Monday, July 16, 2012

Jeff Withey might decline invite

Trip to Europe could keep center from Adidas camp

Kansas center Jeff Withey pumps his fist after a Jayhawk bucket to end the half against Ohio State during the first half on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the Superdome.

Kansas center Jeff Withey pumps his fist after a Jayhawk bucket to end the half against Ohio State during the first half on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at the Superdome.


Kansas University senior center Jeff Withey, who worked the invitation-only Amar’e Stoudemire and LeBron James camps in Chicago and Las Vegas earlier this summer, may respectfully decline an offer to attend the season-ending Adidas Nations camp, Aug. 3-6 in Orange County, Calif.

“I know I’ve been invited, but I do not know if I’m going to go yet because of the European trip,” Withey said of the Jayhawks’ Aug. 6-14 excursion to Switzerland and Paris. “Obviously, I can’t go if we are going to be in Europe.”

Withey, a 7-footer from San Diego, said he benefited not only from individual drills but playing in pick-up games at the James (July 6-8) and Stoudemire camps (June 21-24).

“I went against Tony Mitchell from North Texas and Mason Plumlee from Duke a lot,” Withey said of the centers. “Both (camps) were beneficial for my development. Amar’e was more drills. LeBron was more going up and down playing. Both of them together I feel was a complete camp.”

Withey, as reported recently in the Journal-World, has been working on his outside shot.

“One thing I got out of it,” he said of the James camp, “was my 15-foot jumper. I’ve been practicing that. I was able to apply that to the scrimmages, and I felt pretty comfortable with it.”

Since returning to Lawrence, Withey has returned to playing regular pick-up games with members of the 2012-13 KU team. Also, the Jayhawks have held their first two (of 10) practices for the upcoming European tour.

He has been impressed with the play of KU’s frontcourt newcomers.

“Definitely they are strong. They are a lot more physical than I was when I was a freshman, which is great,” Withey said of Perry Ellis, Landen Lucas and Zach Peters. “They are going to have to learn coach Self’s system. Right now, they are starting to get it. That’s the most important thing. They will all be helping us out a lot.”

He continued ... “I think Landen is ahead right now. He is kind of getting it faster than everybody else with the way we play our offense,” Withey said of Lucas, 6-10, 240 from Portland, Ore. “Perry (6-8, 220, Wichita) is doing great right now. Zach can shoot. Perry can shoot. Landen can shoot. Landen has been knocking down 15-foot jump shots. I like them a lot. It’s going to be a fun year. I can’t wait to play with them.”

As far as 6-8, 220-pound Chicagoan Jamari Traylor, Withey said, “I don’t consider him a freshman. He’s been here a year. He goes after the balls with a lot of aggression. He’s a miniature T-Rob.”

Kevin Young (6-8, 185 senior) can play both small forward and power forward, while 6-9, 220 junior Justin Wesley is primarily an inside presence.

“Justin is an athlete, a freak athlete. I think Justin right now is one of the favorites to take on that starting role, I think personally,” Withey said. “I don’t know what coach (Bill Self) is thinking. He is an athlete. He goes after the ball. If he keeps progressing like this, I think Justin will be a great asset.”

Praise for McLemore: Jeff Goodman of lists Ben McLemore, a 6-5 red-shirt freshman from St. Louis, as the No. 5 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

“I hate to say that about Ben. He’s not there yet,” Self said. “Talent-wise and athletic ability, yes, I do think he’ll be a lottery pick before all is said and done. He doesn’t know how to play yet. I saw something where they had Jeff Withey going really high (No. 18 by Goodman; No. 19; No. 30 If Ben and Jeff both go in the lottery next year, I predict we win a lot of games.”

Self added of McLemore: “Ben should be as good as anybody we’ve ever had at stealing us extra possessions. I think he’ll be the best defender we’ve ever had. I also think he’s as athletic as anybody we’ve ever had, and he can shoot. Fitting in the pieces and getting him to understand how to play, he’s not quite there, obviously. If he keeps improving at the same rate, he’ll make a lot of money.”

Recruit sidelined: Jabari Parker, a 6-8 senior from Chicago’s Simeon High and the No. 1 prospect in the recruiting class of 2013, will not play AAU ball the rest of the summer, the Chicago Tribune reports. He has a right heel injury. Parker has KU on his list of 10 schools.

Summer league: Former KU forward Thomas Robinson scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds, while Darnell Jackson had five rebounds and no points in Sacramento’s 113-91 NBA summer league loss to Houston on Monday in Las Vegas. Former KU forward Marcus Morris had 11 points and eight rebounds for Houston. ... Aaron Miles had two points, six turnovers and three assists for Milwaukee in a 76-68 victory over New Orleans. Xavier Henry had five points for the Hornets.


Mike Hart 9 years, 6 months ago

Miles won't last long in NBA camp with woeful numbers like that.

Doug Cramer 9 years, 6 months ago

Aaron Miles...havnt heard that name in a while. I didn't even realize the NBA was still considering him.

lancepaul 9 years, 6 months ago

I just hope Withey is right on the money on these guys!

lancepaul 9 years, 6 months ago

where in the heck is my profile picture? I submittrd it

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

They won't display your profile picture until you learn how to spell.

Lol - just kidding my friend.

dylans 9 years, 6 months ago

Wrong trip to miss. It's the Adidas camp Jeff would miss.

Robin Smith 9 years, 6 months ago

Like dylans said, he's not missing the KU trip. The article is about whether he can ALSO attend the camp.

Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 6 months ago

If Bill says that he thinks Ben will be the "best defender we've ever had", it makes me all the more eager to see him play. Bill always prides himself on good defense, and a statement like that has some real weight. Can't wait for next year.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree. That comment really excited me. Self went way out on a limb with that comment, so he must be special defensively.

Jonathan Even 9 years, 6 months ago

I think Withey is really going to show us some things this year. After a couple years with Hudy, I really believe his weight issues are behind him and he is only going to get stronger. He's not going to be huge, but he'll still put on some more weight. He's athletic, a fantastic defender, has great hands, and seems to be making progress with his outside shot as well. Best of all, my fellow posters have me believing that Self will whittle away his soft side and create a beast.

I thought Lucas had a lot of potential but I didn't think he would make an impact this year. I love Withey's endorsement of him; we may just be loaded at all positions. And supposedly we still can't count out Wesley.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 6 months ago

I agree about Jeff. He just isn't built to ever bulk up, but that doesn't mean he won't continue to get stronger.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

The best news here...

• Justin maturing into a force--if he were to play like a matured big, like a DBlock his last season, at 6-9 and 225, this team would be overwhelming. He would be a perfect complement for Jeff popping from 15.

• Still no more bad pot bass.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Self added of McLemore: “Ben should be as good as anybody we’ve ever had at stealing us extra possessions. I think he’ll be the best defender we’ve ever had. I also think he’s as athletic as anybody we’ve ever had, and he can shoot.

If this is true, coming from the master of under-statement, I am ready for basketball RIGHT NOW.

I was looking forward to football - but, forget it - it's time to tip it off.

This dude must be the second coming of Wilt !!

kellerman411 9 years, 6 months ago

Mclemore played with Beal in high school and many people thought Mclemore was as good or better than Beal. So, I'm really not surprised that some people have him as high as 5.

I hope Jeff decides to go to Europe but I would understand if he went to the camp instead.

jhox 9 years, 6 months ago

If Jeff doesn't go to Europe that's just more PT and experience for the younger guys, so it may actually be in everyone's best interest if he goes to the camp.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 6 months ago

Except that a trip like that is such a bonding experience. I'd hate for him to miss that.

Robin Smith 9 years, 6 months ago

there are only two possible outcomes:

  1. He attends both the camp and the KU trip

  2. He misses the camp and attends only the KU trip

there is absolutely no situation, none, in which he skips the KU trip to attend a camp, and Withey says this in the article.

kellerman411 9 years, 6 months ago

LOL uh.... yeah.... what ^ this guy said.

Jeremy Bolinger 9 years, 6 months ago

Lord help us if Justin Wesley is starting for us next season.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

It is as unthinkable now, as was DBlock developing into a solid starter his last season; one that could help us to a ring. But it happened. This could, too.

Nothing is written, when it comes to big men. Their development is usually nonlinear and often turns on mastery of only one, or two missing fundamentals. Without them, they seem hopeless. With them they blossom.

REHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

And Justin has two season of eligibility remaining. I am encouraged by what Withey and Self are saying about these players.

Jeremy Bolinger 9 years, 6 months ago

Wesley looks lost on the court. Tell me one thing he does that's even remotely decent? He can't shoot free throws. He doesn't seem like a relentless rebounder. He isn't much of an offensive threat. Shot blocker? Idk. Kevin Young and Jamari Traylor excite me more than Justin Wesley does.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago


If Justin is as foul prone and tentative as last season, he might not see any minutes after November.

But what we have here is a 6-9 225 lb 4 that can run and jump like gazelle. Guys like this have only to stop fouling and they can guard almost anyone they will meet. If he learns to get position he will get 8-10 RPG; that is always useful, as a backup for tem minutes.

Also, his springs are going to allow to stick back, and on a team with trey gunners at 1 and 2, three killer get to the rim perimeter guys, plus a footer being trained to pop from 15, the 4 man that is the best stick back artist and can board and guard is going to get the most time. The 4 man that complements Withey best, not the best 4 man, is who will play most.

Any one of the bigs could be the guy the best complement depending on what whether muscle or athleticism are required. I can foresee some games where Zach and Landon are going to get serious minutes at at the 4 and 5 respectively. They've got the weight that will sometimes be required.

Last, the best line up possible for short stretches will be Withey going single high post with Perry at 4 and Ben at 3 as low wings and EJ and Travis out front in tandem. This was the offence Wooden ran to perfection with Steve Patterson high, and Wickes and Rowe creating in isolations on the low wings, with two active guards out front--one of which could shoot outside, while the other could dribble penetrate. This is the most unstoppable offensive set Self could put on the floor. And with Withey practicing the high post pop, I now strongly suspect self will at least test it.

But in the conventional high low, its all about which 4 complements Jeff best.

omng392 9 years, 6 months ago

Anyone notice that this upcoming team seems to be a lot taller than past teams, or is it just me?

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 6 months ago

It's not just you. I've been mentioning this for a while now. Except for Tharpe, we're longer at every position than in many years, if ever! Withey obviously has the advantage at center. But, our guards are significantly taller. The "high-low" game will be very interesting as will the clear outs for the 1s and 2s to go to the basket. It'll be a "dunk fest" this year like we've never seen (if HCBS allows it).

clevelandjayhawker 9 years, 6 months ago

I hope vitale picks us 5th for the league again....i like when people say we cant win the big 12

David Leathers 9 years, 6 months ago

I remember him (Vitale) mentioning that this was the last year that he would dog a Bill Self coached team in the preseason polls. Smart move, Dick. Smart move

fansincewilt 9 years, 6 months ago

I doubt that will happen. Haven't we been picked as high as 5th in the nation on some preseason polls?

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

Self is setting the bar high for BenMac on defense. Translation: Self wants a ton of D out of Ben. Self must think this team's trademark is going to be gambling, wreak havoc defense on the perimeter, because there are going to be a bunch of big swatters inside that will not have to worry about fouls. This great. This team will take the disruption statistic to the next level. Imagine a long an athletic perimeter challenging every shot everywhere, because it has Withey and Justin inside swatting everything within 15. If all these long players can guard, this could turn into Self's greatest defense! But it has to apply overwhelming pressure on the perimeter to keep opponents with meaty bigs from getting at our weakness--slightness on the low blocks.

Jeff Suther 9 years, 6 months ago

Is anyone else terrified at the possibility of how bad ku might be next year. I mean everyone is hopeful that been and perry will be what everyone says they will but as far as we know we have 3 avg players in elijah jeff and travis. There is more uncertanty this year than ever before and im worried out luck may just run out.

Jory Collins 9 years, 6 months ago

Average players don't set NCAA tournament block records.

ltownatrain 9 years, 6 months ago

If I recall most people thought last year would be a rebuilding year too and KU wouldn't be very good. If I recall that got them an eighth straight Big 12 title and a national runner-up. Long story short don't underestimate a Bill Self coached team they seem to always perform above expectations.

Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 6 months ago

Well, they don't always perform above expectations. I seem to remember a few early exits from the tourney that I wish I could forget about...

Your point is quite valid though; if there was a year to be concerned, it was probably last year.

Jeff Suther 9 years, 6 months ago

Ku had a preseason all american and a 4 year starter at point guard and we had more to be worried about then

Benjamin Piehler 9 years, 6 months ago

The 4 year starter, Taylor, was like the only player who had been a consistent starter previously. Preseason all Americans have as much weight as the preseason top 25. Also, Taylor grew to be way more consistent last year than he had been for the rest of his Jayhawk career. Preseason; there was plenty to be "worried" about.

Worried is in quotations because we are Jayhawk fans, after all. Our "poor" seasons are usually better than many schools could hope to accomplish.

Jeff Suther 9 years, 6 months ago

So you are more comfortable with EJ running the show and Perry at the power forward spot?

Chris Shaw 9 years, 6 months ago

Actually, I think it's an okay concern. Jeff Withey is obviously going to have a bigger role this year, but I hope Self and Withey don't push too much of the scoring load and responsibility onto Withey.

Withey is a defensive presence, as we all know, but not having another force (T-Rob) is going to take some time for Withey to adjust. I still believe that Withey needs to be plan C or D on offense so he can still do his damage on the defensive end. This year is going to be much more difficult on Withey than most think. Withey had it easy last year with T-Rob as his anchor.

Jesse Johnson 9 years, 6 months ago

I used to think like you do. I thought that Marcus was great as a sophomore but that it was only because the defense focused on Cole Aldrich and that the next year he wouldn’t be as good. I was wrong. I thought that for sure I was right in thinking that T-Rob would surely have a hard time producing offensively with BOTH of the Morri gone and T-Rob still just coming off of a back-up role. I was WAY wrong. I think Withey will be able to produce offensively because he will have Ellis, Young, Traylor, Peters and Lucas to help take some of the defensive pressure off.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 6 months ago

pess...I laughed my ass off...what a great post. Taking every positive spin this team is generating and making it a negative.....even the mispelling and goofy grammer is "classic".

Well done!!!

jgkojak 9 years, 6 months ago

1) Not concerned at all how good we'll be. We have Withey, Releford and Johnson coming back from a National Title contender - that's 3 solid seniors, Ben McLemore, who is not really a freshman and sounds like a freak, and plenty of extra help either experienced (KY, Wesley) or talented (Ellis, Lucas) - sounds to me like we are a top 5 team.

2) This team is freakishly long - like Kentucky last year. If you have Johnson, McLemore, Young, Ellis and Withey playing that is one long team - very few teams are going to have a set like that to play.

3) We'll have experience w/the preseason trip and these guys won't be true "freshmen" by the time they hit the late November games. Even if we lose a few, how can you doubt that Self's teams ALWAYS get better and better as the season goes on.

4) If we play in a tight game or a game where the other team has our number (i.e. an all senior mid major) we can send Johnson, Tharpe, Young, Releford and Withey out there and have a team with all sorts of experience to calm us down.

5) Back to back Final Fours. Book it.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 6 months ago

Withey needs to go on the Europe trip.

2 weeks of practice with his coaching staff and a few live action games with his teammates are endlessly more valuable than 3 days of scrimmages and pick-up games with the pros.

And I really think that Bill Self is going to intentionally play the frosh a lot and sit the upperclassmen some. I'm sure that Coach Self is aware that he needs to give his newcomers ample time to learn the defensive positions and motions, run the sets and get plenty of live action coaching.

Robin Smith 9 years, 6 months ago

Europe trip is a given. It's whether he can ALSO attend the camp that is being discussed in the article.

Jonathan Allison 9 years, 6 months ago

this I know.

I was stating this in a non-aggressive response to the same posts above in which you responded more aggressively.


Tony Bandle 9 years, 6 months ago

Jeff needs to go to Europe for these reasons:

1] Bond and develope his teammates as well as himself.

2] Experience a magical part of the world.

3] Resolve himself to graduate an NBA quality big man thus always being a tourist and never a European Pro.

4] And, finally, eat as much fresh-baked French bread as humanly possible!!!

soapisurfriend 9 years, 6 months ago

In other recruiting news, it looks like the staff has extended an offer to Demetrius Jackson. I'm not sure where he would fit into the mix of the 2013 class unless ACB elects to play elsewhere. Jackson is a relative unknown outside of his South Bend-area high school/AAU teams, but he is a punishing penetrator, getting into the lane and scoring at will. The senior-to-be's outside shot is solid and he has the ability to hit big shots, but the jumper will need to improve, as well as his distributing. This being said, his greatest strength may be his leadership ability. He is constantly directing traffic for his teammates. All in all Jackson reminds me so much of Sherron it's unbelievable. Go check out the clip of him throwing down one of the more monstrous dunks I've seen from a high school junior. In fact, it looks a lot like the one Sherron put down in the McDonalds game years ago.

REHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Although the dates overlap one day, I could picture Jeff attending both events, what with some careful flight planning...perhaps departing the camp a day or half day early. It is a significant step upward, his receiving invites to these prestigious summer camps where he can benefit from working with the best players in the land. I am very optimistic about his upcoming season, esp. if his limbs hold up, and he survives the banging he will likely absorb. Nothing very "avg" about his senior prospectus, as I forsee it. I envision his 8-10 points from the line, a bundle of blocks, and a variety of extraneous positives, including another league ring.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

Unless one of the bigs becomes a menacing power forward, Jeff is in for the most XTReme Muscle we've seen yet. I hope he understands that. I don't think Thomas really got it until the last half of February. It is a hard thing for any player to understand. They are not just going to guard hard. They are going to try to wreck you, get you to lose your temper and try to hurt you when they can get away with it. Its a lousy way to play and officiate basketball, but its where we are. And its where we will stay until the first player is paralyzed, or brain damaged as a result of it. The NCAA has made itself unmistakably clear. No change in fitting games in windows until some one is paralyzed, or brain damaged. Maybe not even then. It is perverse.

REHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Okay, HEM, I am not so optimistic as Withey about Justin's game; but I am hanging on to the feeling that he will play a significant role in some wins. Whatdoya think?

REHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

However, we continue to read comments from those in the program who praise his freakish athleticism. He does have size, genetic blessings, and two years of experience in the Bill Self system. Jeff hints that he might even start. I think we will see valuable minutes from Justin this season, even if not more than 6-10 per game. On a 2011-12 squad so thin that Piggly Wiggly couldn't slice a bundle of decent steaks, Justin was counted upon for rare minutes of relief to help salvage some wins. If he doubles or triples those minutes this season, continuing to improve upon fouling woes, by his senior outing he just might be a real force for the Jayhawks. The guy can just about leap over the backboard!

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

"On a 2011-12 squad so thin that Piggly Wiggly couldn't slice a bundle of decent steaks..."


REHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

Self has certainly worked some team magic with Moody, Reed, Morningstar, Teahan. They did not log essential playing time to any national championships, but all of them kept us in the hunt. This season Coach will be both blessed and cursed with lots of forwards to juggle for minutes. This is a season wherein we really needed the summer games and practices to sort things out. Gonna be a very dynamic pre-league season.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

The thing about Reed, Morningstar and Teahan is that they would have been 4 year starters at Iowa State, or Nebraska and have averaged double figures all the way. Teahan was Mr. Basketball of Missouri, or something like that as a high schooler. Reed almost went to UNC and had a 41" hop. Morningstar plays in the NBA development league that a lot of long and athletics have not been able to cut it in. Teahan averaged about 20-30 mpg down the stretch last season and into the tournament on a runner up team. These guys were exceptional players. They produced numbers essentially equal or better than EJ and Travis have so far.

Moody was a special case of a walk on big that no one really wanted much and happened to mature physically, get a shot and proved he too could play.

Moody and Justin Wesley are a lot alike in that neither had any game coming out of high school. The difference was that Justin had hops and passed the eye test, and Moody did not. So Justin got a shot at Lamar and basically showed nothing but what he had shown in high school. Both of them got to KU through the back door and hung on long enough to get some good coaching and Moody showed he could complement in the paint, and I suspect Justin is going to show the same.

So much of basketball is how well do you complement an impact player at one of the other positions. Brady was a walking complement as a player. He could cover up impact players short comings with his defense and passing and cutting. He could complement every big better than most hot shots, because he could figure out when he was actually open from trey and then make 40-42%, which opened it up for our big man impact players.

Every impact big man needs two things:

1) a trey dinger on the back side for the ball to rotate to and draw the defenders out and force an isolation for the impact big man to exploit; and

2) a complementary garbage man big that can get 9 rig and 8-10 garbage points on dishes and stick backs.

You don't have to be a 4-5 star to be that garbage man big. In fact, if you are a 4-5 star big, your head can get in the way of performing the function of the complementing big man.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

In fact, the only reason you want a 4-5 star big relegated to the complementing big role is so that he can, as a freshman get baptized under fire and so be ready to become a load bearing, impact big the following season.

There is no way Justin can beat Perry talent to talent and skill for skill, but that is not what the complementing big man slot requires. It requires a guy who gets the craft of complementing, while still playing balls to the walls.

If Perry, Zach, or Jamari really grasp what Jeff needs in a complement, they will probably get most of the minutes. But the complementing big has to make tons of tough decisions about when to help the impact big on both ends of the floor, and when to let him be, when to start shooting some, and when to forget shooting for the next five minutes.

Lastly, the complementing big has to like the role. Its like being a domestique on a Tour de France cycling team for the team's super start rider. He has to like to make someone better. Not everyone does. One of the things persons did not grasp about Jeff last season was most of what was called him disappearing was him trying to play second banana and ducking out just a bit too much. It is a razor's edge helping someone. Marcus Morris was probably the best domestique I ever saw as a freshman with 4, or more stars coming in. Marcus didn't know diddly squat about how to play D1 basketball his first season and it showed all the time the first half of the season. But he had always taken care of Kieff. He had always tried to help Kieff be better. It was obvious that he had grown up in that role. And so when Self told Marcus, an impact man in terms of skills, to go be Cole's domestique he struggled with D1 basketball, but once he figured out the domestique role, he was like Jeeves the butler to Cole's occasional Bertie Wooster. Marcus got so he could tell when the mad stork that was Cole was going to need help way before Cole even did, and Cole, despite his clowning ways, was no dummy.

jaybate 9 years, 6 months ago

Jeff, by seasons end, mastered the domestique role for TRob and at a very high level. During mid season there were a lot of times when Thomas was walking around shaking his head and feeling all persecuted, like no one knew what he was going through out there. That was when Jeff did not know what to give him, when Jeff was not thinking for him and anticipating what he would need before he needed it. A domestique has to do that, or the impact player gets frustrated and performs sub optimally. After that first MU game, Jeff got it. The stairs of Allen Field House no doubt gave him the time to have the aha! moment. But he got it. And there were probably only 5-6 more moments the whole season, where TRob got pissy and persecuted. Jeff was setting the table for him. Jeff was swatting the guys that were bugging TRob on the other end. jeff was clapping for him and telling him how awesome that last play was. Jeff was being Bundini Brown to his Ali. Jeff in the tournament was really just freaking everywhere on the floor doing all kinds of things, while TRob was sustaining on the block, or running out 15 and facing up. It was Jeff that knew when Thomas was going to drive it from 15 instead of shoot it and so cleared out before TRob even got started.

Who knows if Jeff will be able to become the impact man this season? Its a question mark just as it was with TRob stepping up from the backup. But we know Jeff finally mastered the complementing big man role tremendously well.

Now, we have to find out who can be jeff's complementing big man? Jeff knows exactly what it takes, so I have to pay attention to him when he says Justin seems to get it already. An awesome talent at the 4 would be nice. But the minimum ante and the required pot to play is a big pile of complementing chips and the judgement to know how and when to bet them.

The question this season in the middle is which guy--Perry, Jamari, Zach, or Justin, can know what jeff needs before Jeff knows? Which of these guys can give it to him before he asks for it.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 6 months ago

Justin Wesley: Here's something folks may overlook. Is he a basketball player? Does he have high level, D-1 basketball skills? In a season where we desperately needed depth at the post, were crying for quality backup minutes, his playing time was sporadic. I just don't see it. An athlete? Yes. A guy that can make a highlight reel play? Yes. Basketball skills? No. And I've mentioned this before .. that's not a slam on Wesley. Everyone has varying skill levels. He does play hard.

Some guys look good in practice, in scrimmages, in non-game situations. Then reality hits in game situations. For Wesley, anytime there is a man with a whistle and striped shirt, he suffers. It would also make sense that an athletic guy, sure of his movements would look better early on in practice against freshmen who are just getting their feet wet. But talent eventually overcomes.

But could .. could .. this guy, after Venus aligns with Neptune, and lightning hits Allen Fieldhouse twice in the same evening, play major minutes? Sure.

But don't count on it. Don't expect it. Don't even think it to be possible.

I think Ralster read my mind here.

Regardless, it is not good for KU basketball. It will not speak well of the players we have recruited. I said the same thing before last season. Wesley was way down the depth chart as an emergency body. That is all he is. An emergency body. And man did we need him for a time last season. You have to have emergency depth. Ideally, it would be more talented.

We have Traylor, Peters, Ellis, and Lucas. And Wesley plays ahead of two of them? Ellis will play. So he beats out Traylor and Peters and Lucas? Not something I'd hope for.

And why would anyone think that Wesley plays ahead of Young? Young was significantly better than Wesley all season, and took literally all of the back-up post time.

Once the rotatios are set, here's the best guess at the post rotation: Withey, Young, Ellis, and either Traylor/Lucas/Peters. No Wesley. That leaves five spots for EJ/BMac/Tharpe/White/Releford.

And that doesn't even include the "Sleeper" or Dwayne Wade.

REHawk 9 years, 6 months ago

What you say makes for outstanding rational good sense. But, hey, Justin has just gone down as the reincarnation of Wilt! Maybe he will relieve Withey at the 5.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.