Thursday, June 12, 2014

Bounce back: Selden shows off healthy hops in KU camp game

Blue Team guard Wayne Selden soars in for a dunk past Red Team guard Conner Frankamp during a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at the Horejsi Center.

Blue Team guard Wayne Selden soars in for a dunk past Red Team guard Conner Frankamp during a scrimmage on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 at the Horejsi Center.


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Jamari Traylor and Brannen Greene talk about their improvements and the KU freshmen

Kansas basketball players Jamari Traylor and Brannen Greene talk about their improvements and KU's incoming freshmen.

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Frank Mason lofted a perfectly-timed pass to fellow Kansas University sophomore Wayne Selden, who threw down a vicious one-handed slam dunk Wednesday in Horejsi Center.

The 6-foot-5 Selden, who scored 17 points off an assortment of drives, dunks and jumpers in the Blue Team’s 79-67 Bill Self camp game victory over Ben McLemore and Cole Aldrich’s Red squad, showed he’s recovered nicely from offseason knee surgery.

“I’m still not to the point where I want to be. I need to get my body to the point where it needs to be,” said Selden, who, in playing point guard and shooting guard actually looked like one of the most athletic players in the game.

“I feel I’m jumping pretty well,” Selden added. “I’ve got a lot more energy. That might have been just the time off, the rest I had. You never really know. I feel I’m moving pretty well right now.”

The Roxbury, Massachusetts, native grinned when asked if his knee surgery was a simple arthroscopic procedure.

“I believe so,” he said with a smile, noting it was “my left one (knee), my jumping one.”

Selden’s performance Wednesday and in recent pick-up games has most certainly impressed his teammates.

“Wayne is a monster, a strong beast,” said sophomore wing Brannen Greene, who scored a game-high 23 points for the Blues. Mason (16 points) and Jamari Traylor (11) also were in double figures for the victors.

“He’s focused in. He’s been getting in the gym a lot more. He wants it so bad. Physically, mentally he’s one of the toughest players I’ve been around. I just respect his game,” Greene added.

Selden, who said he’s “more comfortable” as a sophomore, promises to be leader of what he calls a more intense KU team this season.

“We are a tough group. Last year to be honest, we weren’t tough. We were soft,” Selden said of a 25-10 team that won the Big 12 title and went 1-1 in the NCAAs. “We didn’t win last year. That was the biggest thing. We did the bare minimum of what we needed to do. We had the pieces in place. We just didn’t come through. Now we’ve got a second chance. We’ve got to be a tougher team, a more defensive-minded team,” Selden added.

Greene, 6-7 from Juliette, Georgia, backed Selden on the toughness issue.

“There were a couple times in practice we weren’t the regular Kansas team that coach (Bill Self) was used to. We’d take it too easy,” Greene said. “As older guys we came together and decided we were going to be tougher every day and work hard. That was a weak point for us last year. We’re not going to let it happen this year.

“There is definitely some unfinished business,” Greene added. “We lost Andrew (Wiggins) and Jo Jo (Embiid), and the players we lost they were all great players. Everybody is coming back a year older. Everybody knows the system better. I feel there’s going to be a better chemistry. We brought in the right pieces to fit the things we needed. Right now I think we’re in a good position to be pretty good this year.”

KU freshmen Kelly Oubre and Cliff Alexander had seven and six points respectively for the losing Red team, while frosh Devonté Graham didn’t score. McLemore led the way with 16 points, including a dunk over Greene, while Aldrich had 14 points and Conner Frankamp 13.

“There’s three young guys here now. There’s going to be four (when Ukrainian Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk arrives in August or September),” Selden said. “We’ve got to let them know what Kansas basketball is really about.

“They have a good attitude and are trying hard. That’s the biggest thing, because you are going to mess up. We still mess up as older guys now, but we’ve got to keep pushing forward and keep working hard.”

Selden looked strong in pushing the ball up court as point guard Wednesday.

“I’ve been working on my ballhandling skills, just trying to be able to be a floor general from the off-guard position or point-guard position, wherever I’m at,” Selden said.

“I’ve got to be more of a leader this year, be more of a floor general. I have to work on the intangibles and everything will come together eventually.”

Greene matures: Greene was asked about “clashing” with Self at times in learning the college game a year ago

“We talk a lot more. Our relationship is a lot closer. I think the clashing was good for us. It was good for me,” Greene said. “I knew there was a reason he was on me so tough. I like it. I wouldn’t want a coach to not be on me. I like it. It’s not bad.

“I’m more comfortable and being comfortable brings on confidence. I know the system. I know what coach expects. I know what the team needs. I’m just trying to fill my role.”

Starting nod?: A reporter asked Greene about possibly starting as a sophomore. “My goal is to start. I want to start. How important is it to me? I wouldn’t leave the school if I didn’t start. I’d still be at KU. My ultimate goal is to start. I’m working to start,” he said.

Out of action: Sophomores Landen Lucas (hyperextended knee, listed day to day) and Tyler Self (coming off foot surgery) did not play in the camp game.

Charity game tonight: Today is the sixth-annual Rock Chalk Roundball Classic, which is set for a 7 p.m. tip at Lawrence High. Former KU players Sherron Collins, Cole Aldrich and Ben McLemore will join other former Jayhawks in the game.


Brett Glover 6 years, 10 months ago

I will no longer come to this site as long as these chitty google ads are up.

John Pritchett 6 years, 10 months ago

I check in now and then because sometimes they drop the ads (or forget to enable them), but I agree, just on principle, I'd never click through to read this stuff. I usually just end up reading the comments, which frankly are more interesting than the articles a lot of the time.

Josh Galler 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't read the question i just click a button to read

Tony Bandle 6 years, 10 months ago

I always answer the question with the most outrageously inaccurate answer's theraputic. :)

Freedman Moor 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't click those things either, but I guess they have to make money. What irritates me even more is the "Kansas University" crap.

Robert Brock 6 years, 10 months ago

Anybody know the whereabouts of one Hunter Mickelson?

Mick Allen 6 years, 10 months ago

Being a townie I had occasion to watch the scrimmage yesterday and while I fully understand it is way too premature to draw any conclusions I would make these observations. Alexander is not as burly as he appeared on t.v.. He also did not seem as involved and as energetic as I had anticipated. He did of course show flashes of his potential. Oubre was the most impressive of our 3 freshman who participated. Graham seemed lost. His shot was not there and he had his dribble picked by Mason and Selden. You can tell he was not comfortable yet and you know that will improve. He did not really have an opportunity to showcase his athleticism. Both Conner and Frank played well. Conner shot the ball very well like we know he can. Frank pushed the ball up court better than anyone and hit 2 threes. Don't give the starting point guard to Graham yet. Both Selden and Greene were great. Greene is a scorer and his handles seem tighter. I was also very impressed by Traylor. He and Aldrich matched up for almost the whole scrimmage and you could tell Traylor was into it. Three or four times he put it on the floor and beat Cole to the rim for a dunk or a short running hook. Cole was obviously not as engaged as he would have been if the result of this game counted, but none the less Jamari's play was physical and assertive. He looked bigger in the upper body and bigger than Alexander. If he could just develop a 15 foot jump shot he could become a legitimate offensive threat to go along with his rebounding and defensive skills. He is the closest thing to TRob on this squad. Lastly back to Oubre, he has exceptionally quick hands which led to steals and deflections. You can tell, if he will commit himself to it, that he will be an excellent on ball defender with the ability to pressure the ball all over the court. He is long and slides his feet very well. I believe he has the potential to be a Brandon Rush type of defender. This is just a brief first look at a team that is crazy athletic.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 10 months ago

Thanks for the interesting summary.

Sounds to me like Selden is taking over leadership of the team, effectively being the PG, although I get what Self says about no designated PG. I admit to be a huge Selden fan and could be reading more into the situation.

It will take some time to get Traylor's Stanford performance out of my head, notably his reluctance to take the 15' J. Are you saying Traylor would be ahead of Alexander? Alexander needs to get that shot down early.

Your report on Graham is consistent with what I'm hearing from others, i.e. he's got a long way to go and not likely to be a big impact player this year. However, the Self and the players seem to be impressed...

Keep us posted on Oubre. Sounds like Greene is determined to be our starting 3.

Jay Beakum 6 years, 10 months ago

Not one word about Ellis, who as a Jr. and last season’s second leading scorer should be far and away this team’s leader. Hopefully he finds his intensity this year. I don’t think it’s critical, but it sure would be nice. #sicemselden

Selden - 2014/2015 Jayhawk Floor General. Physically and mentally, a man among boys. A team leader like that usually pushes the ceiling up dramatically. He may not put up the scoring numbers to be an All American, but will probably have a nice full stat line. More importantly, if he is Bill Self on the court, we’ll have a decided edge in toughness as a team. Love how he is talking right now! #raisethebar

Greene - 23 points. Oubre - 7 points. It’s on at the three!

Frankamp and Mason have no intentions of letting Graham or Svi take their minutes. This competition can only breed success. Whoever comes out with the most minutes is going to be playing some good basketball.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 10 months ago

Frankamp, Mason and Greene are all competitors and not likely to roll over for the freshman. Of the 3 freshman guards, looks like Oubre is shaping up to be the one to get the major minutes, even as a backup.

Titus Canby 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm wondering the same thing about Ellis. Is he in town? He definitely needs to be this year's leader.

Titus Canby 6 years, 10 months ago

I'd love to see an early-season starting 5 of all returning guys: Traylor Ellis Greene Selden Mason/Frankamp

Rich Hetherington 6 years, 10 months ago

I actually like that as well. Can you imagine a 2nd line of Alexander and Mickelson? They could be this years Black and Traylor if you will, and potentially better to even much better than that. Not to mention, with some combination of Oubre, Svii, Frankamp/Mason and Graham subbing in, you could make an argument that our 2nd line could handle most D1 teams. Our depth is amazing, and if everyone does their part and doesn't let the "crowded" roster get to them, we will be able to wear other teams out and could be in line for a very special season!

Jack Wilson 6 years, 10 months ago

I am wondering how Traylor, in a matter of 2 1/2 months goes from a decent 4th post guy to starter, and we're excited about that?

Reminder that Stanford schemed their defense to exploit Traylor's offensive inadequacies.

While it is par for the course to get excited about a silly scrimmage, we need to step back and remind ourselves that this means very little, particularly in terms of on court performance. Is Ellis a disaster offensively because he didn't do much? I don't think so.

I would say the only thing that means something is that Self put Mason on the non-alumni team over CF. That's an insight, perhaps.

Mick Allen 6 years, 10 months ago

Jack the significant part of "the silly scrimmage" to me was what Traylor did while Cole was guarding him. While readily acknowledging that Traylor has offensive limitations which, as you stated, Stanford recognized and took advantage of, the bursts he showed in beating Cole off the dribble and aggressively attacking the rim gave me some hope that he could be more of an offensive threat. As stated he still lacks a reliable 15 foot jump shot, which is of course what he needs to be a consistent scorer. Without that his defender sags off him, making any foray to the rim that much more difficult. But remember this wasn't some Washburn or Pittsburg State post player guarding him, but a journeyman NBA player who had 3 double doubles in the last 10 days of the season when the Knicks gave him significant minutes and who was a standout college defender and Traylor blew by him. I did not anoint him a starter, but it was apparent to me that he is ready to take on a larger role than he has played in the last 2 years. He still needs a dependable jump shot to set up his ability to get to the rim where he finishes strong. I can see him spelling Perry and Cliff for 15 to 18 minutes a game, rebounding and defending aggressively and posing enough of an offensive threat that the other team will have to guard him.

Jack, I did not anoint Traylor a starter based on that"silly scrimmage". I did want to make it clear that his play against an NBA post player was impressive enough for me to believe he will play a much more significant role this year than he has his last 2 years.I agree that he has not been a consistent offensive threat and Stanford, as you noted, was aware of this and took advantage of it. He still needs a 15 foot jumper to become someone the defense needs to guard. His first step was so quick against Cole and he attacked the rim so aggressively it was hard not to be impressed with his physicality and assertiveness. I do think when he comes in to spell Cliff or Perry for 15 to 20 minutes a game his skills have improved to he point that defenses will not be able to just ignore him and leave him uncovered. He of course will be a strong rebounder and defender if he stays out of foul trouble.

Tony Bandle 6 years, 10 months ago


1] Perry Ellis as team's just not going to happen. It is not in his DNA. I see Jamari assuming that role ala Darnell know, not necessarily the best player but certainly the most passionate. What...isn't this Jamari's fourth year?

2] As far as freshmen being advanced at their specific position, Kelly Oubre may be one of the strongest in the entire country. That doesn't mean he doesn't have overall skills to improve, but those specific to the wing position are damn strong!

3] Battles to watch: Oubre vs Greene, Frankamp vs Svee, Mason vs Graham, Mickelson vs Lucas, Traylor vs Ellis vs Alexander....the only clear cut favorite I see is Wayne!!

4] ALL TALL TEAM; Lucas, Mickelson, Svee, Traylor and Ellis.

5] ALL IRISH TEAM: Landon, Kelly, Perry, Conner, Brannen.

6] ALL HOPS TEAM: Wayne, Kelly, Brannen, Cliff, Frank.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 10 months ago

I will disagree that instead it's Conner vs Frank. I think Svi will progress, but since he's coming in late he will be a bench guy that probably backs Selden. Either way we've got depth and talent.

Suzi Marshall 6 years, 10 months ago

second that prediction. I don't think Graham will make it either.

Jonathan Allison 6 years, 10 months ago

Svi? No way. Even if he only plays in mop up minutes this year, he's considered a two and done, so a redshirt would be zero value to him.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 10 months ago

I'm thinking Traylor could be the starting 5 at the beginning of the season like black did. This position at the moment plays to his strengths while he develops his outside shot. This gives time for cliff to become the starter like Joel did. We could have a starting five of Greene, Ellis, Traylor, Selden, Conner/Mason and a bench of Oubre, Cliff, Mickelson. Cliff eventually starts. Obviously the next few months Cliff may get going and be the starter, which would be great. Either way we've got options and are more versatile this year with a more mature team.

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