KU officially introduces new forward Jack Whitman

Duke's Chase Jeter, rear, Matt Jones, left, and William & Mary's Jack Whitman (41) reach for the ball during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Durham, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016.

Although the former William & Mary forward himself both confirmed and explained why he was leaving to join the Kansas basketball program last week, the Jayhawks made it official on Monday with a news release announcing the addition of graduate transfer Jack Whitman.

“We were thin up front and looking to add somebody that would be eligible immediately and was experienced," KU coach Bill Self explained. "Somebody that is a little bit older, that understands the game and can come in and play a role with us in our big positions. We think Jack can certainly play the five but is a guy that can move away from the basket and play with a five. He's a great fit for what we need because we're going to be so young up front and he'll add some experience, hopefully like Tarik Black (during the 2013-14 season) did for us.”

Whitman, who will graduate with a degree in kinesiology and health sciences on Saturday, will be eligible to play for the Jayhawks immediately during the 2017-18 season.

That, Self said, was definitely one advantage of adding him, but the reasons for bringing him on board do not end there.

“The best part of his game is his explosiveness,” Self said. “He can play above the rim, has good feet and can score over both shoulders inside. He needs to continue and develop his game in order for him to have an opportunity to live out his individual dreams. I think playing here, we'll move him around, he can become a guy that is more comfortable playing away from the basket.”

As a red-shirt junior during the 2016-17 season, the 6-foot-9, 235-pound Whitman started 25 of 29 games for the Tribe and averaged 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds.

The Lexington, Ky., native shot 66.2 percent from the field and was second on the team with 33 blocked shots. He scored a career-high 21 points against UNC Wilmington on Jan. 12, 2017, and pulled down a career-best 15 rebounds against Savannah State on Dec. 19, 2016. Last season, William & Mary finished 17-13 overall and tied for fourth in the Colonial Athletic Association with a 10-8 league record under head coach Tony Shaver.

He was red-shirted the 2013-14 season and played in a reserve role during his freshman and sophomore seasons.

As a freshman in 2014-15, he averaged 11.5 minutes, 2.3 points and 2.3 rebounds per game with 14 blocked shots. During his sophomore year, Whitman averaged 13 minutes, 3.3 points and 2.7 rebounds in 23 games played.

Comments

Edward Daub

Tony Bandle compared Whitman to Whiplash. That is hard to top!

Whitman is definitely a first team All "Russell Stover" Pick!

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Edward Daub

Yes! I am working on naming a Starting 5 where the Last Name matches a Chocolate Company.

The Late, Great Sonny Dove would definitely make the Team. Sonny was a Star at St. John's in the mid-1960's. He played in the NBA/ABA until a bicycle accident shattered his leg.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Tony Bandle

Brachs, Stovers, Giradelli, Mars, Hersheys, Godiva...surely of all of the thousands of bball players across the ages, someone has some of these names.

[Well, maybe not Godiva!!]. :}

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Suzi Marshall

I'm good with just calling him "The Candy Man."

2 weeks, 2 days ago

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Titus Canby

Godiva Jones. He played with Tyrone Shoelaces at E.A. State.

2 weeks ago

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Robert Brock

He's more like Slim Whitman (beware of the 'stache).

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Harlan Hobbs

"I Remember Youuuuuuuu" with a little yodel on the end.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Robert Brock

His "Indian Love Call" saved the Earth from the Martian invaders.

2 weeks, 3 days ago

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Harlan Hobbs

Hey, Tony, I do have a "Godiva." It would be Jarod "Godiva for the Ball with Floor Burns" Haase. Let's try to work on one about Brachs for Mr. Brock. He has a good sense of humor too.

2 weeks, 2 days ago

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Tony Bandle

We have Jack Whitman and Sonny Dove. I also propose Hershey Hawkins. Shaq was nicknamed "Chocolate Thunder" for awhile until it became socially unacceptable. Bill Russel for Russel Stovers may work.

Bruno Mars would be great except that he doesn't play basketball and is about 4'-6" tall. He could sure sing the national anthem, however!

2 weeks, 2 days ago

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Edward Daub

Hey Tony. If using the name Russell is permitted, we could also add one of my favorite KU players from the early 1970's. Pierre Russell!

2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Harlan Hobbs

Keep it going. I'll bet you will have them all with your next post.

2 weeks, 2 days ago

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Tony Bandle

Harlan, your post made me Chuckle and Snicker but since today was a Payday, I felt like a Jolly Rancher who just found a $100,000 in his field at night while he was looking at the Milky Way, which looked like white Dots on a field of Black Licorice.

2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Rob Byrd

I remember Darryl Dawkins was chocoated thunder, and since you have a singer, how about a woman, Lady Godiva? Don't know how it would work out on the uniform, since she had a thing about using her hair instead. Might have to color coordinate with our uniforms.

2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Rob Byrd

Don't know how I messed up chocolate so bad!

2 weeks, 1 day ago

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Harlan Hobbs

Yee haw! You did it, Tony.

Rob, never turn down an opportunity to see Lady Godiva! Who knows. We might even be able to "sneak a peek" beyond all that hair.

2 weeks ago

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Edward Daub

The Votes are all in for the "All Chocolate" Team.

They will face off against the "All Lucas" Team Landen is creating.

Thanks to Tony Bandle for suggesting "Russell" as a last name.

Starters

Jack Whitman (Co Captain)

Pierre Russell (Co Captain)

The Legendary Bill Russell

The Late, Great Sonny Dove

D'Angelo Russell (Buckeye/Laker)

Bench

Hersey "Hershey" Hawkins

Darryl "Chocolate Thunder" Dawkins

1 week, 5 days ago

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