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June 27, 2013

Withey 39th pick

The Kansas Basketball program had another player selected in the 2013 draft when center Jeff Withey was selected No. 39 by the Portland Trailblazers.

Bill Self's run of sending players to the draft continues as Jeff Withey joined Ben McLemore in being selected in the 2013 NBA Draft, Thursday night.

Withey was a top 3 shot-blocker in college basketball during his senior year and did so without racking up fouls.

His defensive presence in the lane made it nearly impossible for opponents to get to the rim, allowing KU perimeter defenders to cheat for steals while knowing if their man were to get past them, Withey was there to protect the rim.

Portland has one of the better forward/centers in the league in LeMarcus Aldridge, and could potentially have former top pick Greg Oden should his comeback effort come to fruition.

Withey could be the insurance policy should that not happen. It has been said Portland has loosely shopped Aldridge around prior to the draft, but whether or not they move forward with a trade is unknown.

For Withey, strength has been his main issue over the course of his career but his timing as a former volleyball player has helped him become a tremendous defender.

The question is can he hold his ground against NBA big men? Offensively, Withey improved with his back to the basket, but he is still considered more of a face-up center on the offensive end of the floor.

Second round picks are not guaranteed contracts, which means Withey will have the chance to prove he is worthy of a roster spot to supply the Blazers with a strong defensive presence, with his play during summer league.

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