Kings Select Kansas' Thomas Robinson in First Round
-- Kings select Orlando Johnson with the 36th pick in the second round, draft rights traded to Indiana for cash considerations --
SACRAMENTO, CALIF., June. 28, 2012 -- The Sacramento Kings tonight (Thursday, June 28th) selected Kansas’ Thomas Robinson (5th overall) and UC Santa Barbara’s Orlando Johnson in the second round (36th overall). Johnson’s draft rights were traded to Indiana for cash considerations. Robinson, the Big 12 Player of the Year and First Team All-American, led the nation in double-doubles (27) and was second in rebounding in 2011-12.
“Thomas Robinson is a terrific power forward and he’s going to bring a lot of energy, rebounding, speed, and competitive spirit to the Kings,” said Kings President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie. “We feel very fortunate to have drafted him at No. 5 and think he’ll be a player everyone will enjoy watching play and we’re really anxious to have him come to Sacramento and join the team.”
An early entry candidate, the 6-9, 240-pound Robinson averaged a career-best 17.7 points (.505 FG%, .682 FT%), 11.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.1 steals, and 31.8 minutes per game in 39 appearances while leading the Jayhawks in scoring and rebounds. His 27 double-doubles set a school record, surpassing the single-season mark of 25 set by Drew Gooden in 2002. In 2011-12 as a junior, Robinson scored in double-figures in 38 of his 39 games, reaching the 20-point plateau 11 times and once scoring 30 points. He tallied 30 points (10-14 FG, 1-2 3pt, 9-12 FT), 21 rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block versus North Dakota on Dec. 31, 2011, becoming the first Jayhawk to score at least 30 points and grab 20 or more rebounds since Wayne Hightower accomplished the feat with 36 points and 21 rebounds against Missouri on Feb. 13, 1961.
Robinson becomes only the second player to be selected out of Kansas by the Kings, joining Ryan Robertson who was drafted in the second round of the 1999 NBA Draft. In franchise history, Robinson is the third player from Kansas to ever be selected by the Kings (Carl Henry, 4th round of the 1984 Draft).
Robinson is the highest drafted Kansas player since Drew Gooden was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 2002 NBA Draft. He is the 14th Jayhawk to be drafted under Kansas Head Coach Bill Self.
Each season Robinson improved, raising his scoring average of 2.5 points per game as a freshman in 2009-10 to 7.6 as a sophomore, and to 17.7 as a junior. His rebounding numbers also improved as he averaged 1.6 rebounds per game as a freshman to 6.3 in his sophomore season, to 11.7 as a junior.
A native of Washington, D.C., Robinson prepped at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H, where he earned first team prep school All-American and Parade All-American honors. He played his junior season at Riverdale Baptist High School in Upper Marlboro, Md., recording 23 double-doubles that season.
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