Jeff Withey could be sleeper for Wooden Award

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Jeff Withey's strong start places him on the short list of players who might win the Wooden Award.

Kansas Jayhawks center Jeff Withey is off to a strong start this season, and is starting to receive some support for the Wooden Award. Jason King of ESPN.com released 15 names to watch this season for the award, and included the seven-footer on his list. King had positive praise for Withey, writing:

"The 7-footer recorded just the second official triple-double in Jayahwks history when he had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks in Monday's win over San Jose State. Not many teams in college basketball have a game-changer on the defensive end quite like Withey, who leads the nation with 6.2 blocks a game."

Thomas Robinson was a finalist for the Wooden Award last season, but Kentucky Wildcats center Anthony Davis won the award. Davis winning the award last year may help Withey's cause, as both players have a tremendous impact on the defensive end of the floor.

Withey has played well in the first six games of the season, as he leads the team in points, rebounds, and blocks. Withey currently averages 14.2 points, 8.7 rebounds and 6.2 blocks per game.

The center's next chance to impress will come at the Spring Center, as Kansas plays the Oregon St. Beavers on Friday in Kansas City.

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