Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jeff Withey relishes chance to start for Jayhawks

Kansas center Jeff Withey delivers on a dunk before Miami (Ohio) University forward Nick Winbush during the first half, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Jeff Withey delivers on a dunk before Miami (Ohio) University forward Nick Winbush during the first half, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.


More men's basketball news

Johnson, Releford excited to face 'Roos

It’s a big deal for a Kansas University basketball player to be introduced as a starter in tradition-rich Allen Fieldhouse.

“That was my first time. It was awesome. It was really nerve-wracking at first. It was a lot of fun,” sophomore center Jeff Withey said, describing his initial start in a Jayhawk uniform.

The 7-footer from San Diego scored six points and grabbed four rebounds while playing 17 minutes in Sunday’s 83-56 rout of Miami University.

“I felt I had a lot of energy,” Withey added. “It was a great time. I was glad I was able to and my parents were here to see it.”

Withey — he’s averaged 7.4 minutes per game in 12 games entering Wednesday’s 7 p.m. home game against UMKC — learned he was starting versus Miami at Sunday shootaround several hours before tip.

“It really did shock me. Coach just kind of said it. I had to prepare from then on,” said Withey. He was told to stick to 6-8, 232-pound junior Julian Mavunga, who hit three of nine shots and scored eight points in 34 minutes.

“I was definitely pumped up,” added Withey, “definitely ready to play. Watching film, No. 4 (Mavunga) was a great offensive player. Coach told me to shut him down. I did my best to try. It wasn’t just me. I thought everybody played well, especially on the defensive end.”

Self was impressed with the performance from Withey, who still is trying to impact the rotation at KU following his late September foot surgery.

“I thought Jeff played well and gave us good minutes, no question,” Self said. “Hopefully he’ll be able to do that going forward. He looked more aggressive to me. He looked more confident.”

Self has said Withey has lost up to 20 pounds since returning from his injury.

“I got sick a little while ago and lost some weight,” Withey said, noting he weighed “about 220” after being close to 240.

“I’ve been struggling trying to maintain my weight now, because during the season it’s really hard to put weight back on. I’ve gained a couple pounds back. It’s not realistic for me to get back to 230, 235 right now.”

Self said tonight’s lineup would be another game-day decision. Withey realizes starting positions and spots in the rotation can change daily.

“If you are having a bad week in practice, your position is up for grabs because everybody is so good here,” Withey said. “It’s definitely tough, but very rewarding to play here at KU.”

Self said Tuesday that he will continue to use undersized 6-6 Travis Releford some in the post.

“Teams that play small, we’ll play Travis. Teams that play big, we’ll play Jeff. A lot of things moving forward in conference play will be based on matchups as much as anything else,” Self said. “All kids try hard and practice hard. You’d like to play them all, but you can’t. A lot is matchups.

“He plays bigger than what he is. His post defense is probably the best we have. I am a fan of Travis,” Self added. “He’s an energy guy. Whatever role we put him in, he’s kind of like a utility baseball player. Whatever we need done, he’ll get out there and do it.”

Releford likes playing inside and out.

“At practice I work with the bigs a little bit, then I work out with the guards. It’s fun and gives me a little playing time, too,” Releford said, adding, “coach is trying things out early in the season just in case later in the season I have to play down low.”

Self, of course, will continue to play those individuals who practice the best.

“The eighth, ninth, 10th guy has played different amount of minutes, game to game. It’s not set in stone,” Self said of the rotation. “It probably won’t be set in stone all year long.”


KU_FanSince75 3 years, 3 months ago

Like a lot of others that have mentioned this, I am pulling for Jeff Withey. He is a vital key for KU to go all the way. I was very happy for him for the minutes he played. In regard to Travis, I just hope he gets better because he is pretty good right now. Travis is a secret weapon but most teams know it's not much of a secret now. Rock the House tonight, Jayhawks!


Bear86 3 years, 3 months ago

Until Whitney is completely healthy I don't see him having a dramatic impact. His size can be a difference maker on the Boards and Blocked Shot category but his movement is very slow due to the foot injury. He was still limping running up the court a few weeks ago.


sokanhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Deandre Daniels, one of the top small forwards in the country, is supposed to announce he will attend KU on Thursday according to multiple recruiting websites. Has anyone else heard anything about this? Kentucky and Texas were really recruiting him hard. This would be a great addition for next year's squad!


jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

Glue Brady to the bench and give his mins. to Johnson and Releford. Brady is a flop and a drag on the team.


swunruh 3 years, 3 months ago

So happy that JW is getting some playing time! Proud of that California kid! Thanks for writing about him.


KULA 3 years, 3 months ago

Finally! My birthday wish comes true and Withey gets some decent minutes. And as usual, with decent minutes comes a good stat line. This kid would be great if Bill would work him into the rotation. He's got great offensive quickness (did you see it on that turn-around jumper? Maybe you missed it--it was pretty quick). And he runs the floor very well (for a 7 footer). Like I said last year, he'll be a better offensive player than Cole. And he's a great shot blocker. So why's this kid not playing 20 m/game?

I'm sick of hearing all the basketball geniuses here say Withey looks lost out there after seeing him play a whopping 3 minutes. Like a 7 footer even has time to warm up in 3 minutes, much less get into the flow of the game. I've never seen him make a bad mistake out there. And expecting a 20 yr old 7 footer to beef up considerable is pretty unrealistic.

And then there's the "awkward" issue we keep hearing here. The only reason he looks awkward is because he bends at the waist more than most big men. But so what? Cole's free throws "looked" awkward, but that didn't keep them from being effective. It sure would be nice to have an effective, seasoned 7 footer in March (and hopefully April).


Greg Lux 3 years, 3 months ago

Jaybate Quote " Self plays Morningstar, because Self is in love with him. They are married. And because Brady's dad gives money.

Tyrel only plays, because he's a "white shooter.""

How can someone be so wrong and bias against two great KU players who have given so much to try and help this team day in and day out. Whoever made these comments needs to get a life and soon.

Rock Chalk


jayhawkinnebr 3 years, 3 months ago

Sssssssaaaaaallllllllllllluuuuuuuuuutttttttttteeeeeeeeee tooooo Jeff Withey. Keep it up.


kcglowboy 3 years, 3 months ago

It's a (post) Christmas miracle! A nice feature on Jeff Withey and, as of 9:30 a.m., not a single Withey basher on the comment board! (That's assuming jaybate didn't bash Withey -- I didn't have a free hour to read his posts.) Jeff, we love your attitude. Here's wishing you continued growth and success.


William Blake 3 years, 3 months ago

Just remember one thing, Jeff.... wide stance when fighting for post rebound position then shift to narrow stance when jumping for the rebound. You win position with hips, preferably at least as low as your opponent's hips. Wide stance makes you the rock, and narrow stance converts you to the flying butterfly. (sounds like advice from "The Karate Kid")

Glad to hear CS give some praise to Travis... he deserves it, along with more minutes.


bradynsdad 3 years, 3 months ago

I know it's off subject but I want to congratulate Ohio state on choosing a win over integrity and respect. Interesting that selby, pullen, kelly and who knows how's many others had to sit out for their actions this year but we wouldn't want the NCAA to lose money from t.v. Ratings so let's wait til next year before teaching Ohio state a lesson.


Truthhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Just read the continuing Jaybate -- HEM debate on another thread.

I have an idea. Can we call a truce on this? I'm not normally a peacemaker but I like both of your posts and analysis, if that is possible. You two are the best two out here .. next to drgnslyer (IMO). You both bring different insights and many times say the same things, but different ways.

Truce? Agreed?

I'm going to post this on the other threads.


yates33333 3 years, 3 months ago

Withey did play a good game, now if he keeps it up. We could use a 7 footer who played like he did against Miami when we go up against KSU, Texas, and Baylor. Of course, we could use him against all comers. He played just about the right number of minutes as well. Maybe 20 or 23 minutes are just right if he keeps playing aggressive and using his size as he did.


jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

Father, father...

Jimmy, Jimmy...

I am right.

And so you must be wrong.

Understand? See it logically?

Accept the premise. Accept the power. Bend over. Accept the power.

I change my mind....I've done it.

Sherron was no good last year.

Tyshawn was no good last year.

Tyshawn doesn't have it as a PG this year. Don't cut him slack cuz its his foist season on da job.

Self plays Morningstar, because Self is in love with him. They are married. And because Brady's dad gives money.

Tyrel only plays, because he's a "white shooter."

Shooting 33% proves it.

EJ should play most of the minutes at the 2, because he's playing well at the point.

Travis should be playing glue on the first unit, because he plays impact on the second wave and is the designated utility man since Mario felt the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune once too often.

The Twins aren't that good.

TRob is the best big. It does not matter that he shoots 50% from the FT stripe.

Yattta, yatta, yatta, yatta...

Ideology, its not reality/

Tell me what's goin' on/ I gotta know what's goin' on/

"You know we've got to find a way To bring some lovin' here today - Ya

Father, father...

Jimmy, Jimmy...

We don't need to escalate You see, war is not the answer For only love can conquer hate You know we've got to find a way To bring some lovin' here today

Marvin, Marvin...

A lot of truth is said in jest. --Eminem

Never get high on your own supply... --Notorious B.I.G

of ideology...

Ebony and Ivory...

The content of their characters, not the colors of their skins.

I love Brian Piccolo...

I love Tyshawn. I love Tyrel. I love Josh. I love Marcus. I love Kieff. I love TRob. I love Brady. I love EJ. I love Travis. I love Jeff. I love Mario. I love Conner. I love Royce. I love Jordan I love Niko. I love Justin.

And I want you to love'em, too!

run, Gale, the Kansas Comet...I am running with you

ad astra per aspera

thus spoke a wee Zarathustra who saw you one day and said: there...that is a man.


jaybate 3 years, 3 months ago

“The eighth, ninth, 10th guy has played different amount of minutes, game to game. It’s not set in stone,” Self said of the rotation. “It probably won’t be set in stone all year long.”

"Walkin' North and South of Eight Mile with an Illogical Composite Board Rat and Finally Sayin', or The Love Song of J. Alfred Board Rat'"

No, ideologically speaking, my man, that can't be.


I know the match-ups.

I know who deserves the PT.

Ideologically speaking, listen to me: I'm right about this, my man, because I'm right about this...

(to the tune of Badfinger's "Come and Get It"

"But if you want some statistics come and get them But you better hurry Cause they may not last.

Sonny, if you want some stats Here they are, Come and get them But you better hurry Cause they may not last..."

I know I'm right, because you r wrong.

I know, my man.

Correlation does not equal causation.

Poster, poster, does it matter/ that he ran no correlation?

no, no, no, na, na, na, hey, hey,hey, because though I don't agree/disagree you are a hypocrite, c?

and a Cambridge Lady with a furnished soul, too, my man.

Why do I say?

Hey, don't u comment jump me.

Because I know.

Why do I know?

Because I say.

How obtuse!

Does your relation to causation predate my childhood situation?

My being right is a self-evident assumption arrived at by parsed stats, my man.

Burbank with a Nike... Bleistein with Addidas...

We must start from the assumption that I am right and proceed to analyze why facts and logical fallacies must be denied...why you have zero ability to argue.


Oooh, oooh, ooh, that Shakespeherian Stat...

You are wrong, because you have zero ability to argue.


Jonathan Allison 3 years, 3 months ago

Coach Self gave us a glimpse into his madness with his comments: "All kids try hard and practice hard. You’d like to play them all, but you can’t. A lot is matchups.... The eighth, ninth, 10th guy has played different amount of minutes, game to game. It’s not set in stone,” Self said of the rotation. “It probably won’t be set in stone all year long.”

This year he is breaking the mold. Sure, some games only 8 players may see the court, but that doesn't mean that there's an 8 man rotation. In the next game, it could be a different 8. But generally you'll see 10 guys go in and out of the game (maybe 11 if we get Little back). You'll see different lineups out there to create different matchups. Even to the point of starting Releford or Robinson and at times bringing one of the twins off the bench (maybe even both!). I just had a mental picture of mad scientist Bill Self kneeling in front of the bench in a white lab coat with his arms stretched to the sky, "IT'S ALIVE!"


REHawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Good job Sunday, Jeff. Your minutes can make for major impacts during conference matchups. This squad needs a solid 15 minutes from you this season.


fansincewilt 3 years, 3 months ago

Withey looks really good running down the court. He runs like a much smaller guy not like a seven footer. However, some of the bigger guys will push him around at the 220 mark. I think he is going to have to learn to keep the quickness at a higher weight. He really looked good Sunday.


Ralster Jayhawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Maybe we shouldnt put too much stock in the weight fluctuations. Look, Withey really did look quick and energetic out there, even aggressive--maybe he just moves better at 225 rather than 245?


Alohahawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Oops. Ending should read, "getting a rebound."


Alohahawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Stay with it Withey. It's yours to grab and hang on to. Schools been in session long enough, so bring on your "A" game! Everyone will love you for it. The warmth you'll feel will be from the entire Jayhawk nation. We've all been rooting for you, and not just the ones in Allen Field House. Even Ol' Popeye and Olive Oyl. So no more Mr. Wimpey, promising to pay Tuesday for a hamburger today. Eat some spinach and fries with those hamburgers. And stop letting yourself get pushed/trapped under the basket. It becomes another defender preventing you from dunking the ball, or getting a rebounding.


100 3 years, 3 months ago

Jeff Withey, you will be the key for us as the season unfolds into a wonderful spiritual April we will all never forget... Keep with the beast spirit & keep the ball up brother. Your last game has us all very excited to see you improve the rest of the season...

That said....

This from Sports Illustrated.... Read this to your teammates JW.... Let them see what is possible with "our A game!" (including yours!).....

What follows is a back handed compliment from Seth Davis himself in his Midseason Stock Report:



"The Jayhawks are a bit too undisciplined for my taste (Marcus Morris' recent benching is a prime example), but they still have the best "A" game in the country. Josh Selby is only going to get more comfortable at the point, and Bill Self has a 10-man rotation that gives him lots of options to push buttons and search for the right matchups."

Its time to ramp it up Jayhawks!!!!

Bring our A game!!!!!!

Rock Chalk Jeff Withey & the Jayhawk Machine!!!!


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