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Monday, February 20, 2012

Keegan

Sizing up swats: Teammate compares block kings Aldrich, Withey

Former Kansas University Center Cole Aldrich (45) and current KU center Jeff Withey (5) are both known for their shot-blocking talents, but fifth-year Jayhawk Conner Teahan says one of his teammates has the upper hand.

Former Kansas University Center Cole Aldrich (45) and current KU center Jeff Withey (5) are both known for their shot-blocking talents, but fifth-year Jayhawk Conner Teahan says one of his teammates has the upper hand.

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Jeff Withey’s recent emergence has led to inevitable comparisons to former Kansas University center Cole Aldrich.

Without even being asked to do so, Jayhawks sixth man Conner Teahan, in his fifth year in the program, volunteered insight in the area of both centers’ specialty.

“He’s the best shot-blocker I’ve seen since I’ve been at Kansas, I have to say that,” Teahan said of Withey. “He just has a great feel. ... Usually, when you go up against a guy with length, you want to go up into their body and try to draw a foul or knock them away. He does a good job of absorbing the hit and still blocking shots.”

Better than Aldrich, with whom Teahan teamed for three seasons?

“I would say so,” Teahan said. “I really would. Now, that doesn’t take anything away from Cole because Cole was a great defensive center. He blocked shots, but Jeff, I guess he just has a knack for it. I don’t know if it’s because he played volleyball or what, but he just has a knack for blocking shots.”

Withey comes from a big volleyball family. His older sister, Michelle, played the sport at Oral Roberts University, and Jeff played it growing up. When it came time to choose a sport, basketball won out, but the volleyball instincts never left him.

Volleyball players trace the ball with their eyes and hands in order to time their jumps properly.

“It’s all about timing,” Withey said of volleyball before a recent practice. “Whenever I see the ball in somebody’s hands, it’s kind of in slow motion to me.”

Withey’s hand-eye coordination is so sharp he blocks shots with precision, controlling the velocity of them in order to catch his own blocks.

“That’s something I’ve learned,” Withey said. “You don’t want to hit the ball far away because then you don’t get it. If you tip it to yourself, it counts as a rebound, too. It’s something I’ve worked on for many years. It’s just something I get to call mine.”

For such an aggressive shot-blocker, Withey does a solid job of avoiding foul trouble.

“I’m just trying to be smart going after the ball after it’s in the air instead of trying to attack the guy when he’s right in the middle of the shot,” he said.

Withey will have to maintain his recent level of overall performance for a longer stretch to draw comparisons to Aldrich, but he does have a higher ceiling as a center and runs the floor better.

The numbers already back Teahan’s contention that Withey’s a better shot-blocker. Withey has blocked 5.44 shots per 40 minutes for his career and 5.63 per 40 this season. Aldrich blocked 4.34 per 40 for his career, 5.19 as a junior.

In 14 conference games, Withey has 57 blocks, five more than then next two Big 12 players combined (Oklahoma State’s Michael Cobbins and Baylor’s Quincy Acy).

Comments

Jeff Schartz 8 years, 8 months ago

Don't forget Markka Pekkanen, no, wait, Pekka Markanen, no, no, Pippy..MarPek...Peppy......never mind.

Andy Tweedy 8 years, 8 months ago

Damn, that's a name from the past! AWESOME!!!

chalked 8 years, 8 months ago

What was the difference between Larry Brown and Roy Williams? Roy had an 82" Pekka.

Alohahawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Beat me to it. I was going to ask that same question.

I'm sure JW won't match for best career at KU, but he should do well for a one season record. Especially next year, if he stays.

Nationally, he's in 7th place this season, (3rd, I believe per 40 minutes) and could easily move up with a couple more 5+ games. (Hope the refs don't screw him over too much.) Davis is at about 4.5 or more per game, so he's pretty much unreachable.

dylans 8 years, 8 months ago

I believe Ostertag holds the official record 97 one year 258 for his career, but Wilt would if blocks were tracked back then. I have heard teammates of his claim he would have averaged a triple double 30 points 20rebounds 10 blocks. No one is going to touch what Wilt did.

hamlet32 8 years, 8 months ago

the record for a season is 125 held by cole and withey has 92.

Jim Roth 8 years, 8 months ago

Withey has 92 so far, putting him 4th best in a single season:

1 Cole Aldrich, 2010 125 2 Greg Ostertag, 1994 97 3 Cole Aldrich, 2009 94 4 Greg Ostertag, 1995 91 5 Scot Pollard, 1996 84 6 Nick Collison, 2002 83 7 Eric Chenowith, 1999 78 8 Nick Collison, 2003 74 9 Scot Pollard, 1997 73 10 Danny Manning, 1988 73 11 Eric Chenowith, 1998 62

Jim Roth 8 years, 8 months ago

He's currently averaging 3.4 blocks/game, and if he keeps that rate he needs 10 more games to pass Cole for the single season record.

We have 4 regular season games left and 2-9 post season games, so he has a good shot. Plus, he's been on fire recently, averaging nearly 6 per game the past 4 games.

dylans 8 years, 8 months ago

You left off Wilt. No official stats, but he's still #1.

Kurt Eskilson 8 years, 8 months ago

Career-wise, Withey currently has 117. If he continues averaging 3.4/game, he could finish the year with 140 to 160 – depending on how deep they go in the tourney (putting him in the top ten). Career numbers look like this: 1. Greg Ostertag 258 2. Cole Aldrich 253 3. Nick Collison 243 4. Eric Chenowith 242 5. Scot Pollard 218 6. Danny Manning 200 7. John Crawford 155 8. Sasha Kaun 150 9. Donnie Von Moore 141 10. Raef LaFrentz 138 Greg Dreiling 138 12. Paul Mokeski 136 If Withey stays another year. He could easily top the list!

dylans 8 years, 8 months ago

No chance, until someone comes up with wilts #'s there needs to be an asterisk.

dylans 8 years, 8 months ago

I wonder what Cole could've done as a fifth year senior...

Scott MacWilliams 8 years, 8 months ago

Is okay to call JW a blockhead?? In the best way possible, of course...

I'll never forget that sequence from the game the other day when he blocked a shot, flies down the court for the jam, and then 5 seconds later (?) he's on the floor for a loose ball??? MAN ON FIRE!!!

Jeff, I always thought you'd take off one of these days, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Now pace yourself so you've got some gas in the tank for the last six games of the season that starts after the Big 12 tourney.

Oh yeah, and don't forget to give Mizery a good wax job when they come to say farewell to AFH.

R O C K C H A L K, J A Y H A W K S ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

Bville Hawk 8 years, 8 months ago

You don't "pace yourself" and play for Bill Self.

Kent Richardson 8 years, 8 months ago

Withey shows some of the Bill Russell ability to not only block but to gain possession of the ball post block. This is a next level ability or learned behavior. If this was a baseball stat it would probably be tracked.

yates33333 8 years, 8 months ago

Absolutely correct. He does a better job than any KU player I remember at blocking the shot but giving our team a chance to get the ball. He rarely goes in for the big swats. He wasn't a better player than Cole at first but he has progressed into a better player. Actually, Cole's stamina his last year and Jeff's in the last few games are about a hundred percent different. Jeff plays fast and hard relatively speaking. Cole for some reason, I guess respiratory, was slow down the court and had to be taken out frequently. If Withey keeps scoring and rebounding I think we can agree they are/were very good offensive players. Both very much needed by their teams, real assets.

If you want to know why Self is such a great coach he recruits and develops players better than most. Hard to think of anyone who does it better. Maybe Coach K or Duke. He reminds me of John Wooden. Both have had great players, but both have also developed great players. Wooden did it with many of his guards and small forwards. Both men were also excellent floor coaches, especially defensively. I shall never forget Wooden's full court traps.

oldrocker 8 years, 8 months ago

According to Cole's website: Cole finished his KU career four blocks shy of Greg Ostertag’s school-record total of 258.

joeloveshawks 8 years, 8 months ago

Cole may not be as great of a shot blocker as Withey but he had a few of the most memorable blocks I can recall. The blocks occurred when he came off the bench in the 2008 Final Four against UNC and he repeatedly blocked Tyler Hansborough. I hope Withey will get the same opportunity to add to his block total late in March.

ccarp 8 years, 8 months ago

The thing I loved about the UNC game, is that Cole was a question mark as a freshman and we had no idea how he would respond on the biggest stage, against the top player in college, against a heated rival. He came into the game and answered the bell. Withey's play of late has been very impressive. I hope he maintains it as the stakes increase. I believe he will! Rock chalk!

Mike Kendall 8 years, 8 months ago

Wow! You beat me to it, joeloveshawks! That performance against Hansborough had a lot of Jayhawk Nation talking. Plus, it was against Roy Williams and North Carolina. That was so sweet!!!!!!!

ccarp 8 years, 8 months ago

What is Withey's total block shots for his career? 92 for the season so far is impressive. If he keeps this pace the remainder of the year, and if he has a solid senior season, I imagine he could cement himself in the record books.

HAWKTOPIA 8 years, 8 months ago

I have been most impressed with Withey's movement without the ball, on offense. he attacks the rim so much more than even earlier this season. JW is the real deal. Thank you Danny Manning!

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

I wonder how a Jared Sullinger or Anthony Davis would have turned out under Danny Manning's tutelage ?

Joe Baker 8 years, 8 months ago

Excellent question. I don't think any program turns out bigs like KU. Manning teaches what no other coach teaches. Most other coaches teaches the basics. Manning teachings skills and then teaches them how to apply them at both the college level and ultimately at the NBA level. He gets it and knows what these bigs need. Most bigs come in at a ceiling and enter the NBA with skills they brought to their college programs.

Why do you think Cal used Kanter to teach Harrellson how to play? Cal is strictly a guards coach and he knows nothing about bigs. Remember how improved Harrellson played going into the ncaa tourney? That was all Kanter. Credit Cal for breaking and defying ncaa rules and for using Kanter as a grad assistant when the ncaa strictly forbade him from doing so. Once again Cal gets away with breaking rules.

Joe Baker 8 years, 8 months ago

sorry for the typos and grammer above

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

truehawk - thanks for your answer. I deduct no points for grammar, spelling or punctuation! That would be the pot calling the kettle black.

REHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

I probably should wait until Thursday to touch on these intriguing questions, but today's article brings it currently to mind. Will Jeff resurrect his presence vs. the shorter Tigers whom he said gave him frustrating fits at The Paige? How will Mizzou cope with the new Jeff Withey? I know, I know: One game at a time! I don't take the Wed. contest at College Station lightly. On their home court, A+M, too, would love to deliver a farewell loss to the Jayhawk Nation. This post-Valentines week is laced with treachery from the two league deserters. Rock Chalk!

Danny Hernandez 8 years, 8 months ago

That is an interesting quesiton considering kimmie english said he studied Withey and knew exactly how to play him......Jeff should try drawing a few early fouls on him as well at ratliffe to ease the congestion in the paint and take away some of those double, triple teams away from Thomas

utahjayhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

How about putting Jeff on Ratliffe? Pretty much would take him out of the game. Put TRob on Kimmie.

Sam Constance 8 years, 8 months ago

Who knew Kim English was such a pretentious douche? I mean, aside from the fact that he plays for Missouri and a certain level of douch-i-tude is to be expected.

First he "studied" how to guard Jeff Withey, which I can only imagine means he watched film and realized that officials DON'T CALL FOULS on smaller players when they molest Withey or Robinson...

And now he's getting into Twitter fights with ESPN analysts who correctly identify Missouri as a team that prefers their 267-lbs post player to fall on the ground rather than actually play defense. Nothing like questioning a journalist's professional integrity because you don't like what he wrote about your team...

Although on the latter, I must admit to being pleased that an MU player is so worried about what Doug Gottlieb has to say on Twitter.

Jim Roth 8 years, 8 months ago

Those little guys guarding Withey just stick out their butts and take him out at the knees. He needs to bend his legs and stick his knees up their....

Lower body is hugely important in the paint, and that's his biggest weakness right now. You can really move people around with your hips, thighs, and butt, and never get called for a foul. But not if you have no lower body mass. And it's worse if you're guarding a little guy because he will just knock your legs out from under you.

That's Hudy's top priority for the off season. Grow Withey a butt, and the legs to support it!

Steve Brown 8 years, 8 months ago

College Station quicksand, get in get it done then get out.

Joe Baker 8 years, 8 months ago

Withey has a few things that Cole lacks and you can't teach it either. You either have them or you don't. It's also Cole's biggest problem right now too. Cole's biggest challenges at the NBA level is foot work and athleticism. He's not real quick on his feet and he has a big problem staying with opponents. In short, Cole is slow on his feet. Don't get me wrong, he's got some tools but his feet have always been his biggest problem. If an opponent goes head to head, Cole will present a challenge. But if Cole has to match and move his feet, forget it.

Withey is light on his feet, moves and can defend anyone. He's athletic as hell for a true footer. Aldrich is very heavy on his feet. I really think Withey's volleyball skills are the main reason for his success.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 8 months ago

REHawk, I am afraid the question still remains, "How will the new Jeff Withey cope with Mizzou?"

1] The four guard offense puts Kansas in a defensive dilemma because of the match-up problem for one of our big men.

2] My suggestion would be to keep Withey on Radcliffe or Moore and let TRob, with his greater quickness, roam the perimeter with English. Jeff needs to stay in the paint and in the game.

3] One possibility is to go to an "Umbrella Zone" which crowds the three point line and forces the shooters to drive.

4] The challenge is to get backside help if the driver tries to dump off to the middle man as he approaches Jeff.

5] The most importaant point, however, is expressed by lighthawk.....win the friggin game Wednesday night, then we can worry about Missouri!!

kellerman411 8 years, 8 months ago

All great points and something else to keep in mind is that Bill Self has already seen this team once. What does this mean if your Missouri? It means you don't want to play Kansas.

I don't think Bill will adjust the scheme at all. I think he will make it more of a point in practice to give Jeff a better game simulation. I think for those 2 or 3 days before the game, Bill will attack Jeff with guards. Not that he didn't do some of this the first time around but I think all of us, including Bill, were surprised that Missouri sent their guards at Withey with the intensity that they did. This would seem like suicide when you consider Jeff's shot blocking ability but, MU lived off of it all night.

Also, on a night when Jeff Withey was thoroughly dominated, we were up 8 points with a couple of minutes left. If KU addresses this matchup and as you said, keep Withey where he belongs, this game should not be a nail biter of any kind.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Remember - we beat Missouri in Columbia, even with Withey as a non factor.

Oh well, I suppose if you count the last two minutes where we self destructed, I guess technically we lost.

But you know what I mean. We can play with them there and we should beat them in our house. Coach Self will make the necessary adjustments and I'll bet Withey is chomping at the bit to make amends for that last game.

SaltLakeHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

This saturday could go down as one of the greatest Fieldhouse memories of all time. Think about it:

(A) We're coming off a loss to them.

(B) This is our last chance to administer our yearly pistol-whipping to mizery in Lawrence.

(C) Big 12 title implications

There's absolutely no way Self doesn't have the guys ready to play Saturday. Mouths will be foaming.

And I fully expect the crowd to set SPL records.

Brace for bloodbath.

AirCapJay 8 years, 8 months ago

Why did Jeff not play better and get more minutes against Mizzou? Was the smoke in the arena from the fireworks bothering him?

Alohahawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Just read the GQ article and wish/hope a few of the top recruits (Heck, every recruit) would read it. If I didn't know better I would think Collison had been coached by and played for HCBS. His remarks correspond to, and reflect the way Self's teams have developed and played during his KU coaching years.

The perfect example is this year's team. Not a bunch of experienced, high scoring 5 stars, but instead, a team that has learned how to play together and let their defense outplay their opponent and win games for them.

The ability to score is important. But defense and team play will help win a lot of games.

AsadZ 8 years, 8 months ago

This is a very nice blog by Mr Collison. Thanks for sharing.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

What I like so much about this commentary by Nick Collison is that it puts in perspective what an awesome next step the NBA is. 435 jobs in a world of 6.8 Billion persons! That means Nick is part of the lucky 0.00000006397059.

Further, think about how good Nick Collison is!

And he is...get ready for this...a glue man.

Yup!

I know everyone dreads the G-word, but Nick Collison is nothing if not a glue man.

Power to the sticky!

The sticky shall inherit the earth!!!!!!!

Adam Collins 8 years, 8 months ago

I didn't realize how athletic Jakarr Sampson is. Nice highlights and hopefully the T-Rob Brewster connection will help us land him.

Joe Baker 8 years, 8 months ago

I really like Frankamp, even though he's a North High product. He reminds me so much of Heinrich. We have a great chance with Walker. I don't know if he still wants uk or not. We seem to have a strong chance with Sampson. I wonder how our big recruits will make bigs stop and think? Ellis is the biggest recruit of all these guys. I love Brannen. The kid is 6-7 and frankly, if we fail on Shabaaz, I really think Greene will be every bit as good.

Rock Chalk = Excitement

Joe Baker 8 years, 8 months ago

Walker wanted uk from the beginning and he was snubbed. He even said that if he went anywhere at the time of his last interview a few mos ago, it would be KU.


Nerlens Noel Heading to Visit Kentucky Friday (I like the "Heading" in the header) By Adam Zagoria on February 16, 2012, 12:23PM

Nerlens Noel, the top prospect in the Class of 2012, heads on a visit to Kentucky Friday and will watch the No. 1 Wildcats host Ole Miss Saturday, he told SNY.tv by text.

The 6-foot-10 Noel is reclassifying from 2013 and will likely be told by head coach John Calipari that he could slot in and replace Anthony Davis, the nation’s leading collegiate shot-blocker and presumed No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.

At this point, Noel, who has been compared to Bill Russell, may very well be a better shot-blocker than Davis, which is saying something.


I don't get it. How in the hell does Cal get these recruits to line up? Especially bigs...He does nothing for bigs except give them a chance to play. I don't know what he does at all to prepare them for the NBA. Maybe he pays them and prepares them to make big money? I don't get it.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Cal gets guys the L would take on spec out of high school; that's the key. He runs a program and a style of play geared to the one year player. Simple offense. Very basic defense. Go out and bounce, block, shoot and rebound. Its AAU on steroids. There is no building them up. It is a lot easier than playing for Manning and Self. He guaranties them the minutes. They get in, have fun, and jump to the L. No sweat. And he has World Wide Wes and probably the right kind of contracts that channel them the players into the right talent management and endorsement contracting outfits. Boom! He's got it knocked until another blue blood school tries the same approach and then the OADs are spread too thin for either school to make it work. THis is the beauty of his angle. Not enough OADs every year for two programs to do what Cal does. So: this is an equilibrium until Cal gets caught for something.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 8 months ago

Personal opinion: Yikes!! You could take those seven kids, including the two juniors, and have a great shot at the National Championship in 2012-2013!!!

Jim Roth 8 years, 8 months ago

From that link: "Bill Self has recently admitted mistakes made on the recruiting trail, and has put together a perfect basketball weekend, in the perfect basketball town just prior to March Madness to try and correct his recent woes."

What mistakes has he admitted?

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

First, these clips don't tell us much at all about Perry Ellis, but Self is so high on the guy, I am sure he is going to be quite the player.

But of all these guys, Brannen Greene excites me the most. He's 6'7 and shoots the ball on his J a good 4-5 inches over his head. He's got perfect form already. He's like Xavier without the muscles. He really looks like a guy who will simply have to get strong and learn to play intense defense. His offensive game is wired.

My biggest concern is Conner Frankamp. He shoots the j with the ball barely above his forehead and out in front. He'll never get his shot off in D1 and will have to change his mechanics. He's very athletic on the drive, but he does not appear to have the kind of springs to get him up with the Big Trees in D1. He looks like tremendously accurate shooter. If he can retool his jump shot and move the ball 4 inches over his head and not forehead height and out in front of him, he could be a heckuva player. But he just will not get that shot off in D1 much. And he needs a lot of muscle. But he's young, so he might grow another inch or two. Hudy can do the muscle. But can he really change his mechanics now?

Shabazz I was underwhelmed with.

Selby looked a lot better to me than Shabazz. Shabazz does not seem an OAD at all. He seems a kid pretty much like EJ, after EJ grew. He's longer than EJ and can play the 2, which makes him special. But he's going to need two years in D1 at least before he gets his man's body.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Saying Jeff is better at blocking than Cole is like saying J Lo is sexier than Beyonce.

By a slim margin, but do slim margins really matter at this magnitude of awesome?

And remember that Cole played his last season so sick he could barely go 20 minutes most of the time, plus he was fighting shin splints, or something else. Cole is just going through the usual historical down-sizing that all players go through once they are off the stage in Allen and not setting the world on fire in the pros.

Cole was an A-number-1 stud in his time. Jeff is on track to becoming one. But this year, the A-number-1 stud is still Sir Thomas of Robinson.

Until Jeff is the main course, and has some strap burns from carrying the team on his back, he's "in process."

But he now seems likely to get there.

He is an enormous talent on the way to happening.

yates33333 8 years, 8 months ago

Ye Gods! Gasp!! How can you complain, if your complaining, about J Lo and Beyonce. I hope this isn't a complaint by you. What's the saying, "it doesn't get much better than ....

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

kusportsdipcom,

Any time you post, I know I am on a path away from the castrati.

And that is all I need to know about you. :-)

Tony Bandle 8 years, 8 months ago

I'll take Monica Bellucci any day over those two .....girls....see, I changed my phraseology in order to take the high road!! :). Actually, I'd love to take Monica's high road!!

UHHH...what were we talking about, again???

Joe Baker 8 years, 8 months ago

ah dudes - Kate Upton, hello....yikes she's dangerous

Joe Baker 8 years, 8 months ago

Watch those curves - I have no idea what we were talking about. You lost me completely after the first set of curves.

KansasComet 8 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate, thank you, that was an enjoyable read! I love the J Lo VS Beyonce comparison. Way to use two entertainment industry icons! Great points! Great examples!

Alohahawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Uhhh... I was all settled in for a long morning read and uhhh... What happened Jaybate? No part 2, or part 3? LOL!!

As for me, I like my women a little thinner and more graceful. Grace Park (Hawaii 5 0) is more my style. Like my avatar friend with the lei.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm on a vacation. Slack is in order. :-)

Jack Wilson 8 years, 8 months ago

I have to agree .. the selection of J Lo and Beyonce is an insight into the man's soul.

I'll go Rachel Adams.

jaybate 8 years, 8 months ago

Well, at least you didn't say Gwnnie Paltrow, or Julianne Moore, Kathy Bates, or Glenn Close, or Jody Foster, or Drew Barrymore.

Seriously, Rach is okay. All of these women are okay.

Robin Wright had it before she squandered it with Penn.

Once, Madeline Stowe had it briefly, long, long, long before she had to start playing the bitch in Neo Dynasty.

I loved Katherine Heigel's schtick in the vibrating underware, where the little kid at another table in the restaurant got ahold of the remote control!

All these leading ladies are great to get you through a multiplex romantic comedy, or concert, when you are desperate for a score, but,eh, Jennifer Lopez and Beyonce are just plain special to me. And any man that knocks them to me has to be prepared to fight a duel with virtual pistols. I'm dissing no other board rat's hotties, so don't tread on mine. :-)

The acid test for any actress for me is: would I watch her movie, or concert, even if I weren't trying to connect with a real hottie and having to watch to set the table?

No woman had more than Sophia Loren, or Marilyn Monroe, or Rita Haworth, when they turned on the "want me" button. So: yes, yes, and yes to these. I still love watching Haworth dance in Gilda, even though the movie sucks.

Angelina Jolie has it when she keeps her lips under 50 centimeters thick.

Catherine Zeta-Jones was so hot I could not keep from bursting into flames in several of here films, but that was before childbirth and Michael took their tolls.

Cameron Diaz has it when she lays off the wire mother, aerobics gig for a few weeks and gets more body fat than a famine victim.

And all these guys that freeze frame gals at a certain point later on and say they are hags past their prime are missing the point. Everyone knows stars have shelf lives, both men and women. George Clooney Antonio Banderas have been just the coolest looking men alive for 10-15 years. Denzel was in the running. But now they are all long in the tooth. So: about the women stars, guys, understand, anyone's name I mention, I am referring to their peak years. Everyone gets old and has to step aside for the next ravishing beauty, or dashing leading man. And its the same in real life. :-(

And on and on.

They are all beautiful, delectable, desirable, amusing, sexy women, when they are in their wonder years...and probably even more so later in life, though they, like the men, cease to photograph so beautifully.

FLJHK 8 years, 8 months ago

As old farts, how about contemplating the trail of Natalie's in our lifetime - from Wood, to Merchant to Portman. All mesmerizing in their own unique ways.

kesmithstl1 8 years, 8 months ago

This is in no way meant to shed a negative light on Coach Williams and his crew, but just think what Collison, Gooden, Raef, etc... would have done under Manning/Self tutelage.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 8 months ago

Probably would have won just one more game...for a national championship!!!!

rob4lb 8 years, 8 months ago

That would have only happened if Manning/Self improved Collison's free throw shooting.

kesmithstl1 8 years, 8 months ago

granted, very tough to improve those guys resumes, but fun for debate.

kesmithstl1 8 years, 8 months ago

in 97, maybe KU could have been more physical with Zona.

Mike Kendall 8 years, 8 months ago

I kind of agree with Conner Teahan. Jeff has a knack for blocking the basketball but the best individual blocking performance has to go to Cole in 2008 against Hansborough and North Carolina.

REHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

For springing me upright from the recliner and setting these retired old legs to leaping, Cole's thwomping of Hansbrough will be hard to duplicate!

REHawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Perhaps Jeff needs to adapt and refine Cole's magnificent bellowing grunts!

Jackster 8 years, 8 months ago

Withey has been awesome in the last week or so and we need that from him. It seems to me that T-Rob is playing a little tired lately. He is still putting up decent numbers but he looks a little off. Is it just me or am I expecting too much from him?

KULA 8 years, 8 months ago

Cole was a great college player, but Jeff is better than Cole.He's a better shot blocker, he runs the floor better, he's quicker on his feet, he's more athletic, he's faster, he's a better defender, he has better body control on offensive moves and he's even a better free throw shooter. The only thing Cole was better at was keeping the ball high on an offensive move. Jeff often has to bend at the waist and bring the ball down low to gather himself on a move. You never saw Cole get down the floor on a fast break. Jeff will have a better pro career than Cole.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 8 months ago

Jaybate had a good point of fan respect diminishing for guys that don't continue to tear it up in the pros Still, Withey has been amazing and in some ways it's tougher for him to stay on the floor because he isn't the star. We all know refs don't want to call a bunch of early fouls on the big time players. Think back to Shaq with the Lakers, he would hack somebody hard and then Mark Madsen or somebody would get whistled for not being Shaq or Kobe. Not saying it's anywhere near that in CBB, but if Withey was the star big for KU he might avoid some of the bs calls he gets when he straight up shuts somebody down. Missed having a great shot-blocker on the court last year, love having one again this year.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm really hoping KSU takes it to Mizzou tomorrow because I think this weeks scheduling favors Missouri. They are getting an extra day to prep and rest for KU....and I'm thinking @ a&m is going to be a grind for the Hawks.

mikehawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Much has been said regarding Jeff's no show against Missouri, followed by his breakout against Baylor, etc. I said before the previous Mizzou game, and I maintain, they are not a good match up for our line up of bigs (nor anyone else's - See Baylor) They play one big and essentially four quick guards. One of our bigs has to take their big, and Kevin Young or Justin Wesley will have to help out with their so called 4 man. Or, we will have to alternate Jeff and Thomas on their big. Look for Jeff to again play sparingly and score sparingly against Mizzou on Saturday. For goodness sake, take care of business in College Station first. I'm glad we had such a rough time with them in Lawrence. That will help us remain a bit sober going into the game.

Alohahawk 8 years, 8 months ago

TAM now has Middleton back, and he is arguably their best player. He didn't play against KU in the first game. So, TAM could be much more difficult this go round.

On paper, KU has the easier schedule. But IMHO, I think MU has a less hazardous slate. KU's one big advantage is playing MU at home.

KU plays TAM (8th place), MU (Tied for 1st), OSU (7th place), and Texas (Tied for 5th). 1st, 5th, 7th and 8th.

MU plays KSU (tied for 5th), KU (tied for 1st), ISU (tied for 3rd), and Texas Tech (10th place). 1st, 3rd, 5th and 10th.

We all should be rooting for KSU to force MU into a tough, drawn out game, a real dog fight between the two kitty cat teams. I'd love for them to pull out another upset against MU, but it's highly doubtful.

Tony Bandle 8 years, 8 months ago

The true trap game of the year will not be Wednesday....it will be next Monday:

1] Having beaten TAM and Missouri, Kansas will be ranked 3rd in the nation. 2] Quick turnaround from a Saturday to a Monday may introduce fatigue as a factor. 3] Emotional letdown from pounding Misery. 4] Big Monday at an away game...always a challenge. 5] Beat these guys soundly, the last time we played them. 6] Dangerous team...I know it was early, but they did beat MU. 7] Okie State isn't going anywhere...this game is their postseason. 8] The potential for immature handling of success is still with this KU team. 9] Have Page, little 3 point shooter, with potential to have a career day. [see McNamara, Farokhmanesh, etc., etc.,] 10] May overook these guys thinking of Texas on Saturday following. 11] KU will be in conference lead and in line for a #1 Seed.

As The Robot from Lost in Space would say..."Danger!! Danger!! Danger!!"

rob4lb 8 years, 8 months ago

Let's hope a week from now we are facing the scenario you outlined. That would mean that KU is up by at least one game with two to play.

Jack Wilson 8 years, 8 months ago

My thoughts exactly .. that's the trap. Following a win vs. MU. 48 hour turn around.

Now if we lose to MU, I would not want to be Okie St. But we ain't losin.

FLJHK 8 years, 8 months ago

Great points. OSU meets the very definition of a trap game, but to only a mildly lesser extent so does A&M tomorrow night. Easy to overlook when hungering for a beatdown of Mizzou on Saturday.

One game at a time.

Curtis Stutz 8 years, 8 months ago

not to mention Keiton Page's Senior Day every game in Gallagher-Iba is tough, through that in with senior day for a prolific shooting pg, trap game following the MU game, but let's not worry about it just yet, just like the team can't worry about anybody except their next opponent

hawksince51 8 years, 8 months ago

I agree that Withey is better than Cole simply because he so often ends up with the ball instead of just batting it out of bounds. And he made an awesome play Sat. against TT--their guard was driving in for a layup so Jeff went up to block it wih his right hand; the driver then decided to try to pass around Jeff who grabbed it out of the air with his left hand. I have never seen anything to match that, college or pro.

Alohahawk 8 years, 8 months ago

Coach of the Year award: In his byline dated today, Dukie V., on ESPN.com listed Coach Self as one of his top ten for Coach of the Year. Also mentions that TRob would be second as POY, behind Davis.

Chad Smith 8 years, 8 months ago

the blog by Nick Collison was awesome. Always the consummate team player and always hard-working and humble. One of the best jayhawks we've ever had, and he got a standing ovation from Dick Vitale! We love you Nick! And don't worry, misery is losing on saturday and I'll be at the KU Bar here in Saint Paul,MN loving every second of it! This bar gets packed for every KU GAME! ROCK CHALK!

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