Jeff Withey Takes Over On The Kansas Interior

Mar 23, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; Kansas Jayhawks center Jeff Withey (5) talks with head coach Bill Self during the first half of the semifinals in the midwest region of the 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

2012-2013 will provide Jeff Withey with the opportunity to be the next big man in a long line of success stories under Bill Self at Kansas

The transition has officially begun. Since the 2008 championship season Bill Self has consistently had a stable of big men ready to step up and fill in with each passing class and every player success story. First it was Darnell Jackson, Sasha Kaun and Darrell Arthur. That torch was lifted by Cole Aldrich who would relent the role to the Morris twins when he left for the NBA. This past year Thomas Robinson was the leader on the interior for Kansas and now Robinson awaits and NBA draft that could see him go as high as any player during the Bill Self era.

That means that Jeff Withey is next. The seven foot senior to be blossomed in 2011-2012 with an increase in minutes and proved to be one of the most efficient shot blockers in the nation. His growth across the board was a big reason that a thin and rebuilding Kansas team found a way to play for a National Title.

Now Withey's role promises to take the next step forward. Withey is the clear returning leader on the interior and while he'll have a host of bodies ready to help, the seven footer is preparing to shoulder the load for Kansas. The first step in that process will be the same step that former teammate Thomas Robinson took just a year ago before his breakout summer.

The Stoudemire Skills Academy is a chance to compete against the best. Obviously that's something Withey has already done during his time at Kansas and even more so this past year, but this is a focused time where he will be on display against his peers.

A year ago Thomas Robinson owned this camp and set the table for a monster junior season. That season has positioned Robinson as a top five NBA pick. Withey has the opportunity to do something similar. Withey has already seen his stock skyrocket as compared to where it was a year ago, but this camp and the upcoming 2012-2013 season could help propel him into lottery status.

Withey has the opportunity to be the next big man in a line of success stories under Bill Self at Kansas. This camp and this summer are the first step in asserting himself for the Jayhawks.

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