When discussing the options the Kansas Jayhawks have in the post this season, the Morris Twins are regarded as something of a known quantity.
Big, athletic and extremely versatile, they give Head Coach Bill Self a pair of really tough match-ups to throw at the opposition on the low block. They are, however, just two players, and if the Jayhawks are to reach the heights of success they foresee for themselves in the season ahead, someone else will have to step up.
Enter Thomas Robinson. After an up and down freshman campaign in 2009, during which he teased fans with the occasional glimpse of his dormant potential, the ultra-athletic 6-foot-8 power forward figures to be an important part of the post rotation in 2010.
Inserted into the starting lineup in place of Marcus Morris for Tuesday night's exhibition finale versus Emporia State, Robinson responded with an outstanding all-around performance – scoring 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting (4-of-6 from the line), grabbing 10 rebounds and tacking on four blocked shots as well.
"He did some good things," Self said, following the game. "He got a couple of offensive put-backs. He can play; so big some possessions and so small other possessions, it's unbelievable. Consistency will come with him with repetition and playing time."
Beyond the tangible, Robinson – known as a high-energy player – brought Allen Fieldhouse to its feet twice early with a pair of emphatic follow-up jams.
Though the butterflies were fluttering within him at tipoff, those dunks helped settle him in to the game's flow.
"Starting the game out with a dunk was a big energy boost," Robinson said. "But I'm feeling pretty comfortable out on the court."
Overall it was a sluggish performance for Self's squad, the members of which are still adjusting to life without Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins and Xavier Henry. Though the Jayhawks brought home the win in blowout fashion, 90-59, their head coach knows there's still a great deal of room for improvement.
"Offensively, I thought the ball stuck more tonight than it did the other night," Self said. "We did OK, but we've got to get better. We don't guard as a team like we should, I don't know if there is near enough pride in that regard with our team."
The Jayhawks open the regular season at 7 p.m. Friday night, against Longwood University.