T-Rob and Taylor prove to be knock-out punch for Aggies

Jan. 24, 2012

By Matt Franzblau, Media Relations Student Assistant

012412aaa_298_5941960.jpegLAWRENCE, Kan. – Entering the Kansas locker room at halftime on Monday night was junior Thomas Robinson, who had just two points against a tough Texas A&M defense. While Robinson’s first half output may have been uncharacteristic, his floor mate and fellow upperclassman, Tyshawn Taylor gave the Jayhawks a solid 10-point performance in the contest’s first frame.

“My teammates are putting me in positions to be effective and my coaches are too,” Taylor said after the game.

That effectiveness would continue for the senior point guard as he would add seven more points down the stretch, including a clutch trey at the 16:00 mark of the second half, to give his team a 36-35 lead. Taylor would finish the contest with 17 points, and two steals to go along with his lone rebound and assist.

“I am just playing,” he said. “I think that I am making good shots too, and that helps.”

While Taylor did the majority of his scoring in the first half, including 10 of KU’s first 18 points, Robinson reeled off a total of 16 points after half time and added five rebounds to give his team some much needed points in the paint during the second half.

“I kept posting up (in the second half), and I just got the whistle more,” Robinson said.

The pre-season All-Big 12 selection did see the charity stripe a total of 10 times in the second half, and that was 10 more chances he had than in the first. Fortunately for Robinson and his mates, he was perfect from the line Monday night, converting on all 10 free-throws.

“The defense was trying to not let me touch it (the ball), so I had to knock my free throws down,” he said.

012412aaa_298_5941974.jpeg“Thomas did not get too many good looks in the first half,” Taylor said. “When he is not getting looks, it makes our offense seem a little different because it is an inside out offense.”

While Robinson did his best to create chances for himself to go to the line, Kansas head coach Bill Self wanted to praise the Aggies for the job they did Monday night.

“Give (Texas) A&M credit because they’re good,” Self said after the game. “We were not going to hang 80 on them tonight. I thought it was going to be a lower scoring game.”

As for his star junior’s perfect free throw performance, Self was pleased, but would have traded them for some different types of shots.

“I didn’t expect him to miss some bunnies (close-to-the-basket shots) tonight, so if I had to pick one of the two to make, I would pick the bunnies, because they count for two and free throws only count for one,” Self explained. “But I thought he had a real nice rhythm shooting the ball from the line tonight.”

Robinson knows his 6-10 frame and pre-season accolades create a target for opposing teams who enter Allen Fieldhouse, but number zero says he’s ready.

“Every other team is going to try and take me out of it (the game), so I am used to it by now,” he explained. “I realize that the deeper we get in conference play, the more the games will seem to get harder for me. There are more scouting reports and more times to see me play.”

That next chance for Robinson and his teammates will come this Saturday in Ames against Iowa State Cyclones, whom the Jayhawks have already beaten this season.