NBA Draft Profile: Thomas Robinson


6-10, 237 lbs.

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

School: Kansas

Class: Junior

(Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America)

STRENGTHS: His strength. Robinson is a beast in the lane, powering through defenders on the low block like Rick Majerus through a juicy double cheeseburger. (Sorry, Rick, it just came out). The National Player of the Year runner-up averaged 17.8 points and 11.9 rebounds in leading Kansas to an unexpected appearance in the national championship game. Robinson was consistently great in big games as well, averaging 16.7 points and 12.5 rebounds in six NCAA Tournament games.

He also put up 18 and 17 in the Jayhawks’ national championship loss to Kentucky, which is impressive considering the size and length of the Wildcats’ front line. Thomas was always there when Kansas needed him, and that was one of the reasons why he was named as a unanimous All-American and the Big 12 Player of the Year. Robinson put up a 25- 13 and a 28-12 in the ‘Hawks two games against Missouri. Jeff Withey’s emergence in the KU frontcourt also benefited Robinson, because it meant that he could play power forward even at 6-10. He will have to play the 4 in the NBA.

WEAKNESSES: The national championship performance of 18 and 17 isn’t especially impressive because Robinson was dominated by Anthony Davis inside. T-Rob was bothered by Davis’ length all game long, and ended up shooting just 6-for-17 (.353 FG Pct). He was rushed, hurried, swatted, and often times humiliated when he tried to score in the paint, and Davis and Terrence Jones treated him like their kid brother in there. That’s going to have to change in the NBA, where Robinson will have to deal with long shotblockers every single night. The other question about Thomas is whether or not he can duplicate his breakout numbers from this season in the NBA. He was a role player in his first two seasons in college, and it may take him a couple of years at the next level to similarly find his groove.

BOTTOM LINE: Robinson outplayed Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger in the Final Four and was undoubtedly one of the two best players in college basketball this season. Without him, Kansas wouldn’t have sniffed the Final Four. He has the tools and the motivation to become one of the better power forwards in the NBA, but it may take him a few years of growing before he fully realizes his potential.


More 2012 draft profiles:

Anthony Davis

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Bradley Beal

Damian Lillard

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