CHICAGO – Jeff Withey is projected to be a mid-first-round draft pick. That means there's a good chance the 76ers won't select him in next month's NBA Draft.
The Kansas center, however, is still keyed up about Friday's interview with the Sixers, who will likely get the 11th pick.
"I'm extremely excited," Withey said Thursday at the NBA Draft Combine here at Harrison Street Gym. "I know a couple of guys on the team. Jrue Holiday, I played with him way back when. … And I'm excited to go meet with them and go talk with them. Obviously, I haven't done it yet. So I'm just trying to prepare myself for it mentally."
The 7-foot senior and Holiday are both from Southern California. The two are even former AAU teammates.
"I know Jrue very well," Withey said. "He's an all-star for them. That's awesome."
But just knowing Philly's franchise player won't secure him a spot on the Sixers – or any other NBA team.
While he's a talented shot-blocker, Withey needs to add strength. He believes that will come naturally with diet and the right nutrition. And in the meantime, Withey is confident he'll help a team as a lock-down defender.
"I think I can bring that to the next level, as well as the pick-and-pop five," he said. "Today I was hitting a lot of jump shots. That's what I have been working on – my mid-range game. That's what I feel more comfortable with right now. That's something I want to prove to everybody."