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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Withey’s welcome warm

Freshman praises Fieldhouse energy

Transfer Jeff Withey looks on from the bench during the second half of the Jayhawks’ Jan. 13 game at Allen Fieldhouse.

Transfer Jeff Withey looks on from the bench during the second half of the Jayhawks’ Jan. 13 game at Allen Fieldhouse.

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All eyes, except those of Kansas State University’s basketball players and coaches, were glued to the Allen Fieldhouse videoboard prior to the introduction of Kansas University’s starting five Tuesday night.

The highlight reel featuring some of the best players and coaches in KU history had the attention of KU’s current players, including transfer Jeff Withey.

“It gave me goosebumps watching it,” said Withey, KU’s 7-foot freshman center from the University of Arizona.

He arrived on campus Monday, ran through drills at KU’s shootaround Tuesday afternoon, and wore a shirt, tie and slacks to the Jayhawks’ 87-71 victory over Kansas State.

“All the noise, all the tradition. I’m really excited,” Withey said, adding of the fieldhouse atmosphere, “It’s the best I’ve seen.”

KU’s fans made the 225-pounder out of San Diego’s Horizon High feel comfortable as he walked onto James Naismith Court through the northwest tunnel.

“A lot of fans welcomed me, chanted my name and stuff,” Withey said. “That felt good, really good. I had goosebumps the entire game. I just can’t wait to be out there and be able to play.”

It’ll be a long time before Withey — he averaged 20.8 points, 13 rebounds, seven blocks and four assists per game his senior year at Horizon — enters a game for the Jayhawks.

He’ll be eligible to play in mid-December — at the conclusion of first semester of the 2009-10 season.

“Playing against Cole (Aldrich) can help me out,” Withey said of the Jayhawks’ 6-11 sophomore pivot. “He’s one of the best players in all of college basketball.

“Hopefully I can help him get better, too.”

Withey — he decided to leave U of A following the October resignation of coach Lute Olson — chose KU over Texas, Gonzaga, Cincinnati, Indiana, San Diego and San Diego State.

He seriously considered remaining in his hometown to play ball for one of the San Diego universities.

“I looked into it,” he said, “but nothing beats the tradition here. It was hard leaving San Diego — it’s a pretty nice place; sometimes I take it for granted — but I like everything about Kansas.”

Including ... “the coaches and players. They are a great group of guys,” Withey said. “Seeing the way Cole has gotten so much better. The (Morris) twins are getting better every game. Coach Manning (Danny, big-man coach) is one of the best coaches out there. I talked to my family, and we thought it was the best place for me to get better and hopefully get in the NBA.”

KU coach Bill Self sees great upside in Withey.

“Jeff will be a big asset to us,” Self said. “You can physically see he is very tall, very long, a good shot blocker. He’s also a guy who can run and has a great touch. He also physically needs to put on weight,” added Self, who said Withey easily will put on 20 pounds by the time he’s eligible to play.

Withey — he said he’d like to be 240 pounds next season — said he likes to “drop step, dunk the ball, block shots and rebound.” Withey will be doing it at practice instead of games for months to come.

He’s looking forward to the challenge of living somewhere besides the West for the first time in his life.

“I like change. I like adventure. This is another step in life,” Withey said.

Notes

Aldrich thinking only about KU: Cole Aldrich last month told the Journal-World he was “not going to worry about” talk of entering the 2009 NBA Draft until after his sophomore season.

He repeated that position this week to his hometown paper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

“I’ve talked to some of my teammates from last year that are there (NBA),” Aldrich said of Jayhawks Darnell Jackson, Darrell Arthur, Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers. “They just said, ‘The less you worry about it, the better off you are because you just have a passion for the game.’

“It (going pro) all depends on a lot of things. I want what’s best for my family and me. We're going to sit down with coach and my parents and determine if I think I’m ready for it. If not, I have absolutely no problem coming back,” the Bloomington, Minn., native added.

Aldrich’s dad told the St. Paul paper what he’d told the J-W earlier, that agents have been in contact with the elder Aldrich.

“We’ve probably had a half-dozen agents call the house. It’s a lot like the college recruiting aspect. We talk to Cole about it, but one of the reasons he’s so mature is that we leave the decisions up to him,” Walter Aldrich said.

Cole was asked by the Pioneer Press if he would have stayed home if current UM coach Tubby Smith had been on board instead of Dan Monson, who was fired in 2006.

“That definitely could have been a possibility," Aldrich said. “But things kind of didn’t fall into the right place with that. And I’m having an absolute blast here in Kansas.”

Mario’s minutes: KU coach Bill Self says junior Mario Little is free to play as many minutes as the coach desires.

Little (stress fracture, left leg) played eight minutes the first half, five the second of Tuesday’s victory over KSU.

“There’s no minute count,” Self said. “We wanted to have some bigger guys in there (second half) to rebound.”

Of Little’s eight-point, three-rebound, 13-minute effort against K-State, Self said: “I thought he did fine. He didn’t rebound the ball like I think he can. He’s not a 4-man. He’s a 3 playing a 4, and he’s not very big. He made some big shots, and I thought he looked a lot more comfortable tonight.”

Comments

Trey Hohman 11 years ago

Just watched Withey's highlight reel via youtube. Pretty cool. He's got really good hands for a big man. Nice touch, long arms, runs the floor well, very mature court awareness...It seems like, (from his 6 minute highlight reel), he plays alot like some of those Univ. of Texas Centers who are very coordinated and long but who step out a bit too much to shoot those 15 foot jumpers, etc...Not exactly Darnell Jackson in terms of strength yet but hopefully he'll get beefy....I suggest eating Pyramid Pizza & Taco Bell...That's still my diet & I weight a lean and mean 250,,,, except I'm only 6'2". -- I'm actually scared to wear corduroy pants for fear that I might start a fire, so maybe I am not the best example of strength & conditioning...?

yates33333 11 years ago

Now we have to worry that Cole might leave at the end of this season. Colleges should do something about the pros raiding them. It's one thing to be an unpaid farm club for the pros, but to have them show their appreciation by raiding the colleges is something else. I know UNC, Duke, and some of the Big East schools probably suffer more, but......Since Oboma wants to solve the problem of football playoffs, here's something additional for him to resolve. I know, he better stick with the economy.

livedeadhead 11 years ago

The economy.... how about foreign policy, decrease the military spending and use that money for the poor in America and abroad, stop aiding and abetting in mass genocide, etc. You want college players to stay longer then pay them, they bring in billions of dollars with TV contracts, give a stipend to the players that bring it in!!!

hawkitup 11 years ago

Last I check the players do get paid...it's called a college scholarship. Perhaps it doesn't compare to the amount of money they bring to the University but let's not act as if they are getting nothing out of the deal. I would have loved for somebody to pay for all my college expenses.

KUPROUD 11 years ago

I love Jeff's comment, "All the noise, all the tradition. I’m really excited,” Withey said, adding of the fieldhouse atmosphere, “It’s the best I’ve seen.” Great environment for recruiting.Yates, didn't we know already Cole is going to be tempted to leave? However, he will also be tempted to come back and go for the gold next year, because the team will be loaded. Either way, Withey's presence in practice will reap rewards now, and next year he'll be a force on the floor.

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

hawkitup: I guess you should have done better in the classroom and received an "Academic Scholarship". There are many ways to receive a "Full-Ride". I agree, athletes deserve some sort of Stipen".

Nutflush21 11 years ago

NCAA athletes on a "full-ride" do get a stipend to the tune of over a 1k a month. I only wish I made 1k a month working part-time while I was in school.

BackFat 11 years ago

As much as I'd love to see Cole here for another year or two, it doesn't seem too likely. If a company came to you after your sophomore year and said we want you to work for us now and we'll pay you a few million for the first couple of years and after that you could potentially make up to 8 figures a year, who in the right mind would turn that down? Not many people would, nor should they.

RyanHawk 11 years ago

Jim Rome making fun of Missouri yesterday on ESPN MUST READ!Jim Rome / 1-14-2009 "You probably knew Chris Paul is nicknamed "CP3", has a gold medal to his credit and was taken fourth overall in the '05 draft. What you probably didn't know, was that he has a first cousin "balling" at Missouri. Then again, neither did Paul himself! And the reason he didn't know, is because he doesn't. But that didn't stop Missouri point Miguel Paul from telling people Chris Paul is his first cousin. It says it right there in their media guide. His teammates even call him "MP3". Not only did he say Chris Paul was his cousin, he told a newspaper about the time his cousin, Chris Paul, came into his high school locker room to chat him up after a game. C'mon, "Miggy"…you're better than that! At least I thought you were. George O'Leary can't believe you would stoop to that! Neither can former Toronto Blue Jays' manager Tim Johnson. Chris Paul is your cousin?! Who's your dad, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar? Yeah, that's nothing…I'm related to Jim Brown. On my mom's side! What's that lie going to get you anyway? A greater chance of being drafted?! More friends?! As if no one was going to get around to running that back to "CP3". "CP3" doesn't know you are, Miguel! Stop telling everyone he's your cousin. "MP3"…not only are you liar, you're an "iPod knockoff"."

Jonathan Allison 11 years ago

Maybe he DOES have a cousin named Chris Paul. Maybe his cousin is some 40 year old dude who's overweight and also happens to be his uncle. It could happen... in Missouri.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years ago

i smell smoke, is lhohman3 wearing corduroy pants?my first uncle on my third mothers side, bobby knight, came to my industrial league game last night and gave us an inspiring halftime pep talk, propelling us to a 7 point victory. after the game, my third cousin on my second daddies side, Pete Coors, treated us to a post game celebration party.

KUbsee69 11 years ago

Gee FATBACK ... How about Sam Bradford??? Are you saying he's not "in his right mind"?To some, the education and college experience outweighs the money. I wish all of the atheletes realized this. It's been stated that Danny Manning has repeatedly said that the college experience is so much better than the pro experience. In college, as a star athelete, you're on top of the world, idolized off and on campus, without the rigors making a living, supporting a family, etal. As a pro, it's a job ... you're on the road a great deal of the time, mostly without family, living out of hotels.To me, the one's in their "right mind" are the one's who finish the whole, wonderful college experience.Oh, yeah, to LIVEDEADHEAD: You are obviously synapsing throught spiroketes. (Look that one up if you're not too busy begging for government handouts).

KUbsee69 11 years ago

And, yeah, I know it's spelled athlete.

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

KUbsbee: It's also been stated that players like OJ Mayo, Derek Rose, Brandon Rush, and others really had no desire to go to college. Yes, some stay longer than others, but under the given rule, that's their right. To me, under the current rule, it's a wonderful college experience for however long they decide to choose that "Wonderful" college experience. Everybody's definition of "Wonderful" varies. In college, whether it's football or basketball, you have everything to lose. Yes, you also have everything to gain. This is no knock on Brady Morningstar because I would take him on my team everyday of the week, but I'm sure his "College Experience" would be a little different than say, anybody off of last year's team who went pro and currently is playing in the NBA. If you want people to truly enjoy "The wonderful" college experience than get the NCAA to change it's standard like college baseball and either declare after high school or stay 3 years in college. If everyone had to finish college then we would be adopting the future "Obama Plan" of economics, which means I have to start giving a part of my salary to some of the poor saps who want "Equalities" in college athletics.

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

Correction above: It would be a combination of the NCAA as well the NBA players union deciding on that rule.

KUbsee69 11 years ago

kushaw: I know it's their right, I just wish it wasn't. Remember, in the day, guys like Wilt, Sayers & Jo Jo could'nt "early out" directly to the pros. (Wilt had to join the Globtrotters for a year before he could go to the league). I just think that it's better that way, except maybe for an exceptional few. The NCAA changed the rule and I wish they'd change it back. Actually, so do a significant number of the pro franchise owners. They get tired of training the puppies for their free-agencies.I've worked with several former pro athletes including a handful of former KC Chiefs and some noteworthy former KU, MU, KSU and other area college players (mostly football). All of them qualified for their "after-pro" jobs because they had completed their degrees. Many were picked up by the pros, but had short, quick careers there. If they hadn't had their degrees, they would have been asking customers about what age-group toy they wanted in their happy meals. But I suspect a lot of MU grads do that anyway.As for the Obama plan, it has very little to do with college ... that's just campaign rhetoric. The real plan calls for massive redistribution of wealth in general. Everybody equal ... works real well ... just ask PaPa Joe Stalin.

jasonsgill 11 years ago

"The real plan calls for massive redistribution of wealth in general. Everybody equal"I wish this were true, but I think you've just been listening to too much right wing drivel. Me? I would definitely prefer if the money just stayed with the robber barons.

d_prowess 11 years ago

Off topic, but it is a slow day and relates to a discussion between a friend of mine:Is Brady Morningstar a poor man's Ryan Robertson or a poor man's Jerod Haase?Check the stats (soph. year):Brady: 28mpg, 7.4ppg, 2.8apg, 2.6rbg, 1.1spg, .464 3pt%Robertson: 31.4mpg, 8.3ppg, 6.4apg, 2.8rpg, 1.4spg, .431 3pt%Haase: 25.9mpg, 12.0ppg, 3.1apg, 3.7rpg, 1.9spg, .366 3pt% (senior year numbers)I couldn't find Haase's sophmore numbers anywhere, so I would love someone to add them if they have them.

siukufan1 11 years ago

I would have to say there is a 90% chance Cole is coming back!! This years draft is going to be loaded with big men and most mock drafts for 2010 have him going in the top 10. He would be over shadowed by the majority of the big men in this years draft. Cole needs another year

KUbsee69 11 years ago

d_prowess ... overall, Brady reminds me more of Haase than Robertson, but that's just my impression. Brady could use a few more floor burns, though. I think Haase was a little tougher.

d_prowess 11 years ago

Totally agree about the toughness. I think Haase may have hated his body the way he threw himself around. I also think he was a bit faster than Brady.

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

Brady can shoot the rock better than the both of them! Robertson had better handles, but Morningstar has also played out of position all season. I don't think he's a "Poor Man's Version" of anybody! Keep ballin Brady!

TreHawks 11 years ago

I have what I assume is a "dumb" question...but I am a female so I should get a free pass. : )I hear a lot of talk about a teams "length". What the heck is that? What is the difference between length and height?

jasonsgill 11 years ago

Length usually accounts for a players wingspan. Like Cole, for instance, has good height (6'11")but great length (don't know the numbers but probably around 7'4").

TreHawks 11 years ago

Ok...that makes sense now. Thanks, jason.

Chris Shaw 11 years ago

kusbee: Actually you can show comparisons of the "Obama Plan" and college Athletics.1) When KU participated in the Final Four and won the National Championship-That money was spread around to the other Big 12 schools2) The same could be said for last years Orange Bow Victory as well as this year's OU appearance in the National Title game as well as Texas' victory in the Fiesta Bowl.3) Obama Plan completely exploits those who have earned their salaries and re-distribute that money so everything and everyone can be "Equalized". Similar to a team succeeding and then re-distributing it to the rest of the schools in the conference. On this same path the Universities exploit the athletes, but the athletes in re-turn get an academic scholarship? Fair, not exactly in my opinion. So, it can be used to explain comparisons with college athletics. As for the "Old Days" when players coluldn't be "Professional" until after 4 years of college. Well, that was the rule then, but it also violates some laws of ethics in my opinion, similar to the rule with college football, where a player can only turn pro after their junior year. Now, the NFL's players union agrees to that rule so in my opinion that is a good rule because of the overall dangerous and severity of the sport. The NBA players union I find ridicoulous because what the Universities are doing to their athletes by exploiting them, the NBA is doing the exact same thing to the Universities and Institutions across the country. If the NBA Players union was smart, they would create a better product "On the Court" if they adopted the college baseball rule. Declare for the draft after high school or attend 3 years of college. In the NBA's case, it would be declare for the draf after high schoolt, attend 3 years of college, or go overseas and play professionally.

Trey Hohman 11 years ago

I just gained 6 pounds from eating a banana....I hate genetics.

jasonsgill 11 years ago

I have trouble believing you guys are serious about this "Obama plan" and total wealth redistribution thing. The graduated tax was at its highest during Dwight D Eisenhower's presidency and Obama, unfortunately, won't even approach those types of numbers with his new tax plan. The only president who really cut against a strong graduated tax was (not Reagan...) GW. And the result of that was, well, how's your savings/retirement looking right about now?/done with politics

Trey Hohman 11 years ago

Off the subject:I wish we had Michael J. Fox on the KU basketball team, but only after he first turns into Teen Wolf. Imagine, getting blown out by 'Zona', then all of a sudden one of our players turns into a monster, then dunks on everybody?!!....That would be totally awesome...

RyanHawk 11 years ago

Wolf Up and Wolf Out! Maybe they can get some teen wolf music for the locker room!

Lance Hobson 11 years ago

I would recommend Pizza Shuttle over Pyramid for Withey's weight gain. If it's like it was in the early 90's, Pyramid skimps on the cheese. At least they did on Monday Mania.I bet our fans are going to have a ball with the MP3 story when this guy comes to Lawrence. I wish I could be there to see it...

d_prowess 11 years ago

Oohh, so could we start saying Morningstar is a poor man's Teen Wolf?

tis4tim 11 years ago

8-4-2-1-2-1-28-4-2-1-2-1-28-4-2-1-2-1-2...I haven't lived in Kansas in 20 years, but I still remember the Pizza Shuttle phone # from that droll, monotone ad I used to hear on the radio. I can't remember what I did last weekend, but I can still recite that number. Don't let anyone tell you advertising doesn't work.

Chris Teegarden 11 years ago

dprowessI think calling him the poor man's teen wolf would be ok

Trey Hohman 11 years ago

He would need to eat 7 of those pizzas (Pizza Shuttle) to equal 2 Pyramids, I fear...They are so small. But you are right, tis4tim, not only can I remember the number, but I can also hear that fruity melody in my head whenever those numbers coorespond in that exact pattern...I wish commercial jingles came back on tv ads instead of the latest lame indie-pop-hits which now consume all automobile and pill-popping commericals, etc...Maybe I would start watching commercials again, instead of waiting a half-hour before my favorite program starts to fast forward through them...

KUbsee69 11 years ago

Pizza might not be the answer. Didn't Collins say his (unwanted) wait gains usually came from too much McD's?Maybe Withey should talk to Collins and then adopt the opposite eating plan ... at least for a while.

jaybate 11 years ago

tis4tim,Gut split! Apendectomy in progress! I love it.842-1212Pepperoni and mushroom...no...EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

okjhok 11 years ago

Well done to all...one of the better bball threads I've seen on here in a while...the more comedy the better. Here's my $.02: I would hesitate to compare Brady to either Haase or Robertson. He doesn't have the athletic ability of either. He doesn't have Robertson's handle and doesn't have Haase's fearlessness or passion, at least it doesn't seem. What he does better than the aformentioned is play efficient bball. Efficient bball usually isn't easy to spot, but Brady has mastered it. He uses the least amount of movement to achieve results. He's extremely disciplined on defense, doesn't go for ball fakes and doesn't get juked easily. Unfortunately he's absolutely horrible at creating his own shot at the D-1 level. Nothing to be ashamed of, but that's his biggest weakness. He's much closer to Gueldner than Haase or Robertson.

jaybate 11 years ago

Regarding Withey's Weight Gain Plan...I have heard of medical marihuana being able to help out in these sorts of situations, but has anyone heard about the efficacy of this new treatment called "medical beer"? It is reputedly given intravenously and when administered in combination with medical marihuana it causes a weight gain candidate to order and eat pizzas from every pizza parlor in the telephone area code in which the candidate resides in one 24 hour period. WARNING: DO NOT TRY THIS WITHOUT EXPERT MEDICAL SUPERVISION.NOTE: THIS IS A JOKE. THIS IS ONLY A JOKE. IF IT WERE SERIOUS, YOU WOULD BE INSTRUCTED TO TUNE YOUR RADIO TO YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY BROADCAST CHANNEL AND AWAIT FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS.

eastTXjayhawk 11 years ago

did i mention, my step brother, Teen Wolf, attended the post game celebration?MP3

jaybate 11 years ago

okjhok,As of this date, you're right that he compares more meaningfully with Gueldner than Robertson or Haase. But I believe the jury is out on what Brady can create.Self and he have both said that his job is to be glue and that he is not supposed to be out creating and shooting a lot.In one game early that Self told Brady to go out and shoot, he instantly went double figures. Frankly, he's scoring a lot for how little he shoots, which is the indication of a natural scorer being channeled into a role player.Remember, Brady was a slasher, and a high scorer, in highschool, according to Brady's description of his game and according to someone else who claimed to have seen him play in high school.Brady's got springs, or he wouldn't be able to get his J's off. He's got quickness, or he wouldn't be able to defend the other team's top perimeter player. He may be able to do considerably more than what he is showing now offensively.But I certainly understand your doubts. He has looked pretty bad trying to finish around the basket at times. And he has not put the ball on the floor and created once that I can think of.FWIW, his dad was mostly a shoot off the pick guy and a long range bomber too, when he wasn't picking up garbage around the basket. Still, I have a hunch that Brady has a few moves in him that just are not being requested by Coach Self. And, frankly, it would be kind of unwise to have Brady, or Reed, or Marcus, or even Tyshawn, sometimes, creating when you have Sherron Collins, the human creator on the floor.Have you ever seen the old Star Trek episode in the original series that had this robot named NOMAD roaming around the ship looking for the creator. Nomad quickly fixated on Kirk and began "sterilizing" anyone who might be a threat to Kirk, the creator?If Nomad were to show up in Allen Field House during a game, it is pretty clear which Jayhawk he would fixate on...Sherrooooooooooon!

Trey Hohman 11 years ago

Jaybate, your weight-gain plan is a very constructive idea. Perhaps Tractor Traylor, Charles Barkley, and Oliver Miller are available for these training seminars?Note: KU should absolutely do a Late-Night skit starring Teen Wolf...Single greatest Late Night Skit ever... -- Maybe eastTXjayhawk could pull some strings?

eastTXjayhawk 11 years ago

i would gladly arrange that, for the low low price of one pepperoni pizza from Pizza Shuttle....does anyone know the number?he was just telling me last night that he was hoping to get back to Kansas to see his ex brother in law, twice removed, Otis Day....Shamma Lamma Ding Dong

100 11 years ago

Yes, I'm stuck in Allen Fieldhouse right now working on my laptop waiting for my pizza to arrive (I ordered 2 from the shuttle). Some weird jingling wolf gave me the number. Strangely he was wearing a Kansas jersey, number thirteen. He said the number was 8-4-2--1-2-1-2. He said he doesn't eat there very often. He prefers to light up and get hooked up to a beer machine so he can eat bananas (so he needs to put on weight). Apparently he has a really strange generic disorder where he can put 6 pounds on per banana!At any rate, my pizzas haven't arrived yet (my stomach is beginning to eat my liver) so perhaps the wolf gave me the wrong number for Pizza Shuttle?

Scott Smetana 11 years ago

842-1212 I graduated from KU in 1996 and still have that number memorized. They used to have a '2 fer' deal - $5 for 2 pizzas and 2 drinks... ahhh the days when I could eat anything and not gain wait. Eat up while u can undergrads!RockHawk - GREAT story about the idiot from Mizzery calling himself CP3's cousin. Students should not let this die and make some great signs for the game. Rock Chalk in Lawrence West on Saturday.. I'll be there. We should win, but consistency is not in our game plan yet.

Greg Lux 11 years ago

Cole is NOT NBA ready .. Look at Arthur and the minutes he is getting in the nba .. if he had waited one more year he would have been twice the player with more strength, skills and size to compete at the nba level... I know the MONEY is the factor for the decisions to leave but 99% of sophmores are just not ready .. I wish the NCAA and the NBA would get together and make a 3 yr rule on players who enter college.. If you enroll in a college you must stay 3 yrs before you can enter the draft, or you can go straight from high school. Most forget the schools invest a great deal of money in a player and its not right that just when they can "payback" the school with there talent they leave for the MONEY of the NBA. Its just wrong and it needs to be addressed....Rock Chalk

abefroman 11 years ago

ahhh wow, i am LOVING the teen wolf comments! ....styles these waves are mine!

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