To say that Kansas forward Thomas Robinson is poised for a “breakout” year is nowhere near going out on a limb. Robinson, along with Tyshawn Taylor, is set to become the latest in Bill Self’s revolving door of stars in Lawrence.
We’ll talk more about his role in depth here at the Big12 Basketball blog as the season nears. But the short version is that it is clear that Self will need a lot out of Robinson with the loss of the Morris twins to the NBA and no other “experienced” front court option besides Jeff Withey.
It won’t, however, be a big adjustment for Robinson as he becomes a focal point of the Jayhawks’ offense. Robinson got some serious bang for his buck in the 14.6 minutes per game he played last season, as kenpom.com lists Robinson as being used in 24-28% of possessions while he was on the court. The site labels players with such a usage rate as “major contributors.”
According to NBA draft expert Jonathan Givony (@draftexpress) of draftexpress.com, Robinson is more than on his way to launching what could very well be a Big 12 Player of the Year season. He tweeted the following earlier in the month about Robinson’s play at adidas Nations:
Thomas Robinson showing a little more ball-handling ability than we saw last season. Very aggressive in transition
Thomas Robinson again was too explosive for any big man to stop off the dribble. Confident enough to do whatever he pleases in this setting.
Adidas Nations is a “grassroots basketball program” which brings together top talent from the 2012 and 2013 classes from all over the world. Robinson is on hand as a “college counselor” along with a slew of other college players, including Baylor’s Perry Jones.
But back to the tweets, which reinforce the thinking that Robinson and the 2011-2012 Jayhawks, especially Taylor and Elijah Johnson, will form a lethal transition team. The Miami Heat of college basketball if you will.
There are certainly some uncertainties in Lawrence going into next season (which we’ll get to in detail later), but the transition game won’t be one of them.