Originally published April 7, 2013 at 07:29p.m., updated April 7, 2013 at 11:50p.m.

KU’s Jeff Withey named co-defensive player of the year by NABC

Jeff Withey (5) blocks George Fant in the Jayhawks second-round game against Western Kentucky Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Jeff Withey (5) blocks George Fant in the Jayhawks second-round game against Western Kentucky Friday, March 22, 2013 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


Kansas University senior center Jeff Withey on Sunday was named National Association of Basketball Coaches Co-Defensive Player of the Year at the 2013 AT&T;/NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show in Atlanta.

Withey, a 7-footer from San Diego, shared the honor with Indiana junior guard Victor Oladipo.

Withey averaged 13.7 points and a team-leading 8.5 rebounds a game for the Jayhawks (31-6). He broke his own KU and Big 12 single-season blocked shots record by swatting 146 shots.

In 2011-12, he blocked 140 shots to set the school and league mark.

The 2012 and 2013 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, Withey is also the KU and Big 12 career blocked-shots leader. He finished his career with 312 all-time blocks. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week, Withey led the Big 12 with 3.95 blocked shots per game, which ranked second nationally, and set the KU and conference per-game-average season record.

Last week Withey was named Consensus All-America Second Team along with KU red-shirt freshman guard Ben McLemore.

Certain first-rounder: believes Withey will be taken No. 21 in the first round of the NBA Draft.

“It’s not a stretch to say that Withey was the biggest defensive difference maker in college basketball this season. He blocked 4.9 shots per-40 minutes, down from 5.7 last year, but is far more than just a shot-blocker,” Draft Express’ Jonathan Givony writes.

“Withey possess cat-like instincts on this end of the floor, showing unbelievable instincts as both a man to man and help-side defender. He does an amazing job of going straight up into the air and absorbing contact while avoiding committing a foul, aided greatly by his long reach, quick jump and tremendous timing. He almost always is able to keep his blocks in-bounds, which is infinitely more valuable than having a shot-blocker who simply sends opponent’s shots into the second row. This is perhaps where his volleyball background shows up the most.

“Withey is also already 23 years old, so there may be an element of ‘what you see is what you get’ in terms of his upside,” Givony adds. “Athletic 7-footers with great defensive instincts and excellent finishing ability don’t grow on trees, though, so there will surely be a market for his services.”

Draft Express has KU freshman Ben McLemore being taken No. 2 overall behind Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel. McLemore has yet to make it official that he’s entering the draft.

KU ties: Here’s a look at how some college coaches with KU ties fared with their current schools this season.

Larry Brown, former KU head coach, now coach at SMU: Brown’s first SMU team went 15-17 overall and 5-11 in Conference USA.

Danny Manning, former KU player, now coach at Tulsa: Manning’s first Golden Hurricane team went 17-16 overall and 8-8 in Conference USA. Tulsa lost its first-round CBI Tourney game to Wright State, 72-52.

Jerod Haase, former KU guard, now coach at UAB: Haase’s first Blazers team went 16-17 overall and 7-9 in Conference USA.

Mark Turgeon, former KU guard and assistant coach now coach at Maryland: Turgeon’s second Terrapin team finished 25-13. The Terps lost to Iowa, 71-60, in the NIT semifinals in New York. Maryland went 8-10 in the ACC.

Rex Walters, former KU guard now coach at San Francisco: Walters’ fifth San Francisco team went 15-16 overall and 7-9 in the West Coast Conference.

Tad Boyle, former KU guard now coach at Colorado: Boyle’s third Colorado team went 21-12 overall and 10-8 in the Pac-12. The Buffs fell to Illinois in the second-round of the NCAAs.

Barry Hinson, former KU director of basketball operations now coach at Southern Illinois: Hinson’s first SIU team went 14-17 overall, 6-12 in Missouri Valley Conference games.

Ben Miller, former KU assistant coach now coach at NCAA Div. II UNC Pembroke: Miller’s fifth Pembroke team went 22-10 overall and 14-5 in the Peach Belt Conference.

Alonzo Jamison, former KU player now coach at Bethel College: Jamison’s second Bethel team went 3-25 overall and 2-16 in the KCAC.


Boouk 9 years, 8 months ago

Great for Jeff. It's not easy to beat out Aaron Craft for this award.

Jack Jones 9 years, 8 months ago

You can't be serious!! No one changed a game ~ any game ~ more than Jeff Withey this past season My guess would be, that if a statistic was kept for opponents points in the paint ~ KU wins hands down ~ oops, I mean HANDS UP.

Kye Clark 9 years, 8 months ago

I agree with Boouk. It is hard to beat out Craft for the award. And I agree with everything you say. Jeff was easily the best defensive player in the nation this year. But the media is always jocking Craft (kinda like the jocked Anthony Davis last year to sway the POY votes away from TRob), so Jeff had to be just that much better just to overcome the media hype.

The fact that he is sharing this award with Oladipo is a joke.

yates33333 9 years, 8 months ago

These comments are right on the spot. If KU was located along the east coast Jeff would have been the sole winner and first team all-American. The bias isn't only east of the Mississippi so are most of the voters.

Withey, not McLemore, is the reason KU had such a great season. If Withey had disappeared as much as McLemore in games we'd have had many more losses. McLemore is potentially a great player, and already a good player, but he needs to stay in school not for KU basketball's sake, but for his own sake.

PS. Not meant to slight Young or Releford at all, or even Johnson or Tharp on many occasions. But take Withey out of the lineup and guess what!!!! I know there is no I in team, but ......

JakeBarnes 9 years, 8 months ago

Ditto. I don't know what the criteria are for retiring a number, but Withey's jersey should hang from the rafters with the others that are there. I have watched KU since Clyde Lovelette's day and Withey is as deserving as most of the rest hanging there. Maybe Wilt should have a very special, special place, but not only for his play at KU but for his whole career. Manning is probably the best college player in the group, and a very distinguished group it is.

wrwlumpy 9 years, 8 months ago

Every week Jeff just keeps getting richer and richer. No one has worked harder. You Lifted weights, you gained 30 lbs. of muscle, you are a seven footer who not only can block but slide better than most non-post players. The pros will be hard, but you said it was your dream. Your coach said that you will be one of those that will be in the league for 10 years. Thank you again for the amazing basketball player and person you've become.

yates33333 9 years, 8 months ago

Well said. (I worry about next year with no With ey)

Adam Tyler 9 years, 8 months ago

Congrats Jeff.

Oladipo is a very good player. Overhyped by the media in my opinion, but still a force on both ends of the court.

However, he did not dominate the defensive end like Jeff Withey. Throughout the year I viewed him as a Releford type (which in no way is a knock, I love me some Rele). But he was not a rare player in college basketball.

Jeff Withey was rare. His shot altering and blocking ability was vastly unappreciated by the media but most definitely felt by our opponents.

His ability to protect the rim is something that will never escape me. I wish you would have won this award outright, but oh well. Go make millions Jeff, you deserve it!

texashawk10 9 years, 8 months ago

A well deserved honor Jeff. If this was AP defensive player of the year, I can almost guarantee it would've been Aaron Craft because the media loves Craft.

Bill Blomander 9 years, 8 months ago

Way ta go Jeff !!! Congratulation !!! Thnx 4 the Memories !!! Good Luck, Wherever You Go !!!

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 8 months ago

Way to go Jeff. But come on, Co-Defensive player of the year? Oladipo couldn't carry Jeff's jockstrap. He was overhyped by members of the press who just like to say Oladipo. I mean it is kind of fun to say but please!

texashawk10 9 years, 8 months ago

This was voted on by coaches, not the media.

BainDread 9 years, 8 months ago

The second saddest thing about the loss to Michigan was that Jeff fell three blocks short of breaking Tim Duncan's career record for blocks in NCAA tournament games. Just one more game and he likely would have set the record. Three more games and he would have set the new record so high it would probably have been untouched for decades. Fortunately he got the single tournament record last year.

I doubt I will live long enough to see anyone break his Big-12 conference blocks record. Records like this are usually increased in small increments. His 311 career blocks broke Chris Mihm's record by an amazing 47 blocks; an increase of 18%. I hope he finds a good fit with an NBA team and has a long, rewarding pro career.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 8 months ago

Won't be touched as much because Bigs don't normally stay so long.

phins13td 9 years, 8 months ago

Co-Defensive Player of the Year? There should be no Co.

It should read, Defensive Player of the Year - Jeff Withey.

Joe Baker 9 years, 8 months ago

It's called bias. They've been dying to give Oladipo something. They gushed and salivated over him all year. No disrespect at all, but he didn't do anything that Withey accomplished. Oladipo should've been the co-def player. They all but give Withey the DPOY, but...Oladipo is the choice. We don't exactly know why because his overall defensive game didn't match Withey at all. Withey dominated games. Oladipo had some good defensive games and was fairly consistent, kinda like Rel, possibly a bit better than Rel in some instances. I saw Oladipo get physcial by pushing, elbowing, and virtually hitting people to have his way defensively. It may sound aggressive, but at times he looked a bit thuggish. Withey played a game of defensive skills and did something no other defensive player achieved, altered games for KU.

Whatever, the bias is clear. WIthey is DPOY in my mind for obvious reasons, not because I'm a KU fan, but because I'm a big fan of bball. If the media doesn't stop getting so involved, the game of college bball is dying.

CPAHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations Jeff! You set a standard of attitude, ability and effort that will challenge all who follow you.

Craig Carr 9 years, 8 months ago

Shared? That is a slap in the face, I would take Releford over Oladipo anyday. All year it has been about Indiana, surprised Zeller wasn't given player of the year. Jeff disrupts games like no other since Ewing and Olajuwan. Outstanding effort Jeff, you will be sorely missed.

LLH 9 years, 8 months ago

Congrats Jeff, you deserved this award OUTRIGHT!! Go figure, a KU player gets an honor and has to "share" it. Typical. How come TRob didn't "share" POY last year? I'm still bitter about that chit. Oh well, nice work Jeff, good luck at the next level. I truly enjoyed watching your career, it was EPIC.

Scott MacWilliams 9 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations, Jeff!! You deserved this, but the whole enchilada, not a SHARE!! Oladipo is a great player, but he's no Block Party animal like you are.

Man we are really going to miss you. Here's to a long and fabulous career in the NBA! Rock Chalk, Jayhawk, WitheyFace forever!!

moonlightschlademan 9 years, 8 months ago

Nice to hear the updates on KU linked Coaches. Wasn't there another coach somewhere in North Carolina with some ties to coaching at KU? Or, maybe I missed something. By the way, Kevin Stallings has had a nice run at Vanderbilt - 14th season, 6 NCAA tourney bids.

Dirk Medema 9 years, 8 months ago

Nice to hear indeed, but it would have been even nicer to know about the change from last year for the first year coaches.

KULA 9 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations Jeff, El Jefe! You ARE the Defensive Player of the Year! Any coach who didn't vote for you obviously didn't have to go up against you and CHANGE HIS GAME PLAN to account for your defensive presence. Just look at what Roy said--"Any guard who tries to take it to the hole against Withey will be sitting next to me on the bench." And how many times did we see UNC guards (or guards from any team, for that matter) start to the hole, see Jeff looming, and think "Well, maybe not," and back it out? How many coaches had to actually change their game plan against Oli-whathisname?

I think what I regret not getting the chance to see more of, from an individual player standpoint, after this all-too-early exit, is the beauty of a Jeff Withey block that results in a turnover. It's almost unbelievable how many of Jeff's blocks resulted in a Kansas possession. It was literally "State of the Art" blocking. If you could teach a kid to block shots, this is what you would teach him. Whether Jeff retained possession or another Kansas player, it was ultimately more demoralizing to the opponent than the monster block into the fifth row. It was as if the forces of nature had erected a repelling force field around the basket in the shape of a 13 foot cylinder.

Does anyone know how that goes into the stats? If Jeff blocks a shot and retains possession, is it a rebound, a forced turnover, a steal, or what?

Congratulations again, Jeffey, El Jefe! Your Kansas career was too, too short. I think I'm gonna miss you most of all, Scarecrow.

ParisHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Thank you, KULA, for saying so well all I would wish to say on this subject.

I would only add that Jeff Withey kept improving to the very end. No other player so continously broke through all the ceilings that observers set for him.

Mr. Withey, you are on the short list of most liked, most respected and most sorely missed players since Danny Manning. We wish Withey well.

yates33333 9 years, 8 months ago

There are some really great comments here. Best of the Year!! I hope Withey reads them.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago


• Bill Self did not teach his player to nut punch.

• Rick Pitino did not teach his players to face rake away from the ball, or to grab a falling player and hit him in the mouth.

• Basketball is not in a state of disgrace.

• Corruption does not determine choices by 5 star recruits that wait till April to sign.

• Referees are not favoring certain teams.

• Basketball is not like boxing in the 1950s.

• Basketball is not in a state of disgrace.

• Basketball is not in a state of disgrace.

• Basketball is not in a state of disgrace.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 8 months ago

PAC 12 Head of Officials are not openly bribing officials to make certain alls against certain coaches....and then saying it was all a joke when they were called out on it :)

RJ King 9 years, 8 months ago

Actually, it sounded like a joke to me . . . just being facetious - albeit completely inappropriately.

JakeBarnes 9 years, 8 months ago

Dear Mr. Jaybate. Is this a joke? Did you see the Wichita State game against Louisville?

Michael Luby 9 years, 8 months ago

All fiction, no malice?
CBB is my favorite sport, I hate to see it turn corrupt

Ron Franklin 9 years, 8 months ago

"The End of an Era in the Bill Self Era"

Congratulations to Jeff Withey. So many of us didn't see this potential. I am incredibly amazed at the development Withey has shown over the last several years. Way to go Jeff!!

Jeff is the last of a special breed of Kansas Basketball players. We've have had the privelage of seeing some of the best bigs in basketball over the last decade. But over the last decade, we have had Danny Manning on the sideline coaching them up. Fortunately, for Danny, he got another opportunity to chase his dream of coaching, and continue furthering the careers of big men.

Danny is able to take a hidden gem and polish it into a beautiful work of art.

I hope that there is some way to continue seeing this type of BIG development at Kansas with Danny gone.

Rock Chock, and Congrats again, to Jeff--the Last of the Danny's.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 8 months ago

"Chock"????? Is there a brown-caped Count lurking anywhere near!!?? :)

Ron Franklin 9 years, 8 months ago

It was 5 am! I couldn't find the edit button! Sorry Oak!

bad_dog 9 years, 8 months ago

and the sun was in your eyes, and...

Ron Franklin 9 years, 8 months ago

and I'm pretty sure Chock isn't even a word that I knew so, not sure from where I pulled that !

Dirk Medema 9 years, 8 months ago

Jeff is the latest in the long line of a special breed of Kansas Basketball players, not the last. Coach Self has had bigs before Danny, and will continue to recruit and develop bigs.

Hoosierhawkfan 9 years, 8 months ago

Congrats to you, Jeff. I know you worked hard for this honor. Best of luck in the future. We can all appreciate Coach Self a little more too. Not only does he help develope good players, he helps build great men. Jeff is a prime example. Rock Chalk!!!!

REHawk 9 years, 8 months ago

Jeff, thanks for transferring to Lawrence, and for the steadily escalating display of upside which you shared with the Jayhawk community. Please come back as often as possible to help tutor JoJo Embeid in your specific skillset. Best of luck in the June draft, and in a long and injury-free professional career.

AsadZ 9 years, 8 months ago

Withey is also already 23 years old, so there may be an element of ‘what you see is what you get’ in terms of his upside,” Givony adds.

I do not agree with above statement. I truly believe Mr. W has a lot of upside especially on the other end. While he may be 23, he has played meaningful BB for only two years. And if we take into account last year when he was not being counted to contribute, playing in the shadow of T-Rob and TT, this was the only year where he was the focal point.

He showed me tremendous improvement in all aspects of his game. I cannot recall any BB player showing so much improvement in his career than Jeff.

One area where Jeff surprised me most is with his leadership ability. He did not talk a lot, he did not show a lot of emotions on the floor but there were several crucial games where he literally carried the team on his back. I salute Jeff for his dedication, hard work, courage and determination and wish him a long, successful and fulfilling NBA career.

Block Chalk Jeff Withey.

vann_dango 9 years, 8 months ago

I beg to differ about showing different emotions on the floor. :)

KemDooKU 9 years, 8 months ago

You have all done enough for the NCAA in terms of stuffing their piggy banks full of cash - now go and get yours.... That also Includes Ben. Thanks for all that you seniors and Ben have done for this team.... See ya!!!

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 8 months ago

He'll be missed. No one would have ever predicted he would become what he did.

As shocking as it is to me personally, I have to honestly admit I consider him one of the great centers in the history of Kansas Basketball.

Rock Chalk, brother.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Oh, yes, he joined the ranks.

We will likely see some incredible shot blocking in the future from Embiid, bit it will likely be quite awhile before we see another guy with this kind of savant like ability to do it.

Jeff Withey turned out to be quite rare.

tis4tim 9 years, 8 months ago

Kudos, Jeff! It's been a pleasure to watch you grow and mature in your time here at Kansas and I wish you all the best at the next level. Rock Chalk!

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago


Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

Fo' Franklins and gettin' fed

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

And talkin' trash and kickin' heads

Luv tuh kickem' when they down

Rake they faces and kick they knees

Bash they teeth and punch they nuts

Slash they faces and punk they butts

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

Fo' Franklins and gettin' fed

Aint' nuthing like bustin' heads

And talkin' trash and kickn' heads

If they white ya bust they nose

If they black ya kick they knees

If they brown ya punch they guts

If they yellow ya punk they butts

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

Fo' Franklins and getting fed

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

And talkin' trash and kickn' heads

Don't know why they let us play

But since they does we gotta seize

The chance to punch them in they guts

The chance to smoke 'em and punk they butts

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

Fo' Franklins and getting fed

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

And talkin' trash and kickn' heads

Don't take no talent to ball this way

Any color at all can smash some knees

Just get between the refs and they nuts

And punch the suckas and punk they butts

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

Fo' Franklins and getting fed

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

And talkin' trash and kickn' heads

They gotta keep the game inside the pane

39 fouls is the limit seez?

Elbow the eyes and kick the nuts

Then punch the suckas and punk they butts

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

Fo' Franklins and getting fed

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

And talkin' trash and kickn' heads

They like you to foul like yo' insane

Fake SATs and fake degreez

Make me wanna holler and kick they nuts

Then punch the suckas and punk they butts

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

Fo' Franklins and getting fed

Ain't nuthin' like bustin' heads

And talkin' trash and kickn' heads

(Note: XTReme Ballers of all socio-economic backgrounds appear to play this way in the NCAA XTReme Ball Tournament. Talkin' Blues form is selected only because it is a legendary American form for dealing with the pain of anything one loves. )

DrPepper 9 years, 8 months ago

Nice to get the season update on the other coaches. Much appreciated to have this info made available here.

I don't understand why multiple topics get put under one link in the online version. This is an on-going thing. Break -em up.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 8 months ago

Your Choices for this Phenomenom::

1] Writers practicing stream of consciousness.

2] Minimum number of words required per article.

3] Temporary A.D.H.D. in staff.

4] Shotgun theory...if one idea is a bust, others will cover.

5] Seriously...does it really matter???

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

~Bedore needs to go longer! :-)

~Has anyone found any stats on trey shooting percentage in domes vs. non-domes?

~Nice weather we are having today.

~A truly beautiful, naked woman never goes out of style.

~People predicting a major stock market crash are proved right sooner or later.

~Is basketball a right, or left, brain activity?

~Pyongyang is the capital of North Korea, but I do not know the proper pronunciation.

~Sometimes I wish that I had gone through life with a foreskin, though I am at a point of indifference about whether doing so would have significantly changed my life.

~Bailout money is not really untraceable. They just say it is untraceable, so they don't have to go to Leavenworth Penitentiary.

~So far in my life, chocolate has been good any day of the week.

~While I like electric cars and believe the world will one day be vastly better off with them, I do not believe that anyone can ever meaningfully express their gasoline equivalent mileage.

~Suppositories are only good, when all hope is lost.

~Football is what we play to be sure we get a head injury. Basketball is what we play, when we hope to avoid a head injury. Baseball is what we play, when we have a death wish that involves being killed by 6-6 inch misanthrope with 105 mph rising fast ball.

~A Fiat 500 is better than no car at all.

~I often wonder why natural selection was selected in.

~Very few persons understand what whores Senators are, and that is a good thing for whores.

~In times of post NCAA loss distress, I like to self medicate with Vick's Vapo Rub and Chianti.

~Few persons will ever understand how hard it is for Gary Bedore to make it look so easy.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Jeff Withey is an inspiration to many tall, gangly young boys trying to make their ways in junior high/middle school and high school. Jeff proved that if a tall, skinny guy were tough enough, and worked hard enough, that he could play with the prison bodies and the intimidators. Jeff Withey showed once again (this time for all the tall folks), that its not the size of the dog, but the size of the fight in the dog, that counts.

I will never forget Jeff's will and determination that was so much in countervalence with his apparently laconic, laid back personality. Nor will I ever forget his relentless, incremental getting better. Like Cole Aldrich and Marcus Morris and Thomas Robinson before him, he became part of Self's rare bread of bigs that seemed to master getting better. His entire senior season I saw him keep getting better in small ways, keep finding new ways to impact, incrementally increasing his range of altering, getting more confident hedge defending, finding ways to pass, and be passed to, getting better at coming out at a higher and higher level, instead of waiting for later in the game.

The way I assess players mastery of getting better, not just being good, is I look for the things they are weakest at, the things the coach is probably not really insisting they get better at, and see if I can see even minor improvements over the course of the season. Jeff's offensive footwork, which was the weakest aspect of his game, kept getting tiny steps better each month of the season. By season's end, Jeff could most definitely make a turnaround move, and he could most definitely see the opening and move to the basket decisively for the high pass and the dunk. Jeff showed some dribbling ability a couple times the last month.

Though 23, I believe Jeff has only scratched the surface of what he can do offensively. Jeff has a fine shooting touch. I recognized this from his high school videos when he first announced he was transferring to KU. Once he is in the pros and can practice basketball full time, he is going to develop a sliding, mobile game in which he wills step out and pot the triceratop. Its coming. And when he masters it, it is going to make him an incredibly valuable 4 for any NBA team with an All-Star 5. That trey will open up the middle for the super star 5 like nothing else. Robert Horry made a looooong pro career out great defense and an occasional trey. It gave Shaq the room to work at will inside on the offensive end, and Horry made if very tough for opposing 4s to score against Horry and Shaq. Size loves company.

Its by no means a sure thing that Jeff can make it in the NBA, because he is so slender. But it was by no means a sure thing that he could make it in D1 either. He's got the kind of inner strength and will that means that if he can hang on long enough, he's going to make an impact in about 3 years, or so.

Rock Chalk, Mr. Withey.

JakeBarnes 9 years, 8 months ago

JB. This is what you are really best at, you know. Jake

brooksmd 9 years, 8 months ago

Not to be nit-picky, but "rare bread" or "rare breed?" Still a great post jb.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 8 months ago


You basically have two types of defense, with the frontcourt having predominantly shot blocking, shot altering and block recovery whereas the backcourt is steals, forced turnovers and drive, shot and play denial.

I think it makes perfect sense to recognize the two best players each who excels in his specific position. To me it's almost like apples and oranges....although both are fruit.[line stolen from My Big Fat Greek Wedding].

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Yes, Oak, it makes perfect sense and this is why the NCAA will stubbornly oppose it.

Sam Constance 9 years, 8 months ago

If allowing for the different demands of positional defense is important, I think the best way to do that is to have an all-defense team, just like an All American team. I don't like the idea of a co-award because even though positional differences matter on defense, positional differences matter on offense as well, and they don't have a co-POY award.

I don't think Oladipo was even the best perimeter defender in college basketball. Just the one that ESPN salivated over and over and over and over and (well, you get the point).

To me, the final comparison would have to come down to Craft and Withey, and as others have already stated, Withey's impact on a game from the defensive end just could not be matched by ANYONE this year, and it wasn't really that close. Any center/forward with the ability to patrol the paint like a hockey goalie should have the inside track to the DPOY in any given year, imho, because if they do it well, they can affect every single player on the other team. A great perimeter defender almost always needs a partner in crime out on the perimeter to have the same kind of game-changing impact as a post player.

Players like Oladipo and Craft can win the award in years we don't have a dominant, overall-game-affecting player in the post.

BlockParty 9 years, 8 months ago

A well deserved honor for a player who will be greatly missed.

BainDread 9 years, 8 months ago

I've been a big fan of Jeff's from the moment he announced he was transferring to KU....partly due to the fact that he is from my adopted home town of SD. So forgive me for multiple posts praising his work. In reviewing his career stats and considering the big jump in his minutes and productivity between his sophomore and junior years, I remembered something I and many others have probably forgotten. Jeff broke a bone in his foot in late September before his sophomore season. While there were some really good players in front of him that year, I wonder how much better he could have been that year if he hadn't had that setback.

Adam Tyler 9 years, 8 months ago

Those coaches records are inspiring for the future. I tried to follow Manning, Brown, and Haase as much as possible this season because I thought it was intriguing that three Jayhawks would be coaching in the same conference. I have also always been fond of Turgeons teams and am hopeful he can dominate the ACC (for however many more seasons) and the Big 10 for a long, long time.

SMU, Tulsa, and UAB didnt have much talent this year, but each of these coaches managed to hover around .500 and build for the future.

Danny Manning did a tremendous job getting Tulsa an invitation to the CBI Tournament in his first season, even though he endured a rough start with multiple transfers. It wasnt too long ago that VCU used the CBI Tournament to jump start their program, they won the tourament and the next season were in the Final 4. I hope Danny can recruit, recruit, recruit because the competition is only getting better going into the American Athletic Conference (aka former Big East).

Watch out for Larry Brown and SMU next year, grabbing a McDonald's All-American is huge for his program, but that isnt the only big-time recruit he signed. He has 2 recruits in the Top 100 and I like his chances with some actual talent.

Turgeon has signed a couple big-time recruits and if he can convince Alex Len to come back for his junior season the Terps could be dangerous.

It is hard to follow each and every coach with Kansas ties, but it is a great reflection on our programs success. Hopefully Dooley and Sadler dont join this list any time soon!

RJ King 9 years, 8 months ago

I hope that Jeff going mid to late first round will serve him well. Wouldn't it be best for him to back up a really good center, play with a couple great forwards, and have a couple guards making sharp interior passes?

vann_dango 9 years, 8 months ago

Great honor for you Mr. Withey, let us not forget to give the trainer Andrea Hurdy some credit for helping to bulk him and improve his over vertical(which I am interested to see what it is now). I will miss his presence next year, but I have feeling that we are going to try and be a smaller guard line-up to make up for his size in the paint.

bradynsdad 9 years, 8 months ago

Rio Adams posted on Twitter that he is transferring. Self must have felt it was best for him to leave.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago

Very sad, but by quitting, Adams opened the door for Self to think about whether or not he wanted to coach Adams for three more years. Self has job security. He is 50, not 40, now, too. He doesn't have to put up with head aches, unless he wants to. Self is probably here from now on to win some more rings and to help some young players get out of poverty. Self has already proven himself. Self has said made clear that the players have to bring the attitude and desire; that that is something he is not going to do for them. Self has proven that he will put up with quite a lot, if he thinks it will help a team achieve its full potential. He will put up with almost anything if a guy is trying his hardest to get better and fulfill the role the team had for him. He will play a 5 star point guard like Josh Selby in a boot and greenlight him to shoot and attack, if he is willing to play the role the team needs. Self is willing to live with a point guard that can't play worth a damn on a bad knee and then later struggles with decision making, if that player is willing to play the role the team needs.

Perry Ellis will have an entire team built around him next year not because he is the best player, but rather because he is the best player that was willing to play a role the team needed--a role that he wasn't even really very well equiped to play. But this proved to Self that Perry understood the roles of a team. It meant if he could adapt himself to the role the team needed last year, then Self could trust him to be able to adapt to a truly huge role of anchor man. Self now knows that Perry could struggle all season long, but never give up. This is a crucial quality for any player that is going to be a cornerstone to have. 38 or so games is a long time and a lot of things go wrong in a season for a player. Self can't have guys that can't keep grinding through the tough times. Why did this most recent KU team survive so mud adversity. They lost Doyle before the season started. They lost Peters and Evan Manning before the season started. They lost Danny Manning before the season started. They lost Barry Hinson before the season started.

If EJ hadn't proven that he was tough as nails, imagine how harrowing it would have been to try to gut through the season with a guy that had to play half a season on one knee and then half on 1.5 knees. Teams have to have cornerstones they can trust through thick and thin. This is what separates Self's teams from other teams. They are built around guys that can get it done under adversity.

One infers that Rio Adams did not convince Self that he was ready to fill a role better than others Self could find.

jaybate 9 years, 8 months ago


On the first swallowing minute of The Finals,

Louisville gave to me : A face rake the refs didn't see.

On the second swallowing minute of The Finals,

Michigan gave to me:

Two fake flops...etc.

On the third swallowing minute of The Finals,

Louisville gave to me:

Three nut punches...etc.

On the fourth swallowing minute of The Finals,

Louisville gave to me:

Four talking smack...etc.

On the fifth swallowing minute of The Finals,

Michigan gave to me:

Five brass knuckles...etc.

On the sixth swallowing minute of The Finals

Louisville gave to me:

Six split lips...etc.

On the seventh swallowing minute of The Finals,

Michigan gave to me:

Seven trips a-tripping...etc.

On the eighth swallowing minute of The Finals,

Louisville gave to me:

Eight cheese cakes cheesing...etc.

On the ninth swallowing minute of The Finals,

Michigan gave to me:

Nine Bimbos at court side...etc.

On the tenth swallowing minute of The Finals,

Louisville gave to me:

Ten cheeks a-cracking...etc.

On the eleventh swallowing minute of The Finals,

Michigan gave to me:

'Leven tendons tearing...etc.

On the Twelfth swallowing minute of the Finals,

Louisville gave to me:

Twelve shoulders a-separating...etc.

(Note: All fiction. No malice.)

KULA 9 years, 8 months ago

As mentioned by a few posters above, one of the most disappointing things about losing Jeff is that he is still getting better. His game seemed to expand game by game in the last half of the conference season, stretching his offensive effectiveness. This was obviously missed by Jonathan Givony, who seems to think Jeff may have reached his ceiling. He must be not have watched Jeff much and is just going by numbers.

The fact that Jeff hasn't reached his ceiling only makes his Kansas career seem all the shorter. Such a shame he hardly got any playing time his first two years. It would've been awesome to see how much he could have developed with another year of college ball. And by the way Reuben J Cogburn, some of us did see that Jeff would be a force. I myself posted in Jeff's freshman & sophomore years that he would turn out to be a better shot blocker than Cole and have a better pro career than Cole because he was more agile offensively, ran the floor better and had a better shooting touch. Too bad Bill didn't listen to me back then, lol.

And one more thing that I have to comment on--if you expand the photo above, you see Jeff's head about 12 inches from the rim and his feet about two feet off the ground. That's AMAZING for a 7 footer--a 24 inch vertical leap! That kind of agility will serve him well at the next level. I could definitely see him fitting in with a running team like OKC. Good luck in the NBA Jeff. We'll definitely be watching!

brooksmd 9 years, 8 months ago

I too often wonder "what if" when it comes to the shot blocking record if Jeff had more PT his first 2 years. But with the Morii and TRob, and if I remember right Jeff had some physical problems, we will never know. Congrats Jeff on a great 2 year run and all the best in the league.

Sam Constance 9 years, 8 months ago

This is EXHIBIT A for why the coaches shouldn't even bother voting on individual awards like DPOY. They don't have the time to invest in watching enough game film to make an accurate vote, so they vote for the player(s) who seemed to be getting the most praise in the media and highlight shows. Unfortunately, in scenarios like this, that approach doesn't work, because you have a guy who was under-valued by the highlight shows (Withey) meeting a guy who was over-valued by the highlight shows (Oladipo). The end result is some kind of wishy-washy false equivalency between two players who simply were not equivalent on defense.

Oladipo is an outstanding two-way player, but he had absolutely no business winning or sharing this award. But he has a name that's fun for morons like Dick Vitale to scream on College Gameday shows, and has the kind of athleticism that allows him to make stunning individual plays on both ends of the court, so his stellar defense is flashier.

If anyone deserved to share this award with Withey (and no one really came close), it was Aaron Craft. Anyone who has watched Craft and Oladipo defensively this season can see that while Oladipo is a long, bouncy athletic freak who does play solid fundamental defense, Aaron Craft was perhaps the most consistently relentless perimeter defender in all of college basketball this year.

And again, Craft, as great as he was, shouldn't have been close to Withey for this award either. No opposing coach completely changed his team's strategy to deal with Aaron Craft's defense. No player completely changed his offensive tactics upon seeing that Craft was waiting for him. No player made anywhere close to the same kind of overall game impact as Withey.

As I noted on another thread, if Withey wasn't an awkward-ish looking white dude, he would have enjoyed the same level of praise and no-question belief that he was the rightful DPOY as Anthony Davis did last year. But, as we all know, Withey IS an awkward looking white dude.

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