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Will Josh Selby be freshman of the year by season's end?

Before Saturday, the only time I saw Josh Selby play basketball was during Oct. 15's Late Night in the Phog.

And, all due respect to the scrimmage, evaluating a player in that type of sloppy setting is dangerous. Doesn't paint a true picture.

Saturday's nailbiter — a 70-68 KU triumph over USC in Allen Fieldhouse — didn't paint the complete picture of Selby either. It was only his first game of playing college basketball after serving a nine-game suspension for accepting impermissible benefits.

Kansas guard Josh Selby jokes with head coach Bill Self before tipoff against USC, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Josh Selby jokes with head coach Bill Self before tipoff against USC, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

But Saturday gave us a pretty darn good idea of what kind of player Selby is. Selby's 21-point outburst in 27 minutes was one of the more fearless performances I've seen from a KU freshman.

The kid was not afraid, with 26 seconds left and Kansas down two, to receive the ball on the wing, fake a pass to his right to ever so slightly free up some space and drill a game-winning, ice-in-the-veins three-pointer. It was one of his five threes on a memorable day.

By Saturday afternoon, Selby's performance was the talk of the town. When people spoke about the freshman, it was like they were describing a religious experience. Selby the savior.

Didn't take long for the Twitter world to catch on to the hype. If you haven't searched for #selbymovies, take five minutes to scroll down the hilarious list that describes Selby's impact with fans. Whatever genre you want, it's there. Star Wars: Revenge of the Selby. Eternal Sunshine of the Selby Mind. Selbys on a Plane. On Monday, I submitted 'When Selby Met Sally.' I'm a sucker for classic rom coms; what can I say?

Should Selby continue to improve, particularly on defense, he will undoubtedly be one of the best freshmen in the country and a potential lottery pick in next year's NBA Draft.

Time to look into the crystal college ball for now. Will Selby end up being the NCAA freshman of the year?

Quite possibly. But he'll have some dynamite freshmen he needs to hold off, even in the Big 12. Here's a list of other potential top freshmen in the country by season's end:

Terrence Jones, Kentucky: Is it any surprise the top three scorers on John Calipari's 8-2 Wildcats are diaper dandies? Jones tops all freshmen in the country with 18.9 points per game, and is pretty close to the top in rebounds per game (10) as well.

Kentucky's Terrence Jones.

Kentucky's Terrence Jones. by Associated Press

Jared Sullinger, Ohio State: ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb called Sullinger the best freshman in the country over the weekend after the Buckeyes bruiser went for 30 points and 19 boards in a victory over South Carolina. Gottlieb went a step farther and called Ohio State the best team in the country. Wonder how Duke and Kansas feel about that. There's no denying Sullinger's impact, though. The 6-foot-9, 280-pound behemoth is averaging 18.5 points and 9.6 rebounds for No. 2 OSU.

Brandon Knight, Kentucky: For the second consecutive season, the Wildcats have a top 10 recruit running the point as a freshman (John Wall in 2009-10). Knight, not as much of a driver/creator as Wall, has responded with 17.1 points per game this year. Knight has to cut down on his turnovers (38 in 10 games), though, which currently outweigh his assist totals (37).

Kyrie Irving, Duke: Had Irving not suffered a foot injury earlier this month, he may have been the front-runner to receive top freshman honors. Irving led the No. 1 team in the country with 17.4 points per game, while also piling up 5.1 assists and 3.8 boards per contest. Because he only played in eight games and could miss the remainder of the season, Irving seems like a long shot to be considered the best freshman. Interesting to note that Rivals.com ranked only one point guard ahead of Irving in the Class of 2010: Selby.

Perry Jones, Baylor: Jones and Selby lead an underrated class of impact freshmen in the Big 12 this season. The 6-10 Jones leads the 7-1 Bears in rebounding (8.9) and averages 13.9 points per game, tops in the conference for freshmen who have appeared in at least 75 percent of their team's games.

Cory Joseph, Texas: Remember one of the (many) problems with Texas last year? No point guard. Not the case this year because of Joseph, who's averaging 11.9 points, 2.9 assists (vs. 1.9 turnovers) and 3.8 rebounds per game. And if you want to observe the guy's clutch-o-meter, check out Joseph's game-winner from the weekend against North Carolina in front of a pro-Tar Heel crowd in Greensboro, N.C.:

Harrison Barnes, North Carolina: Barnes hasn't been quite as dominant as advertised, but there's still plenty of season left. The 6-8, 210-pounder has been good for 12.3 points and 6.1 boards per game. The unranked Tar heels have struggled to a 7-4 start, but if they pick it up, chances are you'll start to see Barnes mature on the floor.

Also consider: Doron Lamb, Kentucky; Tobias Harris, Tennessee; Tristan Thompson, Texas; Will Barton, Memphis.

Selby has some competition for top freshman. But if Saturday was any indication of what we'll see from the Baltimore native, he could very well finish ahead of everyone on this list.

That should be all for now, friends. As always, discuss.

Comments

tweek 3 years, 11 months ago

jeff w. is terrible. 7 footer with absolutely no touch or feel for the game. it's pretty evident that what he lacks can't be coached....skill.

Greg Lux 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes Jeff is struggling, Yes he needs to improve to be helpful to this team, & Yes this is not the place for this subject. Actorman is correct.

actorman 3 years, 11 months ago

??? Why in the world would you comment about Withey here? It was an article about Selby!

Greg Lux 3 years, 11 months ago

I think ( baring any problems ) its a hands down cinch. I also agree with actorman.

Rock Chalk

Jacobpaul81 3 years, 11 months ago

Why do people consider a 19 year old basketball player a savior? That's just dumb. They did the same thing with Jeff Bosche... and Sherron Collins. Chill your expectations and don't let the media blow this kid out of proportion. I'm a reasonable person. I don't expect this kid to be ridiculous. Every time I watch these so-called "Diaper Dandies", I see the exact same thing... lot of talent, but it's clear few of them possess the maturity and have the training to run a team. There's a reason Coach Self continues to push Taylor as his court leader and Selby as just another weapon.

Here's what I saw:

5-8 from 3 pt - 62% - No one's going to shoot 62% outside every game. Not even the great Ron Kellogg could do that. Bosche scored 46.9% his freshman season. It'd be tough for another Frosh to do that.

0-3 from inside the 3 pt line.

6-7 from the line.

1 Assist / 4 Turnovers

5 defensive boards - This was Josh's best stat.

While you can't measure it with stats, his defense left something to be desired, so it's good he grabbed some boards to make up for it.

klineisanazi 3 years, 11 months ago

Boschee as a savior? I missed that one. The guy could hit the 3 ball. But I get your point. I think this is more comparable to last year with X, although the alleged "hole" on last year's team was more apparent than with this year's team. (If Selby was a strong forward or center, or even a lock down defender, it would be obvious he was needed to fill a "hole".) But Selby isn't a savior because this team doesn't need saving, at least not the kind of saving he probably can provide. The question is whether he will provide something that will allow KU to go farther in March. Right now, nobody knows the answer to that. Based on scouting reports I had read, what he displayed Saturday was not the best part of his game, which is supposed to be creating shots for himself and others. Whether he will be a "great" freshman will probably be determined by how well he does when he puts the ball on the court, drives, and dishes or shoots, and whether he can learn to play defense at this level in the next 3 months.
There is no doubt he does have at least one intangible of a leader and that is fearlessness. Flip side to that sometimes can be recklessness, as we all saw with Sherron at times. But it is good to see has has that instinct. Does he have the talent to be Freshman of the Year? Yes, and I would say definitely. But he is already way behind the other guys in experience with only 3 months to go. I just hope is he is ready for showtime in March.

Jacobpaul81 3 years, 11 months ago

Apparently you've blanked that out of your memory. That's all anyone could talk about: Bosche this, Bosche that. Best player on that team was Kenny Gregory, but no one could shut up about Jeff Bosche... an undersized shooting guard, who shot the 3 "ok", but could do little else. At least he shot it better than Collins. That kid. Man, if there's ever a Jayhawk that infuriated me more than Jared Haas, it's Sherron "Im 100% fearless, 100% brainless, and Guaranteed Reckless" Collins. People did the same thing with J.R. Giddens... and yes, X. Brandon Rush was a big deal as well... and so far, the only player to live up to the billing.

I suggest people give this kid a break. He's no higher than 4th on the roster right now due to his lack of maturity and development. The Morris twins are clearly the basis for the offense, Taylor the leader, and Selby, Trob, Morningstar, Releford and Reed will be asked to play their roles off of them. Selby might shine, he might not. But lets not start calling him a savior, not start questioning his status for Freshman of the Year (especially considering Perry Jones & Cory Joseph are also in the Big XII), and lay off all the articles.

Ron Prichard 3 years, 11 months ago

I remember Boschee and I don't ever remember him being called a saviour.

As for Sherron, there were many times he played out of control, but let's just look at what he was asked to do for this team: 1. Run the team on the floor. 2. Be the team's emotional leader. 3. Be the "go to" player when we needed a basket. That is a lot to take on for any kid, let alone one trying to live up to a pretty high winning standard at KU. When Sherron had help, look at his contributions. 2008 championship game? Mario's shot won it (pass from Sherron), but it was really Collins' steal, save and three that was the play of the game.

Is Selby a savior? No. But he is definitely one heck of a ball player, and hopefully will be that missing piece that allows this team to make a run for the NC.

Enjoy the ride. Get excited. Let other people get excited, too. That's what this is all about.

ChicagoJHawk 3 years, 11 months ago

I agree. It's too early to start talking about freshman of the year and being a savior etc. He had a good game but we have yet to see him create assists for his team mates, drive to the hoop and play defense.

I also can't stand all the Jeff Boschee hype either. Yes, he holds the KU, and Big 12, record for most 3's made but guess what...he also took more 3's than any other player, way more threes. He attempted about 250 more 3's than whoever has the 2nd most 3's in KU history. I remember him missing about 13 in a row and Roy would keep him in the game.

quill_46 3 years, 11 months ago

you must be a K-State or a Mizzo fan whatever which one you are go find your own school to blog on retard. He is going to get better after all this was his first game in a Jayhawk uniform and he scores twenty one points.you need to focus on your Wildcats they only scored forty four points against Florida that was awful. Six field goals in the second half.lol,lol,lol,lol,lol.

klineisanazi 3 years, 11 months ago

And tweek can't read. This isn't a column about Withey. Take your buzzkill somewhere else.

Chris Bruning 3 years, 11 months ago

i agree with tweek. look every blog gets swayed into different discussion every time so by tweek saying withey is a joke,so what, go cry on mommas shoulder. Its very laughable thinking of how pathetic withey is. As far as Selby....i think Jared Sullinger is the ONE and ONLY freshman who could beat him out.....

KU_FanSince75 3 years, 11 months ago

Eric----

I saw the second half of the Texas/North Carolina game from my hotel room in Louisiana. Cory's shot was a dagger-----so, sweet----and it denied the Tar Heels another stinkin' victory. Loved it!

Eric Sorrentino 3 years, 11 months ago

Kid's really fun to watch, isn't he? UT should be pretty good this year. I think they're on the second tier, though, in the Big 12. Should be a solid tournament team that could make some noise if Joseph and Thompson play beyond their years. Thanks for commenting.

2Bnamedlater 3 years, 11 months ago

Being Selby's first game, I thought he played pretty well. Needs to get into game shape though. His offense is good, has a realy nice shot and release, but when he drove into the paint he was out of control. He needs to work on his ball handeling a little more and I can not wait for him to finish strong around the rim. His D is not up to game speed either, but again this was just his first college game, what were we to expect, perfection? Not so much, I know I wasn't.

My thoughts on Josh moving on from game #1, is only good things. He adds a dynamic on the wing we haven't had for a long while. He can drive, he can shoot, he can make the right pass and a good pass. He is an all around player,(once he gets his drive undercontrol, but that will come as more playing time is used).

HCBS has a lot of weapons now, not only on the floor but coming off the bench too. Lots of options, lets use them all and use them correctly.

Rock Chalk Jayhawk

LAJayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

"Jones tops all freshmen in the country with 18.9 points per game..."

Well, technically Selby is averaging 21 points per game. :-)

Eric Sorrentino 3 years, 11 months ago

Keep reading...

"...tops in the conference for freshmen who have appeared in at least 75 percent of their team's games."

LAJayhawk 3 years, 11 months ago

I know. That was my attempt at humor.

Interesting post, Eric.

Eric Sorrentino 3 years, 11 months ago

ha, my bad. Thought you might have overlooked that. Thanks man, and thanks for coming on to comment.

Chris Bruning 3 years, 11 months ago

2Bnamedlater- " what were we to expect, perfection? Not so much, I know I wasn't."

Yeah especially if you seen him at Late Night......he struggled, poor ball handling, just nerves im sure....but as soon as he made that first bucket (at late night and against USC) then it was like bud light commercial.....HERE WE GO

fatcattexas 3 years, 11 months ago

all of the freshman are really good, I think that Sullinger has had the most impact so far for his team, and will probably continue to lead his team, without him I think Ohio State would be in the 10-15 ranking... Kansas was already in top 5 before Selby started, so I really do not not what there is to save, but he is the best freshman in the last couple of years for KU, I think we need a few more games to really put him in the race.

Irving and Jones are pretty good, but are also a result of the systems they run. No one else shuld be in the race, but all are really good for freshmen, and are making an impact...

The thing I do not like about this type of award and article is that it puts too much emphasis on 1 player, and in my opinion detracts from the accomplishments of the team...

Brian Conrad 3 years, 11 months ago

on THIS team Selby way more important than Terrance Jones. get the Twins to defend... will go heads up with Kentucky slime inside and out our bigs - Twins and T rob against freshman Jones, and Josh over Knight . our bench and overall team roll players way over UK. teams with just street ball mentality very tricky. need solid team players to keep things calm and know where to go when game on the line.

Tony Bandle 3 years, 11 months ago

I have come to the conclusion that the controversy over Brady is that at one point or another he has done everything in basketball terrifically and then at one point or another he has done everything in basketball terribly.

Great defense /clueless defense. Outstanding passing/idiotic passing Fearless shooting/ Fearful shooting Team Leader/ Suspended DUI Offender Tremendous ball protection/ unforced turnovers by the score.

It really boils down to if you like him or not because there is plenty of ammunition for either side. I think the discussions [if I can call them that, at times] are almost personal because everyone's own credibility is getting in the way.

I'm not about to suggest to anyone which way they should feel, instead review what Kansas has done in the last four plus seasons and ask yourselves, is it because of Brady or in spite of Brady.

Brian Conrad 3 years, 11 months ago

oh and for the Frank fan kuneb
KSU 7th in big 12 right now..... 27 percent in last game, wow . Selby , Tyshawn, Elijah , Reed, T Rob and the Twins will stomp the kitties again

Scott Smetana 3 years, 11 months ago

Jones, Barnes, and whoever can keep their POY awards, we'll kindly just take the National Championship Trophy again. I'm very sure our players feel the same.

CrodieBroyle 3 years, 11 months ago

I think it will be Sullinger. The dude's a beast he had 40 and 13 the other night

KGphoto 3 years, 11 months ago

Have to agree with Jacobpaul. I was not as impressed with the overall game of Selby.

Of course he showed stones taking that 3... and hitting.

But throughout the game I kept saying he was interfering with the Hawks natural game flow. He flashed and dashed, but also took some unusual shots, turned it over, and it seemed KU was a little off balance because of it. For example, the baseline runner he put up. In Self's offense, that kind of penetration normally should result in a dish and an easy two. (by the way, between he and Tyshawn those runners better start falling or they need to stop taking them) The half-court offense was a little shaky looking because nobody was sure what he was going to do. Everybody is gaga over the 21pts and final shot. Personally I think we would have handled USC more easily without him.

I think those things will get worked out, and I'm glad he did play because we won and likely learned a whole lot about how to play with him in there. But to consider him FOTY after one game?... Sensationalism.

melrank 3 years, 11 months ago

At this time . . . this is an easy one - Sullinger, then Jones. To suggest otherwise is blatant homerism.

By the end of the year, even if Selby has the ability to do more than shoot the 3-ball, I don't believe that he will get the consistent opportunities to overtake either of these two because of the balanced approach Self is going to take with this team.

Here's to him proving me wrong . . .

REHawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Too early yet to judge Josh's collegiate game. He showed some dandy ability to hit an NBA three and to toss up a beautiful lob pass. Also, played offense in such a way that Marcus felt confident to whip that crosscourt ball to him at crucial last half minute of a game which the Jayhawks appeared to be losing. The kid is a warrior who probably will quickly find ways to showcase his many other talents and help this team rise to concensus Final Four superiority by season's end. That national freshman POY determination should certainly not be assessed until after the NCAA Tournament. Josh is a rare talent who deserves early consideration. His first collegiate appearance might have detracted somewhat from the flow of Jayhawk chemistry. But at crunch time he was money in the bank.

Joe Ross 3 years, 11 months ago

Melrank...it appears to me that Self was plenty happy to let the offense run through Sherron last year (that is to say team emphasis, with latitude given for Sherron). I don't think he will have a problem with Selby's running the team as long as the ball doesn't stick. As long as the ball moves, opportunities will open up for other players to be involved.

mikehawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Despite Saturday's heroics, I really doubt JS will be even close to freshman of the year because of the way Bill Self coaches and because there is a ton of talent on this team. Job One is fitting into the team, and he will have ups and downs like any other freshman. He might have a shot at the award on another team where he is The Man. At KU, its The Team, and The Team plays defense and shares the ball. Right now, despite our record, this team has holes that will be exposed sooner or later this year. If this team can incorporate Selby, close some of the gaps, and get better every day, they might be able to put some type of run together late in the year.

Mark Lindrud 3 years, 11 months ago

It is a long season and deciding frosh of the year is hard to tell. Selby has had one game while Barnes, Jones, Sullinger have been the big names who have shined the most. I am not saying others have not done well, but those 3 have received the most press.

The team needs to find its rotation and how to make the offense work. Unlike last year with Henry I hope we implement Selby in the offense more. We do need Selby because he passes the ball well, is another outside shooter along with Reed who can take the pressure off the inside and make it even more difficult to defend us.

Also, now we have another free throw shooter along with Reed that will help us down the stretch of games that are close when we need to make free throws. I don't want us to pull a Memphis and get killed because of free throws.

There is talent on this team and we have the potential to win the title, but until we cut down our turnovers and improve our free throws I will continue to watch nervously each game even if it maybe considered a blowout. The future of this year's team is bright, but now we need to take the next step to truly be a contender. Rock Chalk!

Ashwin Rao 3 years, 11 months ago

Too early to tell. He has only played one game. Let us discuss this after 5-10.

Greg Lux 3 years, 11 months ago

If Josh gets hot even HCBS will not stop him ... the question is will the rest of the team support him at there own decrease in scoring? Will the will to win overtake the will to be the star of the team Tonight Josh is going to score and score a lot. He will open up scoring chances fo everyone else. You can bank it ....

Rock Chalk

Eric Schneider 3 years, 11 months ago

Nope, he missed too many games. And besides, right now, Sullinger may be the National POY.

Joe Baker 3 years, 11 months ago

I'd say he's off to a dang good start toward that goal. It's early but he's got a great chance. He's wasting no time and is making up for lost time. I'd say that consistency has much to do with this award. He's only getting better by the game too.

I'm sure there will be some lame reason if he doesn't make it.

Rock Chalk Josh KU!

Selby for Frosh of the Yr!!

Brian Conrad 3 years, 11 months ago

If KU wins and rolls in final four he will certainly go above all except maybe Sullinger.. the games he missed will mean nothing by end of year. remember Wall missed his first few games. Wall and Sullinger were able to put on shows over very weak teams early , will be harder to put up killer numbers in big 12. Sullinger's cupcakes will go away also. really comes down to who's team has fewer loses and advances further.. by the way who cares win it all and KU fans will never remember Jones or Sullinger.. Selby already better than Knight... ps. sul or jones would never be better for this KU team and that is the main thing!!

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