Kansas hoops welcomes Jack Whitman

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Forward Jack Whitman has signed to play men’s basketball at the University of Kansas, head coach Bill Self announced Monday. Whitman, a graduate transfer from the College of William & Mary, will be eligible to play immediately for the 2017-18 season. Whitman earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and health sciences, and will participate in graduation ceremonies at William & Mary this Saturday, May 13.

“We were thin up front and looking to add somebody that would be eligible immediately and was experienced. 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,” Self said. “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.”

As a redshirt junior during the 2016-17 season, Whitman (6-foot-9, 235 pounds) started 25 of 29 games for the Tribe and averaged 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds. The Lexington, Kentucky, 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.

Whitman averaged 10.1 points and 5.4 rebounds during the 2016-17 season.

“The best part of his game is his explosiveness,” Self said of Whitman. “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.”

Whitman was a redshirt in 2013-14 and played in a reserve role his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a frosh 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.

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