LAWRENCE — Everybody gets caught up in numbers, even the players. But to a coach, the greater accomplishment is in the process.
So, as the gushing continued over Thomas Robinson's 30 points and 21 rebounds in an 84-58 win against North Dakota on Saturday — the program's first 30-20 performance since 1961 — Kansas Coach Bill Self saw greater value beyond the obvious production.
"Being able to pass from traps or double teams, being patient, things like that, I think he was pretty impressive," Self said. "Totally unselfish, didn't take one bad shot."
Instead of making a bad decision against a double team, Robinson kicked to an open shooter, and that's how he came up with four assists.
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"If I don't get those assists, I probably don't have 30 points," Robinson said. "Coach has been stressing that if I just learn how to play the game, the offense will eventually come from me. I kind of fought it, but the man knows what he's talking about."
Instead of settling for a 12-footer, he went hard to the basket and drew a foul, stepping to the line for 12 free attempts.
When Robinson found himself open at the top of the key, he calmly swished the first three-pointer of his 79-game career.
Robinson, who improved his team leading averages to 17.7 points and 12.1 rebounds, ran up Saturday's scoring total on a dazzling 10 of 14 from the field, another sign of his game's development.
Add selfless and efficient to his size and skills and North Dakota coach Brian Jones hasn't seen many better.
"He let the game come to him," Jones said. "Tape and DVD do that young man no justice with the size of his body and his strength."
Robinson nicely split his numbers between halves: 12 points and 10 rebounds before halftime and 18 and 11 after, and was part of the game's most important flurries.
Kansas went six empty possessions to start the game, then Tyshawn Taylor and Elijah Johnson each lobbed a pass to the basket that Robinson slammed home.
But the most emphatic of Robinson's lob finishes came in the second half when he snared a Travis Releford pass with his left hand and tomahawked it through.
The next trip down the floor Robinson buried his triple.
Robinson's feats and coach-satisfying play ruled that day but other aspects of Kansas' day left Self grumpy.
Bench play topped the list. In a game where reserves should have collected cherished minutes, they mostly kept company with the coaching staff. Even a starter was part of that group, Jeff Withey. Against an overmatched opponent, four Jayhawks starters played at least 31 minutes.
"We did that because I felt it was more important that they played instead of rewarding the other guys by playing them," Self said.
Rebounding effort beyond Robinson also steamed Self. And it wasn't because Robinson got half of the team's boards.
"Two guys on this team got an offensive rebound, and we're getting ready to play Kansas State on Wednesday," Self said. "Not good. Not good."
Technically, four players got offensive boards, but those by Christian Garrett and Jordan Juenemann came in garbage time. Robinson's eight and Releford's five were the team's offensive rebounds from the regulars.
"The thing that concerns me is how soft we are," Self said. "You have balls hitting guys in the hands and they don't come away with it."
Oh, and perimeter shooting wasn't good. The Jayhawks went 6 of 27 from beyond the arc and the team's most frequent bombers, Conner Teahan and Johnson, combined to miss 13 of 16.
"That's ridiculous," Self said.
But on a day when the Jayhawks didn't get good bench play, crash the offensive glass or shoot it well from deep, hardly anybody noticed. That's how good Thomas Robinson was.