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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Keegan

KU better off Withey than without-ey

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— The road to the Final Four starts in the same building for Kansas as it did four years ago, when the Jayhawks won the NCAA Tournament for the third time in school history.

A potential marquee matchup with North Carolina, just as four years ago, lurks in the distance, San Antonio in the national semifinals last time, St. Louis this time for the right to advance to New Orleans.

But the similarities between this team and the school’s most recent national-championship squad are few.

That team’s most valuable player? Compelling cases could be made for Brandon Rush, Mario Chalmers, Darrell Arthur and Sherron Collins.

This year’s bunch? Only Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor are in the discussion. For KU to build as shocking a postseason as a regular season that ended with a 16-2 record and an eighth consecutive Big 12 title, a third player needs to force his way into the conversation.

And it’s not as if 7-foot junior center Jeff Withey didn’t perform well enough to generate whispers to that effect in spurts. Twice during the regular season, Withey fell one blocked shot shy of a triple-double.

After totaling 13 points, 13 rebounds and nine blocked shots in an 88-80 victory against Long Beach State on Dec. 6 at home, Withey said, “I didn’t realize I was that close until toward the end of the game. I guess I’ll just have to try for another one. I definitely wanted it, but it’s not something that’s always on my mind.”

Coming that close was a big deal then.

His next near miss came Feb. 13, when in the hostile territory of Bramlage Coliseum, the slender Withey bullied Kansas State with 18 points, 11 boards and nine blocked shots in a 59-53 victory.

“I’m gonna get it,” Withey said, “sooner or later.”

Just 10 weeks after the big deal of a near miss, it was no big deal. His confidence had soared. He played with the angry eyes of a wounded animal.

Withey posted six double-doubles, including an 18-point, 20-rebound domination of Oklahoma State. He scored 25 points in the victory against Baylor in Waco.

Kansas coach Bill Self likened Detroit Mercy’s athleticism to that of Baylor’s. For a 7-footer, Withey’s a terrific athlete. It’s a game that should suit his style, inflate his confidence to where it was between the two Missouri games in which he combined for two points.

With Withey at his best, throwing down dunks, making short banks instead of missing them, tossing in hook shots with either hand, staying out of foul trouble so that he can patrol the paint and stir panic, the picture of Kansas doing something special comes into focus.

Without that Withey on the court for a KU team short on quality reserves and outside shooters, it gets too blurry to see New Orleans.

Comments

Mike Kendall 2 years, 1 month ago

I would hate to be in between T-Rob and Jeff Withey in the paint. They could make me into a sand--withey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Orangedog87 2 years, 1 month ago

Jayhawks:

after seeing Syracuse/UNC Asheville - dont let the refs determine the game in that last 3-4 minutes....

Go KSU beat Syracuse....you surely can

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Orangedog87 2 years, 1 month ago

love the pic but one picture from one game.... does that make a player? Now if you have a series of similar pics from multiple games then thats more of nuff said

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lylemen4life 2 years, 1 month ago

p>www.witheyface.com 'nuff said

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Orangedog87 2 years, 1 month ago

This is known but adds data to the analysis.

The first player off the bench our "off the bench sharpshooter" has made 47 3pt baskets this season. 60% were in AFH. 40% on the road. He averages 2 3pt baskets per road game with one 3pt baskets made in the last 5 road games. Other than CT there is not much offense off the bench.

So our bench is good for lets say 0-6 points off the bench in a road game.

So to win 6 games in a row with only one day between some games, the 3 starting occasional offense players need to step up consistently in the tourney on offense...or lets hope CT gets incredibly hot

I did not look at the field goals or free throws that TC had made in all games....dont have the time

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Jonathan Andrews 2 years, 1 month ago

Third? THIRD??? Go find another job, Newman.

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chadjayhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

worst headline in the history of journalism. i refuse to read anything ever again by the keegs, not that i ever did.

thank you based god!

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 1 month ago

Withey/without-ey? Taylor made?
What is this...National Pun Day???

Why not go out and use everyone:

1] Playing hard is Releford easy if you have the heart.!! 2] Teahan's Three hand!! 3] He came into the game Justin time!! 4] His block was highway TRobbery!!

I've got to stop....this is making me ill!!

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ccarp 2 years, 1 month ago

I still want withey to go to the hole and get to the line!

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baldwinjhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

Next year's starting lineup:

PG - EJ SG - SHABAZZ SF - TRELE PF - P ELLIS C - WITHEY

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bbeckum 2 years, 1 month ago

Alternative headline suggestions:

Whither the Third Scorer?

Withey Weathers Withering Whiteout

Jeff Withey's Favorite Band is Captain and Tenneal.

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eastcoasthawk 2 years, 1 month ago

I just hope that Self made him touch every step in Allen before they left for Omaha.

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UmbertoConforti 2 years, 1 month ago

WWW.KU.Com = Win With Withey.KU.Com-on'-Man

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jaybate 2 years, 1 month ago

If anyone really knows Motown, they will know this cutesy headline just got Jeff two more punches in the face from UDM guys. I still cherish my black t-shirt with the white happy face with a bullet hole in the forehead that reads on the back: Detroit, where the weak are killed and eaten.

Headline should have read: "Withey Once Killed Three with Elbows...in One Half!

This is going to get serious soon.

This is a game that will seem jump-and-dunk at first, but shortly there will be some pissing off of territory, probably some sucker punching, and lots of trash talk away from the refs.

Bring a gun to a knife fight.

Bring a bomb to a gun fight.

Prisoners are for suckers.

Protect your teamates.

Massive retaliation.

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nuleafjhawk 2 years, 1 month ago

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mandomax 2 years, 1 month ago

umm Sherron was not MVP worthy as a freshman in the 2008 season, except maybe MVP of the comeback in the Memphis game (arguably a bigger part of the comeback than Chalmers, although "The Shot" made Chalmers the legend of the comeback). I would say Kaun and Jackson would join the discussion with BRush, Shady, and Mario for MVP of that team ahead of Collins.

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kusportsdotcom 2 years, 1 month ago

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