (in outscoring KU, 51-28, the second 20 minutes).”

Self said the result “doesn’t take away from the fact we tried today. It doesn’t take away from the fact Texas played well. We were out there, and since we were out there it was our job to perform. Not to perform so much we’ve got to win the game, but to perform a way if your teammate is willing to be out there under these circumstances, the least we could do is everything we can to sacrifice and make sure we did it as well (as Robinson). We did for a while, but certainly didn’t do that late.”

The Jayhawks (18-1, 3-1) will play Colorado at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Boulder.

Self did not know if Robinson would attend.

“Whatever he needs to do, he needs to do. We’re his family, and so I don’t know what that is yet,” Self said. “We’ll get organized this weekend and figure out what would be the best way for us to help him.”

His teammates and coaches — and mothers of players — will be there for him, that’s for sure.

“T-Rob is a strong dude, man,” Taylor said. “We’ve got his back. He’ll be all right.”


Sharon Roullins 7 years, 5 months ago

It is times like this that puts life into perspective....that it is short and you should value every second that you get. Prayers go out to TRob and his family. This has to be very tough right now; losing three people that meant a great deal to you. I know the team and coaching staff will be a great support group for him and I pray that they continue to work as a team - on and off the court.

jonas_opines 7 years, 5 months ago

Hell, ya'know, we might not even win the National Championship this year! We might not even get to the Final Four! It's almost been three whole years now since we've won the Championship! Three Whole Years!! If you can't win a new championship in the same amount of time or less than speeding tickets fall off of your license, you shouldn't play at all!

/Jayhaws suck zomg! //Just thought I'd get that out early.

Alia Ahmed 7 years, 5 months ago

jonas, I understand that was tongue-in-cheek. :)

jonas_opines 7 years, 5 months ago

Can Poe's Law be in effect for basketball?

Alia Ahmed 7 years, 5 months ago

Maybe we could invent an icon of a basketball with a winking eye as an indicator to prevent confusion.

Kerry Knott 7 years, 5 months ago

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ku_tailg8 7 years, 5 months ago

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polo66606 7 years, 5 months ago

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jonas_opines 7 years, 5 months ago

Honestly, Poe's Law is entirely too narrowly applied, just addressing one branch of the larger macro.

My theorum would be more like this: It is impossible to make a post on any given topic that is so over the top as to not be taken by some people as legitimate.

I've been trying for years, and still haven't managed it a single time.

Linda Endicott 7 years, 5 months ago

Do you have any sympathy in your soul at all for anyone but yourself? Are you even capable of it? Robinson has lost three members of his family in a short amount of time. I can't even imagine how difficult that would be to deal with, and I don't suppose he can really keep his mind on basketball that well, much as he would like to, for his teammates. And those teammates, who care about each other, probably had a difficult time keeping their minds on basketball as well, knowing what their friend is going through. Unfortunately, the NCAA isn't going to let teams reschedule, even due to family tragedies...maybe they should... If basketball, and wins and losses, are all you're capable of thinking of, considering what this young man is having to deal with right now, then I suggest you go have your head examined... Or maybe your chest...see if you really have a heart...

geekin_topekan 7 years, 5 months ago

Pretty tasteless to place the deceased in the headline, or even the same story. it sounds as though the writer is offering excuses for the losing game.

My sympathy to Mr.Robinson and his family in their time of despair. I am sorry the the locals make such a spectacle of your loss.

T-Rob? In a forum the denounces anything ghetto, gangsta, or un-Christian, I am surprised that it supports public figures use of G-speak. Lawrence youth look up to these players ya know. T-rob. Yeah.

Who is this "we" ? Were you on the court?

weegee 7 years, 5 months ago

geekin_topekan: Nicknames have been around a lot longer than so-called G-speak.

Kontum1972 7 years, 5 months ago

jonas. so how many times have u lost your drivers license...u seem to have the rules down on that one!

obtw....that young man is on the basketball court representing KU ...u plainly showed what you represent....we defeat that kind in WW2 in don't like it here get out of town we do not need your kind here..take your rebel flag with you. AH!

jonas_opines 7 years, 5 months ago

Hee hee, falling like flies on this one. Bonus on the subtle Godwin in that last.

Janet Olin 7 years, 5 months ago

Applause for TRob's courage in playing, and I don't doubt all the players were tired after the late Friday bad news. However, in every game this year that KU had a poor stretch, the same behaviors appear: the twins have to try a cute play instead of an easy play, and they're too content to jack it early in the shot clock for 3. Tyshawn has the attention span of a gnat and can't handle pressure (missing Sherron and Kirk). Tyrel is good but not enough offense by himself. They got smacked because Texas had a 6'8" guy block 5 shots and Texas isn't Longwood or Fort Hays. Until Coach gest the twins to play inside,and until Josh grows into the Big 12 game, there will be some rough games. Hopefully they'll figure it out before the Tournament.

Louis White 7 years, 5 months ago

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: For thou art with me; Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

greenworld 7 years, 5 months ago

The Longhorns came in and beat us. No excuses. Im sure that we will see them again in probly the big 12 tournament and take care of business like normal. What cost us the game was out shooters missed to many shots and there's made to many shots. Inside we were fine in the 1st half but in the 2nd tx figure out how to foul and foul hard our bigs to keep us from scoring underneath. This in hand took the Morris brothers out of their game and put them at the line where we made 1 of 2 or none. We lost the game due to not hitting our shots and not hitting free throws plain and simple.

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