Expectations for Thomas Robinson in 2011-12

If you have been a reader of RCT for awhile,  you know that one of my favorite things to do is compare KU players and teams to players and teams of the past. The main reason for this is just because it is fun, but I also think that by learning how similar players and teams improved and performed, we can learn how the current crop of players will improve and perform.

Thomas Robinson reminds me of somewhat of a hybrid of Cole Aldrich and Markieff Morris. Cole was a more traditional post up player, who, despite being better than most people remember at hitting a jumper from the elbow, relied on a back to the basket game with a couple of go to moves. Defensively he was a game changing shot blocker and elite rebounder. Markieff on the other hand really relied on his face up game and being more athletic than the big guy guarding him. He also could hit a pretty damn good trail three pointer: he only shot 59 threes last year, but made 24 of them, for a percentage of 42.4%.

Robinson can't hit the three like Markieff (though to be fair we don't know that for sure, as he has never taken one in college), but he doesn't have the refined back to the basket game like Cole either. He can put the ball on the floor and beat bigger guys to the hoop, but mostly his offense relies on catching dump off passes and putbacks off offensive rebounds. Still, his main value is in his rebounding: two years ago, Cole Aldrich was 7th in the country with a 28.5% defensive rebounding rate. Although it was in far less minutes, Thomas Robinson had a 31.1% defensive rebounding rate last season.

Whether it is because of Danny Manning, the work ethic of both Cole and Markieff, or something totally different, those two had big jumps in production from when they came to Lawrence and when they left as lottery picks. Robinson looks to do the same, but just what can we expect?

 

The one thing uniting the three players (hopefully) is a leap in playing time: Cole was a lightly used Freshman on the 2008 title team (except for in the Final Four, right Tyler Hansbrough?), who understandably was behind Darrell Arthur, Darnell Jackson and Sasha Kaun, and then was the main post player his Sophomore year. Markieff had his playing time increased the most from his Sophomore to his Junior year, going from around 40% minutes played to about 60%.

First, some (not so) fancy charts of how Cole and Markieff improved across the board after their playing time spiked.

Ca_medium

Mkm_medium

Next, some fancy math (basically using the increases in Cole and Kieff's stats and applying them to TRob) to estimate how Thomas Robinson could do this year if he follows that pattern.

Trob_medium

First of all, we can probably throw out the minutes played column. While Robinson will be leaned on heavily as he and Withey are the only two experienced bigs I think it is a tremendous stretch to assume he will play in nearly 4/5ths of the team's minutes (32 mpg). Robinson has been incredibly efficient so I do think that that eFG is within reach, and while a 35% defensive rebound rate would be in the stratosphere of some of the best rebounders in recent history, Robinson is one of the more relentless rebounders I have ever seen wear a Kansas uniform and with him being the main rebounder on the team, I imagine he won't have to "share" the rebounds like with the Morris twins last year. 

Lastly, just for fun, Robinson averaged 7.6 points and 6.4 rebounds per game in 14.6 minutes played last year. Here are what he would average if he scored and rebounded at the same rate for the following amount of minutes played:

25: 13 PPG, 10.95 RPG

30: 15.16 PPG, 13.15 RPG

Probably not the PPG people would expect from a Big 12 player of the year, but that is a tremendous amount of rebounds and I think it is important to remember that he will likely be taking a lot more shots next year. So while he probably won't be as efficient as he has been so far, if he can come anywhere close we could be looking at a special season. I am on the Thomas Robinson for 2012 Big 12 POY bandwagon, and I suggest you hop aboard as well.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Rock Chalk Talk

You must be a member of Rock Chalk Talk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rock Chalk Talk. You should read them.

Join Rock Chalk Talk

You must be a member of Rock Chalk Talk to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Rock Chalk Talk. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker