The recruitment process has nearly come full circle for Wolfeboro (NH) Brewster Academy’s Thomas Robinson. As recently as a year ago, the six-foot-eight inch forward from the Washington D.C. area barely even registered as a blip on most high major radars. Now, he’s a likely McDonald’s All-American who will soon make a decision on his college destination after recent trips to Kansas and Memphis.
Phog.Net was able to catch up with Jason Smith -- Robinson’s
coach at Brewster Academy -- and get the coach’s feelings on
Robinson as a recruit, a person and his visits.
“I’ve actually only talked to him briefly about
it,” said Smith or Robinson’s trip over the weekend
to Memphis. “I think he really enjoyed his visit to Memphis.
I don’t know if he’s set a timeline for when
he’s going to reach his decision, but it is definitely down
to just Kansas and Memphis.”
With both visits under his belt, it’s now time for Robinson
to meet with those most important to him and make a choice. Maybe most
important in the process will be his mother.
“I know that he’s spoken with his mom a couple of
times since he’s been back from Memphis.,” said
Smith. “They’ve spent a lot of time on the phone
with each other going over the visits because it was just Thomas that
was able to go on the visits.”
Interestingly enough, the pitches from last April’s national
championship game combatants has been alike.
“I think they’ve both been very similar,”
Smith said of the approaches of Bill Self and John Calipari.
“Obviously they’ve made Thomas a high priority
based on the fact that each staff has been here two or three times. I
know Coach Self has been in at least two times and Coach Calipari has
been in twice. Plus they’ve sent assistants.
“I think both programs are all about relationships.
They’ve tried to convey that to both Thomas and his mother.
Well known for his non-stop motor and ability to clean the glass,
Robinson learned early that he needed to work. It’s that
energy that has drawn the Jayhawks and Tigers to him.
‘They are both recruiting him as that kind of energetic
forward who is really active and aggressive,” Smith told
Phog.Net. “That’s one thing about Thomas,
he’s got a tremendous motor. His AAU coach (Dwight Redd) has
done a great job of instilling in him that work ethic.”
Much like the two schools left chasing him, Smith had to recruit
Robinson as well. Since his arrival in Wolfeboro, Robinson has been
everything that Smith could have hoped for.
“He’s definitely been the type of kid that I
expected,” said Smith. “He’s been working
hard and he’s been up three or four days a week on his own at
6 a.m. to get in the gym and work by himself. Whether it be ball
handling, getting up some shots or working in the weight
Robinson has been just as impressive off the court.
“Character wise he’s been tremendous in the
community,” said Smith. “The teachers have had
nothing but positive things to say about him. He’s taking
advantage of everything that is available to him.”
It’s that work ethic and maturity that will allow Robinson to
thrive. Even if it’s sometimes hard to explain the way he
positively impacts a team.
“I think the one thing about him that will benefit any
program is that any coach will tell you that they want kids who play
hard,” said Smith. “But, a lot of kids
don’t understand what it means to play hard. Thomas does.
What he’ll bring is that energy.”
As his player comes closer to making a decision, Smith isn’t
sure which way Robinson will go. He does, however, have an idea about
what’s important and just how positive of a situation
From the kid that nobody knew about a year ago, to a kid choosing
between Kansas and Memphis. It’s been a good year that is
only getting better for Thomas Robinson. it is that a kid who was
pretty much unknown a year ago
“I think it’s just about comfort level.
That’s why it was great for him to visit Memphis this past
weekend so that he could have something to compare Kansas
to,” said Smith. “That’s why I think
it’s beneficial for all of my kids to take two visits. After
that Kansas visit he was quite high on them and honestly I think he was
near committing. But after the Memphis visit I think it’s
probably about 50/50 and I don’t know which way
“It’s going to be a difficult decision for he and
his mother to make,” finished Smith. “But when you
are choosing from Memphis and Kansas it’s always a good
position to be in.”
Decision Looms For Robinson
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