Robbins and Turek: Two of the Nation’s Best
The University of Tulsa and Oral Roberts University are rivals on the athletic front, though the two schools do have some things in common. They are both located in Tulsa, they are both relatively small private schools, and they both have two of the best women basketball players in the nation.
Elisha Turek of ORU and Jullian Robbins of Tulsa, both juniors, are superb basketball players, both with fine shooting touches and great court sense, and they are both very impressive individuals off the court as well as on. Both players have a good chance of being named to various All-American lists.
Consider Robbins and what she has accomplished this season.
As of this writing, she has started every game and is averaging 18.5 (425) points, 13.9 (320) rebounds, 2.5 (57) blocks, 2.8 (64) steals and 1.5 (35) assists per game. In addition, she:
• Became the school’s all-time scoring and blocked shots leader in her 80th game on Feb. 6, 2006 against UCF;
•Has 17 double-doubles this season, which ranks second nationally;
•Has registered a double-double in 15 of the last 18 games;
•Has reached double figures in every game;
•Has ranked as the nation’s top rebounder for seven out of the last nine weeks, and spent two weeks as the nation’s top shot blocker;
•Has already set the school single season rebounding record;
•Has pulled down 10 or more rebounds in 17 games and has two 20 plus rebound performances;
•Is one of seven players in the nation this season to finish with 20 or more points and rebounds in one game, but is just one of two to do it more than once;
•Registered her fourth career 30-point game in a game against Houston (1/22);
•Named the Conference USA Player of the Week four times (Dec. 5, 12; Jan. 3; 23; Feb. 13);
•Set Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena record for rebounds in a single game with 22;
•Set the Donald W. Reynolds Center record for rebounds in one game with 21 vs. Oral Roberts;
•Her 22 rebounds against Arkansas is the second-best single game performance in the NCAA this season, while her 21 boards ranks fifth;
•Her seven blocks against ORU and Georgia Tech ranks eighth this season;
•Named to the 2005 Wells Fargo New Year’s Classic All-Tournament team.
Nancy Lieberman of ESPN. Com, compares Robbins rebounding ability to that of Dennis Rodman, as she writes, “Her favorite player is Horace Grant. She named her son Jordan. Oklahoma State coach Kurt Budke says Tulsa’s Jillian Robbins is the ‘best offensive rebounder in the nation.’ But watching Tulsa junior Jillian Robbins on the court invokes images of yet another former Chicago Bulls player.” The big difference is that Robbins can shoot and score.
Turek also brings accolades from observers. Like Robbins, who is from Spring, Texas, Turek is from out of town in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where she was recruited by many major colleges, including Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Creighton and others.
She was Named Iowa Class 4A Player of the Year as a senior at Abe Lincoln High and was named to the Des Moines Register All-State squad. She averaged 25.7 points and 8.6 rebounds per game as a senior in leading Lincoln to a 22-2 record, the Missouri River Conference championship, a regional title and an appearance in the Iowa state tournament. She shot incredible 84.7 percent (249-294) from the field and 87.5 percent (112-128) from the free throw line and also made six of 10 three-point attempts. She scored season highs of 44 points in one game.
Turek’s statistics in college have been similar. She is the Mid-Con’s top offensive player.
There is still time to see these players in action. TU is at home Friday, Feb. 24 against Tulane at 7 p.m., and the Hurricane finishes the home season on Sunday, Feb. 26 in a 2 p.m. game with UTEP.
ORU is home Sunday, Feb. 25 against Centenary at 2:05 p.m. and again on Monday with Valparaiso at 7:05 p.m. ORU will also host the Mid-Con Tournament March 4-7 at the UMAC.