Rock Chalk Jayhawk: KU basketball traditions fill ‘The Phog’
Former University of Kansas center Jeff Withey has signed a one-year contract agreement with Ironi Nes Ziona, a professional men’s basketball team based in Israel, the team announced.
Withey, 7-foot, 230 pounds from San Diego, played in a total of 29 games last season with a pair of teams — G.S. Lavrio in Greece and Tofas S.C. in Turkey. He combined to average 7.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 blocks a game.
Withey, 29, was the 39th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. He played parts of five seasons for New Orleans, Utah and Dallas and averaged 3.2 points and 2.5 rebounds. Withey played in 206 career NBA games, starting 15.
His new team competes in the Israeli Premier League. The current Ironi Nes Ziona roster includes former U.S. players Daequan Cook of Ohio State, Corey Fisher of Villanova and Jeremy Hollowell of Georgia State.
“He is a 7-footer who is active around the basket, especially on the defensive end with a strong shot-blocking presence. Solid post moves with the ability to step out and bury a jumper,” writes Nir Luna of eurobasket.com.
Chandler visits Arkansas
Kennedy Chandler, a 6-0, 165-pound junior point guard from Briarcrest Christian High School in Eads, Tennessee who helped MOKAN Elite win the prestigious Nike Peach Jam in July, had a “great time” on his recent unofficial visit to Arkansas, he tells nwahomepage.com.
Chandler, the No. 27-ranked player in the recruiting Class of 2021 by Rivals.com, has received scholarship offers from Kansas, Arkansas, Memphis, Ole Miss, Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Florida State, Georgia Tech, LSU, Michigan, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Syracuse, Louisville, Florida, Maryland, Vanderbilt and others.
Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky also have shown interest.
He was asked about Memphis, the perceived leader, in an interview with nwahomepage.com.
“I know Penny (Hardaway, coach) is going to recruit me hard to come to Memphis. There’s a lot of pressure on me because everyone in my city wants me to go there. But for me, I’m just looking for the best fit right now,” Chandler said.
Chandler’s dad, Kylan added: “Louisville, Michigan … definitely a lot of unofficial visits coming up over the next two years. As far as official (visits), we are not sure yet. I think (taking a future official visit to Arkansas) is a possibility, not for sure but it’s a strong possibility. But we will be coming back down this year (to Arkansas) during football and basketball season.”
Chandler averaged 14.0 points, 5.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds a game for MOKAN Elite during the past AAU season.
“For me, it was really just about proving myself on a big stage and I feel like that happened,” Chandler told wholehogsports.com.
“I think my driving ability, my passing ability are strengths and I need to work on just extending my range,” Chandler said. “My summer was a great summer. I just had a great time, probably one of the best experiences of my life.”
Chandler averaged 19.5 points, 4 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 3.0 assists while leading Briarcrest (29-2) to a state title last season.
He had 20 points in an 65-54 overtime win over Brentwood in the state championship game.
“We have the exact same team coming back. We won the state championship. The goal is to win the state championship again,” he told wholehogsports.com.
Moody to visit Ohio State
Moses Moody, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound senior small forward from Montverde (Florida) Academy, will make an official recruiting visit to Ohio State from Aug. 30 to Sept. 1, Rivals.com reports.
Moody — he is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, the home of KU freshman guard Issac McBride — is ranked No. 58 in the recruiting Class of 2020 by Rivals.com. He plays summer basketball for Bradley Beal Elite AAU.
He took an unofficial visit to Arkansas at the end of June.
Moody has an early recruiting list of KU, Missouri, Oregon, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Ohio State, USC, Alabama, Stanford, Baylor, Texas, Florida, Miami and others.
Brown-Ferguson has lengthy list
Javonte Brown-Ferguson, a 6-11, 230-pound junior center from Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore and the Under Armour Canada Elite AAU program, says he’s hearing a lot from coaches from Kansas, Texas A&M, UConn, Indiana, Marquette, Stanford and Purdue.
“Those are the schools leading the way,” he tells Zagsblog.com.
Of KU, he says: “They have a very good coaching staff including coach (Bill) Self. They have an amazing arena and amazing facilities. They always come out with great bigs, kind of like a big man factory. And the Big 12 is one of the best conferences in the NCAA also.”
Luinstra officially added to UCM roster
University of Central Missouri coach Doug Karleskint recently made official the transfer of former KU guard Garrett Luinstra to the Div. II school located in Warrensburg.
Luinstra, a 6-2 former Lawrence Free State High standout, had revealed plans to leave KU for UCM on Aug. 2. He will have three years of eligibility remaining at UCM and be immediately eligible to play in games this season in accordance with NCAA transfer rules involving moving from a Div. I school to Div. II.
“Garrett is a fantastic addition to our program,” Karleskint said on the team’s official Website. “He played in a great high school program, a great summer program (MOKAN Elite), and obviously comes to us from one of the top programs in all of college basketball. We’re excited to have him at UCM.”
Luinstra played 11 minutes total as a freshman at KU in 2018-19. In 2017-18, he set the Free State single-season scoring record with 456 points. He averaged 19.0 points a game and helped the Firebirds to a 19-6 record and spot in the Kansas Class 6A state title game.
Luinstra was a first-team all-state pick and Sunflower League player of the year his senior season at Free State. He entered 10 games as a freshman at KU. He was 0-for-3 shooting with three assists and one turnover.
“He’s tough,” said Karleskint. “He has the ability to put the ball in the basket, but he’s also a good playmaker who makes his teammates better. And he’s a great young man. We’re thrilled to add him to our 2019 class.”