Due to Jeff Boschee, there are an usually high number of Kansas basketball fans where I grew up. Fortunately for me, my closest high school friend developed into a passionate Jayhawk fan and has been a loyal and devout follower for years. He has followed Kansas hoops as close as anyone I know follows anything since middle school and even is currently going to law school down in Lawrence.
He also is the Editor at Rock Chalk Talk. I introduce to you the great Steve Fetch, or simply fetch9. While Thomas Robinson probably isn't going to be the pick of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday night, Steve gives us some great insight from someone who followed Robinson every day for his three years as a member of the Kansas basketball team.
After the jump, take a look at the questions Steve graciously answered for Fear the Sword.
John: What are the highest quality skill(s) that Robinson will most bring to the NBA team that selects him?
Steve: Definitely the biggest skill he brings to the league is his rebounding. He was the best defensive rebounder in the country last year for Kansas, and without the responsibility of carrying an offense in the NBA I think he will be a very good offensive rebounder in the league as well.
John: What type of attitude/leadership qualities has Robinson displayed during his college days?
Steve: I think he's been both mature and immature on the court, if that makes sense. He got tutored if you will by the Morris twins and any Kansas fan can tell you they weren't exactly the best role models for on court behavior. He'd react to any type of showboating or disrespect shown on the court and he would take it really personally. It led to some really great plays but it also led to a couple technicals and many times when I thought there was one coming. Plus it didn't really endear him to many officials I'd imagine. He was behind Cole Aldrich and then the Morris twins for his first two seasons so he didn't really have a chance to exercise any on court leadership until this year, but he led both by example and with his words. Tyshawn Taylor was the main leader I'd say just because he was a Senior and four year starter, but the team really keyed off Robinson and what he was doing on the floor. Fortunately for them, Robinson played in 5th gear almost 100% of the time. There's also the obvious angle of his ability to overcome adversity: Robinson lost both his grandparents and his mother in roughly a one month span last year and pretty much everyone associated with the program said it drove him to work even harder whether it be in practice or offseason workouts or games or what have you.
John: Give me your best projection of Robinson's NBA career.
Steve: I don't think he'll be a superstar but with how well rebounding translates from college to the NBA he should be a good 10 year starter in the league, and if he can develop a bit more of a low post game he can be a guy who consistently puts up double doubles. He won't ever be "the guy" on a good team but he absolutely could be the second or third best guy on a championship team and he'll never be a guy you have to worry about giving less than max effort.
John: What are some of the main things that Robinson needs to avoid in order to succeed in the NBA?
Steve: I think he has to make sure he doesn't try to go outside his comfort zone and be something he's not. He thinks he has a better jumper than he does and that he's better handling the ball than he is. He was able to face up and get around guys in college based on athleticism and size, but in the NBA he's going to have to just be a guy who rebounds and defends and gets a lot of garbage points and uses his size and muscle to get to the rim.
John: What type of fit could Robinson be in the long run for the Cavaliers?
Steve: I think he is a great fit in terms of being a guy to catch a lot of dump offs and alley oops from Kyrie, but not necessarily be a guy who you need to stop the flow of the game for to dump it down to him in the block. He can run the floor and he's willing to defend and do the dirty work. It's not very glamorous, but it's a necessary component for an NBA champion.
Thanks again to fetch9 for contributing to Fear the Sword.
You should add him on twitter. Conrad already has, so I promise he's worth it.