Kansas defeats Richmond, 87-59

  • 6 p.m., Dec. 18, 2012
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Planet Withey: KU center moves up blocks list as Jayhawks rout Richmond

Kansas defenders Elijah Johnson (15) and Jeff Withey swoop in to defend against a shot by Richmond guard Kendall Anthony during the first half on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas defenders Elijah Johnson (15) and Jeff Withey swoop in to defend against a shot by Richmond guard Kendall Anthony during the first half on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

KU coach Bill Self talks after Richmond win

Kansas coach Bill Self talks after the Jayhawks' 87-59 victory over Richmond on Dec. 18, 2012.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Elijah Johnson, Naadir Tharpe and Jeff Withey

Elijah Johnson, Naadir Tharpe and Jeff Withey talk to reporters following the Jayhawks' 87-59 victory over Richmond on Dec. 18, 2012.

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Box score


Scot Pollard, who played 11 years in the NBA, believes another Kansas University center from San Diego will have a similarly successful career in the pros.

“Absolutely,” the 6-foot-11 Pollard said Tuesday night, asked if KU senior Jeff Withey has the ability to play in the NBA, starting next season. Pollard, a TV color analyst, was speaking after Tuesday’s 87-59 rout of Richmond — a game in Allen Fieldhouse in which Withey blocked four shots and passed Pollard for fifth place on KU’s all-time rejection list. The 7-foot Withey also had 17 points off 7-of-9 shooting with a season-high 13 rebounds.

“As we know the last few years, Jayhawks have been getting drafted and not playing a lot because their height has been exposed. Jeff’s height cannot be exposed. He’s 7-feet tall. He’s a legit ‘footer,'" Pollard added. “In the NBA, sometimes all you need to be as a 7-footer is a guy who can block shots and rebound. As long as Jeff can keep that mindset he has now, not worry about scoring but blocking shots and rebounding first, then the scoring comes.”

Withey had four more highlight-reel blocks versus the Spiders, upping his total to 219, one more than Pollard and just 39 off Greg Ostertag’s record total of 258.

Withey’s two most spectacular plays, Tuesday, however, were steals. He had two thefts early in the second half and passed ahead to Travis Releford both times for assists on the break.

“Coach said it was going to happen. He told me to run through it (and steal the ball up top). The first time I didn’t think they were expecting it at all. They did it again,” Withey said. “I like to pride myself on being a pretty good passer. Travis made it easy for me.”

It’s not often 235-pounders like Withey can shuffle their feet quick enough to get in position for steals that lead to layups.

“Early in Jeff’s career, people wanted him to be a different type of player,” said Pollard, who joked that he is still “the best San Diegoan in KU history.” Both Withey and Pollard are from S.D.

“They wanted him to be a banger and mess people up inside. That’s never been Jeff’s game. He’s always played this way, he just didn’t know how to display it. Last year and this year he’s finally been able to play Jeff Withey-style basketball. As Jayhawk fans are seeing now, it’s a pretty effective way of playing basketball.”

KU coach Bill Self was impressed, noting: “There’s no question who the best player of the game was ... Withey was terrific, denying elbow passes and leading the break.”

Withey scored 11 points off 5-of-7 shooting and had eight boards the first half as KU stormed to a 39-18 lead and never felt threatened the second half.

“They played a weird defense, so a lot of times I got matched up with a guard on the post. That made it a lot easier,” Withey said.

The (9-1) Jayhawks held Richmond to 32.8-percent shooting. The Spiders (9-3) hit nine of 32 threes, four of 16 the first half.

“Our scout team did a great job preparing us,” Withey said. “We knew they could shoot. We keyed in on that. We knew exactly what they were going to run because our scout team did such a great job.”

Ben McLemore scored 14 points, while Releford had 11 and Naadir Tharpe a career-high 11 off 4-of-5 shooting. KU hit 59 percent of its shots, including six of 16 from three.

“We controlled the game pretty well from start to finish tonight,” Self said. “Our biggest lead was 37. Our biggest lead against Belmont was 41 and our biggest lead against Colorado was in the 40s (in last three games, all at home and all routs).

“Our defense was good. We didn’t turn them over (Richmond had eight turnovers to KU’s 12) but we didn’t give up any backdoor layups (vs. Princeton-style offense). We were pretty efficient and had a good, balanced effort.”

One led by Withey, whose next target is Eric Chenowith, who had 242 blocks at KU. Nick Collison had 243, Cole Aldrich 253 and Ostertag 258.

“It’s definitely a goal of mine, eventually get to the top,” Withey said. “I’m more happy with the win than my individual stats.”

Noted Pollard: “I’m happy for Jeff. There’s four guys ahead of him now that will be happy if he passes them as well, all the way up to Greg Ostertag. I wish Jeff success. I think he has a chance at it (block record), and I hope he gets it.”

KU will meet Ohio State at 3 p.m., Central time, Saturday, in Columbus, Ohio.


FarSideHawk 1 year, 3 months ago

Apparently, We are officially out of the Dakari Johnson running. He is down to Georgetown, Syracuse, and of course, Kentucky.
Dave Telep thinks, Embiid coming to KU closed the door at KU for Dakari.

All in for Randle now!


Mark Wooden 1 year, 3 months ago

He is going have to "bang inside" in the NBA against same size and better players. Hopefully, gets in the right situation for playing time. The draft position is going give him the contract to stay on a team but doesn't guarantee any playing time.

Best of luck and keep working hard!


Tony Bandle 1 year, 3 months ago

Pollard's car, Marvin the Martian, is actually the Autobot Optimus Prime in drag!!


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago

jaybate XTReme Sports Network (jXSN)

Dateline: Scott Pollard's XTReme Cortex

Slug: Pollard caught in tractor beam forced to reveal height/weight conspiracy

(jXSN)--Basketballers4Truth confirm broadcaster Scott Pollard has blown the cover off the Height/Weight Conspiracy at KU.

jXSN stringer Wylie Coyote Jones reports that these are the actual heights and weights of KU's current starters.

Jeff Withey: 7-0, 39 lbs. Kevin Young: 6-6, 12 oz. Travis Releford: 4-11, 225 lb. Ben McLemore: 16", 3 grams Elijah Johnson: 6-3, one metric ton

Self is said to be a fanatic about masking the unorthodox physical characteristics of his teams, which actually play the game much better than players with conventional characteristics. Self does not want to reveal his secrets about optimal height and weight unorthodoxy.

And, yes, the rumors that aliens from Fizzouri caught Pollard in a tractor beam in order to force Pollard to leak the truth about Self's subterfuge is apparently true. Both National Security Agency satellites and Elon Musk Space X ground radar confirm the tractor beam to have originated in Columbia Missouri and to have been bounced off a concavity in the ionosphere created by H.A.A.R.P. in Gakona, AK, and perfectly targeted on Pollard's head.

Pollard reports no recollection of the event, though he does recall dreaming of men in space suits with antler insignias.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)


Redlandsjhawk 1 year, 3 months ago

Question: Did that really look like the "Princeton" to you guys last night? I mean just a handful of attempts inside the arc, not a single backdoor cut and really we could have scored 100 on them. Not a typical score vs. the princeton. Like Jaybate says the princeton is designed so you don't lose by "too much."....Fail!


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago

"Rotation Nickname File 12.19.12 Update"

Jeff Withey--Blockzilla ( me...maybe someone else already came up with it though)

Kevin Young--Jelly (no change, though he will always be Roy Hobbs to me)

Travis--Harrier (a jump jet capable of vertical take off, ground support, and aerial dog fights)

BenMac--McDraft (cause he's going to go high)

Elijah Johnson--The Prophet (that can never change)

Perry Ellis--The Designer (no change)

Naadir Tharpe--The Complement (new, because he can now bring a game complementary to what EJ brings)

Andrew White III--Trimeter (not just a line with three metrical feet, but according to jaybate's Book of Basketball Mythology, Trimeter was the demi god of the three).

Jamari Traylor--Jam Tray (no change, because he's still sweet even though he's struggling right now)

Post Script: Whenever Anrio makes it into the rotation, his nickname will be Rio Grande.

Rock Chalk!!!


KULA 1 year, 3 months ago

Interesting that Pollard comes in an nails it right off the bat about Jeff. Hopefully, we won't hear any more dumb comments about Jeff getting "Hudy-ized." Simply wasn't ever gonna happen on his frame.

Naadir has obviously nailed down the #2 point position, as evidenced by Bill's encouraging him to shoot in the audio. "He's a good shooter." Duh! But I'm confused about Bill's confusion about Naadir's confusion over his role. Earlier in the season, Bill complains because our points can't get a foot in the paint, then he tell's Naadir not to drive but to shoot the open three. But all's well that ends well--this team is GELLIN' like a FELON.


Redlandsjhawk 1 year, 3 months ago

Oak I think you are right on all points.

JB you are correct about our best four.

Loved the Magic Johnson "no look" by Tharpe.

No one can tell me the buckeyes aren't a little nervous about saturday.


wrwlumpy 1 year, 3 months ago

When I see no drop off even if the Freshmen are in the game I realize how great a coach and coaching staff we have. Loved the chemistry and watching Ellis doing things the right way on defense. He is closer to being the starter, even thou KY was almost perfect on the stat sheet last night. The announcer during the Belmont game gave love to the fans, calling them the smartest in the country. Watching Freshman mature to reach their great potential is a thrill for all Jayhawks. The Seniors have taught them well. BIG BIG TEST Saturday on national TV. Who will guard Craft?


JayhawkRock78 1 year, 3 months ago

One more thing. I hope you are right about the bug and the windshield, but I think it will be a battle. It would be nice if we could build a 10+ point lead early and keep it.


JayhawkRock78 1 year, 3 months ago

Oakville you may be over the top, but as a big Jayhawk fan I'd like to think your accurate. I might be biased though.

I am loving the way this team has picked it up the last four games and your "CSG" is pretty good. The wife loves it when T Self gets in the game-but she wants him to shave the stash. My daughter is a huge Withey fan and went nuts when he got those steals/assists.

Gosh, BMAC and Withey are so fun to watch! One of my new favorites is TV shots of our starters sitting on the bench late in the game and going nuts when our scout team makes a big play. Lot's of love and respect for sure. This team is TIGHT!!!


Tony Bandle 1 year, 3 months ago

Game Night Observations as viewed from the Waste Land.

1] If the announcers thought Scott Pollard looked weird last night.........!!

2] We may have the best big man [Jeff], the best freshman [BenMac], the best fifth year senior [Travis], the best sixth man starting [Kevin] and the best Coach [HCBS] in all of Division 1. If you fellow posters feel I'm over the top, please feel free to throw a biucket of cold water on my face to wake me up!

3] I have a new name for a game designation...if we play a "CSG", "Coach's Son Game", that means we destroyed someone!!

4] In the last two games, I've seen enough from AWIII and 'Rio to hope we are still talking about them in 2014!!

5] KU Head Coach = Windshield, OSU Head Coach = Bug...Bug, meet Windshield!!


monkeehawkSL8 1 year, 3 months ago

Little help? I watched the game streamed on a lap top. Started out crystal clear, then I was in a 60's bad acid trip. The only thing I was certain of was there were 2 teams. RULE QUESTION? Did I see that Richmond was rewarded a fresh clock after a Hawk foul? Twice? Does any type of foul reward the offensive team a fresh clock besides a technical? Thanks, monk the rules moron. BTW avoid the 4-way blotter sheets with the picture of mickey mouse on them.


jaybate 1 year, 3 months ago

• Pollard is about experience reduced access. :-)

• Pollard is insightful about Jeff finally being allowed to be skinny. Self is human. Prisoner of experience of XTReme Muscle. But Self, or someone on staff deserve huge credit for having the courage and flexibility to change and let him play skinny. His weight could still be exploited, but it's been a daring enterprise so far.

• Naadir turned another corner. He is now not just a backup, but a complement to to EJ.

• EJ stumbled a bit, but I expect him exploding vs. Ohio State.

• Jelly was MOST UNDERRATED player in this game. He is the battery on this team--THE DIEHARD. He is efficient and gives the team whatever Self asks him to, and that varies game to game. ROY HOBBS LIVES.

•Jeff's two steals, transition and passing proves he is a Self Jedi now. When they keep it outside, explore out of your role and find a way to make a play. Jeff, in surfing lingo, those steals were "go outs." You get the George Greenough Award.

• Perry is where Trav was early last season. Learning the old man's game. He is a quick study. Explosions to come later this season. He will be okay. Jelly's good play has taken the pressure off him and he can now develop in a healthy way.

• Really need Jam Tray to find his warrior zone again. No joy in his eyes. Hang in Jam Tray. You will be sweet again. Ohio State is your kind of opponent. Be ready!!!!


hucking_fawks_rock 1 year, 3 months ago

Another great thing about Jeff is that the guy has already graduated. He has absolutely nothing to focus on except basketball right now. I can't wait to see how this season unfolds for him. I'm rooting for the block record to be beaten this year, and Jeff's a guy that can do it!


AsadZ 1 year, 3 months ago

Gary Bedore

Can you show a statistics of Jeff Withey blocks/min and compare this with other top KU shot blockers.

The reason I am interested in seeing this data is that Withey only played 3 mins and 11 mins per game in his 1st and 2nd year respectively. Thus I am assuming that his blocking efficiency is better than say Cole, Collison, Ostertag etc. This data would confirm it.


REHawk 1 year, 3 months ago

I sincerely hope that Rio can hang in there and wait for his Jayhawk time to come. The kid has some splendid game tucked within his too eager aspirations. And ATTITUDE! (No one is gonna stop me from behind the back dribbling!) If Rio had undergone the same paths as Ben and Jamari a year ago, we would see a player whom Bill Self could not restrain from playing 10 minutes per game at this stage of his career. Anrio Adams is going to light up some stat sheets before departing from Division 1 Basketball.


KansasComet 1 year, 3 months ago

Anrio Adams can ball, no doubt. Typical freshman growing pains. Every freshman on this team is going through a developmental stage. Conference is going to be a great learning experience for these young men. The only freshman that looks comfortable is McLemore, and he already had the second half of last season, in the system. This is why I prefer Coach Self's developmental system over a One and Done Factory. I like watching the maturation process of student athletes. Also, earning a four year degree from Kansas says a lot!


doolindalton 1 year, 3 months ago

With the exception of Wilt, I don't think KU has ever had a player controlling the game defensively the way Withey can. He has to be accounted for in every possession by the opponent. All his numbers have been racked up in one and a half seasons. He is longer, more active and athletic than those ahead of him on the block list. Last night, he was even sprinting block to block to help set up the transition game. His improvement since his arrival at KU has been nothing less than stunning. ..


bradynsdad 1 year, 3 months ago

Gotta admit that cross over and one handed jam was sick. Probably the best play of the night. Self has to be so frustrated with Rio simply for that fact. He comes out and plays like he's at the Y then on the next play looks like Dwayne Wade. Hope Rio figures it out soon.


REHawk 1 year, 3 months ago

This Jayhawk squad has shifted toward monster defense. I suppose that all those close games last season have clouded my memory, but I don't recall, in the Bill Self era, 3 consecutive 30 pt. blowouts of teams who are predicted to finish well in their conferences. Only 3 weeks ago, Coach was publicly calling out his team by lamenting over scoring woes. His mojo seems to be in optimum orbit vs. Colorado, Belmont, Richmond. I know, I know, any early optimism must await outcome of the big top ten contest Saturday on a court far distant from AFH....


Chris Shaw 1 year, 3 months ago

Some Post-Game Observations:

-I think Jeff Withey could play PG. Got two steals on the perimeter and ran two flawless breaks for lay-ups. Point Guard Withey Baby! "Kansas' Point Guard averages 5.6 blocks a game".

-Tyler Self's "TJ Whatley Stache" is simply impressive. I can see the elder Self saying to his son in practice, "I bet the ladies love the stache, Tyler".

-Has anybody else noticed that when ESPN shows the hallway with all the KU banners that they keep showing the banner with "13 Final Four's"? I haven't been to Allen Fieldhouse since 2001 so I don't know where that hallway is, but is that ESPN showing an old clip of that hallway or does KU still have that banner up? It needs to say "14 Final Four's".

-Rio is athletic, Wow! Still reckless at times, but I love the one handed dunk in traffic.

-Tharpe's pull-up 3 pointer with zero passes got him an ass chewing, but he came out of it nicely with a career high and a nice no-look pass to Withey.

-Not one rebound for Perry Ellis in 16 minutes. Interesting. Love his footwork.

-I think it's safe to say that right now AWIII is definitely "Streaky".

-EJ still can't beat anybody off the dribble.

-Would have loved to have seen Tyshawn Taylor and Ben McLemore in the same backcourt.

-Travis Releford may end up being Kansas' best "Glue Guy" of all-time. Going to be hard to beat Darnell Jackson, but T-Relly is playing awesome.

-Love KY's energy. I wonder why? Hmmmmmm. KY's biggest attribute is being a positive spark plug for Perry Ellis and showing him the way.


chezlog 1 year, 3 months ago

Jeff was awesome. His two steals and assists were the highlight IMHO.


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