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.
KU's Jeff Withey will go to the Amare Stoudemire Skills Academy this summer (same camp T-Rob broke out in), according to Bill Self.— Rustin C. Dodd (@rustindodd) May 23, 2012
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.