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Originally published June 28, 2010 at 10:41a.m., updated June 29, 2010 at 12:00a.m.

Selby’s finger healing well, Self says

Kansas recruit Josh Selby warms up prior to the start of the Jordan Brand Classic Saturday, April 17, 2010, at Madison Square Garden.

Kansas recruit Josh Selby warms up prior to the start of the Jordan Brand Classic Saturday, April 17, 2010, at Madison Square Garden.

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Kansas University freshman basketball point guard Josh Selby, who broke the pinkie on his left, non-shooting hand in a June 7 pick-up game, is “progressing fine,” coach Bill Self said on Monday’s Big 12 summer coaches teleconference.

“He’s got about another week and a half probably in the splint. After that if everything looks good, which we anticipate it will, he’ll be able to do noncontact stuff. He’s just three to four weeks away from being full speed, full contact,” Self said.

Talented team: KU’s coach believes the Jayhawks will be able to withstand the losses of Cole Aldrich, Sherron Collins and Xavier Henry.

“The team two years ago that performed at a pretty high level — Sherron was the only kid back in the top seven,” Self said of the 27-8 Big 12 champion and Sweet 16 team. “There were question marks about that team as well. You knew you had Sherron. You knew you had Cole that had a chance to be good anchors. This team is a little more of an unknown, although I do believe that Tyshawn (Taylor) and Marcus Morris and Josh Selby will be three of our best performers in our league.

“I like our talent level. We’re just young and won’t know what we’re doing for a while. Hopefully we’ll figure it out. This is going to be a very athletic, quick ballclub, probably quite a bit more athletic than last year’s team.”

Expanded slate: In two years, the Big 12 is expected to go to an 18-game conference schedule instead of the current 16-game slate.

“I’ve always been a strong advocate we only play 16 league games because based on all the veteran coaches I’ve talked to who coached in the Big Ten or Pac-10 or whatnot, that two extra games do make a big difference,” Self said. “You are throwing in two potential losses when you could buy two games in the nonconference. Everybody says the league’s RPI will improve. I do believe that’s the case, but so much of league RPI is determined what you do in nonconference play. How our league will be viewed is how we do in nonconference play. When you get into league, you end up beating each other.”

Self said he thought a mark of 14-4 would be the type of record one would need for “a championship season. I really believe that the league has gotten that much tougher because we play everybody twice.”

Comments

jaybate 11 years, 10 months ago

"Self said he felt Morris, Tyshawn Taylor and Selby would be three of the better players in the league this coming season."--GBed

Well, that means Self is expecting huuuuuge improvement from Tyshawn, because Tyshawn was not only not one of the better players in the league last season, he was not one of the better players on the team last season. Here's to hoping Tyshawn has broken out.

The above also pretty much establishes the top three scoring options and go-to guys.

Position/Player 1 Selby 2 Taylor 4 Morris

Inference: looks like glue at 3 and 5.

3 Little 5 Kieff

Inference: any perimeter player that wants to break out has to break out at the 3 and beat out Little.

Inference: Self has no expectations of major breakouts at the 3.

Miscellaneous: Looks like Jeff Withey is not going to step in and contribute much beyond situationally. Too bad.

Jonathan Allison 11 years, 10 months ago

You were Tyshawn's greatest advocate last year.

We all expected Tyshawn Taylor to be one of the best players in the league last year, too. Then he got into the doghouse. Coach was very very tough on him for most of the year. Maybe Coach is trying a different approach to getting the most out of Tyshawn. Last year it was tough love. This year is positive reinforcement. Tyshawn seemed to be a headcase all of last year. Maybe he just needs help strengthening his confidence.

We all know that Tyshawn is capable. But how do you maximize his talent?

Theutus 11 years, 10 months ago

I'm shocked to see you say that about Tyshawn given the fact that most of our arguments have stemmed from my criticism of his play.... You were always defending him as one of our go-to guards last year...

Glad to see we are now on the same page, in that last year he was terrible for 95+% of the season.

I sure hope he's got his mental game corrected, because that has always been his problem. And judging from Selfs comments, he's planning on giving TT the start and all the faith in the world... I just don't get it. Oh well, hoping for the best.

bg_duck1 11 years, 10 months ago

write it down Jaybate -- Mario and Marcus will be our 2 best players and leaders next year

kranny 11 years, 10 months ago

At camp a few weeks ago, Self said that if Withey gets that "fire" in his gut he'll be a great player. As he said this, Withey lowered his head and nodded as if in silent agreement. I hope that playing against Cole and the twins has enlightened him on what it takes to play big time ball.

stravinsky 11 years, 10 months ago

I agree with pretty much all of that, Jaybate, but I don't think I'm willing to read into it that much with regards to Withey. Sometimes what's not said is as important as what's said, true, but I don't think we can draw that much from this statement.

The development of our big men is definitely key for how far the team goes this next year. We'll have to wait and see, but based on recent history, I feel we can expect to see some big improvements out of Robinson and Withey. Last year was Withey's first full year in the system (correct me if I'm wrong, he transferred in for the Spring semester of 2009?) and in the past we've seen big, big improvements from our post men after their first full year.

Granted, not everyone is going to be like Marcus Morris and make the strides he did between his oft-criticized freshman year and his phenomenal, breakout sophomore year. But I really think the worry about the 5 position is greater than it should be.

Dyrk Dugan 11 years, 10 months ago

per usual, on a comment from the coach, on a purely speculative opinion, people jump on it, and try to "read" something into it.

the only story from the above, is the fact that Mr. Selby is healing well...and that's a positive.

Danny Hernandez 11 years, 10 months ago

Once all that crap started last year with the fights, Tyshawn kinda went downhill and I really believe that contributed to his own mental problems. Tyshawn is incredibly talented and Kansas needs for him to be the player he is capable and with all this behind him, I believe we'll see the real Tyshawn Taylor

jchief40 11 years, 10 months ago

Selby will make Tyshawn better I believe.

Tony Bandle 11 years, 10 months ago

I am ever hopeful "The Prophet" breaks through this year.

Based on sheer physical ability and assuming they all achieve a strong gametime focus, I am not sure anyone in America can put up three guards like Selby, Taylor and Johnson.

And if CJ stays healthy and achieves his potential now that the shadow of his brother has been lifted, WOW, Kansas could shatter opposing backcourts with almost "hockey-like" shifts at guard [Josh/Tyshwan, Elijah/CJ, Reed/Woolridge].

In a strange sort of way, I am more excited about this year's team than past seasons not only because of a team with a new look but also, the unknowns and potential surprises that await us.

One thing we can count on, though, is one final round of four victories over NU and CU. :)

David Lara 11 years, 10 months ago

Oakville: Love the idea of the "hockey-like," situational lineups. Just brilliant, especially on the perimeter.

And the excitement about so many guys with potential making it a very exciting season knowing someone will really bring it and make our season, well put. Can't wait for Bill's Boys this fall, RCJH!

jchief40 11 years, 10 months ago

Withey is gonna not only be good. He's gonna be great!

John Beck 11 years, 10 months ago

I hope HCBS noticed how the Phoenix Suns started Lopez at center and allowed the 4 to become a monster scorer, while shutting down the paint defensively, at the cost of a couple of early fouls. Withey would make Marcus a 1st team AP all american with the start. Keiff can finish so no worries on the early Withey fouls.

jaybate 11 years, 10 months ago

With the way the NBA drafted height this season, I am amazed someone didn't draft Withey. He's got tons of potential. In fact, so far, he is entirely potential. :-)

Eliott Reeder 11 years, 10 months ago

I can't help but wonder if Self's constant talk about it being "Sherron's team" may have also contributed to Tyshawn's lack of focus last year. That along with the whole fight/facebook/etc nonsense getting him in the doghouse early and screwing with his head. Then again, maybe he just doesn't have the mental game required for big time ball. I also agree that Selby will help Tyshawn. Good points all around...

8808 11 years, 10 months ago

Look, it's the beginning of a new season, everyone is on campus lifting, shooting and running. Self just threw the first steak out to the dawgs. Positive with the three vitals and leave the others hungry. I think it's clear Sherron wasn't the best influence on our flow as an offense. Self again wise to conjur the overacheiving team of 09 vs the better comparison talent-wise of 08. Let this team breathe....define progress by getting better not regular season record.

newyorkjayhawk 11 years, 10 months ago

I can't wait to see Selby play... i dunno who will start for this team outside of Marcus Morris at the 4, but we sure do have some great options. it's safe to assume, i suppose, that a fair guess on the starting 5 would be Mc Morris joined by Tyshawn Taylor, Josh Selby, Mario Little, and Mk Morris. I'd love to see Mc Morris take time at the 3, but with Whithey and TRob still developing, it's tough to imagine them taking enough of a load to let Mc Morris leave the post for perimeter experience... Meanwhile, I can't wait to see Selby's play... he's got awesome range, and showed nice means of distribution in the high school all star games earlier this year... i hope he takes the 2 spot as a freshman so he can polish his half court game, worry about scoring and guarding more manageable ball handlers on defense... that way he can hone in those proper skills, stay out of the NBA after year 1 (while the lockout dims chances anyway) and then moves to the point his sophomore year to boost his stock for the NBA by proving his ability to run the offense, guard the toughest opposing ball handler, and shows he can pick his spots between passing it around and taking the game over when needed. With Mc Morris becoming one of the best in the country, Selby already up there, Taylor possibly surprising us with his improvement, and Mario Little hopefully fully healthy... add in defensive potential out of Whithey, selfless hustle out of Mk Morris, under rated leadership and intensity from Reed, role playing out of Morningstar... it'll be great growth opportunities for Releford, EJ, and TRob... hopefully we'll see promise out of Woolridge and CJ... this could be a GREAT year.

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