Withey in the making????

  • Perhaps im being overly optimistic here. Remember how long it took Jeff Withey to become the great shot blocker and inside presence he became for us?? Im thinking i can see Lucas getting there before hes done. He has the length. I think hes starting to get more confidence. I think hes playing hard. Learning. What do ya think friends?? Discuss

  • I don’t think Landon has the physical package to be anything more than a poor man’s Withey. Withey was very light on his feet and tremendous at high pointing the ball. I haven’t seen those skills from Lucas, and he’s already been in the program for three years.

    I think solid backup is his ceiling.

  • I see your point. And may even be in agreement right now. However, i felt the same way about Withey for a very long time

  • @cragarhawk

    While Lucas skills are not elite, he does have solid fundamentals. seems to work hard and he is a smart young man. I am not sure if we will see anytime soon the height and timing combination (for blocks) that Withey had. Looked like Mickelson might have that combination, but so far it does not seem like he does.

  • @cragarhawk Love Lucas, but he’s too slow to be Withey. He’s always a tic behind.

  • @justanotherfan But he’s also just a sophomore.

  • @globaljaybird

    He is a red-shirt sophomore; this is his third year at KU.

  • Interesting thought and one I sure would love to see happen.

    An obvious difference for me is that Withey was a big time volleyballer. So when he blocked shots, unlike most guys who bat the ball up and away, he tended to spike it back down into play. Plus being two inches taller, a longer wingspan and more vertical pop, he holds the advantage there too.

    But Withey did take awhile to develop. And younger Lucas at 240 (compared to Withey’s current 235) has a bigger body and isn’t getting pushed around as much under the basket as Jeff used to be at this stage. I especially noticed this during the ISU game when McKay had been dominating us underneath and then Landen came in and really challenged him and for the most part succeeded. And both play for the best coach in modern basketball… so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you’re right and we have another Withey in the making!

  • @Jyhwk_InTigrtwn

    In addition to what you said, Withey had better timing (the key to blocking shots) than just about anyone I have seen in many years in college BBall…

  • I was at the game and noticed something that I had seen before. When Landon came into the game the energy level of the team changed for the better. I can not tell you why but it was very evident. He might not have the skills of the other bigs but somehow he brings out the best in those around him. I for one would be happy with just that. There is an added bonus however in that the added playing time he is seeing is making a different player out of him. He is gaining in aggression and is not as likely to fumble the ball. I would say the jury is still out on Mr. Lucas’s top end and I’m eager to see where he is this time next year with his skill set.

  • @JayHawkFanToo Withey was also a rs sophomore that only played 6.2 min a game and I remember watching him thinking he would NEVER play any real minutes. Just sayn

  • @Statmachine exactly what i thought. Thats what prompted this entire discussion. I admit i was wrong about Withey. And maybe that in itself is giving me some hope about Lucas

  • But can Lucas stank face?withey.jpg

  • @truehawk93 need to bloody him up, maybe tomorrow!!! I think that’s how wv plays!

  • Even though I agree with most people about Lucas not having the same skill package, and being a couple inches shorter, the argument against Lucas is that he is a red-shirt sophomore and has been in the program for 3 years. But didn’t Withey transfer? He had to red-shirt a year also. Wouldn’t that make them in the same position?

  • @Statmachine

    Withey had foul problems in his first two season and then he went to almost completely eliminate that problem, but there is no question that from early on he could block…

    Withey stats 2010-2011 - So.- 162 minutes, 6.2 mpg, 2.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg - 19 blocks - 1 block/8.5 minutes

    Withey stats 2011-2012 - Jr. - 968 minutes, 24.8 mpg, 9.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg - 140 blocks - 1 block/6.9 minutes

    Withey stats 2012-2013 - Sr. - 1144 minutes, 30.9 mpg, 13.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg - 146 blocks - 1 block/7.8 minutes

    Lucas stats 2014-2015 - So. - 214 minutes, 11,5mpg, 2.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg - 8 blocks - 1 block/26.8 minutes

    When it comes to blocking Withey and Lucas are in completely different levels.

  • @JayHawkFanToo said:


    Withey had foul problems in his first two season and then he went to almost completely eliminate that problem, but there is no question that from early on he could block…

    Withey stats 2010-2011 - So.- 162 minutes, 6.2 mpg, 2.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg - 19 blocks - 1 block/8.5 minutes

    Withey stats 2011-2012 - Jr. - 968 minutes, 24.8 mpg, 9.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg - 140 blocks - 1 block/6.9 minutes

    Withey stats 2012-2013 - Sr. - 1144 minutes, 30.9 mpg, 13.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg - 146 blocks - 1 block/7.8 minutes

    Lucas stats 2014-2015 - So. - 214 minutes, 11,5mpg, 2.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg - 8 blocks - 1 block/26.8 minutes

    When it comes to blocking Withey and Lucas are in completely different levels.

  • Nice article about Lucas, esp. Japanese experience, and a bit about his parenting: Friday’s KC Star.

  • @globaljaybird Jeff had better hand eye coordination & had different weight distribution on a taller frame so I would be remiss saying I thought LL had the similar components Jeff developed to the def level he attained. LL is more of the bruiser type & has a more contrasting style to his game, & also a much different ceiling than JW. He’s still not much exp playing with first team guys even tho he’s in a third season. LL has a much higher potential than many give him credit for. Plus now he IS getting time with the starters. 9 pts off the bench is damn near what you expect from BG each time out so I won’t discount this young man any longer. He set his own bar. Hopefully it translates to more confidence & greater production every time out. He’s a great kid, good teammate & excellent student so my belief is that he will improve each & every time his number gets called…& it will be called.

  • In all seriousness, Lucas has had a difficult playing time experience. Although the redshirt really helped because it gave Embiid the much needed time to play. Lucas scrimmaged with Embiid. Lucas and Withey are two different players. I hope Lucas simply plays like Lucas. I think Lucas brings an intelligence like Self mentioned. Lucas is smart. He does things that won’t show up on the stat line. Let’s hope he comes into his own as conference play turns toward the tourney. I hope he has a breakout game or two that will allow him to show his talent, skills, and capabilities. We just havent’ seen the real Landen Lucas. Will the real Landen Lucas please stand up?

    I was really big on him at the beginning of the season and he just faded a bit, but it seems Self is beginning to see more from him than since the beginning of the season. It might be some much needed experience and length.lucas and self 1.jpg lucas and self 2.jpg

    I think we’ll play fairly small and should handle WV well. Bill Self talks about KU’s victory over BU

    Kansas basketball coach Bill Self answers questions from the media, following the Jayhawks’ 74-64 home win against Baylor. Self credits backup big man Landen Lucas for knowing how to play versus a zone.

    Here’s my point with our incoming recruits. I want you to watch Lucas and you’ll see some of Bragg, Maker, and Giles. Keep in mind Lucas is a redshirt junior(?) Let’s hope we can pace our incoming recruits.

  • @cragarhawk Lucas does not seem to have Withey’s timing or length. At best, Lucas might do ok in one of the Euro leagues. I hate to say D League cuz those guys are basically paid with peanuts.

  • @Lulufulu It’s really difficult to compare them because Withey’s volleyball experience was huge for bball. Embiid’s soccer gave him some really good feet and he was so quick for a footer. Landen brings you mind skills and he’s going to produce mentally for you.

  • @truehawk93 Where did bounce go? He was actually finishing on oops. I have yet to see him rise up and slam anything. Is he battling some knee injury?

  • @globaljaybird

    He’s at a point in his career where he has more of his college career behind him than in front. There’s just not much projection left for him. I think he could improve some, but it’s limited because he’s only got two years left and he’s a fringe rotation guy right now.

  • @justanotherfan you may be correct about a projection but he still has 2 more years of eligibility after this one. As for the prior 2 how much time has he spent doing anything besides being on the scout team. He’s logging min with the main course now, & he is improving, not as fast as a blue chipper yeah, but he’s got the apprentice/journeyman ethic about his game & it’s showing well for him. EachNC team has to have a Chris Piper or a Darnell Jackson to be the glue guy separate from the highlight reel. IMO, LL can be that guy if he keeps progressing. I’m sure cheering for him anyway.

  • Would be advantageous to LL if he should grow another inch; but he must be about 21 years now, so that is not likely to occur. Another offseason with Hudy should help his hops (see Perry). Minutes such as those vs. Baylor are bound to polish his game and confidence. Though a sophomore in eligibility and 2 seasons more practiced than was Aldrich (whose breakout NCAA game vs. T. Hansbrough astounded all of us), I can envision Lucas giving us a super performance, in just the right matchup. Saturday’s contest vs. Rico Gathers offered glimmerings of very proficient play, esp. against a big man of more girth than height. Rico sure as hell did not snag any personal record breaking 28+ rebounds in AFH. And LL had lots to do with limiting Rico’s numbers.

  • @JhawkAlum I know and was impressed with those blocks. It just goes to show the transition these guys experience from HS to D1. I think his was timing. But the plan for him to redshirt is interesting. Self always rewards his redshirts, always. If Landen doesn’t break out, he’ll either fade away with Bragg coming or he’ll emerge to tutor the young man.

    His hops vanished due to Embiid. Embiid just swallowed Lucas completely. But, as I said, they scrimmaged together and would like to see Lucas cash in on some Embiid deposits.

    He can still run the floor well and finish as a big.

    He’s got the timing…

  • @truehawk93 I just saw Bragg play 1 game, he’s more of a 4, than a 5. He can shoot away from the basket too.

    I just edited your post with my Collison comment…I have no idea. I didn’t know you could do that…sorry. @truehawk93

  • I think Ellis will school Bragg…Alex is the odd man out. I’m not sure exactly what he’ll do if he doesn’t go pro. I’d almost think Self will encourage him if he’s anywhere near a good draft status…say first round top 10? Not sure where Alex is trending right now. Bragg would have two very good teachers in Ellis and Alex.

    I guess you work Alex at the 5. His play is more of a 5 right now than a 4, even though his size is a 4.

    Bleacher ReportFirst-Round Mock for 2015 NBA Draft

    17 Phoenix Suns Cliff Alexander, PF, Kansas

    20 <a href=‘http://www.nbadraft.net/nba_draft_trades/2015’ title=‘Bulls have right to swap 2015 first round picks with Cavs. Lottery protected.’ class=‘mock_team_link’><strong>*Cleveland </strong></a> *Cleveland Cliff Alexander 6-8 250 PF/C Kansas Fr. WOW- NBA mock draft has him at 20…I’d stay!

    17 Phoenix 29 25 .537 18.5 3-7 Lost 2 57 wins, pick #27 Cliff Alexander $1,440,000

    From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com#ixzz3Rscna0sI http://www.draftexpress.com

    This can only get better for Alex. He could sneak into top 10 by seasons end. It’s up to Alex. Many don’t think he’s ready, but the NBA says different. He’s got the tools. We all know how this works.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 I would love to see Collison do some NBA coaching with Lucas and all our bigs this off season. I think we could have another bigs coach to replace DMan in the near future. I don’t know what Collison’s plans are, but he’d be great on the staff with Self.

  • @truehawk93 he just signed a new contract.

  • “Whatever you are, be a good one.” –ALinc

    Lincoln was a President. There have been many Presidents. But no one has done it quite like Lincoln did.

    More often than not our Presidents are mediocre. They have the basic skills to get there, but not the extraordinary qualities needed to recognize opportunities for action and the wiles and quality of character to endure and triumph being truly who they are.

    The past teaches many lessons, many ways to be great at roles, but it can obscure from us the most crucial lesson; that each great person is unique in how he plays the role. We never see the same greatness twice. Ever. Not in all of history. Ever.

    Each of us is unique. But we are asked to do the same jobs others have done. Fortunately for us, each job can be done many ways.

    Fortunate too are we that circumstances, as similar as their surfaces may seem some times, are as infinitely complex and unique within limits, as is each individual acting in a role within them.

    I saw Bill Russell and then Wilt Chamberlain. It seemed impossible to play center more uniquely, or better than these two men did.

    But then came Jabbar and Walton. Each shared some similarities with Russell and Wilt, but in the end found stood out as two more newly unique ways to be great at center.

    And so on it has gone on with each succeeding great center in the game.

    And with each of the merely good centers of the game. Never a duplicate copy. Never another anyone. Never.

    Again and again what we see are unique young men of strong will and character finding unique ways to imprint their own unique way of playing the position on a team of unique individuals somehow discovering that that centers unique personality and way of playing center can be just what they need to play well with.

    What we can say of Jeff and Landen is that both lacked the extraordinary array of talents possessed by some of the great centers of the game, but they both seem to possess a few of them.

    And they both seem to possess the character and will to push to try to both master the minimum requirements of the position and to impose the uniqueness of their characters on the position, rather than just copy what has been done before them.

    Just as finally Withey defied all previous molds of exactly how one could play the position with his unique mix of strengths and weaknesses, so to it seems that Landen has sufficient strength of character and will to define the position and role in yet another unique way.

    What he does with the role will not be like Withey–will not have been seen before.

    But he increasingly seems to have the strength of character and will to get on with forging new kind of center that helps a team win.

    With centers of lesser gifts as with persons with lesser gifts , it is always possible for his progress to be interrupted by another great player being recruited.

    But he seems to have that little something extra that certain players have that can play a role their own way; that can grow beyond the phase of learning by imitation and make something new of the role.

    Self seems to think that what he can bring to the role is a kind of intelligence that is unusual for a big man.

    Self is in the fascinating business of recognizing both minimum requirements for roles,'plus recognizing that which has not been seen before in players and finding a use for it on a team.

    Every player Self signs for any position seems to possess some of this potential uniqueness that has not been seen before. It seems almost a criterion. It seems to be what he actually means when he recruits characters. They meet minimum basketball requirements, but they also meet some hard to articulate criterion of strongly unique character. Hunter Mickelson demonstrates this. Landen has before this year. Withey the same for a few years.

    He can’t always find roles for them every season. Sometimes he can’t ever find roles for them.

    But when he does what they make of the roles is frequently unexpected and unepectely good when it plays out over a season.

    We fans want to talk about players as if the were formulas.

    Self seems to coach them as if they were unfolding not entirely predictable dynamics.

    It is part of his genius that he has managed to systematize…some.

  • @truehawk93 True dat, Truehawk! Withey’s volleyball and Beed’s Futbol were instrumental in how they both played basketball.

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