Kansas center Jeff Withey (5) reacts during the second half of an NCAA Final Four semifinal college basketball tournament game against the Ohio State Saturday, March 31, 2012, in New Orleans. Kansas won 64-62. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
KU Senior Jeff Withey Named AP Preseason Honorable Mention
Kansas senior Jeff Withey has been named honorable mention on the 2012-13 Associated Press preseason All-America Team released Monday. The AP preseason team consisted of five first-team members and 17 honorable mention selections.
A 7-0 center from San Diego, Withey was recently selected to the All-Big 12 preseason team by the conference coaches. Withey was the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and an all-conference third-team selection who set the Kansas and Big 12 single-season blocked shots record with 140 last season. Included in his 140 blocked shots were an NCAA Tournament record 31 in KU’s run to the NCAA National Championship title game and a conference games only record of 65. Withey averaged 9.0 points and 6.3 rebounds for Kansas last season and shot a team-best 79.5 percent from the free throw line.
Preseason No. 7 in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches’ polls, Withey and fellow seniors Elijah Johnson and Travis Releford are Kansas’ three returning starters from last season’s 32-7 team which won its school-record eighth-straight Big 12 regular-season title (16-2 league record) and advanced to the school’s 14th Final Four and ninth NCAA title game. Ranked consistently in most 2012-13 preseason top 10 polls nationally, including many in the top five, the Jayhawks return eight letterwinners and have nine freshmen on this season’s roster. Two of the newcomers, guard Ben McLemore and forward Jamari Traylor, were redshirts last season.