Wayne Selden announcement seems unnecessary


Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. by Nick Krug

Let me start by saying I thought Wayne Selden's announcement — via press release — that he was returning to Kansas University for his junior season was handled perfectly.

Selden, who enjoyed a solid freshman season but took a step back in a few areas as a sophomore, sounded sincere, outlined several good reasons for his return and even addressed how motivated he was by his rough 2014-15 season.

Good on ya.

The problem, though — at least in my eyes and surely many of yours — is that I'm not really sure Selden needed to announce that he was returning in the first place.

The stay-or-go question posed to Selden after his freshman season was legitimate given his recruiting ranking, his productive season and the inevitable departure of his then-teammates Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid. But that same question was not really on the minds of those who follow KU basketball this time around.

Selden has talent. He has good size, can shoot the ball, is a terrific passer and has been trustworthy enough in the eyes of Bill Self to average roughly 30 minutes per game during his first two seasons as a Jayhawk. That last part is no small feat.

But I've often wondered what's driving Selden as a college athlete, and Friday's announcement only added to my curiosity.

To me, it seems Selden spends too much time worrying about his image — how he looks when he plays, how he's perceived in the eyes of all kinds of people and how he's talked about as a prospect. If he worried as much about consistently playing hard as he did about looking hard, I think he could become a serious impact guy and a future pro.

Kansas players Jamari Traylor, left, Wayne Selden (1) and Perry Ellis celebrate a block by Traylor against Kansas State during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas players Jamari Traylor, left, Wayne Selden (1) and Perry Ellis celebrate a block by Traylor against Kansas State during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

As it stands, he's been a pretty good college player and may very well be on his way to becoming a four-year player. Remember when that wasn't a bad thing?

Taking this a step further, this whole thing seems to be a cultural problem, though, not just a Selden problem.

So many college players these days, talented and otherwise, seem to feel like they're missing out or falling behind their peers — or, worse yet, the high school guys coming behind them — if they're not constantly thrusting themselves into the national conversation or following the ever-growing trend of self promotion that has turned college basketball into a spectacle at which even Hollywood would blush.

On the handful of 2015 NBA mock drafts I searched, Selden was listed on just one — and that was as a late second-round pick. No way that guy's going to jump to the NBA unless there were some extenuating circumstances that would make such a move necessary. With Selden there are none, which made his return to KU not only the right move but also the obvious one.

No need to announce it. No need to give it a second thought. Just get into the gym and go to work. Maybe doing that will make the question relevant again next year.

Regardless of how it was announced or whether it even needed to be, at least Selden made the right move and didn't allow outside influences or his own ego to send him down the wrong path.

That's something. And it should be very interesting to see what the Wayne Selden Experience 3.0 looks like.

Wayne Selden By The Numbers

2013-14: 9.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 2.5 apg, 53% 2pt, 36% 3pt, 25 steals, 66 turnovers

2014-15: 9.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.8 apg, 39% 2pt, 37% 3pt, 21 steals, 70 turnovers

2015-16: TBD

Kansas guard Wayne Selden applauds a bucket and a foul by teammate Jamari Traylor against Fort Hays State during the second half of an exhibition game on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden applauds a bucket and a foul by teammate Jamari Traylor against Fort Hays State during the second half of an exhibition game on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. by Nick Krug


Marc Frey 6 years, 5 months ago

That was my first thought. Really, that needed an announcement?

Bryce Landon 6 years, 5 months ago

In a world dominated by social media, everything needs an announcement.

Dale Rogers 6 years, 5 months ago

I really hope Selden reads this article. It's spot on from here. He has shown he has potential. Now he needs to just go out and play hard, have fun, and let the future take care of itself. If he does those things, most likely that future will be very bright.

Mark Lindrud 6 years, 5 months ago

The numbers don't lie; he is not ready for the NBA. He needs a big jump next year for consideration. I will support him when he goes, but I also want him to be ready to do great, and hopefully another season will be just what he needs. Good luck next season Wayne, and make KU proud.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 5 months ago

He needs a big jump on defense, but without Danny Manning to teach him, we're going to get torched again next year.

David Lara 6 years, 5 months ago

Yes, Danny Manning the defensive guru, without whom all is lost...

Joe Joseph 6 years, 5 months ago

Great read.

I believe the announcement was necessary, however, only because Self and company had eluded to the fact that others were exploring their options. We all know that Selden was one of those six who received information and we all know that Wayne came to KU with the goal of getting to the NBA as quickly as possible.

Should it have been necessary? No. But I'm glad he did it and glad to read what he said in his release.

Maybe this will table some of the expectations for Wayne and actually help him play looser, and better. Perhaps he won't feel so rushed to get to the League.

Good on Wayne, indeed!

John Randall 6 years, 5 months ago

Was I not listening, or was that elusive allusion just an illusion?

Clara Westphal 6 years, 5 months ago

I thought Wayne's announcement was perfectly worded and necessary, at least to him. Tait;s article sounds demeaning which is not surprising. Good luck to Wayne and thank you for letting the Jayhawk Nation know of his plans.

Len Shaffer 6 years, 5 months ago

Why is it not surprising that Matt's article would be demeaning (not that I think it was, anyway)? I think Matt's articles are generally quite fair-minded.

JD Roth 6 years, 5 months ago

I'm with you Clara. Too many leave that shouldn't across the country. I have no problem at all with Wayne making an announcement. I considered it to be demeaning also.

RJ King 6 years, 5 months ago

So many of Wayne's drives to the basket were baffling. To me (a girl who never played the game), it seemed like he was trying to combine an acrobatic, off-balance, thread the needle layup, with an ESPN highlight windmill dunk typicality made either solo, or over just one defender.

The combination may have worked as a 6'5" guard in high school, but at this level he needs to just go for the tricky layup, focus on the bucket, and/or hope for a foul. Oh, and dish off when necessary to avoid a charge.

Wayne's mastery of this situation would greatly improve his 39% 2pt FG%.

John Randall 6 years, 5 months ago

Brett, you must have terrific insight to come so close to my own opinions!

Joe Ross 6 years, 5 months ago


RE: the use of the vernacular phrase "Good on ya",

...Good on ya!

Rodney Crain 6 years, 5 months ago

Well done Matt!

Being even slightly negative on here is a risk though, even if it is true and well written!!!

Eliott Reeder 6 years, 5 months ago

"Matt Tait Article Deeming Wayne Selden Announcement Unnecessary Seems Unnecessary"

Rodney Crain 6 years, 5 months ago

Again, and thus my point. Want to prove it again Brett, please do, there is plenty of space for you........

Please, we all await your brilliant post proving my point again, and again and again.

Thank you for verifying me as correct once more. I cannot begin to tell you how big the smile is you brought to my face today by your post. Brilliant.

Rodney Crain 6 years, 5 months ago

Brett if we follow your logic on Perry, our best player, is not even draftable. No one wants him.

You might want to check out his stats in the first half of the season, he completely disappeared in 5 games. Our most experienced player who dominated in summer camps that do not play defense by the way. If he would have played like he did in the last 10-15 games the whole season I would agree with you, even apologize.

As it is I do not agree at all with you on Perry. A lot of folks on here agree with me. Early in the season even coach Self was expecting more from his Junior.

JD Roth 6 years, 5 months ago

No need to even write this article, period.

Bryce Landon 6 years, 5 months ago

I know what you mean Rodney. Criticizing the untouchable Bill Self for underachieving in the NCAA Tournament and demanding that he be held accountable for our early exits from the Tournament gets you branded with the old "Not-a-true-KU-fan" insults.

Adam Tyler 6 years, 5 months ago

Great analysis Matt!

I really wish you took this truth-be-told approach with the football team, instead of pumping us full of sunshine and rainbows all the time!

Rodney Crain 6 years, 5 months ago

Sean deep breaths... in, out, in out, think of a happy place, where the sun is shining, its warm, green grass.

Sae Thirtysix 6 years, 5 months ago

This falls in the "first for everything" category. I am agreeing with RCrain on this one. (Generally more of a JRoss agreement guy.)

Sean, you're thinking too much about the role of fans here. I'm surprised Matt wrote something critical- true, but a level of criticism we really haven't read before.

You could have ended after the UK comparison. Signing top talent goes way, way deeper than fans on

Glen Miller 6 years, 5 months ago

There are very opinionated fans in every group, on every Campus. The players constantly rave about the love from KU fans.... I hardly doubt a message board is going to deter them from coming to our school. To be honest, if it does.... then I don't want them here anyways because they are thin skinned and weak. They will hear 10 times more vile things on the court and from opposing fans. If some armchair quarterbacks and fed up fans scare them, then they are not the kids to lead us out of the first weekend of the tourney and into the second. Just my 2 cents.

Humpy Helsel 6 years, 5 months ago

Sean! (see Rodney Crain)

Clearly, Matt is closer to the program and the players than most of us, and sees things many of us do not have the opportunity. Matt's comment about the "cultural problem" is an interesting one. I think it is a good characterization of an environment of AAU ball, family and friends, and people looking to represent you to make money Young, physically gifted, emotionally immature man/children hear nothing but words of praise and promise, often in homes that struggle to survive financially. A perfect storm, really, for bad decisions (see Cliff Alexander and Josh Selby) and life in a vacuum which isn't real. Not in the longer run it isn't. Unless the "one and done" situation is reformed with collaboration between the players union, the league and the NCAA, it will continue. Someone is going to come along and make a 30 For 30 which will expose the stories of players who have lived the life of being the "latest and greatest" and now are having to sober up to living a regular life trying to make a living for their families, many without the education to open the doors to a nice, middle class life in their communities. Is it exploitation of young people and their families? I think in many cases it is.

Robin Smith 6 years, 5 months ago

I just read it as a morale boosting release. To me, he seems to be simply exhibiting some leadership: a positive message to the fans, the team, and perhaps some undecided kids.

It feels like he his genuinely invested in trying to deliver for Kansas and coach. Teammates discussed his motivation of the team this year.

Personally, I expressly do not read this as an attention-grab or image control.

John Randall 6 years, 5 months ago

Speaking only in a mature and team-oriented way could happen two ways: ........... being genuinely mature and team oriented, ........... playing us all by acting out such a role.

I sincerely doubt we'd hear so many positives from HCBS and teammates if Wayne's persona were manufactured.

His desire to succeed, like many in his age group, may be so intense that it interferes with his developing the game-to-game consistency we all feel he is constantly at the brink of finding. Some players only approach the level of their potential by letting the game come to them, rather than wrestling with every less-than-perfect moment he experiences.

Wayne – here's one Jayhawk behind you more than you know. I only wish it was easier for you to relax and enjoy my support. That will come, but not until you accept it yourself – and share some of the good feelings with Perry and the youngsters.

BTW, Matt isn't dumping or hammering – just sharing observations, nearly all of them better than you or I have the chance to inform ourselves about.

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