Sunday, December 2, 2012

Jeff Withey nation’s leading swatter

Kansas center Jeff Withey gets a long arm over a shot by San Jose State guard Xavier Jones during the first half on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas center Jeff Withey gets a long arm over a shot by San Jose State guard Xavier Jones during the first half on Monday, Nov. 26, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Kansas University senior Jeff Withey, who set an NCAA Tournament record by blocking 31 shots in the 2012 postseason, continues to protect the basket at an astonishing rate.

The 7-footer from San Diego leads the country with 40 blocks in seven games — five more blocks than both Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski (seven games) and St. John’s Chris Obekpa (eight games).

Does Withey hope to lead the country in rejections?

“Definitely. I feel I should have done it last year. Anthony Davis did, right?” he said of former Kentucky center Davis, who indeed had a nation’s-best 186 blocks last season to Withey’s school-record 140 rejections.

“I feel I should be up there for sure,” Withey added.

Withey, who doesn’t mind being known as a shot blocker — “It’s what I do,” he said — was asked if he was shooting for David Robinson’s single-season blocks record of 207 set in 1985-86 at Navy.

“Two hundred and seven in one year?” Withey said. “I definitely am. I’ll try for it. Every day I go out there I want to go block shots and help my team win. It leads to easy points for us. As long as I can keep doing what I have to do to help us win. Hopefully I can get a lot more blocks in my career.”

He has 205 career blocks, which ranks sixth on KU’s all-time list. He’s 54 blocks from passing Greg Ostertag, who had 258 from 1992-95. Cole Aldrich had 253 blocks, Nick Collison 243, Eric Chenowith 242 and Scot Pollard 218.

“It would be awesome, especially at KU. It’s a historic program,” Withey said of the career blocks mark. “To have my name in the record books would be a huge honor, something I’d cherish forever.”

In perhaps his most remarkable stat of all, Withey has committed just six fouls all season. A year ago, he had 14 blocks and 25 fouls through seven games.

“That’s unbelievable. Of course, Wilt never fouled out of a game, did he?” KU coach Bill Self said of former KU/NBA great Wilt Chamberlain, who never fouled out of a college or NBA contest.

“If you have five fouls and we played six games (now six in seven games) and you’re a big guy, maybe you are not as aggressive as you need to be. But on the flip side, it does show that Jeff’s timing is off the charts, and his ability to stay away from body contact when he’s blocking balls well above the head is tremendous. We’ve played poor defense many possessions, and he just absolutely has bailed us out.”

Withey leads the country in blocks per foul (6.67). Bachynski, who has committed 14 fouls, is second at 2.50. Obekpa has been whistled for 24 fouls on the season.

Self said that though the game of basketball in college and the NBA “has gotten smaller,” there’s “still a place” for a true 7-footer like Withey.

“The hardest thing to guard in our game is a skilled 4-man (power forward),” Self said. “That’s the position that screws everybody up ... having a 4-man that can stretch it or put it down. There’s no question there’s a place for a 5, and there’s not as many it seems like now, because the majority of ones aren’t in school (instead in NBA).

“Jeff ... I don’t even know if the next level he’s a center. He may be somewhat of a 41⁄2 offensively and a 5 defensively. He has evolved as a pretty good basketball player, there is no question about that.”

Withey is second on the team in scoring (14.6 ppg to Ben McLemore’s 14.9) and first in rebounding (8.1 rpg per game to Kevin Young’s 6.2 and McLemore’s 5.7). Withey has hit a team-leading 59.1 percent of his shots, though his free-throw shooting percentage has dipped to 63.2 compared to his sizzling 79.5 mark of a year ago.

“I feel I am on a roll for sure. I definitely want to keep it up,” Withey said of his overall offensive play. “I’m getting extra shots up with coach Roberts (Norm, assistant). I’m trying to get more aggressive. Coach Self is trying to instill that in my head. My teammates are finding me open. It’s them finding easy buckets for me. As long as I keep that up, it’d be great. As long as we keep winning, that’s fine.”

KU will meet Colorado at 1 p.m. Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse.

Frankamp hits for 46: KU signee Conner Frankamp scored 46 points in Wichita North’s 76-43 season-opening victory over Wichita Northwest on Friday.

The 6-foot combo guard hit 14 of 25 shots, including seven of 12 three-pointers. He was 11-of-11 from the free-throw line and had 10 rebounds with three assists and two steals against one turnover. Frankamp passed Ricky Ross (South) for fourth place on the Wichita City League’s career scoring list. According to the Wichita Eagle, he has 1,687 points, 52 behind Heights’ Aubrey Sherrod for third.


Ethan Berger 6 years, 6 months ago

Wilt never fouled out in College or pros? Forget the 100 point game, that is far more impressive.

buttsauce 6 years, 6 months ago

Not really. When he was in foul trouble he didn't even try around the cup. He was almost useless when he was in foul trouble. He would rather not foul out and lose the game then win and foul out. One of the many reasons Russell dominated Wilt.

John Boyle 6 years, 6 months ago

Are you out of your mind? Russell got all the publicity because his teams won more but he had a tremendous supporting cast (or in most cases leading cast) compare to what Wilt had. Did you ever really watch any of Wilt's pro games? Or did someone just tell you that he was useless when in foul trouble? I watched him play on numerous occasions and he was a competitor, he did not like to lose.

Mick Allen 6 years, 6 months ago

Russell didn't dominate Wilt buttbreath, the Celtics dominated the 76ers. Russell had a better supporting cast, ie Havilchek, KC and Sam Jones, Heihnson Sanders etc.

latigo 6 years, 6 months ago

You must have been watching different games tan I was. The Celtics certainlydidn't dominate the the 76ers back then. Wilt had a supporting cast that included Hal Greer, Billy Cunningham, Chet the Jet Walker, and Luke Jackson, all fine players. The games I saw, and really enjoyed, back then were dog fights generally won by the home team by a small margin. No one dominated any one. I do agree on one thing. Buttsauce's comment about Wilt mailing it in could only be made by someone who never saw him play. Or a Mizzou troll.

Joel Hood 6 years, 6 months ago

In 2004, CBS Sports ran an hour long special on Wilt. In this documentary, they addressed the myth that Russell dominated Wilt. Absolutely false. They chronicled the lifetime head-to-head stats between the two when they faced each other. It wasn't even close - Wilt made Russell look ordinary.

Dan Pawlowski 6 years, 6 months ago

I believe the source and the quality of your post is precisely described by your moniker.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

That is crazy talk. Wilt was off the charts in everything. Russ used to go off on his teammates whenever they said something bad about Wilt. Wilt would do his reply on the court and make Russ look very bad.

VaJay 6 years, 6 months ago

When asked about Wilt not ever fouling out, Coach Self called that "an amazing feat". Let's see, do I believe him or you. It's difficult to take you as a competent source from the 50's & 60's. Are you a troll, or just someone that makes stuff up?

KJ Quartermaine 6 years, 6 months ago

Wilt going 28-32 from the FT line when he scored 100 points -- was the most surprising stat of all

Brendan Connolly 6 years, 6 months ago

I'll take the 55 bounds in a game as most impressive, especially since it was against Bill Russell. Heck he averaged somethink like 29 points 29 boards against Russell.

Lonnie Ross Dillon 6 years, 6 months ago

I believe that Wilt was better than Russell, but Russell played on the Celtics so he got more rings and fame. Wilt later proved what he could do with players around him when the Lakers went all the way.

actorman 6 years, 6 months ago

So true, Ross, and that was later in his career too, when he wasn't even at his best. It's a real shame that he didn't have the talent around him in his prime that Russell did. It would have been nice for them to battle it out with equivalent supporting casts.

KULA 6 years, 6 months ago

The most impressive thing about Jeff's blocks is that he keeps the ball in play (never blocks the ball out of bounds) and it usually ends up in our hands. It's a much more impressive stat because it's more like a steal. Never seen a shot blocker do that like Jeff.

Still a place for a true 7-footer? Lol--ya think?

Jeff's offense has really come around the last 3 games. The first two against mid-major bigs (with all that implies) but in the OSU game, against legitimate competition. Great to see Jeff growing in confidence and assertiveness, and becoming, dare I say it, a leader on this team.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

That is a very good point about Jeff's blocks. Wilt used to knock the ball into row ZZ.

actorman 6 years, 6 months ago

Good point, KULA, and interesting that you say you've never seen a shot blocker do that like him. I don't know how great a shot-blocker Russell was in general (especially given that it wasn't an official stat in those days), but one of the things he was known for doing was blocking it in a way to keep it in play. So Russell does deserve credit for doing that better than Wilt did.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

I didn't realize how important blocks were, until I formulized my disruption statistic as:

(steals + blocks)/TOs

Blocks don't always lead to a change of possession the way steals and TOs do, though often they do, but they always indicate disruption of an opponent, or one's self, the way steals and TOs do.

To win the disruption stat decisively nearly guaranties you win, because you get so many mores scoring opps than your opponent, and take them out of their comfort zone more often in trying to score.

Team A tends to steal it much less than turn it over. Pressure defense with skilled defenders can edge steals upwards, but even then Team A still tends to steal it less often than than turn it over.

Further, the better the opponent the more likely steals and turnovers are to converge, since both tend to pressure and protect well.

But blocks seem more dependent on a skill asymmetrically distributed even among the best teams.

So a great shot blocker tends to give Team A a big edge in disruption that gets more decisive as teams get better and their stealing and protecting get more similar in capability.

Further, a great shot blocker counter acts the edge of an opponent occasionally having its own great shot blocker.

Jeff blocking really does give KU a big edge in any game where the opponent lacks this skill.

MinnesotaJay 6 years, 6 months ago

I think Wilt's most impressive record was his average minutes-per-game in the '61-'62 season - 48.5, considering that a regulation game is only 48 minutes long! But, when you figure he played eight full overtime periods in addition, you get a record that will never, ever be challenged!

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

"Aridzona Alert"

Stumpy Miller seems only a so-so coach, but give anyone enough guns and he is dangerous (e.g., John Calipari).

Stumpy's got Kaleb and some other good bigs. Kaleb and Angelo Chol, both of whom Self recruited hard, are only averaging about 20-25 mpg they have so many bigs.

But the Aridzona alert is not being issued for bigs KU couldn't sign. It is being issued for trey shooting. The Cactus Cats average 44% from trey and have four rotation guys over 40% from trey!!!!

So many bigs and so much 40%+ trifectation looms big at Madness time, once Stumpy gets the TOs under control.

Since Stumpy's coaching talent is just adequate (I.e., he never appears to get teams to play above their talent), and his charisma seems modest, it would seem his stack of talent might have anomalous origin.

Hypothesis: I wonder if the ShoeCo-Summer Game-Agency Complex were picking, oh, say, 1-2 teams each year to stack with talent to maximize the likelihood its brand and talent wins the ring and goes highest in the draft?

Just a hypothesis.

Not a conspiracy theory.

Wouldn't it be legal for The Complex to do this?

I can't recall any rules against it.

actorman 6 years, 6 months ago

Interesting points, jaybate, and UA definitely scares me, but I don't get what Miller's lack of charisma has to do with anything.

5yardfuller 6 years, 6 months ago

Wilt fouled out of two games in college, February 18, 1957 vs Oklahoma and January 18, 1958 vs Missouri.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

interesting that Wilt shot such a high percentage of FTs both nights that he fouled out.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 6 months ago

Great find, now who is going to up vote the FullerStatMan? Only me, I guess.

actorman 6 years, 6 months ago

Excellent work, 5yard! It's always fascinating to see how much box scores have changed over the years.

milehighhawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Just wanted to chime and and thank you for posting these.

Truly great work!

Jesse Johnson 6 years, 6 months ago

Interesting how seemingly the same newspaper abbreviated his name two different ways.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

Jeff, get the FT stroke back, or the fouling will get merciless.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

Not sure I agree with a good 4 causing the most problems, but it doesn't matter.

Self seems to be needling Jeff with Thomas.

Or is he needling Perry?

Or both?

Regardless, Self has clearly reached that time of year when the needle is in use.

ParisHawk 6 years, 6 months ago

As far as Withey is concerned, Self didn't push the needle very far. He just pointed out that in the NBA Jeff is going to have score on his own more. So why not start now?

As far as who causes the most problems, what hurts us is not 4s but 3s, as in three-point shooting. We have to reduce 3-point attempts by our opponents. Jeff is not going to block 3-point shots.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

You raise an interesting point unintentionally when you mention Jeff not blocking trey shots.

I have always thought it would be a powerful zone defense to go with a swatter like Jeff on one wing of a 1-3-1 zone, then use your other rotation bigs on the base line and mid point. This would would completely eliminate treys from one side of the court, which would then allow the zone to overshift to the other side and over play the strip there, which would allow Jeff to sag way in when the ball is on the other side and be in position to block penetration shots from the other side with Jeff getting a 2-3 step and jump, which would make him almost impossible to shoot over. The back side sag would also put him in great position for long rebounds.

It would be an absolutely killer zone defense.

Benz Junque 6 years, 6 months ago

That has to be the dumbest idea ever. Who ever is on that side of the zone would drive around Withey to the rim ALL NIGHT (and make those shots at the rim at a very high rate now that your shot blocker is standing out on the perimeter. Sure, he wouldn't hit threes, because he would have 50 points in the paint.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

No, I'm afraid your post is the dumbest idea.

There is zero chance the guy would score 50 in the paint because its a ZONE!!!!!!!!!!

Jeez, does it really hurt to much to think it through.

actorman 6 years, 6 months ago

I'm not sure I agree with that, jaybate. While Withey could no doubt disrupt some of the 3-point shooting on his side, I would think that he would have problems with someone quick who could move around him a little and still get off a 3 from a slightly different part of the court. Am I off base in that line of thinking?

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

P.S.: The needle I was referring to for Jeff was Self saying the 4 is more trouble than the 5; that seemed like an obvious challenge to a big man 5. Bigs in football and basketball kind of put up with the little guys, knowing they are necessary but peripheral. Great offensive tackles and guards know that though QBs and RBs get the glory, the game is always won finally in the trenches, where the big men duke it out, not for one or two big plays, but for sustained dominance. Centers in basketball are pretty dominant, too. Just because Jeff is laid back, does not mean he is not a dominant type. No guy goes out and hangs a triple double (and people forget he's done it twice, just once was an exhibition game last year) that isn't a dominant personality. Centers think the game revolves around them, because it does on a basketball court. That's why the position is called center. They let the little guys run and shoot and "keek a touchdown" as Alex Karras said of Garo Yrpremian so long ago now, but still so accurately, while the centers are in their banging and swatting every play trying to establish dominance of one kind or another in the paint, not just on their man, but on the other team that grows increasingly submissive and fearful of shooting normally.

Jeff has taken a long time to establish his dominance not because he wasn't a dominant type, but rather because he had a serious string of bad luck starting with school selection, then with weight/sickeness problems, then with injury problems. But since Jeff has been healthy and able to go, his contribution last season and now this has grown increasingly dominant.

Never forget he was playing along side an athletic freak at the 4 last season. Thomas was a once in a decade, or two decade kind of player. A Manning type really. And had UK not been unfairly stacked by the Complex last season, Thomas would stand on equal footing with Manning, because he too would have his ring. That was what Jeff had to complement. He had to complement him rather than try to dominate, because Thomas was ripe and Jeff was still green as the season started.

But by the end of the season, in the national championship game, it was Jeff that held Anthony Walker to 1-10 from the field. If Jeff's offense had come as far last season as his defense, so that UK could not double Thomas, and if EJ and Travis had been anywhere near healthy, there is still no doubt in my mind that KU would have taken UK, draft choices apparently stacked by The Complex and all. Last year's KU team was a great team, because it was a triad of every night MUAs in Tyshawn, Thomas, and Jeff, plus two very gifted athletes, who when not injured, were almost every night MUAs.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

Back to Jeff and Self's needle. Self was saying Thomas at the 4 was bigger problem for opponents than Jeff at the 5. That is a seriously challenge of a big's manhood. Imagine what Clyde, Wilt, or Danny, or any of KU's great 5s would have thought and responded had a coach told them 4s were more forceful than 5s. Clyde and Wilt probably would have laughed in the coaches faces and then gone out and hung 50. Danny would have stared down at a coach with those huge brown eyes and rolled them and then gone out and hung 30-40 with 20 boards.

Jeff will see that quote.

Self wants Jeff to see that quote.

Self wants Jeff to go out now that Jeff knws he can actually go 38 minutes and he wants Jeff to hang another triple double before conference starts.

Self wants Jeff to know that he has not yet fully realized how dominant he can be on a floor.

Triple doubles talk.

Triple doubles matter.

They indicate there's a monster inside someone that can get out, when released.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

And, yes, I was intentionally bending the form of the post script. :-)

Curtis Stutz 6 years, 6 months ago

I'd say he's being fairly accurate. I think you'd call McDermott a PF, AD last year I'm guessing Self would have considered a 4 on offense, D. Thomas of OSU, Leslie of NC St, Zeller at IU is more of a PF than a center. I think Self just sees a big man that can bounce it and has quickness as a big threat in the college game. Judging by the most dangerous players out there he's spot on. Royce White last year, McAdoo, just a long list you could put together.

Sam Burns 6 years, 6 months ago

jaybate, it would be nice if you include shots altered in your disruption theory.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 6 months ago

I always thought that there should be a ratio of (steals + Off Reb)/TOs. Call it the possession ratio. You could also include blocks that result in change of possession, but like shots altered or deflections, it would be too difficult to keep track of as it's not an officially recorded statistic.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

That could be a good way to go, also.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

Oh, yes, when they start keeping those, I will for sure. Thanks for the assist for that would really tell the tale of how much advantage a swatter creates.

chriz 6 years, 6 months ago

Looks like Frankamp is back from that injury. Can't wait to see him in a Jayhawks uni. Threes will be raining from the heavens. Hopefully he gets Hudy-ized like the rest of them!

clevelandjayhawker 6 years, 6 months ago

Congrats Conner! Def good to see him back for that injury.

Every team out there knows there is only one player you have to guard, hes the only one that can beat you, double team him....and he gets 46. Rock Chalk

chriz 6 years, 6 months ago

My guess is that he's a much better passer than people think. I'm sure opposing coaches tell their kids about them, but I'm sure he does just fine passing out of double teams.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 6 months ago

what are the odds on Frankamp breaking the Wichita City League scoring record? Isn't that Perry's record currently? That could set up some friendly competition for next season!

KUFan90 6 years, 6 months ago

Odds are pretty good that yes, as long as he stays healthy, he will break Ellis' scoring record.

I think he needed to average in the low 20s for the season to get there.

REHawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Wish there were stat emphasis for scores off blocks, just as there are for scores off turnovers. I would imagine that Jeff leads the nation in that uncharted category.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 6 months ago

good nickname for Withey, but JJ Swatt is taken by defensive end JJ Watt of the Houston Texans for his proficiency at batting down passes of opposing QBs.

This dude is 6'7" almost 300LBs and can standing leap up onto a 50" ledge

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

Stick with J-Swat!, BigManU, and let the trademark and copyright lawyers duke it out.

Different sport.

Different spelling.

Plus dash and exclamation mark.

I would take the case in a minute, if I were a lawyer. :-)

Michael Ales 6 years, 6 months ago

I was at Sprint Center Friday and saw the Mac Dunk, great things to come. Does anyone know the time of the Temple game? All I can find is TBA.

texashawk10 6 years, 6 months ago

It's not set yet because it's on the first weekend of the NFL playoffs and that needs to be determined first. The game time is either going to be 12:30 or 3:30 central time depending on how the TV schedule for the NFL playoffs ends up.

jhawx2008 6 years, 6 months ago

Conner's stats are impressive but we have to show love to the other recruits. I read that we had another future Jayhawk post a triple double last week. Wayne Selden had 19 points, 18 rebounds and 10 assists. Wow! He is going to be a beast for KU next year.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 6 months ago

Can you imagine the fast breaks and ball handling we will have with Frankamp, Selden etc! That team will run others out of the gym.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 6 months ago

With Embiid too? As good as Joel looks on video, he'll have another full hs year and then the summer with collegiate athletes.

But that's next year. This year is the only thing that matters now.

Kent Richardson 6 years, 6 months ago

Ben,s dunk had more Connie Hawkins than Jordan in it.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

I saw all Jordan, but I'm okay with The Hawk, too.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 6 months ago

Random thoughts issued on a Monday morning.

1] Can anyone at LJW explain to me why an article about Jefff features a photo of Travis who is only mentioned in a sidebar column?? Just kind of a curious presentation.

2] Saw evidence Friday of Jeff's pursuit as the nation's "Top Swatter" that he could become susceptable to the pump fake and jump-in lean as we play higher quality foes.... needs to keep his feet till the last second.

3] That scratching sound you all heard Friday night after BenMac's monster dunk was every NBA GM writing down his name as a lottery pick. I am afraid we better enjoy him while we have him.

4] Liam Neeson would take Daniel Craig apart like an erector set.

5] Next season will be a true read on the progress of the Charlie Weis least there were a few patches of blue sky this year

6] My prediction..Conner Frankamp will make a bigger impact his freshman year than Perry Ellis will make in his...but watch out for Perry's soph year!!!

7] St.Louis mourns the passage of a really good guy..Rick Majerus. I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with him and he just loved to talk "ball". He once bought a dinner for a homeless guy in a bus station..and talked basketball with him for 45 minutes!!

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

Non Random responses:

1) No that would not be possible. :-)

2) Coach K proved early last season that the way to deal with Jeff is to attack him with your big with the ball crowding him, jumping up and into him, using a shoulder to draw fouls and/or dish. It keeps him from roaming, too. Waiting to see how he handles this with a good big man. If he can handle it, then he's a finished piece of work defensively.

3) Whether he gets drafted end of this season depends entirely on whether he can prove he can shoot the trey, which his percentage indicates he hasn't done yet. His reputation as a shooter suggests he will eventually get to 40% and stay there, but you've got to be able to drain the trey in the L to be a 6-5 lottery pick.

4) I don't know. Liam is pretty sensitive, when you seem him interviewed. He's certainly much bigger than DC. Connery would have beaten the piss out of both of them at once. He was an absolute man and a body builder to boot.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 6 months ago

Bodybuilder doesn't mean fighter. I've seen guys that are no bigger than 5' 9" 160 pounds that would destroy a bodybuilder who doesn't know how to fight and boxing, as Neeson does, wouldn't stop a beat down, either.

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 6 months ago

And what in the hell does this have to do with Withey's rebounding? Nothing!

I love Connery by the way.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

5) 1-12 or whatever sucked but anyone that knew football and saw him run 30 guys from a team only in the second year of rebuilding knew he didn't have a prayer of winning more than two games and that would require the heavens opening up and raining luck. Football coaches are way more dependent on numbers and talent than basketball coaches. In basketball there are ways to leverage off one or two guys and use benchwarmers for enforcers and raise an 0-fer team to a couple of games shy of .500. In football, many of the greatest coaches of all time have all had one-fer seasons. One of the ways you know a potentially great football coach, like Bill Walsh, was that he had the courage and insight to go one-fer to lay a solid piece of a foundation. You played football. You didn't think there was a snowballs chance in hell that Weis, or even Bill Bellichick himself, was going to win more than 2 after running 30 did you? I know I didn't. When he was first hired, I figured if he kept everyone he could win 3-4, which he probably would have. But the minute he ran the 30 it was a done deal. Frankly, I'm impressed that he won one. Really. Be all that as it may, he is the best risk for the next five years for the basketball program because keeping him burns up the least dollars. And as far as football goes, its ridiculous to think you could find better offensive and defensive brains than Weis and Campo. So they stay for five years and all of the rich, hand wringing alumni need to focus not on hiring one of their pets to replace Weis, but instead to hire more and more recruiting coordinators from other Big12 teams. For KU to turn the corner, it needs not one recruiting coordinator, but a committee of them, each one being paid a phenomenal sum of money to come and valve talent to KU. There is no other way to turn it around, unless you find one of these once in a generation geniuses like Bill Snyder. And KU should not wait for that. It costs 6-8 million bones to run Weis. Use that money to hire away more recruiting coordinators and keep the recruiting coordinators we already have. This is nothing but a numbers game. Spend the money on acquiring the numbers, since you've already got the brains and experience you need in Weis and Campo. Stay with Weis for Five!

Jeff Kilgore 6 years, 6 months ago

Didn't know about the academic problems, so thanks. We need about as many defensive players as we can get. Rcvrs too.

jaybate 6 years, 6 months ago

6) It all depends if Conner can shoot 2-3 feet farther out on the treys, and has the foot speed to guard the way KU perimeter players are asked to guard. Very, very few freshman perimeter players are good enough to impact much their freshman years. Roll call: Chalmers, Sherron (6th man), Tyshawn (mostly for d), Xavier, Josh, and Ben Mac (a second year freshman). Does Frankamp have the kind of talent these guys had? The one he is closest to in height, barring a growth spurt, is Mario Chalmers 6-1 3/4s someone said recently. Mario was a pretty special guy. He had those long arms and great defense from the beginning to guard the 2. He probably wasn't as good of a shooter as Frankamp should be early on. But we've seen a lot of 40% trey shooters (Brady, Tyrel, Conner, and AW3) come in and have to struggle for a year or two before even cracking the rotation much less becoming impact starters. I like Frankamp a lot, but what Self calls sneaky fast looks not quite D1 fast to me. But I think Frankamp has great, great anticipation and that counts for tons in basketball. So I'll leave it that I'm going to have to be counted as a show me guy till I see how he reacts to 6-3 to 6-5 inch guys as fast as him shadowing him on the perimeter and denying him treys, plus see if he's got the foot speed to compensate for his lack of height.

7) Yep, the ice cream man was special and, despite the Wisconsin roots, the most direct lineage to New York City ball of the golden age of the 1950s we had. RIP, Maj.

Ben Berglund 6 years, 6 months ago

You remember Boshee's freshman season? I'm hoping for that, but with Connor being a better all-around player. More of a Bill guy.

notjustbread 6 years, 6 months ago

I love Jeff getting blocks during the games, but can someone shut up the commentators that always bring up his volleyball linage as the foundation for his block skill.

KULA 6 years, 6 months ago

It's a legitimate point and good color commentary.

texashawk10 6 years, 6 months ago

There is a lot of merit to it because of having to play at the net and going straight up. In volleyball, if you touch the net, it's a point for the other team. You're also going to hear a lot about it when Embiid gets here because volleyball was the sport he played before taking up basketball.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 6 months ago


Kansas at #9 and Kentucky OUT OF the Top 25!! No UK trolls for awhile, anyway. :)

REHawk 6 years, 6 months ago

Yep. Millionaire's Row in Lexington currently bombed to ashes. Sleep well, Mr. John C. and you wistful clache of one and done SissyBoys!

bballdiehard 6 years, 6 months ago

I also found it quite amusing that Kentucky's drop from 8th to out of the top 25 is the biggest single-week drop from the rankings since they were expanded to include 25 teams in 1990. They took that record from a team that had dropped from 9th. And the team they took that record from?


cool_beans 6 years, 6 months ago

remember that scene in space jam where that aliens steal the players talent, if Jeff was in the nba i bet his would get stolen

Sam Constance 6 years, 6 months ago

Wouldn't it be cool to see Withey set the single-season blocks record? How might he go about doing that...

Well, he has 40 blocks now after playing 7 games for a 5.7 bpg average. KU has 24 regular season games left, and at that rate, he would finish those 24 games with an additional 137 blocks, for a grand total of 177 blocks without any consideration for the extra games we presume he will play in the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments.

A total of 177 blocks would mean that he needed a mere 30 additional blocks to match Robinson's record. At his current rate, a mere six additional games would get him to 211 total blocks on the season, which means KU could do one of the following...

1) Play in the finals of the Big 12 tournament and get to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tourney 2) Play in the semis of the Big 12 tourney and get to the Elite 8 of the NCAA tourney 3) Lose in the first game of the Big 12 tourney and get to the Final Four 4) If for some shocking reason, KU didn't earn a bye (B12 teams 1-6), they would potentially get an extra game in the Big 12 tourney if they got to the final

Of course, the ultimate key to all of this, more than any other individual factor, is Withey staying on a 5.7 bpg pace, which might be a bit of stretch, given that competition will only get more stout moving forward...

Emery 6 years, 6 months ago

The "Sultan of Swat" is who Jeff is.

stm62 6 years, 6 months ago

It's not only about the number of shots that Withey blocks. It's the intimidation factor near the basket and the number of shots he alters.

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