Kansas coach Bill Self talks to reporters following the Jayhawks' 59-53 victory over Kansas State on Feb. 13, 2012.
Kansas State coach Frank Martin talks to reporters following the Wildcats' 59-53 loss to Kansas on Feb. 13, 2012.
Manhattan Kansas University junior center Jeff Withey nearly had a triple-double on the same day he was named Big 12 player of the week.
“I’m gonna get it ... sooner or later,” Withey said, smiling, after scoring 18 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and blocking nine shots in KU’s 59-53 victory Monday at Kansas State.
The 7-footer from San Diego earned top-conference-player honors in a vote of media covering the league. It marks the first conference weekly accolade for Withey and sixth time in 2011-12 that a Jayhawk has earned mention.
Withey — who scored a career-high 25 points against Baylor and grabbed a career-best 20 rebounds against Oklahoma State — joins Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor and Travis Releford in earning player-of-the-week honors this season. Robinson has won the award three times, while Taylor, Releford and Withey won once each this season.
This is the first time in conference history four players from the same school have been named player of the week in the same season.
“He had a fabulous week,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Guys who play well a week or have a big game have to learn to sustain over time. Hopefully, he’ll sustain that over time.”
Of Withey’s play this season, Self said: “The reality is, he’s gotten more aggressive, not near as aggressive as what I’d like. He has taken pressure off Thomas, and they are playing well together.
“He’s starting to believe he’s good,” Self added of Withey, who entered Monday’s game at K-State with a 9.2 scoring, 6.3 rebound average with a league-best 79 blocked shots.
Iowa State guard Chris Allen was rookie of the week.
’Cat scratch: Withey had a long scratch on his left arm after the game. “It was a physical game,” he said with a smile. “I got hit in the face a couple times, too.”
Cousy talk: Self said he’d spoken with Cousy Award officials, and there’s a chance senior Tyshawn Taylor could be added to the list of finalists at the end of this month. The Cousy Award goes to the country’s top point guard.
“They’re going to review it,” Self said of the ballot possibly including his senior leader, who had 20 points, five assists and three turnovers in 37 minutes versus the Wildcats and, according to Self, has been playing as well as anybody in the Big 12 for a prolonged period of time.
Gimmick ‘D’: KU used a triangle-and-two defense the second half. KSU didn’t score for almost seven minutes in the span.
“We used it before when they had (Denis) Clemente and (Jacob) Pullen,” Taylor said. “We pulled it out when they had (Will) Spradling and (Rodney) McGruder in the game.”
&$#@*&^!: KSU coach Frank Martin followed up with his letter to students in which he asked the fans to refrain from profanity in their chants in the stands. He was shown in a video to the students shortly after they were seated about 6:20 p.m. Monday. One problem: Several Jayhawks jogged onto the court to shoot, and boos drowned out the video through its duration.