Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Player Profile: Wayne Selden


 

With the first exhibition game out of the way for Kansas Jayhawks basketball team, the second practice game slated for tonight, and the official start of the 2013-2014 season is just a few short days away, it is time to start taking a look at the players who will make up this season’s Kansas Jayhawks basketball squad.

Over the next few days, KC Kingdom will finish its feature series of player profiles, taking a look at each player on the team and where they may fit in.

Naadir Tharpe’s profile is here, Perry Ellis‘  is hereJamari Traylor‘s is hereAndrew White III’s is here, Frank Mason’s here, Landen Lucas’ is here, Tarik Black‘s is here, Conner Frankamp’s is here, Brannen Greene’s is here, Joel Embiid’s is right here.

During Kansas’ 40-point win over Pittsburgh State last week their first exhibition games, no Jayhawk newcomer looked more nervous and uncomfortable than Wayne Selden. It is doubtful that the player we saw was in any way the player Wayne Selden really is. Hopefully, he will be more at home tonight against Fort Hays State.

If it weren’t for Andrew Wiggins being in this recruiting class, Wayne Selden would have been the gem of this incoming group. He finished last season as the #14 recruit in his senior year on ESPN’s Top 100. He is one of three McDonald’s All-Americans on Kansas’ roster this season, joining sophomore Perry Ellis and fellow freshman Andrew Wiggins.

As a high school senior, Selden average a double-double, scoring nearly 25 points a game and grabbing just over 10 rebounds a game, plus he added 4 assists per outing. He obviously has the skill set to match his status as a top recruit.

Wayne Selden, Jr. (1) Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Despite his poor play against Pittsburgh State – 5 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 4 turnovers – a couple of things stood out about Selden. First, his size. At 6’5″, 230 pounds, he is a big, muscular guy. He should have no issues with the physicality of the game. He will match up against few guards with his combination of height and bulk.

Secondly, even though he didn’t take care of the ball in that first outing, it looks like he can handle the orange. He brought the ball up court of few times and didn’t seem to struggle with that particular skill. As his nerves calm, he should be even more at home with the ball in his hands.

If Selden starts again tonight, and he doesn’t perform any better, Coach Bill Self must consider placing Andrew White III in that spot in the line up. White looked really good last week, and does have some experience. If Selden’s nerves continue to rattle, maybe coming off the bench would help settle him down.

As the season progresses, there is little doubt we will see Selden improve. His pedigree is too high. There is a chance he may end up the third leading scorer on this team. Of course, he must be as good on defense as he is on offense, and the newly emphasized rules may be a detriment to a player who looks to be more physical than others at his position. He will have to play defense with his feet, and not his hands or body.

If he can shoot the ball effectively from the outside, or create his own shot, he will be fine, and so will the Jayhawks. He is another weapon in Self’s arsenal. It really doesn’t matter if he starts or if White does, they both will get plenty of minutes as they will probably be in a three-man rotation, with Wiggins, for the two off guard spots.

Hopefully, it will be determined tonight if last week was just a nervous night for Selden that won’t be a reoccurring theme for him. If Selden can harness his talent in the right way, he will be a key piece for Kansas this season, if not beyond.

 

Tags: Kansas Jayhawks Wayne Selden