A 6-foot-5, 230-pound freshman guard from the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Selden doesn’t claim to know it all about the game he loves, but he does have this much figured out: The more effort you put into every possession, the more rapidly you improve.
Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News, not a man given to hyperbole, wrote this about him after watching a Kansas basketball practice: “Selden is the hardest-practicing freshman I’ve encountered in more than a quarter-century on the college basketball beat.”
I repeated that observation to Selden.
“Wow,” he said. “That’s great. That’s great. I just feel like I have to push myself to the next limit and keep getting a level up every possession.”
He played 18 minutes in the McDonald’s All-American game, made five of seven field goals and totaled 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and one steal. He was second on the team in scoring to current teammate Andrew Wiggins (19 points).
…“My ball-handling’s gotten a lot better,” Selden said. “When I was younger, I used to dribble a lot. Then I went through a stage where I wasn’t really on the ball a lot.
“I don’t really do too many dribble moves. One move, two moves, go. I just like to contain the ball. I’ve never really needed a crazy handle on the ball. One dribble, swing it.”
A player after his coach’s heart.
…“No, definitely not,” said Selden, who went 1-0 against Wiggins in a high school game and 1-0 in an AAU game, by Selden’s count. “I want to go at him harder because I want all of us to get better, not because of all the accolades and stuff like that. I feel like he’s on the cover of Sports Illustrated, so we’re on the cover of Sports Illustrated. He has a Kansas jersey on. He’s representing all of us.”
Kansas University’s athletic department just missed tying the school record for collective graduation by earning a Graduation Success Rate score of 84 percent.
This year’s mark, which is a four-class average and takes into account students who entered college from 2003-06, was one point shy of the school record of 85 percent, which was set in 2012. Until that point, KU’s previous high was 79 percent.
“Because we’ve had consistent, good rates over the course of time, it has become a non-emergency,” said Paul Buskirk, KU’s associate athletic director for student support. “It’s not like I have to come running to (a coach’s) office with the graduation rates, because, really, the kids are doing what we’ve asked them to do and expect them to do.”
Five KU programs achieved perfect GSR scores, according to numbers released by the NCAA on Thursday and shared by KU staff members shortly thereafter. They were: men’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, softball and women’s tennis.
Men’s and women’s golf as well as men’s basketball received perfect GSR scores for the second year in a row
…“(Men’s basketball coach Bill) Self is very proud of these numbers,” Buskirk said. “And he makes it very clear that the young men who come and participate in his program are part of a family, but they also have an obligation, should they choose to leave early, to make sure they take care of the family by taking care of their academic business. And they’ve all done that very well.”
In men’s basketball, Kansas and Duke were among six schools from the BCS level conferences to record perfect scores. The others were Notre Dame, Penn State, West Virginia and Illinois.
Link to NCAA database
Complementing the freshmen trio will be 6-foot-8 sophomore Perry Ellis. Ellis was one of the more underrated reserves in the country last season, posting per-possession numbers (114 offensive rating on 21 percent usage) that were not all that different from Ben McLemore's. The secret of Ellis's success was what he didn't do -- commit turnovers. His turnover rate of 10.7 percent was exceedingly low for both a freshman and a guy whose job often involves scoring in traffic. Also consider that he was the offensive rebounding equal of Thomas Robinson and he earned a bunch of free throws in his limited playing time, making 74 percent of them. That's how you shoot an unspectacular 47 percent on your 2s and still grade out as an offensive weapon.
The low-key and underappreciated nature of Ellis' game should fit in well on a roster expected to defer to Wiggins, who is one of the most hyped college freshmen of the past 20 years. On the AAU circuit last summer, Wiggins' usage was in the high 20s and with no other returning player on the Jayhawks roster with go-to-guy credentials, don't be surprised if he fills that role from the first game. The most likely challenger to Wiggins' alpha-dog status is Selden, who probably won't be far behind Wiggins in terms of usage. Selden has a McLemore-esque profile of being able to hit an outside shot while also finishing well in the paint.
The previously described group of players is clearly talented enough to compete for another Big 12 regular-season title, though I fully expect a more experienced Oklahoma State team to give the Jayhawks a run. The mystery of this season's team isn't so much how good they will be, it's more about what they will be. In addition to Self's perfect 10-year streak of leading KU to at least a share of the conference regular-season crown, he also has an eight-season run putting a team on the floor that ranked in the top 10 nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency. Elite defense is a constant at Allen Fieldhouse.
…Overall, Kansas is in position to be one of the best teams in the country. As with any team dependent on freshmen, it may not be until conference play begins that we fully understand what the expectations for this team should be, as Wiggins and his classmates figure out their roles and adjust to the speed and physicality of the college game. Based on recent history, though, it would be shocking if this team doesn't excel on the defensive end. Whether they can score enough will determine if they should be considered one of the favorites to win a national title.
ESPN Preview ($) by Ken Pomeroy
To have success on the college hardwood, you need to be strong on the glass. Rebounding is very important, taking advantage of missed opportunities and converting them into second-chance points.
Post play is also vital. To have a nice balance, the ability to go inside-outside, makes a difference.
It is time to unveil my baker's dozen top frontcourts for the 2013-14 season. It is tougher because swing players can be utilized as big guards or small forwards. Breaking it down is challenging, but I feel like I have a pretty good group here. I also realize there will be some good arguments over these picks. There is so much pride to be the best at anything in college hoops.
This may be a surprise to some. Perry Ellis should have a breakthrough season. Joel Embiid is one of the best diaper dandy big men in America. Transfer Tarik Black from Memphis can score, defend and rebound. There are other players capable of contributing.
Fran Fraschilla: I think Andrew Wiggins is obviously an incredible addition. I am not sure if he is the alpha dog that people are expecting. He is a great teammate, an incredible athlete, and if anyone can get the most out of him in one year, it will be Bill Self. At times, he will take over games, and at other times, he will be content to stay in the background and let Wayne Selden, Perry Ellis, and others dominate the ball.
Fraschilla: Kansas certainly has the potential to get to the Final Four in Dallas and have a chance to win it all. Just like every other top team though, Kansas certainly has some deficiencies. Based on the talent level, the versatility of a lot of their players, and the proven leadership of Bill Self, I think Kansas is going to make a strong argument on the court that it is a team that can get to Dallas for the Final Four.
King: I think Kansas should win its 10th straight league title and anything less than that will be a disappointment. I think winning nine straight titles in a league like the Big 12 in this day and age with all the one-and-dones is very, very impressive. I believe no team in a major conference has done that since John Wooden’s days when I believe UCLA won 13 in a row. Winning the league title is expectation number one. I think the potential for this team is limitless. However, this is going to be a different kind of Kansas team. I think Kansas fans are so used to the Jayhawks just going out there and dominating mostly everyone from the start of the season to the finish. This is a team that won 31 games last year. I think this year, you might see it stumble a little bit more early on and drop some games early on that they would probably win in recent years. The non-conference schedule is the most difficult in America and it is the hardest I have ever seen Kansas play.
Rush The Court Big 12 Preview Part 1
Battle 4 Atlantis, Nov. 28-30, Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island, Bahamas Tournament favorite: Kansas Likely NCAA Tournament teams: Iowa, Tennessee, Villanova, Xavier Potential spoilers: USC, UTEP, Wake Forest
The chance to see freshman Andrew Wiggins and his Kansas classmates is intriguing enough. But there are no true mid- or low-majors to hide against here. So they’ll start against Wake Forest and promising forward Devin Thomas, and if they win there it could be Villanova in the semis and Tennessee in the final. Yeah, that’s worth enduring a weekend in Paradise.
It’s time for another Kansas mailbag … but first, yes, we saw that KU was referenced on the latest song from rapper/producer DJ Khaled. The song “Never Surrender” is pretty “not suitable for work,” so we won’t link to it here. But it features Meek Mill, Scarface, Akon and veteran Jadakiss, who drops in the KU line.
“You could feel the picture, you don’t need to see the canvas… that (censored) Jay’ll Hawk you, he don’t even play for Kansas.”
Jadakiss also used the line “family over everything,” a phrase co-opted by former KU standouts Marcus and Markieff Morris … and which has now become sort of an unofficial rallying cry with fans. So yeah, he might be a fan.
So does a name-drop from Jadakiss mean anything? My friend Mark, a noted rap historian, says Jadakiss is probably something close to “the Quentin Richardson of rap” — at least the Quentin Richardson who was a solid complementary player for the Clippers a few years back. So it’s not as if KU just landed a name-check from Kendrick Lamar or Drake. (Though with Andrew Wiggins around, that Drake reference could come sooner than later.)
My friend Mark also reminded me that rapper Lil Wayne, back in 2009, gave a shoutout to KU quarterback Todd Reesing in Brisco’s song, “Young (censored).” So there’s that.
Space is available for upcoming appearances by Kansas basketball coaches Bill Self and Bonnie Henrickson at the 2013 KU Roundball events sponsored by Kansas Athletics and the Williams Education Fund.
KU Roundball, reaching across the state of Kansas and into the Kansas City metro, allows Jayhawk fans to hear Self and Henrickson share their insights on their respective teams for the 2013-14 basketball season. KU Roundball events for both coaches begin Monday, Nov. 4 in Kansas City, Mo., with stops in Wichita on Nov. 6 and Topeka on Nov. 7. Additionally, Self will have a KU Roundball in Lawrence on Nov. 14 while Henrickson will hold one on Dec. 9, also in Lawrence.
Application at the link
Join @CoachBillSelf in the Assists Fall Festival & Equipment Drive this Sunday 2-4pm assistyouth.org #kubball pic.twitter.com/HaZeYkm6U7
With the increase in Kansas men's basketball season ticket sales this year, along with season parking permits, the public parking will be limited around Allen Fieldhouse for the 2013-14 season starting with Tuesday's 7 p.m. exhibition game against Pittsburg State.
Unlike in years past, there will be no toll parking available in Lot 90 this season. The only available lot for toll parking will be Lot 112, which is just south of Hoglund Ballpark and patrons should enter on the north side of Oliver Hall. There are only 100 spots available (during the fall semester – spring could be less depending on the number of permits ordered by students) in this lot for $20 per vehicle.
In addition, ADA accessible stalls are available on a first-come, first-served basis for $20 with a valid ADA accessible placard or tag in lots 54, 71, 72 and the Allen Fieldhouse Parking Garage.
There are also the Park and Ride Shuttles, which beginning two hours prior to tip-off, run from stop No. 3 in Lot 301, just off 23rd Street and Crestline. Both parking and the shuttle are free of charge. Return trips begin with 4 minutes left in the game and will end 30 minutes following the game.
For more information about parking at Allen Fieldhouse on game days, please call (785) 864-3946.
Digital Kansas Basketball Preview
Big 12/College News
One Duke freshman says he arrived on campus here this summer so ill-prepared for the Blue Devils' intensified strength and conditioning program he could not lift 185 pounds one time off his chest.
He says he struggled initially with learning basketball plays, because few positions were defined and players were taught to operate as interchangeable pieces in a fast-paced chess match.
So even Jabari Parker, one of the nation' s most celebrated prospects, acknowledges "confidence issues" as he adjusts to his new college team. At most schools, Parker would be the dominant headliner. At Duke, he is one more valuable and versatile entity on one of this season' s most intriguing rosters.
…Despite losing its top three scorers — Seth Curry, Mason Plumlee and Ryan Kelly (all of whom averaged double figures) — these Blue Devils could be more dangerous than last season' s team, which lost to eventual national champion Louisville in the Elite Eight.
…With numerous multidimensional players between 6-4 and 6-9 — and a dearth of traditional post players — Duke will use speed, depth and athleticism as its most potent weapons. Expect a much faster tempo and full-court defensive pressure. Expect, as senior Tyler Thornton calls it, a drastic style adjustment on the "most unique" Duke team of his tenure.
"If we tried to force this team to do what last year' s team did, then we wouldn't be able to be successful, just because we don't have those big frames to kind of slow the ball up," Thornton says. "But last year' s team couldn't run like this team can now. It can't pick the ball up (defensively) as much as we can now. The coaches are making sure we use our team and personnel to our advantage."
…"Crazy fast," sophomore Rodney Hood adds. "We are trying to be one of the fastest teams in the country."
In Billy Donovan's 17 years as the head coach at Florida, he's never invested as heavily in a freshman as he could be this season.
There have been several who played key roles on Final Four teams. But none was handed the keys to the car and told to drive the program to greatness — that is, the starting point guard. This year could be the exception with McDonald's All-American Kasey Hill arriving to possibly save the day.
Although the season hasn’t even started, Georgetown scored a huge win this week.
Huge in every sense of the word. The NCAA has granted two full years of eligibility — effective immediately — to junior center Josh Smith, who transferred to the Hilltop from UCLA after leaving the Bruins in November 2012.
Smith, a 6-foot-10, 350-pound center, was a McDonald’s All-American in high school and made the Pac-10 all-freshman team upon arriving at UCLA. But issues with weight control and struggles within Head Coach Ben Howland’s system — famously excoriated by Sports Illustrated in a 2012 expose — led to a disappointing career in the blue and gold for a man once expected to be the next great UCLA center.
After two years of ballooning weight and declining playing time, Smith left the Bruins only six games into the 2012-13 season. He announced plans to transfer to Georgetown in January 2013, and went on to practice with the Hoyas throughout last spring and summer. Still, questions remained regarding his eligibility to play this year — until Wednesday, that is.
The NCAA’s decision essentially negated Smith’s participation in the 2012-13 season, a ruling usually reserved for players who suffer major injuries or other hardships.
The news came as a surprise to most experts, and even Georgetown insiders: Senior forward Nate Lubick said Tuesday that the team was preparing as if Smith wouldn’t be eligible. NCAA rules and ruling history suggest that a player in Smith’s position would need to wait at least a full year before returning to the court. Even then, most expected he would remain eligible for only one full season.
He got two.
Texas A&M basketball player Kourtney Roberson has undergone a procedure at a hospital after experiencing a rapid heart rate during practice.
The school said in a news release that Roberson underwent an outpatient procedure Thursday at Scott & White Hospital in College Station.
The team says the junior from Arcadia, La., is expected to resume basketball activities in “the coming weeks.” Roberson had the procedure after he was evaluated by the team’s medical staff when the issue arose in practice Monday.
ESPN Preview: TCU Horned Frogs
OU football's GSR, which measured student-athletes who enrolled in the school in 2006, was 51.
Last year, OU's GSR came in at 47.
Men’s basketball is 69.
The NCAA on Thursday released an ugly academic number for the UConn men's basketball program. Fortunately for the Huskies, this number doesn't come with a penalty.
UConn's Graduation Success Rate for players who entered school between 2003 and 2006 was 8 percent, well shy of the 74 percent national average in the sport and better only than Centenary College, which came in at 0 percent. A dozen players entered the program during that period and only one of them graduated.
The Ohio State Buckeyes football posted a graduation success rate of 75 percent, tied for fifth in the Big Ten, while its basketball team only had 46 percent.
…the Buckeyes basketball team ranked 10th in the Big Ten. Penn State and Illinois both had 100 percent, while the only schools behind Ohio State were Wisconsin (44) and Indiana (43).
The Buckeyes’ current GSR was an improvement from last year’s 45. Its highest rating in the nine years of the data was a 64 percent three years ago.
Among all BCS conferences - which include the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC - the Cal football program ranks dead last. Cal's basketball team ranks last in the Pac-12 by a large margin.
The NCAA released its Graduation Success Rates on Thursday and while Syracuse University performed well in most sports, its men's basketball numbers fell significantly below the national average for Division I programs.
For the period stretching from 2003-04 to 2006-07, SU graduated its male basketball players at a 45 percent rate. The national Division I average was 70 percent. Only Georgia Tech (40 percent) fared worse than SU in the ACC.
One week ago, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino announced that starting power forward Chane Behanan was suspended indefinitely.
In fact, he said it was “not probable” that Behanan would come back to the team.
At a book signing on Thursday, though, Pitino said Behanan would return to the Cardinals “in a short period of time.”
ESPN ($) Jay Bilas’ ideas t fix college basketball
Big XII composite schedule
ESPN College GameDay Schedule
2013-14 Early-season events schedule
My Late Night in the Phog videos, KU Alumni games videos, 2011-12 Border War videos, Legends of the Phog videos, KC Prep Invitational, & Jayhawk Invitational Videos and more now on YouTube