Kansas senior center has been named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Co-Defensive Player of the Year, announced on Sunday, April 7, at the 2013 AT&T/NABC Guardians of the Game Awards Show in Atlanta. He shares the honor with Indiana junior guard Victor Oladipo.
It's almost hard to believe the progression of Withey over his career. Granted every Kansas big man during the Bill Self era has sat behind some talented players, but Withey was underwhelming in almost any and all action prior to his junior season where he gradually blossomed into a force in the middle. Withey has been instrumental in Kansas continuing it's run through the Big 12 these past two seasons and will go down as one of the most polished shot blockers in Kansas history. It marks another successful chapter in the Bill Self/Kansas book of big men.
The Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Big 12 Championship, Withey led Kansas in rebounding at 8.5 boards per game to complement his 13.7 scoring average. The 7-foot San Diego native broke his own Kansas and Big 12 single-season record blocked shots record with 146 blocks in 2012-13. Last season Withey 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 ending his career with 312 all-time blocks. A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week this season, Withey led the Big 12 with 3.95 blocked shots per game, which ranks second nationally, and set the KU and conference per game average season record.