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.”


100 7 years, 5 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!!!!

Alohahawk 7 years, 5 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.

Alohahawk 7 years, 5 months ago

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

hawk316 7 years, 5 months ago

I think fans are really pulling for Jeff because they realize how important he could be for this team. He provides a defensive presence in the middle that has the potential to be quite significant. Unfortunately, his development has been slowed by injury, but if he gets stronger, gains more experience and confidence, this guy could make his mark at KU. Go Jeff!

fansincewilt 7 years, 5 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.

REHawk 7 years, 5 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.

Jonathan Allison 7 years, 5 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!"

jaybate 7 years, 5 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.

jaybate 7 years, 5 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 7 years, 5 months ago

Riggo? Don't even get me started on how great he was!!!! Is!!!!

yates33333 7 years, 5 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.

Truthhawk 7 years, 5 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.

bradynsdad 7 years, 5 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.

gchawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I thought the exact same thing. What kind of message was being sent to those athletes by not giving them meaningful retribution for their actions? The NCAA sure seems inconsistent with their punishments sometimes.

Bear86 7 years, 5 months ago

Amen!! Check out this article from Dan Wetzel (Yahoo Sports). It put's everything in perspective.

Ben Kane 7 years, 5 months ago

as a former post player myself, i couldnt agree more. though i'm sure danny has forgotten more this week about playing in the post then i ever knew so i'm sure they are working with him.

kcglowboy 7 years, 5 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.

Greg Lux 7 years, 5 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

MIZNIT 7 years, 5 months ago

Reed plays because he is a shooter. End of Story. However... I don't think it matters if he was Indian or Asian. Not sure why Jaybate needs to throw race into his 24 page rant. On the topic of Brady, he brought great minutes to this team 2 years ago, and to some extent last year. This year he looks lost, is shooting the ball poorly and make too many turnovers for someone who is usually playing at the three. I would much rather have Johnson, Selby, Travis, or tyrell playing in his slot.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago

MIZNITWIT, please stop yourself, please? I'm agin all that sort of talk; that was the point.

jaybate 7 years, 5 months ago


please stop yourself, please? I'm agin all that sort of talk; that was the point.

KULA 7 years, 5 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).

Kye Clark 7 years, 5 months ago

Well you may be sick of hearing "he looks lost out there", but I'm just sick of him...looking lost out there! The "7 footer not even being able to warm up in 3 minutes or get into the flow of the game" is a cop out. The bottom line is come conference play and games that matter, he's probably not going to start. So are you saying it's acceptable for him to come off the bench and bumble around and get pushed around the lane for 3 minutes or more everytime he subs into a game? I've said this before, but if he requires 3-5 minutes of play to get into the flow of the game he will not be a significant contributor this year, because his role is going to be to come off the bench and spell the Twins and TRob, to provide a spark or at least hold down the fort. If we have a lead and Markeiff picks up his 2nd foul with 12 minutes left in the first half and TRob or Marcus needs a breather, he has to be able to step in. Against teams with quality, legitimate big men if he takes 3 minutes to get into the flow our lead will be gone by the time TRob and/or Marcus is ready to re-enter the game. I'm all for developing him and giving him minutes because we may need him, but giving him a pass for any mistakes or poor play for his first few minutes of playing time every game is ridiculous.

Martin Rosenblum 7 years, 5 months ago

ict -

Agree, agree, agree!

We don't need to "Withey-down" this year. Too much at stake. Remember, even Cheno had a few shining moments, but they were way too few and far between! Let's not make Withey into a sentimental icon.

KULA 7 years, 5 months ago

Umm, check HighEliteMajor's post on Hollinger's player efficiency ratings

according to which, Withey is our fourth most efficient player, behind the Twins and TRob. Ahead of Tyshawn, EJ, Tyrel, Travis, Brady...

JayHok 7 years, 5 months ago

Jayhawks got the shaft on this one man poll. We would have been a top 3 if not for someone sending the compiler of this list the Samantha Ryan with mascot picture. Ended up number 40 because of her.

Did you notice who was #3? The red head gal from Texas who caused all the stir at AFH a year or two back.

swunruh 7 years, 5 months ago

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

Theutus 7 years, 5 months ago

Seriously, you are just spamming this in every single thread... Give it a rest, we all know how you feel.

sokanhawk 7 years, 5 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!

Bear86 7 years, 5 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.

KU_FanSince75 7 years, 5 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!

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