No. 2 – Jae’Lyn Withers, Forward
2019 stats: N/a, redshirt
Pretend for a second that you have no idea who Jae’Lyn Withers is and have no preconceived notions or expectations.
If I told you that Chris Mack would have access to a 6’9 forward who has a massive wingspan, went from 215 pounds to 230 pounds in less than a calendar year, can shoot the ball, handle it, play in the post, guard multiple positions, is still growing, and oh yeah, has the potential to play small forward, power forward, or center – is that something you’d have interest in and find intriguing?
Withers’ game could best be described as part Chris Mack swing man, part modern NBA forward. He idolizes Kevin Durant, and one could see why. The 6’9” Withers has the ability to put the ball on the floor and come at you like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew. However, he is an improving spot-up shooter as well.
He could create match-up nightmares in Mack’s offense as a scintillating slasher at the four; Or, as Mack mentioned to us this offseason, he could work his way into the rotation as an Amir Sims type of five man.
Withers’ development entering his redshirt freshman year is vital because he could ultimately be the difference between a rebuilding year and the Cards becoming a bona fide contender in the ACC. Don’t be surprised if it’s the latter.
Yes, baby Durant redshirted in 2019-20, but consider that the players in front of him were All-American Jordan Nwora and America’s favorite glue guy, Dwayne Sutton. That move could prepare Withers to make the type of jump we’ve seen the last two years from former Virginia Tech swingman, Landers Nolley II, who also redshirted as a freshman.
Withers is oozing with potential and whether or not we get to see that this season in full has to be one of the most intriguing things about team 108. Buckle up folks, we’re in for a fun ride with Withers over the next few seasons.