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April 9, 2012
By Jesse Newell
Kansas center Jeff Withey says he considered going pro following the 2011-12 season. He talked to reporters following the KU basketball banquet on April 9, 2012.
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A wise choice, Jeff. I see him really blossoming next year.
Key phrase: "As of right now"
Staying will be a very good thing for Jeff he'll be one of the best next year
Jeff could be next seasons T-Rob (kind of).
i like withey, hes got heart. but he is in no way shape or form a nba caliber player. he is too one dimensional.
that said, if the incoming class is going to kill his minutes, then go for broke.
So you're saying if a bunch of 18 year olds coming in prevent him from getting playing time, he should go to the NBA? Where there are non-18 year olds who are much, much, much more talented?
Withey needs to stay for several reasons, but mainly because he still needs more bulk and his offensive game needs some work. Losing Danny hurts him, but I still think another year of seasoning in college is necessary before he can really think about being drafted. I hope he does next year, and his defense is pretty darn good right now, but he's not ready for the NBA, especially with the talent that's coming out of college this year.
I think Withey will be drafted but will wind up playing in Europe ala Sasha Kaun. He is one dimensional in terms of not being a strong scorer, but the incoming talent isn't going to eat into his play time. Self is a defense first coach and none of the incoming players is as strong defensively as Withey is right now, nor will they be as strong throughout the season. That alone guarantees his minutes. I don't think he has the body to become a go to scorer though. We're going to need a lot more action out of our guards next season.
The only reason Kaun is in Russia is because they offered a better deal than the NBA team that drafted him.
7'0 elite shot-blockers aren't a dime a dozen at any level, so I can't imagine why Withey wouldn't be appealing to most NBA GMs. The only risk with him is his inability to gain weight. Hudy has been a miracle worker, but he's still a good 15-20 lbs away from being able to deal with most NBA centers.
As Andrea Hudy commented in one of the recent interviews, Jeff may still be growing and that's not so terribly unusual. Strength (muscle development) isn't a function of bulk for all body types (Kevin Garnett?), and he has already improved that nearly as much as his footwork. Next season, we should see more and 'bigger' results of his great work ethic, especially on the "managed aggression" which needs improvement.
I'll never knock a kid for leaving but I think it will help Jeff a lot basketball wise. Being "the guy" should improve his stock a lot, especially how much bigs seem to get better here.
Jeff made the right decision. Another year of CS and Hudy should raise his NBA stock... plus, add on another 10-20 lbs of muscle not only to play stronger, but also to stay healthy through those long NBA seasons.
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