Jeff Withey flummoxes Kansas State once again
1. Jeff Withey: After three games, Kansas State is still no closer to solving the defensive riddle that is Jeff Withey. Though KU's senior center had only one block, he altered numerous shots and was the big reason KSU made just 15 of 36 shots from two-point range (42 percent). Withey also came up big on the defensive glass against a strong offensive rebounding team, contributing 17 points (5-for-9 shooting), nine rebounds (seven defensive) and two assists with two turnovers in 34 minutes.
2. Perry Ellis: Though Withey took Most Outstanding Player honors, Ellis' play in the last two games certainly put him in the conversation. Ellis was key during a second-half run that put the game away, finishing with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting with six rebounds in just 14 minutes. KU coach Bill Self said after the game that Ellis "looks like a different guy from a confidence perspective."
3. Kevin Young: Saved KU's sluggish offense in the first half, as he posted seven rebounds, six rebounds (three offensive) and two assists before halftime. The senior didn't appear hampered by a lower right leg injury, finishing with nine points (4-for-8 shooting) and nine rebounds with three assists to go with two turnovers in 27 minutes.
4. Travis Releford: After the game, Self said Releford "did an unbelievable job" defensively on KSU's Rodney McGruder, who finished with 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting. Self also said many times when McGruder scored, it was the result of a switch and, therefore, not Releford's fault. The senior added six points on 3-for-7 shooting and had three of KU's seven steals.
5. Naadir Tharpe: When Elijah Johnson struggled at point, Tharpe stepped in to provide needed stability for KU at that position. It also ended up being one of his best shooting nights of the year. Tharpe scored a career-high 12 points on 4-for-6 three-point shooting, making four threes for the first time in his career. He also added two assists to go with one turnover in 19 minutes.
6. Ben McLemore: McLemore was quiet offensively, scoring a season-low five points on 2-for-7 shooting. The rest of his line was OK, though: three rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal to go with a turnover.
7. Elijah Johnson: Was careless in the first half, then let those mistakes affect his play after that. The senior scored nine points on 3-for-9 shooting, but he had just three assists to go with six turnovers. His three-game hot streak seems like a distant memory, as in his last four games, he's made 12 of 40 shots (30 percent) with as many assists as turnovers (16).
8. Jamari Traylor: Missed his only shot but also had an impressive block in his two minutes.
9. Rio Adams: Played in the final seconds. Winner of the three-man KUsports.com lottery for ninth place.
10. Andrew White III: Played in the final seconds. Second place in the three-man KUsports.com lottery for ninth place.
11. Justin Wesley: Played in the final seconds. Loser in the three-man KUsports.com lottery for ninth place.
KUsports.com Season Standings
1. Jeff Withey (275 points)
2. Ben McLemore (258 points)
3. Travis Releford (243 points)
4. Kevin Young (210 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (192 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (173 points)
7. Perry Ellis (161 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (111 points)
9. Andrew White III (52 points)
10. Rio Adams (38 points)
11. Justin Wesley (24 points)
Big 12/Postseason Standings
1. Jeff Withey (184 points)
2. Ben McLemore (169 points)
3. Travis Releford (158 points)
4. Kevin Young (151 points)
5. Elijah Johnson (116 points)
6. Naadir Tharpe (112 points)
7. Perry Ellis (109 points)
8. Jamari Traylor (70 points)
9. Andrew White III (29 points)
10. Rio Adams (23 points)
11. Justin Wesley (17 points)