Decision Looms For Robinson

Kansas power forward target Thomas Robinson is down to two schools, with a decision likely to be coming soon. Phog.net's Eric Bossi with the latest, inside.

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 room.”

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 he’s in.

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 he’s leaning.”

“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.”

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