June 27, 2013
After former teammate Ben McLemore’s named was called as the seventh overall draftee, he and Withey became the 73rd and 74th players to be drafted in Kansas men’s basketball history. The duo marks the 23rd time – and fourth-consecutive year – that multiple Jayhawks were drafted.
“He can shoot,” head coach Bill Self said of Withey on ESPN Radio. “He can make a pick-and-pop 17-foot shot, and I wouldn’t say he has the greatest face-up game, but he can make a face-up jumper. Then he has another skillset – that regardless of who he’s guarding – he’ll be hard to score over. He’s unbelievable at creating that separation so he gets a free jump to try to block or alter a shot. He’s as I’ve ever seen at that. Those are two skills that a lot of people wish they had.”
Withey and McLemore pushed KU to 19 picks over the last decade, putting KU among the top-five schools for producing the most NBA Draft selections. Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, KU has seen 25 players drafted to the NBA, which is the most of any league member. KU has sent 29 players to the NBA during the past 20 years, which sent KU past North Carolina for third-most among all NCAA Division I schools and only trails Kentucky Duke (31) and Kentucky (30).
The National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Co-Defensive Player of the Year, Withey 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.
More than merely a defensive threat, Withey led Kansas in rebounding at 8.5 boards per game to complement his 13.7 scoring average. The 7-foot San Diego native was named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2013 Big 12 Championship.
A three-time Big 12 Player of the Week this season, Withey led the Big 12 with 3.95 blocked shots per game, which ranked second nationally. That mark also set the KU and conference per game average season record. Withey was named to the Consensus All-America Second Team along with McLemore.