Wayne Selden, Jr. was just one of many Kansas Jayhawks that had a horrible game in the season ending loss to Stanford on Sunday in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Selden scored 2 points, on 1 for 5 shooting, pulled down just 1 rebound, had 2 assists, 3 steals, 1 turnover, and 4 fouls in just 18 minutes of play.
This wasn’t the only statistical stinker Selden put up this season, just the latest.
On Tuesday, made on of the best decisions in his young life. He announced he was returning to the University of Kansas for his sophomore season on twitter.
Want to let Jayhawk Nation know, I will be returning for my sophomore season! Cant wait to get to work & get back in the fieldhouse #KUCMB
— Wayne Selden Jr. (@WayneSeldenJr) March 25, 2014
This isn’t a hoax, or a kid playing around. According to Gary Bedore of KUSports.com, Selden made his announcement this way on the advice of his head coach, Bill Self.
“Wayne contacted me this morning and said he was getting annoyed with all the speculation on whether or not he was going to return to school next year or not. He said, ‘What do I do?,’ and I said, ‘If you feel comfortable with everything, tweet it out,’” Self said. “I told him to make sure you are sure. Of course, he is sure.”
In all frankness, the speculation and talk of Selden leaving for the NBA was premature to say the least. While Selden is physically mature, his game lacks polish and consistency. He needs to work on his shot and his play making skills before considering the NBA.
That it isn’t the world these young athletes live in. They have shady characters trying to get in their ear, or the ears of their family and friends, whispering of the riches that await them. Whether the athletes themselves are ready or not seems to be irrelevant in some cases.
It would not have been surprising if Selden’s decision went the other way. If he would have been projected consistently as a first round pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, it might have swayed him the other way. His play on the court though, had to have dropped him on the draft boards, and rightfully so.
This kid isn’t ready for the NBA. Do you want to know something? That is great. Wayne Selden gets to be a kid for at least another year. He can develop and polish his skills and maybe improve his draft stock for next year’s draft. Maybe he decides to stay a third year, and maybe work himself into the top 10 prospects.
Selden had a fine freshmen year by most standards. He was the fourth leading scorer on the team but his poor last few games dropped him below the double-digit mark. He average 9.9 points a game. He shot just 44.1% from the field, and just 33.1% from 3-point range. He hit just 62.9% from the line. He has a lot of work to do to improve these marks.
He produced 91 rebounds, 85 assists, 22 steals, 11 blocked shots, 68 turnovers, and 67 fouls. He scored 338 points. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that stands out in his stat line that says he is NBA ready.
Luckily, Selden realized this and wanted to end all speculation as quickly as possible. He is coming back for his sophomore season.
Selden may very well be a team leader next year. This season, he was one of the few Jayhawks who seemed to have a fire blazing in his belly most of the time. He made a number of terrific hustle plays, and his physical defensive skills improved as the season progressed.
With a another year to develop, Wayne Selden, Jr. may become a high first round draft pick in the NBA Draft. Or maybe he won’t. Maybe he will just be a darn good college player we get the privilege to see play of the next one, two, maybe three years.
Regardless, we do get to see him play his sophomore season for the Kansas Jayhawks, and that is exciting news.