Thomas Robinson, locally known as TRob, has come a long way from his freshman season averaging 7.2 minutes and 2.5 points per game.
Some of his travels have been great and exciting, and some has been heart breaking and tragic. Robinson, as a sophomore, lost his mother, grandmother and grandfather in a three-week period. Robinson was a key backup on the team at the time and no one would have blamed him for taking the rest of the season off and focusing on something other than basketball. Through the support of his team, coaches, family, friends, fans and on a larger scale from the national basketball community, Robinson stayed with the team after the losses to finish out his sophomore campaign. It takes a special type of player and man to rise above that level of tragedy and stay focused on a goal.
That focus has paid off this year. Maybe it was the goal he needed to distract himself from the pain, or maybe it would have happened regardless of his losses. He has lead his Jayhawks to the 2012 Final Four and a chance to play for the national title. Along the way he has picked up many accolades from the Big 12 Conference and other outlets, however, he is now capturing national awards.
March 27th, the AP All American team was announced. Thomas Robinson received all 65 votes to be one of the 2012 AP First Team All Americans. The last time that happened was for Blake Griffin in 2009. Joining Robinson on the first team were Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, the first repeat All-America in three years, freshman Anthony Davis of Kentucky, Draymond Green of Michigan State and Doug McDermott of Creighton. The voting was done before the NCAA tournament.
For the 2011-2012 season, Robinson now averages 31.6 minutes, 11.8 rebounds and 17.7 points per game as a starting junior. His lack of playing time before this year was in large part due to playing behind the likes of Marcus and Markieff Morris. With two NBA talent post players, there wasn’t a need for Robinson to be on the court at the same time.
That was then, this is now. Without Robinson, Kansas would not be in the Final Four. Period. The offense runs through Robinson. He may not have a double-double every night. The points and rebounds may not come easy, but he works, fights and scratches for points, rebounds and the win.
Robinson epitomizes the 2011-2012 Kansas Jayhawks. They come to practice and games and go to work. They may not have the offensive flash of teams from the past, but they have a natural bond that’s bigger than any win or loss on the court.
Thomas Robinson is KU basketball.
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