Archive for Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hair and there, Withey changes game for KU

Kansas University center Jeff Withey (5) muscles his way past Baylor’s Qunicy Acy, right, on Monday in Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas University center Jeff Withey (5) muscles his way past Baylor’s Qunicy Acy, right, on Monday in Allen Fieldhouse.

January 18, 2012


Jeff Withey was quick to accept a fashion tip from his boss last weekend.

“He (coach Bill Self) wanted me to get a haircut,” Withey, Kansas University’s junior center from San Diego, said with a smile, explaining the new look he brought to Monday’s game against Baylor in Allen Fieldhouse.

“It (hair) was too long. It was getting in my eyes. I think you could see that,” added Withey, who had a friend apply scissors to his locks Sunday night.

The amount of hair clipped was significant.

“I think I had to lose at least three inches,” the 7-footer said of his official height measurement changing after a visit from his barber buddy. “It felt weird tonight (running the court). I could feel the breeze.”

Feeling light on his feet, Withey scored 10 points off 3-of-10 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds in KU’s 92-74 Big Monday victory over the previously undefeated Bears.

He also ...

  • Went 4-for-4 from the line to up his free-throw percentage to 83.7.

  • Made a perfect bounce pass to Tyshawn Taylor that led to an acrobatic layup.

  • Plucked three steals and blocked three shots to up his Big 12-leading block total to 56.

“It (effective play from Withey) changes our team a lot because we turn into a Baylor-type team and there is height everywhere,” KU junior guard Elijah Johnson said. “T-Rob (Thomas Robinson) brings the strength because he is going to muscle everything through and intimidate people.

“If teams are able to make that pass (inside), they still have to go over a 7-footer, who is athletic and can do just about anything. So when we get Jeff going, it really gets a lot of us going, and a lot of people don’t know that. Jeff is a key player to our team, especially with getting us started. When he is on track, it can be a long night for some teams,” Johnson added.

When Withey is on, he’s part of a killer inside combo with the 6-10 Robinson, who burned Baylor for 27 points and 14 rebounds in 35 minutes.

“Thomas makes the game easier for me, because he’s so strong. He moves everybody out of the way, so I can just go up and rebound,” Withey said.

“We knew they (Bears) were long and would be physical. We are pretty big too. I am 7-foot. Thomas is 6-10. Justin (Wesley) is 6-8 and Kevin (Young, 6-8) is a big man also. We match up pretty well.”

Withey, who had nine offensive rebounds on a night KU outrebounded BU, 39-24, brought great intensity to the court in his 30-minute stint.

“All the coaches tell me I’m too nice, I’m too laid back. Before the game, they try to get me pumped up,” Withey said. “Coach (Kurtis) Townsend is always in my ear saying, ‘Get mad. Go dunk the ball.’ My teammates are always trying to get me more aggressive. It helps a lot. I try to get into a zone.”

He works on controlling the glass at practice.

“We have a lot of drills. We get hit with pads, stuff like that just to practice rebounding,” said Withey. He averages 6.2 rebounds and 7.8 points per game. “With coach (Danny) Manning, we’re always going to be a good rebounding team.”

Withey’s biggest attribute has always been his defense, most specifically shot-blocking.

“Coach wants me to go after everything. If I don’t block it, I’m supposed to alter it,” Withey said. “I’ve always tried to go after the ball.”

Wooden list: Robinson has been named a John R. Wooden Award midseason top 25 candidate, the L.A. Athletic Club announced Tuesday. Others from the Big 12 on the list: Missouri’s Marcus Denmon and Baylor’s Perry Jones.


geoismeo 3 years, 10 months ago

Self wanted him to get a haircurt? What about all the thuggish looking players with tatoos smeared all over them?

drnater 3 years, 10 months ago

So just because you have a tattoo, it makes you a thuggish looking? Great stereotype...

woodscolt 3 years, 10 months ago

Geo thinks it made a statement about 'thuggish looking players' but instead made a very distinct statement about Geo . Funny how it works out that people are telling you more about themselves than they are the people they are passing judgement on.

jayhawker89 3 years, 10 months ago

Tattoos bro its tattoos not tatoos for Christ sake you sound like idiots. And what gives anyone the right to judge these kids buy thier tattoos. I guess I will start judging every single person who drives a Mercedes BMW or any other nice car, to be stuck up __ I think you can insert your own word there. But just because it was socially accepted for them to get tattoos means that they a thugs. And navyvet while I appreciate everything you you have done for this country I ask you don't people often in the armed force get tattoos of whatever branch they served in. So are they thugs and gangsters, or heros as I would call them. I myself do not have any tattoos but I don't understand why people are so judgemental of these kids with tattoos.

bulldevil 3 years, 10 months ago

Its not the look... Its because he cant look... The hair was in his eyes... Way to read the article...

geoismeo 3 years, 10 months ago

Okay, what about all the sagging shorts that they need to constantly pull up all the time? Would that effect their play? Why is'nt Self adressing that?

jayhawker89 3 years, 10 months ago

Because he is making millions of these kids and without them he doesn't and most of the best players dress like that and don't feed the bs of free education that applies to very few.

newmedia 3 years, 10 months ago

If you feel that much lighter on your feet Jeff just go ahead and shave your head! Keep up the good work and best of luck the rest of the season.

Jerry Collins 3 years, 10 months ago

I was concerned last year with Withey's intensity, boy has that changed. I think he is one of the keys to the Hawk's improvement. He gives us a solid number two big man so the opponents can't entirely collapse on T Rob. The coaching staff has helped by teaching both Withey and Robinson to play tough defense with less fouls defensively and to use each other down low when they're covered on offense. What a great job by Withey to compliment the outstanding play by the entire team.

grahambailey 3 years, 10 months ago

Manning's tutorship is obvious. In my opinion one of his great talents is teaching the big men how to play tough defense without getting into foul trouble. It's impressive how many minutes Robinson and Withy can play and stay clear of fouls, which obviously allows more agressive defense late in games.

mkhawk 3 years, 10 months ago

Hey, wasn't no "barber friend " that gave the good luck haircut, but Angie Sutter, Owner of MOXIE HAIR STUDIO. Journal world needs to give a girl her due. bitches

xtlawrence69 3 years, 10 months ago

Angie is the STYLIST that did his hair. She owns Moxie off of Wakaruas. Great salon...check it out!!!!!!

Commenting has been disabled for this item.