Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Jeff Withey named Oscar Robertson national player of the week

Kansas' Jeff Withey ties the score at 30-30 with his 17th point in the first half during the Jayhawks' game against the Baylor Bears on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 at Baylor.

Kansas' Jeff Withey ties the score at 30-30 with his 17th point in the first half during the Jayhawks' game against the Baylor Bears on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 at Baylor.


Kansas center Jeff Withey has been named the Oscar Robertson national player of the week, the United States Basketball Writers Association announced Tuesday.

Withey, a 7-foot center from San Diego, Calif., averaged 21.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and five blocks in KU's victories over Baylor and Oklahoma State last week.

Withey is the second Jayhawk to pick up the weekly honor this season, as KU's Thomas Robinson also won the award on Dec. 11.

KU is the only school to have two players win the national award this season.


Micah Mandy Haase 6 years, 4 months ago

Man if this wasn't a rebuilding year I would be excited!!!

Micah Mandy Haase 6 years, 4 months ago

Man if this wasn't a rebuilding year I would be excited!!!

Kent Wells 6 years, 4 months ago

He be the galactical player of the week if he was getting credit for all his blocks!

6 years, 4 months ago

Well deserved, and well done Mr. Withey! Congratulations to you, your coaches, and your teammates.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 4 months ago

To quote Flounder from Animal House....

"Boy, oh, boy, oh, boy,,,this is great!!!!!!!

The block statistic is a problem because there appears to be room for interpretation by the scorer.

A shot that is totally altered is an easy call, but a shot that is altered to the extent it becomes a miss, is still, by definition, a block, but a lot of officials either don't see it or refuse to recognize it....especially for a visiting player.

I guarantee, if that game had been in Allen, Jeff would have gotten a more correct block total of 12 or so.

Parker, Noel, Randle...take note young men.....the Self/Hudy/Manning Triangle will make you a star!!!!!

yates33333 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree. I have counted his blocks in three games and never have I had the same number as is posted in the newspaper for the Withey. I think rebounds are the same thing as well.

Alex Berger 6 years, 4 months ago

If only we had production off the bench...

Dirk Medema 6 years, 4 months ago

You would appear to be referring to points scored, because we do have some production - 20 minutes per game. Much of anything beyond that is gravy. Give the starters a blow, move the ball, play D, facilitate the game for the remaining starters, manage the game until the other starters return. Fortunately, the players are understanding their roles better than the fans and commentators.

VaJay 6 years, 4 months ago

Would you call what Justin Wesley "produces" off the bench actually production? - 3 bad fouls in 6 minutes, singlehandedly sending KSU to the line; Connor Teahan 2 wide open looks from 3 & missing both.
I think what AlBerg was referring to was primarily points & it's really not good if the bench isn't producing ANY. They're not as much of a "facilitator" as you think if they're not a threat to score, tend to foul a lot, or lose the ball under pressure. These players DO understand their roles and they also know they won't get many minutes until they improve. In the meantime, the starters are forced to playing up to 37 minutes a game & that may take its toll over the course of the season.

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 4 months ago

We saw what fatigue can do down the stretch as Tyshawn got mentally and physically exhausted and made critical turnovers and missed free throws. I can see us losing in the tournament because of a scenario like this.

JManTheChamp 6 years, 4 months ago

Withey for POY. What! The media started talking about Davis from UK after his block party. Smh

CardHawkFan 6 years, 4 months ago

Withey said, "Don't you bring that weak tot action!"

Jayhawk444 6 years, 4 months ago

LMAO...I miss those guys. (it was much more entertaining to see this 1000 times during the Big 12 season than that dude this year choosing to play basket pong)

Mike Kendall 6 years, 4 months ago

Sonic has some of the best commercials--DQ has some good ones, too!

Joe Joseph 6 years, 4 months ago


Seriously, though. What if Withey bolts? Ouch!

Cantkeepagooddudedown 6 years, 4 months ago

I see next year as the biggest mystery I've ever seen coming into the season... and especially so if Withey is back.

But obviously Withey's national recognition is going up. I think he's becoming an obvious late 1st rounder... plus time isn't really on his side, and he'll be gone, too.

We all should know Self likes his 8 man rotation... 5 at the 1/2/3 and 3 in the post with a 9th guy in the front court for foul trouble. I like to say 8 1/2.

I see Ellis as the wildcard. He's going to push SOMEONE out of the rotation either at the 3 or the 4.

5 spots at the 1,2,3 and there are 6 "other" options (besides Ellis): Tharpe, AAdams, EJohnson, Releford, McLemore, AWhite.

3 1/2 spots at the 4,5 and there are 5 "other" options (besides Ellis): KYoung, Peters, Traylor, Lucas, Wesley

one guy in each group is already completely out of the rotation... and wherever Self plays Ellis, you can remove another one. So pick any combo of 3 names out of the list of 11 and they won't play much at all. If Withey comes back, you can make that 4.

My early guess: Tharpe, Johnson, Releford, McLemore, White Ellis, Young, Traylor and Peters.

Vernon Riggs 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't think Withey is gone next year. However, I agree with 8-man rotation with the ninth kicker:

Smalls: Tharpe, EJ, Releford, BenMac, White

Bigs: Ellis, Withey and Traylor

Playing Ellis at the 3 would give HCBS more flexible rotation.

The ninth player will be Young early in the season, with Peters have that spot by the second half the B12 Season.

soapisurfriend 6 years, 4 months ago

It is far too early to be talking about line-ups for next year. Self is still in on some stellar bigs in Tony Parker, who's parents are from KC, and also Jakarr Sampson, who is visiting this weekend. Plus, Noel just reclassified to 2012, but I don't see him as a Kansas get, although you never know. Self has plucked some late guys, historically. There was early talk, although not much in the media, of EJ declaring if he had a good year, and Withey staying for sure. EJ clearly hasn't played up to that potential, and now there is talk of Withey leaving. It is just too soon when the roster isn't even set. The depth issue does appear to be a one year deal, which is nice.

Sam Constance 6 years, 4 months ago

I respectfully disagree. If the draft were held today, Withey would be a guaranteed second-rounder, and a probable late first-rounder.

He's a bonafide "footer" who moves well, has great footwork, excellent timing on defense, decent hands, and hits free throws like Mark Price. And the NBA suffers from a shortage of quality big men at the 5 position--there are plenty of good PFs, but only a handful of good Cs.

That being said, the draft is NOT being held today, meaning that Withey has at least seven more games during which he cannot fall off a cliff or risk the "fluke" label for these last 3 games.

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

Thomas and Tyshawn deserve a lot of credit for Jeff's progress. They have added him to the inner circle of the team. Tyshawn initiated this, but Thomas seems the decisive difference. Thomas finally had to realize what the punishment was going to be like, if Jeff stayed merely a supporting actor, instead of part of the triumvirate. Tyshawn is leading the team beautifully. But Thomas is the big daddy that had finally to team with Jeff inside. It has been a beautiful thing to watch. Shortly now, Thomas is going to run wild, because opponents are going to have to scheme against Jeff. Look out.

Next fix do Tyshawn to engineer is EJ. We need EJ more comfortable on offence. The trey shooting is no longer the issue. He's not even moving like himself. Maybe back injury, or something?

Quantum T, work some partner magic on your running mate.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree with you 100%. This was the catalyst that sparked the team chemistry for good. I've been watching these guys interact on the court and off the court.

What good is F.O.E. when part of the crew isn't in the family? I think it's a natural progression, though, when larger groups incorporate new individuals, there is a period of time that certain kliqs alienate the newcomers. That was definitely going on with Jeff for quite some time.

Cantkeepagooddudedown 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm thinking Withey has a good chance to make it 2 in a row

deepind 6 years, 4 months ago

My guess is that Billy G will scheme to reduce Withey's impact on the game and will succeed to some extent. So Withey will have an average game around 10-9-4 (pts-reb-blk). JW will need to post another monstrous game to be considered for National POW!

Cantkeepagooddudedown 6 years, 4 months ago

My guess is that if Billy starts scheming for Withey... his buddy HCBS is going to embarrass him with Robinson owning the paint and KU way overdue to go on a tear from outside.

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 4 months ago

The comment was made that Withey was introduced personally to every step in Allen Field House after the Missouri Game.

Let's introduce some other players to the steps to see what happens.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 4 months ago

How ironic would it be if, besides Tyshawn and TRob, as expected, Jeff also gets swooped up by the NBA after this season.

Couple that with a Big 12 Championship and a deep NCAA run this year and suddenly 2011-2012 becomes the championship season and 2012-2013 becomes the rebuilding season!!

My one hope for landing Shabazz;

You step into the point guard position teamed with senior starters at the 2, 3 and 5, plus two high ranked redshirts plus a Mac All-American at the 4 plus a load of new talent and the show is yours!!!

jgkojak 6 years, 4 months ago

If Jeff goes in late first round - he may benefit from coming back and being the go-to guy- he's shown he can sustain even without Robinson in the line-up- he could make himself a lottery pick and NPOY candidate himself. I'd say its a draw what he does-


That is one BIG line-up - similar to Kentucky this year- with 3 freakishly gifted athletes (Johnson, Mclemore and Ellis), a reliable senior (Releford) to calm things down and Withey.

Off the bench: Traylor Tharpe Young Adams

White, Lucas, Peters and Wesley play mop-up.

5 spots at the 1,2,3 and there are 6 "other" options (besides Ellis): Tharpe, AAdams, EJohnson, Releford, McLemore, AWhite.

3 1/2 spots at the 4,5 and there are 5 "other" options (besides Ellis): KYoung, Peters, Traylor, Lucas, Wesley

Vernon Riggs 6 years, 4 months ago

Merv to redshirt next year. He will get more time in his Soph, Jr and Sr year. He is a player.

Jayhawk1958 6 years, 4 months ago

Johnson sucks. When are you people going to realize that he is over his head. He's great as a backup but not as a starter.

refugee 6 years, 4 months ago

Johnson will be a monster next year. Better than Tyshawn this year. Bank on it

jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

I side with refugee on EJ. He is playing phenomenal defensively, and he is playing a glue role on offense very well. If he were not mired in a season long shooting slump, no one would be complaining at all.

What we know from history in Self's tenure is that when certain guys Self depends on don't perform as well as it seems they ought to there is a high likelihood of injury.

Last season Tyshawn entered the pre-season saying he had worked on his shot and had improved it dramatically. But he then shot only 36-37%. Most assumed he just was not a very good trey shooter. But some notice that his shooting hand was taped all season and specced that an injury might be hampering him. And after the season he had to have his hand operated on. And now he shoots 42% for much of a season.

Tyrell comes in having shot 45% the previous year, then goes 37% or so his senior season, after starting out burning up the nets. Everyone wonders why. After the season it turns out he had to have surgery on his foot.

I highly suspect The Prophet is injured. Slayr specced on a shoulder problem dating to last season. I was ready to double down on that until I saw EJ drive the lane once and kept himself almost ramrod straight as he tried to awkwardly shoot off the glass. We are talking about a fabulously graceful and bouncy athlete here, a guy Self called one of the most gifted impact athletes he ever recruited. And EJ can't limber up on a drive toward the glass? Its got to be some kind of a back injury, a sprain, or a muscle tear, or a disk problem. This guy has been called by many a superb natural outside shooter. Something more that cortex is at the heart of his limited movement and his persistent low accuracy from trey. My money is on the lower back.

The above being said, then, EJ will in my opinion get surgery, or whatever therapy is required this off season, and I fully expect him to blossom the way Tyshawn has this season. Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford would be big stars on other teams right now. They both had some growing pains relative to wildness. But they are now among the most rock solid, fundamentally sound guys around given what appear to be injury constraints to both. Next year, they will probably supernova.

Gil Ek 6 years, 4 months ago

Hope we don't see a transfer or two next year. Maybe a couple redshirts in the weight room for the following year. This has been an outstanding season to see a group grow together. What a coaching job by Self and Company.

jayhawker_97 6 years, 4 months ago

yea, all of a sudden we'll get surplus bigs. kudos to Jeff & coaching staff. and thanks to TRob & team, too, of course! you guys are real studs!

Jeeveshawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Andrea Hudy and Danny Manning are the one's responsible for Withey being so great.

Michael Pannacciulli 6 years, 4 months ago

Well fricken deserved. I am tuning in for his monster play, TRobs sick dunks, and TTs game changing play.

That and I am a die hard Jayhawk...

EJ is off...not sure what is going on there. He will get it right for tourney time. Releford - would like to see that scoring spree again spread that defense even more.

Jory Collins 6 years, 4 months ago

Everybody is sleeping on Peters impact next year. The guy could be the next Nick Collison, no kidding. He has skills (dribble, pass, shoot) and he's physically ready like he's a junior. The guy will be in the rotation with Withey, Ellis, Traylor at the 4/5 spot.

Mel Clare 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree, Peters is a big wide body with a football mentality! We will have an inforcer in him down low!

Eric Bernauer 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm surprised anybody wants to relegate A. White to the bench so easily. Recently he made seven (freaking 7!) treys in a game. Oops, my error, that was one quarter! He scored all 21 of his teams points in the quarter. Of course I'm not so naive to believe starring in high school translates to starring in college, but isn't that true of every player we have ever recruited.

Wasn't it just last year many wrote off Withey, and now here we are singing his praises. I fully expect Jeff to be back next year with a solid summer at Camp Hudy. He lost a lot of weight/strength last year with his injury and it is very hard for an athlete of his build to regain when you expend so much energy running up and down the court at practice and at games. We'll be right back here next year singing his praises and how much his ten foot jumper, and his hook have improved. Isn't it great being a Jayhawk!?. .

Mel Clare 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree..................White and McLemore are both definately great outside shooters with size. I can very well see next years team being one of Selfs deepest teams. You can have 4/5 guards and 5 bigs who would start most anywhere else. And the size these kids will bring. If Withey stays , we will have a 7'0 center and 6'9/6'8 PF and 6'8 small forwards. Releford would be the smallest SF we would have!!! And he is 6'6! B Mac and White are both 6'5 and good shooters, EJ, Adams and Tharpe can share the point although Adams is a scoring PG. Youn, Wesley and Lyndsay wont see the court much, unless htese guys beef up some, they are to thin to play down low in the Big XII.

REHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Congrats, Jeff. A whoppingly huge honor!

Janet Olin 6 years, 4 months ago

Great job, Jeff! Keep the intensity going!

Janet Olin 6 years, 4 months ago

Great job, Jeff! Keep the intensity going!

middleoftheroader 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe someday they'll be called the Jeff Withey national player of the week.

Shawn Otrimble 6 years, 4 months ago

After watching this team all year, I would have to say that Bill Self is the greatest coach that's ever coached at Kansas, And I would also say best current coach in college basketball.

Colin Fernandes 6 years, 4 months ago

Manning and the miracles, T-Rob and the terribles

Mike Kendall 6 years, 4 months ago

It would help if Jeff Withey stayed one more year. Having said that, if he keeps improving, his NBA stock will continue to rise and Self will tell him to go pro. Congrats, Jeff. You are the most improved player on the team. You make T-Rob play better and you continue to amaze me. Keep it going, big fella!

Jeff Coffman 6 years, 4 months ago

Correction: TRob is the most improved player on the team.

How short people remember that TRob was a bench player that racked up about 4 fouls in 9 mins last game (kind of like Wesley does). TRob could rebound like no one else, but he wasn't know for scoring.

What a difference an offseason and a lot of hard work and motivation brings.

Don't get me wrong without the improvement from Withey this team wouldn't be as solid, but don't forget 6th man to Player of the Year is quite the improvement.

Mike Kendall 6 years, 4 months ago

All good points! I stand corrected. The improvement of Withey has kind of overshadowed T-Rob. I guess that was what I meant to say.

Jeeveshawk 6 years, 4 months ago

TRob the most improved player? I don't know about that, I think it is probably Releford, if not him then it is Teahan or Withey.

But all your other points are correct.

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

I disagree. TRob was good last year, he was just stuck behind the Morris Twins. He still had like 3 double doubles off the bench, and coming into this year people expected him to be really good. There was even talk about TRob making the jump to the NBA last year. Jeff on the other hand barely sniffed the court.

TRob has improved a lot, but Withey was so off the radar I think he's the clear choice for most improved player. Maybe we should hold off on that until after he's been a force just a little longer (3 games does not a season make).

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

I wish Withey all the success in the world, and if he leaves early I won't hate (like some fans do). That being said, we really need him back next year! Aside from the obvious production he gives us in games, think about all the new kids and how they'll be at such a disadvantage if Withey leaves, compared to past bigs. Every big to come through here (at least during the Self era) has had someone in front of him to go up against in practice. Big Dub, Sasha, DJax, Julian, Shady, Cole, The Morri, TRob, and now Withey. All had the older big there to kick his butt everyday in practice. Are we really excited about entrusting that responsibility to Wesley & KY? Thank gawd Jamari's practicing now and hopefully taking his beatings from TRob & Withey like a man!

AsadZ 6 years, 4 months ago

ict, i agree 100%. jeff will have a much longer NBA career if he satys another year. He can become so much better in that time period, a real dominant BIG. He will be drafted much higher. If he goes this year he may not get much PT in NBA and can easily end up in D league. He has so much upside by staying and working with Huddy and Manning.

Micky Baker 6 years, 4 months ago

I'd have to say that if Kansas plays into at least the Elite 8 in the tourney, Bill Self is the most deserving as the unanimous selection for National Coach of the Year in all publications.

Mel Clare 6 years, 4 months ago

Noels was reclassified into the 2012 class. He bolted to the top spot and plays center at 6'10...........does Self have his sights on him if Withey bolts? Or does he stand pat with the bigs he has already committed?

Jason Wilson 6 years, 4 months ago

I don't know if its been mentioned yet, but I believe Withey is on pace to break Aldrich's block record

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

Not trying to be a jerk, but you contradict yourself in the first paragraph. First you say no matter how Withey finishes the season he isn't going pro after this year. A couple sentences later you say if he can have some more good games against MU or in the post-season then maybe. So I'm wondering what your stance is here exactly. I do agree that 3 games does not deem him ready for the league. But how many games did Selby really have that were NBA-worthy?

I don't think you're seeing the NBA picture for what it is here. You say Darnell Jackson was a much better player than Withey. If you take a look at Withey's junior season as a whole, then Jackson was a SLIGHTLY better college player. However, Jackson never displayed the potential Withey is right now. For starters, better or not, Withey is 7 feet tall. Can't teach height. That alone makes Withey more appealing to NBA GMs. Secondly, Withey projects to be more of an impact at the NBA level than Jackson did. What was Jackson? An average sized 4, with average speed, quickness, offensive game, etc. And that was at the college level. Withey at least matches all of these attributes at the 5, and he brings shot blocking ability. There are very few NBA centers that are big-time scorers and the center-pieces of their teams' offense, so Withey just needs to keep doing what he does, and if so he will be able to make the jump at the end of this season. As I said above, I hope he doesn't, but it's not the long shot (or no shot, depending on what your stance is) that you seem to think.

I agree with a lot of your projections for next year. As I understand it Anrio Adams is a combo guard and not a 3. I don't see him getting any minutes there next year with Travis, BMac, & White all available for that slot (playing BMac there makes us a tad smaller, but not as much as with Adams). I think Perry playing the 3 much next year is a long shot. I've said this before, but he's not the first hybrid 3/4 to come thru here. Julian Wright - barely every played the 3. McMorris - barely ever played the 3. And for both of them it was extremely rare for them to do so as freshman. I also agree about the redshirt scenarios you laid out. Merv almost definitely, and one of the bigs definitely should (assuming Withey comes back), most likely Lucas, but we'll see.

AsadZ 6 years, 4 months ago

Any one of Traylor, Peters, Young, or Lucas could become the goto guy off the bench. I'm willing to bet Wesley's PT days are numbered. Merv will likely red shirt. One of the other backups might, but I'm not sure who you'd ask to. Young and Traylor are automatically out.

You are not clear and contradicting on Traylor. Traylor will most likely be first BIG off the bench if Withey stays simply because he would have significant practice time under his belt, something Self believes strongly. Also, I am optimistic on Wesley for the same reason, experience.

Kye Clark 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree that reading that it can be unclear, but I think what he means when he says "Young and Traylor are automatically out" is that they are out for consideration to redshirt.

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