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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Jeff Withey works out with Boston Celtics

Kansas center Jeff Withey dunks during warmups prior to tipoff against Kansas State in the Big 12 tournament championship on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas center Jeff Withey dunks during warmups prior to tipoff against Kansas State in the Big 12 tournament championship on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

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Former Kansas University basketball center Jeff Withey worked out for the Boston Celtics, who have the No. 16 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, on Friday in Boston. He was joined by Marquette’s Vander Blue, Virginia Tech’s Erick Green, Providence’s Ricky Ledo, Louisville’s Peyton Siva and Colorado State’s Colton Iverson.

Withey, a 7-footer from San Diego, recently met with executives from 12 teams at the NBA Combine in Chicago.

“Dallas (No. 13 pick) was a good interview,” Withey told FOX Sports West. “Atlanta (Nos. 17, 18) was a good one, and Utah (No. 14, 21). They all went really smoothly for the most part. Those ones stood out to me. I got a good feel from every team. Every team said I presented myself well, and the whole thing, I felt like I got what I wanted out of it.”

Withey is working out with the Wasserman Group and trainer Rob McClanaghan in Los Angeles as the June 27 Draft approaches.

Of his skill set, Withey said: “I don’t have the best offensive game, but defensively, I feel like a guard-driven game helps me out with blocking shots. That’s what I do best. Going into the NBA, hopefully I’ll feel very comfortable doing what I did in college at the NBA level.

“Also, I have a jump shot that I’ve been working on and trying to perfect. It’s my 15-foot jump shot. So pick-and-pop, I think that’s something that can be very strong for me and that I’m working on.”

On McGary: Withey spoke with the Detroit Free Press about Michigan freshman sensation Mitch McGary’s deciding to return to Ann Arbor for his sophomore season. The 6-10 McGary had 25 points and 14 rebounds in a Sweet 16 win over KU.

“He’s a great hustle player, a great energy guy and he’s going to do really well next year," Withey said. “I’m surprised that he didn’t go to the NBA. What surprised me is he’s a smaller guy but he plays bigger than what he is.”

Tatum update: Jayson Tatum, a 6-6, 180-pound freshman point guard from Chaminade High in St. Louis, Mo., who is expected to be ranked in the Top 5 in the Class of 2016, tells Zagsblog.com he has scholarship offers from KU, Kentucky, Florida, Missouri, Illinois, Memphis and St. Louis.

“Obviously, he’s talented and has size,” ESPN recruiting analyst Reggie Rankin told Slam Magazine. “But his skill level is so far developed at this stage. He can make plays usually kids his age are not that advanced to do. He’s got great size and a feel for the game, and ahead of his time for his grade. Being a 6-7 wing player, and versatile, will give him the opportunity to be a special player. I think he’s a lock high-major player. If I’m an assistant coach at an elite program, I’m offering that kid based on what I know right away.”

Tatum played last weekend at the Nike Memorial Classic in Georgia.

Maker update: Thon Maker, a 7-foot, 200-pound freshman from Carlisle School in Martinsville, Va., played well over the weekend at an EYBL tourney in Minnesota. He told Zagsblog.com he has offers from Arizona, Georgetown, LSU, Memphis, Miami, NC State, Ohio State and Virginia. The former soccer player from Sudan has recently heard from coaches from KU and Kentucky, he said.

Wiggins grateful: Future KU guard Andrew Wiggins of Huntington (W.Va.) Prep wrote a thank you letter to the community of Huntington that appeared in the Huntington Herald-Dispatch on Saturday.

“I am from Canada and I am going to Kansas to play college basketball. I will hopefully be drafted to a city that I enjoy. But I will always have a place for Huntington in my heart and memories. I will not forget all the sacrifices they made for me and my teammates. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Wiggins wrote.

Transfer talk: Former Memphis guard Antonio Barton on Sunday chose Tennessee over Kansas State, Maryland and Texas A&M.

Having already graduated, the 6-2 senior combo guard will be immediately eligible at UT, where he will play one season.

Comments

Scott MacWilliams 1 year, 7 months ago

is it just me, or does it seem weird to get scouting reports on hs freshmen?? they are 14 or 15, I know, but it just seems a little strange. Are they aware of what is going on out here with all these basketball junkies who want to know if they've got a 15-foot shot or can dribble drive? I don't know, just seems strange for sports reporting. yeah, I've seen the utube clips of the 7th graders dunking that look like MEN already... What are these kids eating, lots of that milk with the bovine growth hormones that supposedly can't be measured, therefore we don't have anything to worry about??

well, rock chalk, anyway...

Cmill1221 1 year, 7 months ago

It does sound strange but this stuff has gone in in Europe for years with soccer. The only difference is they are pro teams scouting, and instead of going to what we know as a prep school they go to what I guess could be called a soccer academy. So it's not too crazy, but still my first reaction was the same as yours.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 7 months ago

It's getting there as we speak slayr...Almost 25 yrs ago I had a youngster that could go behind the back, between the legs & crossover, & finish with either hand, on an 8 yr old Y team. I think he must have been born with a basketball in his hands. There should be a way to prevent college coaches & AAU affiliates from hounding kids when they are so young & impressionable. Of course parents immediately get stars & dollar signs in their eyes, but 2nd or 3rd yr of HS is early enough for college. "Daddyball" coaches were after the boy that played for me at 8rs old for crying out loud. That is certainly an aspect that I could have lived without. Even during practices I had to try to keep him isolated from the parents & contacts shadowing him. Needless to say he was OAD in public basketball-premier leagues snatched him up & his parents were just in la la land. I think he ended up playing at a JC for a couple of yrs & was finished. Without all the attention at his age, could he have accomplished more? I don't know. But the ego factor kicked in with his family & I'm pretty sure that had a negative effect on him also. Parents are so ready to believe they have layed the golden egg, that there is almost no way I can see around this early contact. It's a damn shame for a child that they can't just be a kid & play a game, but this is the reality of the situation when parents & greedy others blend together in the process.

REHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

My feeling is that the NCAA should enact a rule that no high school player can be offered a Division 1 scholarship until the summer after sophomore season. I would much rather see that than the enactment of a rule forcing college graduates to sit out a year after choosing to transfer for their final year of eligibility. If Josh Pastner and Mike Anderson or any coach cannot or will not offer optimum development for promising players, why should their programs be protected from graduating transfers?

Matt Stucker 1 year, 7 months ago

After reading Andrew Wiggins letter I am even more confident in this young man. I'm sure that he is going to be one heck of a basketball player but he keeps impressing me as being also one heck of a person. Welcome Mr. Wiggins and I am confident that with your apparent attitude you will enjoy your time at KU no matter how long you stay.

REHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

Yeah, I called up the entire letter. Was quite long and comprehensive, well written; showed appreciation of his host family as well as coaches, trainers, community people involved with the Prep hoops program. Though I am not fond of the OAD recruitment, I have begun to feel that Bill Self has landed a rare gem in this Wiggins kid. He and Perry Ellis might find themselves on a similar wave link.

hawk316 1 year, 7 months ago

Wiggins had me at his "public" announcement. How refreshing for a young man to reject all the hype and self-exaltation that is so common today and do a simple, low-key affair without the four or five university hats in front of him and the ESPN cameras rolling. Yes, definitely refreshing.

He may or may not be as good as advertised on the basketball court, but it appears that we have a classy kid in Mr. Wiggins.

REHawk 1 year, 7 months ago

By the way, I notice that Gary Bedore has written the past six hoops articles. Have the Keegan bashers shouldered T.K. to the pigskin board after his Wayne Selden phone interview?

Robert Brock 1 year, 7 months ago

Keegan needs to write about the sports he understands. That would limit him to curling and luge.

jhawkrulz 1 year, 7 months ago

Whoa...I thought he was an expert in synchronized diving as well.

akgjenkintown 1 year, 7 months ago

Wonderfully written letter. It is a pleasure to see a young man with this level of talent express his gratitude to others and remain humble. Players like this fit in better and appreciate that no matter how good you are basketball is still a team sport. I just wish ESPN and the other outlets would stop televising high school players make college announcements. It is creating a culture of me, me, me. I truly appreciate the way Wiggins has handled his fandom even though very premature. If one is not driven at every level no matter how talented and become complainant, others will pass you by. He seems to have the talent and more importantly the drive to excel, while not being too enamored with himself. Rock Chalk

Greg Lux 1 year, 7 months ago

My guess is the NCAA is going to change the rule on College players that says " When you graduate you have finished your college eligibility with the condition that you can finish your current season at the school you are attending." ( for mid-season graduates)

No more after graduate transfers would be my guess soon.

Rock Chalk

texashawk10 1 year, 7 months ago

Not going to happen to the level you've said. If there's a rule change, it will be back to the old system of 5 years to play 4 seasons.

Dirk Medema 1 year, 7 months ago

Student-athletes right. Let them start graduate school.

KUTPO 1 year, 7 months ago

Here is the Wiggans whole article from the Huntington Hearld. Too bad he won't be in Lawrence longer than nine months.

http://www.herald-dispatch.com/sports/x1724820866/Huntington-Prep-star-thanks-community

Preston Dwiggins 1 year, 7 months ago

He'll be in Lawrence even shorter if we don't get his name right..."Wiggins".

Wayne Gordon 1 year, 7 months ago

Amen. Wiggins sounds like the kid anyone would like on there team. And when you consider his talent level...WOW!

KansasComet 1 year, 7 months ago

I am in full agreement. Can't imagine how anyone would not want this young man on their basketball team? It appears to me that he genuinely cares about others and not just himself. Must have a had a great upbringing. He did not rush, did not allow himself get caught up in the hoopla, and he made an informed decision when selecting which university to attend. Glad he chose KU. Can't wait to watch him work on his game, seek self-improvement (no pun intended) and play lots of meaningful minutes for the best basketball program there is.

wrwlumpy 1 year, 7 months ago

Did you notice that he mentioned the janitors. I hope Lawrence treats him the same way. But I hope he marries a local girl and they stay in Lawrence.

KansasComet 1 year, 7 months ago

We can all dream, can't we? That wouldn't be a bad thing!

Joe Ross 1 year, 7 months ago

No hat-choosing ceremony. No overstated signing with designs cut into his hair. No wasted words on the court. He lets his actions speak for himself.

It's clear that a "hype machine" is not something Wiggins needs. It's all about the love of the game, and the quiet confidence that he has the talent to play it.

This is the anatomy of a recruit choosing Kansas over Kentucky.

Tony Bandle 1 year, 7 months ago

Regarding the main topic of the article, it probably doesn't hurt Jeff's chances with the Celtics in that two of the greatest Celtics, Jo Jo White and Paul Pierce, happen to be fellow Jayhawks and one of the Celtics biggest busts, J.R Giddens, was kicked off the Jayhawk team by Kansas.

Jeff is Ostertag except he can run faster, jump higher, block shots more efficiently, has more stamina, score multiple ways, screen like a mad man...and yet the Big 00 lasted a decade and made multiple millions.

The sky is the limit for Jeff!!!!!

Dirk Medema 1 year, 7 months ago

Amazing that Boston passed on Rio for Giddens.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 7 months ago

Great analogy Oak, & well spoken also. Tag was winded one minute in...

Joe Ross 1 year, 7 months ago

The problem is that big men in the League can shoot. Jeff is not going to be able to leave his man as much for help defense, and he got a lot of blocks in college that way. Also, big men in the NBA are much more physical, and Jeff is going to have to learn to adjust because he lacks Ostertags bulk. Skinny big men in the league have never done exceptionally well. Im thinking of Shawn Bradley, Manute Bol, Eric Chenowith, and others. Height plus bulk pays off.

I still think Jeff will do well, especially defensively. I think he's even got the fundamentals of good offense. But he can't go into the league and last unless he changes some things about his game. It sounds like he knows that from reading this article. And it probably accounts for where his draft position is...

Dirk Medema 1 year, 7 months ago

3 "freak" (2 physical, and 1 head) examples don't = never. A quick check of career shot blockers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...) shows that Jeff is right in the ball park. Interestingly, Big-O is down at 45 on the list, while Bradley and Bol are at 14 & 15. I think Chenowith is at a Dave Matthews concert. So what is "exceptionally well"? Eric still has physical maturing to do (How many 23 yo's don't?) and some O-game to develop, but a long successful career is ahead of him.

texashawk10 1 year, 7 months ago

Manute Bol played in the NBA for 10 years and Shawn Bradley played for 12 seasons. I don't think Withey would complain about lasting a decade in the league even if it's as an off the bench player predominantly.

kay_you 1 year, 7 months ago

Greg Dreiling made a nice living primarily riding the bench.

wrwlumpy 1 year, 7 months ago

Ed Nealy from K State played in the NBA for 12 years because he had a huge butt to set picks with.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

Garnett & Tyson Chandler were skinny when they first entered the league.

Kevin Huffman 1 year, 7 months ago

Jeff doesn't always have to be compared to another white C who used to play at Kansas.

Why couldn't he end up with a Theo Ratliff-esque career?

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Actually, there are a lot that can't shoot a lick, but you are right to the extent that Jeff will face a lot more guys in the L that will force him to stay close to home.

But, really, the bigger problem he faces is the one that Ostertaag faced. When he began to block the stars shots, like Shaqs, the stars just put the non stars on their asses until they stop it.

The only way for Jeff to stay in the L 10-12 years is to NOT block the stars shots. He will be allowed to guard them, but he absolutely will not be allowed to block their shots. The referees and the stars will see to that.

Woody Cragg 1 year, 7 months ago

10 yrs may get a pension & benefits. Retire at 32-33? What's wrong with that pic?

Woody Cragg 1 year, 7 months ago

It took me 30 yrs. more to get what I paid for. SSC, fuggetaboutit, just a political ponzi scheme if you ask Rick Perry. More power to ya. ballers, ride the wave if it's there for you.

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

• recruiting starts so early now, Self brings diapers and pacifiers to in-homes.

• Antonio Barton on Sunday chose to play for Cuonzo Martin instead of for Bonzo Weber.

•"What surprised me is [Mitch Mcgrary's] a smaller guy, but he plays bigger than what he is.”--Jeff Withey

Nut punches by teammates can make guys appear smaller than they are, Jeff.

• developing karate kicks to the head and genitals, plus the quickness to block sucker punches would keep Jeff in the L much longer than a 15 foot J. C • Paying a prison body teammate a $100k/season to take out the knee of any opponent that tries to intimidate Jeff would keep Jeff in the L longer than any other single thing Jeff could do.

• Potential Thon Maker Headlines:

Maker Can't Miss

Thin Thon from Thudan a Thorn in Thooner'th Thideth

Sudan Swatter Taps Kansas

Maker a Record Breaker

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Notice how football TV revenues no longer drive realignment?

Notice how they never did?

:-)

jayhawkmike 1 year, 7 months ago

Tardbate, you are oh so wrong again with every word you say. Still think Withey will become a three point threat in the NBA like you once posted? If only Coach Self would have moved him towards the 3 point line to defend against 3 pointers. And we definately took way to many unconcested dunks last year because you can't get a three point play that way. And football revenues are not releant at all.

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Clearly, you showed me a thing or two about hide bound, no think, dullardism, didn't you?

So let's let music fill your bitter heart, shall we?

Sing along with me to the tune of the grand old Gilbert and Sullivan song "Titwillow"...

"Tardjaymike, tardjaymike, tardjaymike..." :-)

P.S.: clearly, if football TV revenues were what realignment were all about, then realignment would not have suspended, right? :-)

P.P.S.: You're too easy.

P.P.P.S.: Next.

jayhawkmike 1 year, 7 months ago

When arguing with fools, don't answer their foolish arguments, or you will become as foolish as they are.

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Yes, tjmike, I violated the rule of "never respond to someone starting with an ad hom, and then demonstrating insufficient sense to pour nitrogen enriched water from a dunce cap," when I responded to your disingenuous (or stupid, which was it?) response. And I'm violating it again, because I sense dullardism is on the rise, wish not to indulge it, and sense the duty out weighs the risk of being mistaken for you by doing so.

P.S.: once again, if football TV revenues were what drives realignment, then it would not have suspended, right?

P.P.S.: Next.

martyks 1 year, 7 months ago

Withey would help Boston. It might be fun to see him there. I recall another center who played for Boston who had almost no offensive game, but he did all right. I think his name was Russell. :)

jaybate 1 year, 7 months ago

Bill won two consecutive rings at USF. The comparison might not quite be fitting. But even Big Russ might not have blocked some of the shots Jeff did. Rock Chalk!

Hawk8086 1 year, 7 months ago

Great letter by Wiggins. Class. I have to believe that Withey has a decent future in the NBA. Not a star, but a good and valuable player. Comparisons are always interesting. He is not as big as Big O and will get pushed around more. Not as quick or as athletic as others (such as Ratliffe) , but he does have great timing and gets off of the ground quick. I think he can make a living in the NBA with his rim protection skills alone.

Hawk8086 1 year, 7 months ago

Ugh. Should have said...gets off of the ground quickly.

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