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Archive for Sunday, January 30, 2011

Uplifting experience: Robinson heroic vs. ’Cats

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson gets airborne for a flying bump from the Morris brothers Markieff (21) and Marcus during a timeout against Kansas State during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas forward Thomas Robinson gets airborne for a flying bump from the Morris brothers Markieff (21) and Marcus during a timeout against Kansas State during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

January 30, 2011

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His Kansas University basketball teammates and coaches — as well as the fans — would have understood had Thomas Robinson decided to take a leave of absence and skip Saturday’s Sunflower Showdown against rival Kansas State.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self

Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 90-66 victory over Kansas State on Jan. 29, 2011.

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KSU coach Frank Martin

Kansas State coach Frank Martin talks to reporters following KU's 90-66 victory over the Wildcats on Jan. 29, 2011.

The grief-stricken sophomore forward, whose mom, Lisa, died on Jan. 21 and was buried Thursday, elected to take the court, however, and after a slow start, emerged as one of the heroes in a 90-66 rout of the Wildcats in Allen Fieldhouse.

“I played tonight because I cannot sit around too long. I knew my mother wouldn’t want me to sit around crying about it forever,” Robinson said.

He missed his first three shots — including a dunk try after checking into the game to wild applause with 16:47 left in the first half — yet rallied for 17 points off 7-of-11 shooting with nine rebounds in 20 minutes.

“Coming into this game, I felt I owed it to all the fans and all the people across the country that showed me support helping me get through this time. I felt I owed it to all those to at least give it my all,” Robinson said.

There were many signs in the student section including “We love T-Rob” and “Jayhawks for Jayla,” a reference to his 7-year-old sister who is now staying with her father in Washington, D.C.

All the love didn’t help Robinson convert that first dunk try.

“I was thinking I was jumping higher than I was, trying to pull the rim down, and the ball came out. It was just a little mental mistake,” the 6-foot-9, 237-pounder said.

“I’ve not been sitting around, but not been playing basketball for a whole week. For somebody playing at this level, that’s unheard of. I was so anxious to get back on the court whether practice or the game. I just could not wait to see the fieldhouse again.”

He hit seven of eight shots the second half, good for 15 points. His total of 17 points marked his second-highest output of the season, trailing only his career-high outing of 20 against UT Arlington.

“We ran a couple things to try to get him an easy basket a couple times,” KU coach Bill Self said. “He did miss some shots in tight. There have been times in the past I maybe didn’t let him play through those things. I was going to do everything I could to let him play through that tonight. He needed to be out there.”

Robinson scored six straight early in the second half — a short jumper in the paint, a driving layup, followed by a 15-footer — that gave KU a 55-31 lead. KU led by as many as 32 points in this one-sided affair.

“After I hit the first two, I made my mind up on their end (playing defense) that I was going to shoot that (deep jumper). That was just momentum. It was a heat check,” said Robinson, who indeed was red-hot.

“He got on a roll there for a minute,” Self said. “Good thing he got tired or he would have shot the next one maybe from halfcourt. He played so well, so much energy.”

Robinson finished with three vicious dunks, including one in which he was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim.

He received a thunderous ovation and waved to fans upon exiting for good with 1:04 left.

“That was a special deal for him. Of course, the fans here are incredible,” Self said, “how they recognized him when he checked in and how they recognized him when he checked out. It’s a special moment, one he’ll never forget. Of course it goes without saying we’re really proud of him.”

Robinson received a lot of attention right after his stellar performance that helped the Jayhawks improve to 20-1 overall and 5-1 in the Big 12; KSU fell to 14-8, 2-5.

KSU’s Jacob Pullen, who scored 21 points, but most when the game was well out of reach (KU led 15-2 and 37-20 at halftime and never looked back), spoke with Robinson in the handshake line.

“Basketball is basketball, and the things that he is going through in life and regardless if this is a rivalry or whatever, the things he is going through right now are things you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy,” Pullen said. “I told him he has to use basketball as a tool for other things in life and to keep his head up at all times, and things will get better. God will never put you in a situation you can’t handle, and right now times are tough on him, but I told him things would definitely get better.”

KU will meet Texas Tech at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Lubbock, Texas.

Robinson will be in attendance.

“The support I’ve received has touched me beyond words,” he said. “I know I cannot physically say thank you to every person that has helped me, but if this could get out I just want to thank people that have tried to reach out to me or thought about me. This past month (following deaths of grandmother, granddad and mom) has opened my eyes to how amazing this place is. It is beyond words to describe how I feel and the love I have for Kansas University and the fans.”

Comments

tailg8prty 3 years, 2 months ago

I don't dislike KSU like other teams but when I saw what Pullen did I thought that was a big time classy move. Nice job young man.

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BruceWayne 3 years, 2 months ago

Wally Judge has left the basketball program at Kansas State. Frank Martin has lost this team.

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fancy80 3 years, 2 months ago

We watched the game at the Oread and there were several Wildcat fans sitting at the table next to us. They applauded when Trob checked in and I thought that was very nice. Nice job Staters! HCFM and the K-State team showed class by supporting Trob, and for that I will always be thankful. Let's hope Missouri shows half as much class as K-State...

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jayhawkjbs 3 years, 2 months ago

Agreed; Frank Martin showed great class in this game. The hug before the game was touching, but after the drubbing his team had just received, both Frank and Jacob were very classy. Thanks to the whole team for a memorable game for us all, and for Thomas

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rgh 3 years, 2 months ago

Sweet win for the Hawks! I was worried after T-Robs first couple of misses that he would not have a good night but glad he got some points and had some nice plays. The whole team played well and great team basketball. Frank Martin showed class before the game as well that was caught on ESPN gameday right before the game when T-Rob was warming up. He gave him a nice hug as well as after the game. Hopefully the kids will be able to get some rest today. T-Rob will have plenty of sleepness nights thinking of his mom. God bless you and Rock Chalk Jayhawk. Thanks to coach Henson for taking those days to be with him in D.C.

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huskerpower 3 years, 2 months ago

It also depends on if there are players in the vicinity. You can hang on the rim if you are protecting yourself or the players that you could potentially fall on. There was no one around him when it happened.

Speaks volumes about TRob and the way he directly went to the official and apologized.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

Thanks for the clarification. I didn't see the slap, and missed the replay.

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weeslicket 3 years, 2 months ago

thomas shook off a lot of heavy sheot yesterday. good for him.

the T was because he tapped the glass with his right hand after pulling on the rim. as i watched it, i thought: the T is for Thomas, and the tap on the glass was for his mom.

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autie 3 years, 2 months ago

He got T'd for slapping the backboard, not hanging on the rim.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 2 months ago

"Robinson finished with three vicious dunks, including one in which he was called for a technical foul for hanging on the rim."

I didn't understand that call. Players hang on in that fashion very frequently with nothing getting called.

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smithy 3 years, 2 months ago

The above comment by amesn was absolutely "on target". Jacob Pullen demonstrated real class in his comments and actions relative to Thomas Robinson. His actions speak volumns about his character and this KU fan was extremely impressed when Jacob went out of his way to demonstrate his support for Thomas as he works his way through this difficult time. All K-State fans should be proud of how Jacob represented himself, his team and the university. Well done!s

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amesn 3 years, 2 months ago

Thank u for showing great class and respect Jake Pullen!

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