Thursday, October 24, 2013


Opinion: Wayne Selden working hard for KU

Kansas freshman guard Wayne Selden soars in for a dunk during an unofficial dunk contest during warmups before a scrimmage.

Kansas freshman guard Wayne Selden soars in for a dunk during an unofficial dunk contest during warmups before a scrimmage.


Next time you leave Allen Fieldhouse, try to make your ear zero in on the name Wayne Selden. Here are words I predict you won’t hear: “Potential.” “Flashes.” “As soon as he figures it out.” “You can tell he’s going to be really good.”

Instead, you’ll hear discussions about how hard he played, how good he was tonight, how many different things he did well that contributed to a victory.

Selden is all about right now, and that as much as anything is why he has such a bright basketball future.

A 6-foot-5, 230-pound freshman guard from the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Selden doesn’t claim to know it all about the game he loves, but he does have this much figured out: The more effort you put into every possession, the more rapidly you improve.

Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News, not a man given to hyperbole, wrote this about him after watching a Kansas basketball practice: “Selden is the hardest-practicing freshman I’ve encountered in more than a quarter-century on the college basketball beat.”

I repeated that observation to Selden.

“Wow,” he said. “That’s great. That’s great. I just feel like I have to push myself to the next limit and keep getting a level up every possession.”

He played 18 minutes in the McDonald’s All-American game, made five of seven field goals and totaled 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal. He was second on the team in scoring to current teammate Andrew Wiggins (19 points).

Those two freshman join junior point guard Naadir Tharpe, senior center Tarik Black and sophomore forward Perry Ellis in the starting five for the Jayhawks.

A hard-driving slasher, Selden has a knack for finding the open man when most in the gym don’t yet know he’s open. He’s built like Oklahoma State sophomore star guard Marcus Smart and in some respects plays a similar game. Smart plays point guard for the Cowboys, a position that would seem to be Selden’s NBA destination.

“I just consider myself a guard,” Selden said. “Whatever coach needs me to do is what I’m going to try to do to the best of my ability.”

Selden could make any team in America better, with the exception of the Harlem Globetrotters. Style points don’t interest him.

“My ball-handling’s gotten a lot better,” Selden said. “When I was younger, I used to dribble a lot. Then I went through a stage where I wasn’t really on the ball a lot.

“I don’t really do too many dribble moves. One move, two moves, go. I just like to contain the ball. I’ve never really needed a crazy handle on the ball. One dribble, swing it.”

A player after his coach’s heart.

If he’s dribbling, it’s with a purpose played out relentlessly. He tries to bring the same approach to defense every day in practice where he is surrounded by smaller and taller hard-to-guard athletes.

“This is the best gym I’ve ever been in,” Selden said. “Everybody brings it every day. Andrew White brings it every day. Naadir’s a leader every day. Black’s going after balls every day. The whole team is night in and night out competing. So it’s always good because the competition level is always high, and nobody is going to give anything to anybody easy.”

One of the players Selden brings it to also has not played his first college possession yet has been on the cover of Sports Illustrated and was featured in GQ with a photo spread that includes him hanging shirtless from a netless rim. Does that make a competitor so driven as Selden want to bring it at Wiggins all the harder.

“No, definitely not,” said Selden, who went 1-0 against Wiggins in a high school game and 1-0 in an AAU game, by Selden’s count. “I want to go at him harder because I want all of us to get better, not because of all the accolades and stuff like that. I feel like he’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated, so we’re on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He has a Kansas jersey on. He’s representing all of us.”

So is Selden. Based on his effort in practice, he’s doing a great job of it.


Suzi Marshall 6 years, 9 months ago

And he has great eyes and bod. You have to love Selden. Wiggins, Tharp, Ellis, Black, Embiid will all make their marks but Selden will be the golden boy before the year is out and going forward.

Ryan Michael 6 years, 9 months ago

Jesse or Keegan may have a better perspective as i'm sure they've seen more live play in practices/scrimmages than I have... That being said, I am not convinced Embiid will have a breakout year. Having seen him play in the Adidas camp games, as well as in scrimmages, he seems like he has all the ability you could ask for. However he seems to get lost on rotations a lot, and he doesn't really have the muscle to hold his ground against big D1 centers. Once B12 play starts, and once we play the likes of Duke etc... I dont' know that he'll be able to follow the screens or adjust quickly enough to get meaningful minutes. I really think Black is going to get a ton of minutes at the 5 and we'll play small when he's gotta be out. Just my opinion though.

Andrew Cox 6 years, 9 months ago

This is exactly what I have been saying all along. There were two or three plays when Perry but real pressure on Embiid, at late night, and he looked panicked and lost the ball. No doubt this kid will be a star but he will need to learn to play through tough d and get strong with the ball. Although I know that the NBA goes off of potential, Embiid would definitely benefit from an extra year learning how to play and dominate at this level

Tom Keegan 6 years, 9 months ago

Andrew, Every time I think about Joel Embiid I think the same thoughts, word for word, as you. He needs to stay here for a few years so he can "learn to dominate." Tiger Woods' dad made sure he competed against kids his own age in golf so he could taste victory and domination. Michelle Wie's folks took a different path and she hasn't been nearly as successful as Tiger. Olajuwon would not have had as great a career as he had if he had only stayed in college one year. He stayed long enough to feel what it's like to dominate. My fear with Embiid is that if he jumps too soon he'll be playing catch-up forever and will be a good pro instead of a great one. ... Ryan, I'd be surprised if Embiid can develop enough in one year to take the majority of minutes. I think Black will play a ton. How does 12 sound for the over/under for minutes per game for Embiid sound? I'd also set the over/under for NBA All-Star Games at about 12 if he stays three years at KU. Tough to say no to all that money, but if he wants to be the best player he can be, have the best pro career he can have, three years would be wise.

Chandler James 6 years, 9 months ago

I want to apologize to you Gary Bedore and you Jesse Newell. I know I was saying bad things about this site... but that was only because I missed some of the previous users... You have the best site for KU sports and i gladly will post my name so I can get Jesse's live updates of the game. The other sites they are trying to start are crap

Ryan Michael 6 years, 9 months ago

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

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 9 months ago

Ryan, I have said this on one of my other post but you have done a good job with jayhawklounge. It does seem to be a good compliment to KUSports and have suggested the two sites work together..

Ryan Michael 6 years, 9 months ago

Thanks Suzi! I'm working to create features that are unique to the site... This weekend you should see "Crystal Ball Recruit Predictions" and vegas odds betting on the spread, all tied in with accounts and leaderboards.

Of course you can't beat the articles here at KUSports. I'll be a member of both for sure! I just want to provide some functionality that wasn't available here or elsewhere. :) See you on both boards hopefully!

Chandler James 6 years, 9 months ago

thanks for not accepting my apology ljw... and why was ryans comments removed? he didnt do anything wrong

Ryan Michael 6 years, 9 months ago

So you are essentially telling me you agree that the stupid posts and insults haven't gotten any better with real names...

Add that to the fact that nobody can argue the lack of larger posts and analysis here, and you are making my point for me. Thanks.

Steve Zimmerman 6 years, 9 months ago

Whoa there Mr. Rotch, it's Selden. S-E-L-D-E-N !!!

Jack Jones 6 years, 9 months ago

Yeah ~ Whoa there Mike ~ you must remember we're talking about sports here ~ we're TALKIN about SPORTS here ~ I mean, we're talkin' 'bout SPORTS (apologies to Allen I.) Sports > noted for more than a little hyperbole ~ only some (or a lot) of the time. I've got a feeling this BB season will more of the "(or a lot)" type. Cannot recall a season with a team with this much raw talent ~ coupled with so much inexperience. What an exciting ride we're going to have.

Jack Wilson 6 years, 9 months ago

MIke: I just wanted let you know that mine hurts too, sometimes. But as you get older, it matters less and less.

Tom Keegan 6 years, 9 months ago

Mike, I disagree. Could the starting five change at some point during the season? Sure. But those are the five for now.

Aaron Paisley 6 years, 9 months ago

Who else would start at this point? If you've seen Embiid at all, he is still a VERY raw player who is starting his 4th year of organized basketball. Self has said AW3 is likely the first guard off the bench and that Mason still hasn't gotten it at PG yet, but is getting better everyday. Barring an injurie to Tharpe, Selden, Wiggins, Ellis, or Black, that will be the starting lineup for all but 1 game this year (March 5) when Justin Wesley will start over Ellis and Niko Roberts starts over Tharpe or Selden.

Kevin Kunde 6 years, 9 months ago

Hey Rotchurtz,

If you use poor grammar and or spelling when attempting to argue your opinion it becomes a complete moot point. You're trying to convince us of something and you can't even spell the guys name? Makes me think you don't pay to much attention in the first place.

The only fact here is you don't know how to spell. Not to mention this is an opinion article by Keegan.

Ryan Michael 6 years, 9 months ago

Easy Kevin, he was just expressing his opinion, and it wasn't in a rude manner... There is no reason for an inflammatory post like this one.

Ethan Berger 6 years, 9 months ago

yes because that one letter confuses us and we don't know who is talking about. Don't be that guy, it's an online forum that doesn't matter.

Alex Berger 6 years, 9 months ago

Dang, I can't anonymously support your arguments anymore.

Trent Smith 6 years, 9 months ago

"Makes me think you don't pay to much attention..." Was spelling the word "too" incorrectly intentional irony? Using incorrect spelling to whine about someone's spelling is funny to me. But, adding that the incorrect spelling makes your own point moot... That is just mind-blowingly awesome!

Kevin Kunde 6 years, 9 months ago

Clearly it was too much for me to handle.

Tom Keegan 6 years, 9 months ago

Not to pile on here Kevin, but in typing "You're trying to convince us of something and you can't even spell the guys name?" you missed the apostrophe in guy's. But I'm with the English prof. Let's not freak out over typos unless I'm the one making them.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 9 months ago

too funny. Love the subtle humor. I agree about the mis. erros. However, I do think it legit to jump on a post for mispelling a guys name, i.e. Selden's name. To me, it is an issue of respect for our guys.

Bruce Beckum 6 years, 9 months ago

I vote we don't do grammar and I'm an English professor. People make typos.

Steve Gantz 6 years, 9 months ago

Kevin, High horse, disembark now please.

Bruce Beckum 6 years, 9 months ago

"(I) feel like he’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated, so we’re on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He has a Kansas jersey on."

Does he? Every photo I've seen? Shirtless. JK. RCJGKU!

Greg Lux 6 years, 9 months ago

4 Days and counting ...... Finally almost here

Rock Chalk

Doug Cramer 6 years, 9 months ago

Got to admit...I've got a KU sports dot com Wayne Selden Kool-Aid IV running directly into my charodid.

Here's the thing...if this guy can run the point...why start Tharp ?

If we remember back to last year, Tharp had a long ways to go in order to get a team to the final four or national championship.

In my opinion...if we're gonna make a final four or national championship...we need Selden at point...and Tharp coming in off the bench.

Adam Pate 6 years, 9 months ago

If you've watched Tharpe play at all even just last year, you would have known that he should have started over Elijah. Even more reassurance has come from me watching him play in exhibition matches the past few months. He is an outstanding dribbler, can shoot the ball extremely well off the dribble, and can give solid passes to the right guys at the right times-- Not saying Selden can't do this, but Selden doesn't have any experience like Tharpe does. And Tharpe's experience definitely shines on the court more than Selden.

Bruce Beckum 6 years, 9 months ago

Yes. My feeling is Self will go with experience/steady ball handling at the point every time.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 9 months ago

not meaning to be a spelling nazi, but since this is a tough anatomical word, I'll help out. The left and right Carotid Arteries supply the head and neck with oxygenated blood (verified by wikipedia).

Doug Cramer 6 years, 9 months ago

plastic_Jhawk - Thanks for the spelling lesson :)

Jonathan Andrews 6 years, 9 months ago

TK: If you could expound in a future article on the seemingly widely held belief that Selden's ultimate position in the NBA is PG, I would appreciate it. I have heard this by most media outlets, and while it does seem "cool", it's doesn't ring true from the little I've seen of him.

As I've said all along, Wayne lands somewhere in the Terrence Williams - Andre Iguodala spectrum. Iggy is known primarily for dunks and defense, but he is a rare playmaker at the 2 spot. T-Will was a great 4-year utility wing for Pitino at Louisville, who ended up being a lottery pick but busted out due to his lack of a refined J. Those guys both have thrived in LIMITED EXPOSURE as the primary ball-handler and playmaker for their pro teams, but are NOT all-day, all-season PG's. This is what I see for Selden.

Bruce Beckum 6 years, 9 months ago

Great question, JA. The following quote from above caught my attention from a "potential point guard":

“I don’t really do too many dribble moves. One move, two moves, go. I just like to contain the ball. I’ve never really needed a crazy handle on the ball. One dribble, swing it.”

Or maybe he just doesn't need to pound the ball on the floor thirty times, every time he gets it?

Tom Keegan 6 years, 9 months ago

Jonathan and Bruce, I think his NBA destination is PG because he sees the floor great and can really penetrate. He blows by guys on the dribble. I view his one-or-two dribbles statement as a positive. Nothing worse than a point guard who dribbles too much, turning the other four players into statues. Stephon Marbury was a horrible PG because of that nasty habit. Could Selden keep NBA point guards in front of him? Can anybody with any consistency?

Ryan Michael 6 years, 9 months ago

Tom another thing about the NBA is that the median height of PG's is just higher. That means less tiny pestering PG's to play defense against a little slower dribbling on the taller PG's.

I think Selden transitions fine into a pro PG. I just think with the "nats", the tiny little quick PG's in college would give him fits. But maybe that is all just the impression I get from NBA, i admittedly don't watch much of it.

Charles Shirley 6 years, 9 months ago

If not Tharpe, Wiggins, Seldon, Ellis and Black then who?

Jesse Johnson 6 years, 9 months ago

How about: Tharpe, Wiggins, Selden, Ellis and Black? :)

Jonathan Andrews 6 years, 9 months ago

I think that most people who want Selden to start at the 1 for us figure on a jumbo lineup. The main inversions of that would give more time to AW3 or even Embiid, as in:




The 2nd is pure dreamland, but even the first would be difficult to sustain. White and Embiid will get rotation minutes regardless, but even average teams would be able to full-court pressure us into submission, without the veteran ball-handler Tharpe running the show. Let's just hope Naa doesn't get too shot-happy, now that everything runs through him!

Robert Robinson 6 years, 9 months ago

“I want to go at him harder because I want all of us to get better, not because of all the accolades and stuff like that. I feel like he’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated, so we’re on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He has a Kansas jersey on. He’s representing all of us.” Quote of the year

Jack Wilson 6 years, 9 months ago

I've read the comments above. Has anyone ever seen Selden handle D-1 pressure? Self said he could be an "emergency" point guard. That's what Self has said.

There is a huge difference between dribbling it a few times with a few moves, and being a point guard. Last season, some folks did the same thing when Self was motivating Tharpe with some talk about alternative point guards -- suggesting KY, or Releford. As if you just put a player at the PG spot, and he's a point guard. I said that was silly then, and it's silly now.

And I disagree here with Keegan. It is nowhere near clear that Selden's NBA job will be as a point guard. Quite frankly, I doubt it. But I really don't care about the NBA.

Here, with coach Self, he needs and wants sure ball handlers. Guys that can dribble with incredible pressure, deliver passes to pressured wings, penetrate and dish .. guys that can create and make players better.

In September of 2012, Self specifically said he was searching for a "point guard" as part of the class. There is a reason for that.

Selden is exactly what Self said he is .. an emergency PG. That may be enough, as he evolves this season, to be a 6-8 minute guy there when Tharpe rests. But I doubt that. Mason or Frankamp will likely get those minutes. Mason looks the part.

If there is anything that is concerning, it's the back up PG spot .. in 2011-12, we had EJ to spell TT. Remember how horrific Tharpe was? Could you freshman candidates be that bad? Maybe. Seems to me that we have an 8+ man rotation, that includes Mason as the "+" minutes.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 9 months ago

Based on my very limited knowledge (seeing the scrimmage live) I do think Mason can come in and handle the rock for just long enough to spell Naadir. I don't think he has the court vision yet, because you can tell that he is really wrapped up in the moment out there. But what was promising, in my opinion, is that he does look like he has some tight handles and is a very good dribbler. I thought in the scrimmage that he dribbled too much though, and that can be problematic as well. If Mason can just focus on coming in for 2-3 minutes a half, running a few set plays, and not trying to do too much we should be able to maintain a net 0 gain/loss points from him. As long as he can come out and maintain status quo the team will be fine. Cannot have him coming in and throwing up bricks, playing out of role, and turning the ball over 3 times in 2 minutes though. So I think Mason is capable. He is more than capable to improve throughout the season as well, but you and I both know that will not happen if he is coughing up the rock and self will disallow him learning 'on the clock' so to speak.

Regarding Selden being a point guard--agree with everything you say. I don't think a lot of folks quite understand the difference between playing High Level Prep/High Schoool/AAU ball and how the defensive quickness and tenacity increase exponentially.

Bernard Gregory 6 years, 9 months ago

I sure hope that Frank will grow on some you with so little doubt because I know he will rise to the occasion as he has in every stage of his development just be prepared not for next year but for this year what he has in store for this team because above everything he is a team player if he wasn't he could have easily averaged 50 in high school.

Ron Franklin 6 years, 9 months ago

I don't doubt he will rise to the occasion. It's just a matter of when? Even the really good ones can take a few years to adapt.

Asad Zoberi 6 years, 9 months ago

While I have not watched Selden in action I'd agree with HEM here. But let's hope Mr. Selden can surprise us all and become a reliable D-1 PG if and when needed.

On a different note I really miss the regular posters on this site. While the stories put by LJW are great, without the commentary its not the same. It took me a few days to get over the whole Facebook drama but I am glad that LJW at least has another option now to post the comments without having to go through Facebook. I wish Jaybate, ICT and Konkey's of the world would come back.

Glenn Moore Jr 6 years, 9 months ago

so can someone please tell me how I as a direct tv customer can watch the game? other than switching to time warner cable or ordering the college b ball package. I cant believe they wont show the game on direct tv satelite

Greg Lux 6 years, 9 months ago

“Potential.” “Flashes.” “As soon as he figures it out.” “You can tell he’s going to be really good.”

That was exactly my feeling after last nights game .. Sorry but the Freshmen showed up last night and their is nothing wrong with that happening. First time on the floor in front of almost 17000 screaming fans for a Real Game ( yes exhibition games are still real ask any fan if they don't care if we lose ). He and AW both showed their nerves last night and why not? They are 18 years old and this is all new to them.... They will be fine but give them a little time.

Rock Chalk

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