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Jeff Withey edges out Travis Releford for top spot

1. Jeff Withey: The senior played his best offensively when KU needed points down the stretch. He tied a career-high with 25 points on 7-for-12 shooting while also hitting 11 of 14 free throws. Defensively, he helped shut down his own man and also others who ventured into the lane with seven blocks in 33 minutes. SLU ended with a worse two-point percentage than three-point percentage mostly because of the seven-footer.

2. Travis Releford: He made Withey's second-half effort possible by forcing SLU to guard him in the first half. He scored 21 of his 23 points before halftime, which included 4-for-6 first-half three-point shooting. He also played great defense on SLU's leading scorer Dwayne Evans, allowing the bulky forward only five field-goal attempts.

3. Ben McLemore: He battled foul trouble in the first half but still ended with an efficient line, posting 11 points on 5-for-9 shooting with six rebounds in 25 minutes.

4. Elijah Johnson: He didn't shoot it well (2-for-7 field goals) but made up for it by delivering accurate passes to teammates. The senior posted nine assists, four rebounds and a steal to go with two turnovers in 34 minutes.

5. Kevin Young: Didn't attempt a field goal, but he still finished with eight rebounds and three assists to go with a turnover in 27 minutes.

6. Naadir Tharpe: He continues to avoid mistakes offensively, posting no turnovers for the third straight game. He made his only three-point attempt to beat the shot clock, finishing 1-for-5 from the floor for three points with four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 22 minutes.

7. Perry Ellis: The freshman once again frustrated KU coach Bill Self at times with his lack of aggressiveness. His line still wasn't bad for nine minutes: four points, 2-for-5 shooting, three rebounds, an assist and steal to go with a turnover.

8. Jamari Traylor: Had no points but two blocks, two steals and two rebounds in 12 minutes.

9. Rio Adams: Didn't return to the game after SLU's Mike McCall Jr. hit a three over him. Immediately after, Self called timeout, went on the court to yell at the freshman, then yanked his thumb back toward the bench. Adams missed his only shot and had a foul in two minutes.

KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (44 points)
2. Ben McLemore (42 points)
3. Travis Releford (37 points)
4. Elijah Johnson (33 points)
5. Perry Ellis (27 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (26 points)
7. Jamari Traylor (24 points)
8. Kevin Young (20 points)
9. Rio Adams (9 points)
10. Justin Wesley (6 points)
11. Andrew White III (5 points)

— Compiled by Jesse Newell and Tom Keegan. Written by Jesse Newell.

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Comments

Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 5 months ago

Regarding Ellis, eventhough he may have a reserved nature (as does Elijah), no one that is recruited to play for Bill Self is going to be a "spectator" on the court. Self wont allow it. And as smart as Perry Ellis is, he may have on-purpose picked KU+Self precisely because he knows Self's persona & expectations will drive his game to the next level of development. I read that whole Wichita newspaper story on Ellis about 2weeks ago, and he is intensely competetive to put it mildly. Him going up for acrobatic swats on the D-end is a very good sign of his intensity level changing for the better. I know Perry Ellis will be just fine down the road, and much improved by late-Dec/early-January...

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Robert Brock 1 year, 5 months ago

Being aggressive and physically tough is just not in Ellis' nature. I'm not sure that he can change. Maybe in a couple of years he will gain weight and strength and learn to do the things Coach wants him to do. He is a good kid.

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Doug Cramer 1 year, 5 months ago

Love the potential this team has. We should easily win the Big 12...and I think we'll make a final four run. We're long, fast, and athletic...everything it takes to dominate come March and April.

As far as P-Doggie Ellis is concern...he'll be fine. Always takes these freshman a little time to understand how Self wants them to play.

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jgkojak 1 year, 5 months ago

Perry is a freshman- and he's playing like one -

He just needs a little confidence and a break-out game and he'll start looking real good - he also needs his year of Hudy to muscle him up.

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Scott Smetana 1 year, 5 months ago

Ya. Funny now when a freshman isn't quite as good as we tought he'd be, it's a good thing! BMac has a good game.... great! BMac has a bad game... great! As long as we win, right? It will fun watching KU basketball turn Ellis into an all-american and NBA lottery pick in the next 2-4 years.

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Phil Leister 1 year, 5 months ago

Anyone else baffled by Ellis' lack of production? I know he's a freshman, and the season's young, but still. I never thought he'd be a one-and-done, but it's looking like that won't even be a question.

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