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Transfer could bring spark to KU basketball
I've got good news for Kansas fans. I know of a college basketball transfer* who wants to play at KU.
He played major Division I basketball last year and is looking for more minutes this upcoming season.
He's also a big man. And after KU losing Cole Aldrich to the NBA, the Jayhawks could use a talented big guy in the middle.
This player only received limited minutes last year at his school, but in the time he was in, he put up some impressive numbers.
Here are some of his statistics compared to Aldrich last year.
As you can see, many of Player X's statistics were eerily similar to Aldrich's last year.
Ready for more good news? He'll be eligible next year for the Jayhawks. That's because he's already on the team.
That's right, "Player X" is Jeff Withey.
* — Sorry, I had to be tricky or you weren't going to be surprised.
Now I know I'm basing these numbers off an unfair sample size that is way too small to come to definite conclusions (45 minutes for Withey last year). And, yes, Withey did make it into the game for mop-up duty quite a few times.
Withey still performed best during the games he received extended minutes. In 12 minutes against Iowa State, he scored eight points (4-for-6 shooting) to go with five rebounds, a block and turnover. In nine minutes against Nebraska, he posted four points (1-for-3 shooting) to go with six rebounds, two blocks, one steal and no turnovers.
Also, because he was only eligible at semester, 13 of the 15 games he played in were during the Big 12 season or later.
One of KU's major needs next year will be a defensive presence in the middle. The Jayhawks were the top team in the nation in two-point field-goal percentage last season, and Aldrich was the main reason for that by blocking and altering shots as a defensive presence inside.
Judging from his block and rebounding numbers above, Withey has the potential to be that kind of defensive player for KU next season.
Should KU expect the same statistical production out of Withey with more minutes next season? Probably not.
Still, the seven-footer deserves a chance to see if he can keep his Aldrichian pace with extended playing time in 2010-11.