Minnesota Timberwolves 2013 NBA Draft Player Profile - Jeff Withey
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Article

Jeff Withey

Jeff Withey

KANSAS
Year: Senior
Position: Center
Height: 7-foot-0
Weight: 235 lbs.

Editor’s Note: Throughout the month of June, Timberwolves.com will profile a series of prospects that could be available at Minnesota’s No. 9 or 26 picks, or if they choose to move up during the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27. Part VIII highlights Kansas center Jeff Withey, a defensive-minded big who benefited from playing with a collection of NBA-bound talent in the Jayhawks’ program.



Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

Email / Twitter

Mock Draft Projections: 1st round, picks 20 to 30

2012-13 Season: 13.7 PPG, 8.5 RPG, 3.9 BPG, 0.9 SPG, .582 FG%, .714 FT%
2011-12 Season: 9.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 3.6 BPG, 0.7 APG, .536 FG%, .795 FT%
2010-11 Season: 2.3 PPG, 1.8 RPG, 0.7 BPG, 0.2 APG, .647 FG%, 0515 FT%
2009-10 Season: 1.3 PPG, 1.4 RPG, 0.4 BPG, 0.0 APG, .538 FG%, .556 FT%

Kansas center Jeff Withy had to wait his turn. He admits that. Withey spent four years with the Jayhawks, and for the first two seasons he saw limited action on the court. That’s what happens when you’re playing on a team filled with NBA-bound talent like Cole Aldrich and the Morris twins.

But once he got his opportunity, he made the most of it.

“Every day in practice was like a game for me. It got me a lot better,” Withey said. “When I was able to hit the floor, games were easy for me because of practice.”

Withey is now getting the chance to reap the benefits from his time honing his skills in Lawrence, and come June 27 he will likely be a first round selection in the 2013 NBA Draft. Like Aldrich and Marcus and Markieff Morris before him, Withey comes from a Jayhawks environment under Bill Self that strives for excellence and plays for championships each year. With that in mind, Withey is running the Draft gauntlet this June and is trying to showcase those skills he learned in Kansas for organizations at the next level. When he came through Minnesota on Thursday, he was taking part in his 10th team workout with five more to go.

In Withey, an NBA team will get a shot blocker and a defensive-minded player. He shined in that area in college, and with his 7-foot frame he has the size to make an impact in that department in the NBA. For teams looking to draft Withey, they’ll get that pitch from him loud and proud—he’s a player who expects to make his money on the defensive end.

“That’s what I did in college, and I think I can do that at the next level,” Withey said.

STRENGTHS

Withey very athletic for a big man, often showing that off both on the offensive and defensive ends of the court. He has the ability to score on alley-oops from his guards—a quality appreciated in Minnesota because of Ricky Rubio’s skill set—and he also has show the ability to accelerate in the paint and throw down aggressive dunks. Defensively, he’s brings an incredible ability to block shots. He averaged 3.9 blocks per game as a senior and 3.6 blocks per night as a junior. As an on-the-ball defender, he makes life difficult for opposing post players and was arguably one of the top big man defenders in the NCAA last year. On the defensive glass, he was also a strong ability to grab boards. Over the past two seasons, he shot better than 70 percent from the free-throw line. From an experience standpoint, he spent part of his collegiate career practicing against NBA-bound players. Once he got his opportunity to gain minutes, he made the most of it.

WEAKNESSES

Withey likely won’t make as big of an impact offensively as some of the other bigs in the Draft, meaning he is likely a little bit more of a defensive rotation player at this point. He isn’t as polished with his back to the basket, and he’s been criticized for having limited use of his off hand around the basket. From a player development standpoint, Withey is an older player in this draft (23 years old), and there are questions about how much upside he retains as he enters the league. At 7-foot with a 235-pound frame, he’ll likely need to work on his strength heading into the NBA.

THEY SAID IT

“No matter where I go I’m going to be a defensive guy. That’s what I do. Pick-and-pop, pick-and-roll, it probably would make my life a lot easier with a guy like Kevin Love next to me—a rebounding machine and an awesome player. But wherever I go, my thought process is going to be on the defensive end.” — Kansas center Jeff Withey

WHAT HE CAN BRING TO THE WOLVES

Withey could fill a role that the Wolves are seeking to potentially fill in this draft, and that’s a shot-blocker who can station himself around the rim and make it difficult for opposing teams to slash and score. Withey won’t necessarily be a guy who will get you consistent point production on the scoreboard, but he might impact how many points the opposition puts up and, with Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic currently on the roster, his role wouldn’t need to be in the scoring department. He could be a serviceable rotation player up front with that defensive-first mentality—certainly an enticing quality.

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Time Draft Picks

Year
Player
Pos.
School
Rd / Pick
Ht / Wt
Class
2012
Robbie Hummel
F
Purdue
2 / 58
6'8" / 215
Sr
2011
Derrick Williams
F
Arizona
1 / 2
6'8" / 248
So

Donatas Motiejunas
F/C
Italy
1 / 20
7'0" / 222
Int'l
2010
Wesley Johnson
G/F
Syracuse
1 / 4
6'7" / 215
Jr
Luke Babbitt
F
Nevada
1 / 16
6'9" / 225
So
Trevor Booker
F
Clemson
1 / 23
6'8" / 240
Sr
Paulo Prestes
C
Brazil
2 / 45
6'11" / 260
Int'l
Hamady Ndiaye
C
Rutgers
2 / 56
7'0" / 235
Sr
2009
Ricky Rubio
G
Spain
1 / 5
6'4" / 180
Int'l

Jonny Flynn
G
Syracuse
1 / 6
6'0" / 185
So

Ty Lawson
G
North Carolina
1 / 18
5'11" / 195
Jr

Wayne Ellington
G
North Carolina
1 / 28
6'4" / 200
Jr

Nick Calathes
G
Florida
2 / 45
6'6" / 194
So

Henk Norel
F
Netherlands
2 / 47
6'10" / 230
Int'l
2008
OJ Mayo
G
USC
1 / 3
6'4" / 200
Fr
Nikola Pekovic
C
Montenegro
2 / 31
6'11" / 265
Int
Mario Chalmers
G
Kansas
2 / 34
6'1" / 190
Jr
2007
Corey Brewer
F
Florida
1 / 7
6'9" / 185
Jr

Chris Richard
F
Florida
2 / 41
6'9" / 255
Sr
2006
Brandon Roy
G
Washington
1 / 6
6'6" / 215
Sr

Craig Smith
F
Boston College
2 / 36
6'7" / 250
Sr

Bobby Jones
F
Washington
2 / 37
6'7" / 215
Sr

Loukas Mavrokefalidis
F
Greece
2 / 57
6'11" / 260
Int'l
2005
Rashad McCants
G
North Carolina
1 / 14
6'4" / 207
Jr

Bracey Wright
G
Indiana
2 / 47
6'3" / 210
Jr
2004
Blake Stepp
G
Gonzaga
2 / 58
6'4" / 194
Sr
2003
Ndudi Ebi
F
Westbury Christian H.S.
1 / 26
6'9" / 195
HS

Rick Rickert
F
Minnesota
2 / 55
6'11" / 215
So
2002
Marcus Taylor
G
Michigan State
2 / 52
6'3" / 195
So
2001
Loren Woods
C
Arizona
2 / 46
7'1" / 245
Sr
2000
Igor Rakocevic
G
Yugoslavia
2 / 51
6'2" / 184
Int
1999
Wally Szczerbiak
F
Miami (Ohio)
1 / 6
6'7" / 244
Sr

William Avery
G
Duke
1 / 14
6'2" / 180
So

Louis Bullock
G
Michigan
2 / 42
6'2" / 180
Sr
1998
Rasho Nesterovic
C
Slovenia
1 / 17
7'0" / 248
Int

Andrae Patterson
F
Indiana
2 / 46
6'9" / 240
Sr
1997
Paul Grant
C
Wisconsin
1 / 20
7'0" / 245
Sr

Gordon Malone
F
West Virginia
2 / 44
6'11" / 215
Jr
1996
Ray Allen
G
Connecticut
1 / 5
6'5" / 205
Jr
1995
Kevin Garnett
F
Farragut Academy H.S.
1 / 5
6'11" / 220
HS

Mark Davis
F
Texas Tech
2 / 48
6'7" / 210
Sr

Jerome Allen
G
Pennsylvania
2 / 49
6'4" / 184
Sr
1994
Donyell Marshall
F
Connecticut
1 / 4
6'9" / 220
Jr

Howard Eisley
G
Boston College
2 / 30
6'3" / 180
Sr
1993
Isaiah Rider
G
UNLV
1 / 5
6'5" / 215
Sr

Sherron Mills
F
Virginia Commonwealth
2 / 29
6'9"
Sr
1992
Christian Laettner
F
Duke
1 / 3
6'11" / 235
Sr

Marlon Maxey
F
UTEP
2 / 28
6'8" / 250
Sr

Chris Smith
G
Connecticut
2 / 34
6'3" / 191
Sr

Tim Burroughs
F
Jacksonville
2 / 51
6'8"
Sr
1991
Luc Longley
C
New Mexico
1 / 7
7'2" / 265
Sr/Int

Myron Brown
G
Slippery Rock
2 / 34
6'3" / 180
Sr
1990
Felton Spencer
C
Louisville
1 / 6
7'0" / 265
Sr

Gerald Glass
G
Mississippi
1 / 20
6'6" / 221
Sr
1989
Pooh Richardson
G
UCLA
1 / 10
6'1" / 186
Sr

Gary Leonard
C
Missouri
2 / 34
7'1" / 246
Sr

Doug West
G
Villanova
2 / 38
6'6" / 200
Sr

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