Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Opinion: Wayne Selden sizes up recruits

Wayne Selden, middle front row, sits behind the bench during Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. Selden was one of 24 players selected for the 2013 McDonald's All-American game.

Wayne Selden, middle front row, sits behind the bench during Late Night in the Phog on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. Selden was one of 24 players selected for the 2013 McDonald's All-American game.


When an athlete says, “Can I call you back in a half-hour?” during a telephone interview, that’s code for, “You’re starting to bore me with these questions, and I have better things to do with my time. Scram.”

When Kansas University-bound guard Wayne Selden, the second-highest-ranked recruit in the nation’s second-ranked college basketball recruiting class, ended our conversation recently, I hadn’t yet had a chance to ask him what he thought of Conner Frankamp’s game. Surely, he would have had an answer because all the top recruits become familiar with each other from the time they spend together at exposure camps, AAU tournaments, all-star games, etc.

Word out of the McDonald’s All-American week in Chicago was that Selden and the nation’s No. 1 recruit, Kansas-bound Andrew Wiggins, were spending a lot of time together.

“Yes, we were able to connect on and off the court,” Selden said by phone from The Tilton School, a prep school in New Hampshire. “It was good to be able to connect with him, but I had no idea at the time he was coming to Kansas.”

In Ben McLemore and Travis Releford, Kansas had a pair of wings who were great finishers on the fast break. Selden and Wiggins have similar reputations as finishers.

How are the games of Selden and Wiggins alike, and how are they different?

“I don’t know,” Selden said. “We’re not that much alike, really, so we should be able to blend together. I’m kind of athletic. He’s really athletic.”

Selden grew up in Boston as a Celtics fan.

“I would probably go with Paul Pierce,” Selden said, asked to name his favorite player. “He’s a traditional Celtic, been there forever. I haven’t met him recently, but I had pictures taken with him when I was 6 or 7 at a celebrity all-star game.”

Ranked the nation’s No. 12 prospect by Rivals, Selden said he has known future teammate Brannen Greene from Georgia for a few years.

“He’s a shooter, a real good shooter,” Selden said. “He’s able to score in other ways, too, so that’s good.”

Selden made his visit to KU during Late Night, as did Joel Embiid, the 7-footer from Cameroon who attends high school in Florida.

“As soon as I committed, I tried to get him to come here,” Selden said. “I just tried to get him to pull the trigger. He eventually did. As soon as he gets some weight training, I think he’ll be able to step into his role.”

Of Frank Mason, a pure point guard from Virginia, Selden said, “real quick, strong, athletic guard.”

Selden said he heard about Wiggins’ commitment when word spread through his prep school.

“I had no idea where he was going,” he said. “It was all up in the air.”

Selden knows all the Kentucky recruits but said he hasn’t thought about how Kansas stacks up to the Wildcats.

“I’m not really worried about other teams right now,” Selden said. “We need to get our stuff together, jell as a team, get prepared.”


Randy Bombardier 11 months ago

I have to admit that usually this time of year I am not even thinking of basketball. I am all hyped for football to start. Not this year (no reflection on our football fortunes) as I am really excited about this crop of players. IMO better that the 2008 championship team.


Kent Richardson 11 months ago

The way I see it is Keegan kept it real and just reported what happened. When he opines it is different. This isn't Fox News or "E." You can look to be entertained or appreciate a factual report on an interaction. Again I am so impressed with the quality and passion of this fan base.


JayHawkFanToo 11 months ago

Keegan: So Wayne, how do you see your role at Kansas University?
Selden: Kansas University? I'll call you back in a half-hour...


Robin Smith 11 months ago

There's a reason why Keegan's pieces all come labeled as 'Opinion' now: so he might possibly sidestep the criticisms of them being mediocre excuses of remedial journalism.


eric poncharello 11 months ago

OK, KEEP. I mean KIP! Just kidding.


Jack Wilson 11 months ago

For whatever it's worth, I'd draft Otto Porter first. I think in the final analysis, he'll turn out to be the best player in this draft. And as far a sleeper, Shane Larkin might be the best point guard in the draft.

But I admit that I don't really know what NBA guys are looking for.


Ron Franklin 11 months ago

People complaining about an article just shows people love to bitch about something. Can't be happy unless we ain't happy.


WisconsinJayhawk 11 months ago

I have it on good authority that it is inappropriate for readers to critique the writing of a professional writer. Lets leave the judgment of Keegan's skill to the Pulitzer Committee.


dannyxo 11 months ago

And Keegan has officially jumped the shark to become the new Bill Mayer as KU's resident Grumpy Old Man.


jgkojak 11 months ago

Don't doubt the power of Pierce - I wonder how much Pierce being a former Jayhawk played into Selden coming to KS?


Colby Hebert 11 months ago

If a monkey threw feces on a wall and it looked like the letters K and U, I would read it.


Gil Ek 11 months ago

Looks like an easy pick. February 16, 2014, Saturday at 8:00 p.m. Texas at KU, should be the ESPN Game Day. This team will be in full afterburner by then. WANG Burgers for everyone!!!


JayhawkLaw12 11 months ago

What an inappropriate opening paragraph, Tom. How you keep your job is both a mystery and a miracle (for you, for those of us who enjoy reading about our team, it's an unmitigated disaster).


JayHok 11 months ago

If anyone can email the Cleveland GM with this message it could hekp him see through the haze. The parallels between Sam Bowie and Noel are frightening. Noel knees could be twice as fragile as Bowie's were. An eyeball test is one thing. Seeing him crunch it against Florida is quite another story. He plays recklessly. Watch his decision on the block that got him injured. He helps with blocks but will only be more prone to ample knee injuries in the NBA. The Cleveland GM already has this evidence before him while the Bowie information only came out after the draft. How ironic there is a 6'5" long athletic pure shot shooting guard who could go the same spot Jordan did in '84 if the team with the first draft pick doesn't wake up. Can anyone imagine how frustrated Kevin Pritchard was after he selected Oden and passed up Durant. Oden over Durant. Imagine that. Bowie over Jordan. Incredible. Noel over McLemore. Will the trend continue? Certain players usually the out of control 7 footers have knee issues in the NBA. Look for the warning signs if they're there. Noel has Oden/Bowie written all over him. Look for the warning signs.


iamakufan 11 months ago

As for the first paragraph, I don't suppose Keegan considered the kid may actually have had something he needed to do and the phone call was an interruption. Or maybe the kid really had to go to the bathroom. That first paragraph smacks of a writer being ticked off and using his media position to smack the kid up the side of the head.


jayhawkinnc 11 months, 1 week ago

Question......looks like for 2013-14, KU will have a total of 18 players on the roster (and the full 13 allotment on scholarship):

Freshmen: Wiggins, Selden, Greene, Frankamp, Embiid and Mason RS Freshmen: Lucas Sophomores: White III, Ellis, Traylor, Manning, Self Juniors: Tharpe, Garrett, Mickelson (eligible to play in '14-'15) Seniors: Wesley, Niko, Black

I'm guessing the walk-ons are still Manning, Self, Niko and Garrett. So, does Wesley go back to walk-on status too? And who do we expect to redshirt? AW3? Others?


Tony Bandle 11 months, 1 week ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.


Adam Bengtson 11 months, 1 week ago

Does anyone know when Big 12 post their schedules for basketball?


Robin Smith 11 months, 1 week ago

I have not read a Keegan piece in months due to the terrible writing and lack of information or insight.

I sorely regret being duped into reading this one.

Please, somebody stop this torture, or I'll just have to go to other sites exclusively. You're ruining my experience of Jayhawk basketball with this crap.


Phil Leister 11 months, 1 week ago

Do the editors at LJW bother to read these comments? Ralster said it, we're judging the product by comparison, and the overwhelming opinion is that Keegan's writing is not up to par with that of even Matt Tait and Jesse Newell, let alone ESPN or SI. There are exceptions of course, and some people enjoy Keegan's musings. But when so many people recognize the shortcomings of his writing, why do those in charge at LJW continue to let it happen?


William Blake 11 months, 1 week ago

This article is a bit thin.... but the direction is good. It would be nice to see extended interviews with all the players now that we are hitting the slow time of year.



KansasComet 11 months, 1 week ago

Remains to be seen what will happen this season. I like our chances for years to come. Coach Self always seems to figure it out and find a way as far as recruiting goes.


Ralster Jayhawk 11 months, 1 week ago

I generally dont comment about articles and writers, being more concerned with KU basketball (& football) directly...but all I will add, tangentially, is that most regular readers are sports fans, and thus, as consumers of sports information or journalism (ESPN, newsprint, USAtoday, SportsIllustrated, kusports/ljw...), most should have an ability to judge the product by comparison...


Preston Dwiggins 11 months, 1 week ago

The way the article began, I thought Selden was going to call him back and continue the interview. The first two paragraph's were a bit misleading. At any rate, I love reading about our team and getting a peek inside how the player's think. I appreciate the fact that Selden helped recruit Embiid. It didn't hurt things that he befriended Wiggins as well! My friend, a former Missouri State PG said he has seen Selden play numerous times and says he's tough as nails and a true competitor and we'll love him. I kind of figured that : )

One last thing. I don't understand how we can write free throws off. When describing Tarik Black, it's just known that his rebounding is "ok" and he can't really shoot free throws. He's spent four years in college. The gym is always open to these guys. It doesn't make sense that a scholarship player cannot shoot at least 70%. AND at 6'9" - 262 lbs. he's just "ok" at rebounding. I'm pretty sure The Wizard can get more productivity out of Black than Pastner.


REHawk 11 months, 1 week ago

More than most of the hotshots at the McD's game, Wayne showed that he was bent upon playing team ball. Nothing in this article indicates otherwise. He appears to be an earnest recruit, not given to superlative quotes or speculations; just ready to get to work to see his team gel. I look forward to watching him flow with Tharpe and Wiggins. And am appreciative of his early esteem for Embiid. Am wondering if the USA Under-19 team has already been selected, and if he, too, might miss out on a few weeks of summer bonding in Lawrence. Did I not read that Wiggins might, possibly, not be available until after 11 September, if he should also be involved with the Canadian World's Team?


Tony Bandle 11 months, 1 week ago

I just wonder if the criticism posted above would be the same if the author's first name was Matt or Jesse.....just sayin'.

Frankly, reading the whole article was worth it after you've read the last sentence.

"Ain't no cure for the summertime blues."

Some of these posts are anemic as hell.

FYI, "Patience"..posted with no malice.

Tom, maybe you coiuld have talked about the NBA draft order and how that effects the futures of our two first rounders...just a suggestion. Does Cleveland need a wing or a big man, etc., etc.


Suzi Marshall 11 months, 1 week ago

Sympathies to Seldon, Keegan and the LJW readership. It seems Keeg was trying hard to give something to his readership. It also seems Seldon was trying hard to cooperate but was uncomfortable speculating on future teammates. We need to show some patients to let things take a natural course under Self's guidance.

I really like the idea of calling Self "The Wizard of Oz."


JayDocMD 11 months, 1 week ago

There's almost an article here.


Joe Ross 11 months, 1 week ago

I miss Bill Mayer. I wonder what happened to him...


KemDooKU 11 months, 1 week ago

I actually think the article was pretty informative and well done- I think it shows that Selden has a good head on his shoulders - I love his last statement about not concerned with other teams and we need to focus on our team. He sounds like a guy who has it together - Wiggins seems the same way so that's probably why they hit it off at the Donald's game. Shall I dare to say that Selden was the cherry on top for Wiggins decesion to come to KU - like u already Sir Wayne!!


Danny Hernandez 11 months, 1 week ago

How does Coach Self get Paul Pierce to visit the team this summer so that Wayne can meet his idol?


Michael Pannacciulli 11 months, 1 week ago

Tom got the cold shoulder from young Selden. Love it. I almost begrudgingly open these "Opinion" pieces knowing it will be quotes about Elvis and vague tie backs to KU basketball but I guess I am a glutton for punishment or ever hopeful Tom will get a ghost writer.

I am very curious to see how these guys morph into a team. Should be quick, but there will be occasions where we will all be yelling at the TV, and that's okay...all part of it.

Ready for a the ride.


Hawk8086 11 months, 1 week ago

May have been somewhat of an empty article as some say, but I don't care. I'm desperate for anything written about this team. I did not know about the game against Mason's team...interesting. At the Mcdonald's game, I was very impressed with Selden's ball handling and court vision to go along with his athletic ability and strength. I think he will be the ideal 2nd ball handler at the 2 that Self looks for.


Michael Auchard 11 months, 1 week ago

It's a terrible thing to start your feature out with a quote about how you weren't a good reporter. I don't care how tongue in cheek you're trying to be.


Janet Scott 11 months, 1 week ago

Tom, can I call you back in half an hour? nj


MacHeath 11 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, that lead in is as strange as the article is pointless. Seems strange that these guys don't have to prove their worthiness on a college level.

I would rather see them go directly to the NBA, but the NBA wants to give them a year, so they can see if they self-destruct. Probably saves the NBA a lot of money.


Bernard Gregory 11 months, 1 week ago

no mention of the fact that Mason team beat his by 30 and Mason locked him down.


MacHeath 11 months, 1 week ago

Yeah, that lead in is as strange as the article is pointless. Seems strange that these guys don't have to prove their worthiness anymore. I really wish they could go right to the NBA, and stay the hell out of college sports.


Joe Ross 11 months, 1 week ago

Yeah...summer news is difficult. You end up having written every day of the school year at a torrid pace, and then Im sure they are burnt out. To make it worse there is nothing to write about on a daily basis for a lot of the summer. I imagine they end up really reaching to get ideas for a story. They do a good job most days. This article didnt seem to add much though. Felt kinda empty.


milehighhawk 11 months, 1 week ago

The first two paragraphs are inexplicably weird.


Robert Rauktis 11 months, 1 week ago

It's good the recruiting beauty contest is over so the players, not journalists and self appointed pundits weak for some story, determine the rankings.


Scott Smetana 11 months, 1 week ago

With nothing on TV right now, I'm foaming at the mouth for some KU Basketball!


KanFan27 11 months, 1 week ago

I love his statement at the end. I know he is too skilled to stay for all four years, but I would love to have Selden for a while. He is such a great kid and has a lot of leadership qualities that could really lead a team.


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