Robinson's Emergence Helps KU Down Emporia State

Nov. 10, 2010

In the absence of Cole Aldrich, Kansas head coach Bill Self is searching for a presence in the low post this year. Tuesday night against Emporia State sophomore Thomas Robinson showed flashes of becoming that player for the Jayhawks.

Robinson recorded what would have been his second career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. Defensively, he recorded four blocks and altered several other shots.

“I can block shots when I play to my athletic ability,” said Robinson. “With Cole (Aldrich) being gone, somebody has to step up and be able to do somewhat of what he did. You can’t do exactly what he did, it’s not possible because it’s Cole, but we’re going to try our best.”

Starting for only the second time in his career, Robinson seemed to be very comfortable on the court. Within the first four minutes of the game, Robinson showed his prowess inside and got the crowd going by jamming home two dunks.

“Starting the game with a dunk was definitely an energy booster, but I would say a dunk by anybody would set a tone for a team,” Robinson said. “A dunk is a game changer.”

Robinson – who hit four of seven shots and four of six free throws in 23 minutes of play – said it really doesn’t matter to him whether he starts or comes off of the bench. His coach, however, seemed to think that getting the opportunity to start gave Robinson some apprehension.

“Thomas was nervous, I don’t know if that was his first start or not, so I imagine he was nervous,” Self said. “He did some good things. He got a couple of offensive put-backs. He can play so big (on) some possessions and so small other possessions, it’s unbelievable.”

Even though Robinson might be the sixth man, he will definitely contribute more as the season goes on. He will give Marcus and Markieff Morris a breather every now and then as well as seeing time at the four or the five.

His knowledge as a player has become more evident after last night’s game and will only continue to develop as the season goes on.

Robinson and the Jayhawks open their season Friday against Longwood at 7 p.m.