KU Junior-to-Be Thomas Robinson Impresses at Amar'e Stoudamire Skills Camp

June 29, 2011

Lawrence, Kan. –

Last week, Kansas forward Thomas Robinson took part in the Amar’e Stoudamire Skills Camp that took place in Chicago, Ill. The 6-foot-9, 237 pound Washington, D.C., native was at the camp as a counselor for high school big men, however, it is what he did in a scrimmage that has fans and media around the country buzzing.

Last Saturday afternoon, Robinson wowed the dozens of campers, counselors and scouts that were in attendance for a pick-up game that included star forwards Jared Sullinger (Ohio State), Alex Oriakhi (Connecticut) and Mouphtaou Yarou (Villanova). Robinson was the player of the game, snatching numerous rebounds, exhibiting athletic low-post moves and a rim-shattering alley-oop dunk that pulled everyone from their seats.

One media member in attendance, ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan, had this to say about Robinson’s performance:

“The Jayhawk flew down the court, challenged shots at the rim, finished inside rebounds and low-post moves with strength and athleticism, and threw down the indisputable dunk of the day — a cocked one-handed fast break alley-oop that caused plenty of stone-faced NBA scouts in attendance to cast each other knowingly excited glances.”

Robinson will be entering his third season with the Jayhawks in the fall. During the 2010-11 season, he was the Jayhawks’ most productive player off the bench, averaging 7.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. He also notched four double-doubles on the season as well as a 60.1 shooting percentage that ranked second highest on the team. With the departure of twin’s Markieff and Marcus Morris, Robinson will be looked upon as a leader in the post for the Jayhawks come the 2011-12 season.

Robinson will also attend the upcoming LeBron James and adidas Nation camps later this summer. On Tuesday, he met with some KU beat writers. Here is what was discussed:

Junior Forward Thomas Robinson

On when he found out he was going to Amar’e Stoudamire Skills Academy camp:
“I found out like two weeks before camp started. I just took it as an opportunity to go out and prove myself as a better player.”

On what he did at the camp:

“During the camp, we’re originally counselors (for the camp). We watch the high schoolers play and talk to those guys about the college experience, what they look for as far as recruitment and things like that. We come back and work in the morning with our group. They separate the guards and the bigs. Then we come back later in the evening and we play pick up.”

On who the coaches were:

“They were guys all under Nike that work in the NBA and have been around a long time. They were helping us with everything.”

On the high school big men:

“They were really good. Bigs are changing right now; they’re becoming more versatile and are able to do multiple things.”

On other college players he thought were good:

“(Jared) Sullinger (Ohio State) was Sullinger. He performed. The guy who really stood out to me was Alex Oriakhi from UConn (Connecticut). He stood out to me a lot as far as bigs. Anthony Davis (from Kentucky) is good. Once he gets a little more weight on him, he’s going to be a good player. They hype him up a little bit, but he’s definitely going to be a good player.”

On the dunk everyone is talking about:

“Scoop Jardine from Syracuse threw me an alley-oop on a fast break. I kind of outran the defensive player. He went to go help on Scoop and I ran. He overthrew it a little bit and I caught it and just finished. The whole gym went crazy after the dunk.”

On if it reminded him of his dunk versus Arizona:

“Yeah, but the Arizona one was probably better. But this one was off just one foot, so it looked more athletic.”

On if he learned anything about himself during camp:

“I know my game but I think I showed more people that I’m more versatile with my offensive game. I drove the ball to the basket a lot this weekend at the camp.”

On if attending this camp has given him confidence for the season:

“Definitely. I believe in myself and I believe in my game; I knew what I could do and it’s just a point of me using these camps to show other people.”

On who he hung out with the most:

“Scoop Jardine and Maalik Wayns. I knew those two prior to camp. And Alex (Oriakhi) from UConn and I hung out a lot.”

On if he felt any regrets while watching the NBA Draft:

“I’m definitely psyched that I’m coming back. Watching the draft this year was a little different than watching it previous times because I felt like I could’ve been in it. I’m pretty biased when it comes to my teammates Marcus and Markieff (Morris), so I feel they should have gone earlier. Not too many other players are better than them. I was happy for them, especially happy for Markieff.”

On if Kansas has enough big men to help him this year:

“Yes, we always do. Coach Self is getting players he recruited and it’s like all the other years when Darnell (Jackson) and all those guys left. Coach Self came right back with more players, so we have (a rotation of) good players. I’m not worried about that.”

On if he is looking forward to getting the new big men in next week:

“Definitely, I’m looking forward to seeing them start working on their game and getting to witness them growing as a player as the other players did with me.”

On if he is going to any more camps:

“I’m going to LeBron (James’) camp and then hopefully return to adidas Nation camp.”

On if he aspires to be an All-American:

“Yes, I won’t settle for anything else.”

On his expectations for the upcoming season:

“I see the expectations that are held for me, but I just try to make my expectations higher than anybody else has set for me. That way I know that I won’t fail anybody—our fans or Coach Self or my teammates. I want to be the player of the year this year and I won’t try to settle for less than that.”