Many months ago when we didn't really know much about this Jayhawk basketball team, besides the fact that Sherron and Cole would be studs, and Xavier had the body of a Spartan warrior, I saw Jeff Withey get some action at Late Night in the Phog. I was thoroughly unimpressed but willing to chalk it up to rustiness. Then the kid started getting nagging injuries one after another and I started thinking about past KU transfers: Luke Axtell, Lester Earl, Jelanni Janisse, who never made impacts at KU while being deemed, "very nice additions and impact players". I did the knee-jerk thing (rare for me) and I stated on this site, "Jeff Withey will never be a major contributor at Kansas"
I'm ready to retract that statement.
Withey really has still not played all that much this season, mainly because of a plethora of depth on our fronline. But we all remember the great game he pulled at Iowa St. that had Self telling the media after the game how important it was that he could trust him to come in and give us good minutes. And then there comes last week against Nebraska: "Withey, in nine first-half minutes, contributed four points, six rebounds, two blocks and a steal with no turnovers." Forgetting about the stats, I saw athleticism that I hadn't really seen from Withey and that I definitely didn't see when I prematurely gave up on him in pre-season. I'm here now to say that I think Withey has a bright future and could really end up being a solid center for us in the years to come.
My final question becomes, why hasn't Jeff seen a little uptick in playing time? After such a tough stretch of games so close together, I really expected to see him in there for 5 or so minutes against Texas. I wanted to see him in there to tell you the truth. I understand that it was a big game and all, but to me it was the perfect opportunity for him to get a few minutes because we did have such a commanding lead most of the game. Also, Cole was in some foul trouble throughout the game. Maybe this just shows who Coach Self really has the trust in because, after all, it is February now. To me, though, right now is the time to sprinkle minutes in for the guys that you might need to create a spark when nothing is going right in March.
All in all I'm more here to talk about my excitement for the future at the center position. I'm eating crow today.
Would you like to see Withey get more minutes? Explain below.