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Friday, October 16, 2015

Keegan

Column: Selden proves he has grown

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) flexes before the crowd after a three during the second quarter of Friday's World University Games exhibition at Sprint Center.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) flexes before the crowd after a three during the second quarter of Friday's World University Games exhibition at Sprint Center.

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Wayne Selden Jr. grabbed an offensive rebound and slammed it through the hoop one minute and the next drove hard across the lane, angled his body both to avoid the defender and square himself for an easy bucket and banked a soft shot off the glass at Kansas University’s Thursday afternoon basketball practice.

The thing he did not do much of was stand and listen to coaches’ corrections. He no longer is a strong-willed freshman internally fighting the urge to do it his way, not the coaches’, or a sophomore knowing what to do, but fighting to focus well enough to do what he’s supposed to do every possession.

Selden looks thinner, but he said his weight is the same. He even looks taller. Could it be he has grown an inch?

“Maybe a little bit, hopefully. I don’t know,” Selden said after practice. “Maybe. We actually got measured today. I got measured today at 6-6 with shoes on, but you never know.”

He’s playing taller than ever, no maybe about that.

Attacking from the wing on the dribble and crashing the offensive boards, Selden looked comfortable in the land of giants Thursday. Small guards Devonté Graham and Frank Mason III played in tandem, turning Selden into a moving part who scored from everywhere on the floor.

“That’s one thing we’ve done an awful job with the last two years, play to his athletic ability and his strength,” coach Bill Self said. “I think when you play two little guards together, it will help him do that, as opposed to him being one of the ball-handling guards. So I’m excited to see him attacking the basket a lot more this year.”

Selden showed no signs of an ankle sprain that has slowed him the past few weeks. He looked explosive and quick. He presents a nightmare matchup for many teams trying to figure out how to guard him, and he can be used by Self to guard players of different sizes and styles.

Beyond his physical gifts, Selden brings a great deal of experience, the likes of which isn’t often seen at the elite level of college basketball.

Selden, a third-year starter, brings 2,082 minutes of experience into the season, Perry Ellis 2,455 minutes and Frank Mason 1,774 minutes. Heading into last season, Ellis’ 1,477 minutes made him the team’s most experienced player.

So when Selden hears talk of KU’s depth, he takes it a step beyond merely talent.

“I feel like we’re deeper because of experience,” he said. “We have a lot of guys coming off the bench who know what they’re doing, so that’s going to be big for us.”

Selden playing bigger will be big as well.

— Tom Keegan appears Sunday nights on “The Drive” on WIBW-TV

Comments

John Randall 1 year, 7 months ago

Wayne has suffered enough minor physical problems to keep him from his peak performance through a full season, or even long stretches, especially during the late season grind when the Jayhawks need some "extra" from him.

Maybe the KU bench this year will allow him more frequent 'breathers' without getting so many 'tweaks' that have kept him from dominating the way we have been waiting for.

Robert Brock 1 year, 7 months ago

Wayne needs to keep his weight down. He looked chubby and slow last season.

Suzi Marshall 1 year, 7 months ago

Selden, blessed with skills, has been one of the most frustrating players to watch. Although he had a great summer, like Ellis, he always has great summers but once the season comes around...for the most part he's missing.

Amongst all the established starters, Selden's starting role is probably the most in peril because of Mykailiuk's development. My suspicion is we'll still see most of Selden's minutes at the 2, regardless of all Self's talk about playing the two little guys a ton. Selden will play about 30 mpg, 16 of which will be at the 2.

With Selden playing atlas 14 mpg on the wing, that leaves 26 mpg for the Mykailiuk/Green. If Greene is not fully recovered to compete full speed for minutes, he's got to look at the red shirt possibility.

Darwin Dandy 1 year, 7 months ago

If anything Svi will play the 2 guard because Self is going to put Selden in the best spot to score because he has the experience and also the way he crashes the boards

Aaron Paisley 1 year, 7 months ago

Even in the gold medal game where Self reverted back to a lot of old tendencies, Selden at the was not one of them. That back court was Mason, Moore, and Selden as much as possible in that game where Self was refusing to sub except for foul outs. At least 90% of Selden's minutes this year will be in a role where he doesn't have to be a ball handler like the past 2 years.

Kent Richardson 1 year, 7 months ago

If Selden has been frustrating to watch, which he has, then Greene is at least that frustrating. Svi with his hidden "basketball acumen" and 48 treys in a row could be another one. Svi was 17 and in a different country so I can give him an out. Of course Self land is a different country in it's own right.

Bee Bee 1 year, 7 months ago

In the last two 3rd round NCAA Tournament games Wayne has put up TWO vs Stanford and ZERO vs Wichita State. I would expect A LOT more GROWTH.

Kent Richardson 1 year, 7 months ago

Couple of years ago we had a player nicknamed Ghost, which somebody always posted in 30 font and bold. If Wayne can contribute on that level, especially as a lock down defender, I will be happier. We probably need a little more scoring out of Wayne though. Ghost because he became invisible, i think.

Kent Richardson 1 year, 7 months ago

Another one along with Perry who looks thinner. Lol. Maybe they have lost their baby fat. Selden had the NBA body as frosh and Perry played smaller than his physical apperance. Easy for me to say. If we can get Svi looking like Swen Nater, not Ralph Nader ...........

Marius Rowlanski 1 year, 7 months ago

I predict Wayne gives Buddy Hield a run for BIG 12 POY.

John Boyle 1 year, 7 months ago

Buddy's a lock. He will outscore Selden (because he will put up a lot more shots) and the Big 12 always rewards the scorers. Most years the top 5 scorers are on the Big 12 first team. That doesn't bode well for players on teams that actually share the load.

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