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March 4, 2012On Sunday afternoon, the Big 12 released a number of postseason awards, including Big 12 Player of the Year. Just moments ago, Thomas Robinson was tabbed the player of the year in the conference.
Thomas Robinson, the 6-foot-9, 237-pound forward from Washington, D.C., had what can only be described as a magical season for Bill Self and the University of Kansas men's basketball program.
In leading the Jayhawks to a 26-5 record and winning their eighth straight Big 12 regular season championship, Robinson averaged 18 points, 11.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 blocks and 1.1 steals per game.
Robinson scored 20 or more points 11 times this season, and played a key role in KU's 19 point come-from-behind victory against Missouri a little more than a week ago. Against the Tigers, Robinson scored 28 points and pulled down 12 rebounds in 38 minutes of action.
Playing it what appeared to be his final home game against Texas on Saturday night, Robinson, after scoring 25 points and pounding the glass for 14 rebounds, received a standing ovation from the Allen Fieldhouse crowd.
Unbeknownst to Robinson, Bill Self asked the fans to recognize Robinson, but added he'd be welcome to address the crowd next year if he'd like to return for a final season.
While a fourth year in Lawrence isn't likely, Robinson couldn't say enough about Self late on Saturday night.
"It was shocking," said Robinson. "I was looking around to see if anybody else knew about it. Then, I was thinking that I had to speak, and I was going crazy at that point. It was special. I knew Coach (Self) hadn't ever done anything like that before.
"There have been many great players before me," he added. "I'm thankful for that."
Aside from being named the Big 12 Player of the Year, Robinson, along with senior guard Tyshawn Taylor, was named to the All-Big 12 First Team on Sunday. Jeff Withey, the 7-foot-0, 235-pound center from San Diego, Calif., was awarded the Defensive Player of the Year, and also selected to the All-Big 12 Third Team. Lastly, Self shared Big 12 Coach of the Year Honors with Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg.