Wayne Selden: 2015-16 Big 12 Player of the Year

  • Wayne is looking like a bad-ass right now. And I’m dead serious here – he will be the Big 12 player of the year this season.

    We all recall that he changed his shot from his freshman season (not pulling it back over his head). There was some improvement. But now, we’re seeing a lot of it. We’re also seeing him finish at the rim, which has been a nagging and frustrating issue for Wayne.

    It is hard to fit a square peg in round hole. Many, including myself, felt Selden was the perfect 2 man – until we saw his body of work last season. Thus we began discussions of Wayne moving to the 3 spot. It’s nice to know that Self considers our suggestions (and that he ignores many of our suggestions that aren’t very good).

    Clearly something had to change. Heck, he should not have been starting in the latter 1/3 of the season, in my opinion – see my post from February. He was down right bad at many points in time.

    Kelly Oubre turning pro, and KU missing (thankfully) on Jalen (OAD) Brown, could have changed the course of Wayne’s future. Where would Wayne be right now if we had landed Brown? Playing the 2? We don’t need no stinkin’ Jalen Browns. We don’t need that at all for this coming season. We have something much better.

    @FarSideHawk and @BeddieKU23 posted three months ago that they thought Selden would be the most improved. Here’s @BeddieKU23’s post. Looks pretty good right now. Here were my thoughts: I agree that the most improved will be Selden. I see the guy averaging 12-14 points per game next season. He’s that close, I think. It takes some guys a little time. He was obviously overhyped, and was ranked probably 20 spots too high, given what we have seen. No shame in taking some time to develop.

    @Crimsonorblue22 made the point in a post, “I’ll take Junior Selden over any OAD.”

    My response to that post, “Absolutely. No question in my mind. Selden is the kind of guy that could just explode. I’m very optimistic on Selden for next season.”

    Selden - better than any OAD. Selden - most improved.

    What Wayne needed, in large part, was to be significantly further away from ball handling responsibility. Free mind = free play. We’ve said it here a million times.

    But I’m upping the ante. This guy looks better than he’s ever looked. He looks like a guy that has turned the corner. He looks like a guy that is on a path commensurate with his ranking. That doesn’t mean he might not be bad vs. Switzerland, or have an off game. What I’m talking to is a guy whose baseline performance level has significantly increased to his talent level.

    Wayne Selden: 2015-16 Big 12 Player of the Year.

  • Will BG take a medical redshirt if Wayne is the starting 3 this year? Who do you think will be the starting 2? (Svi, DG, BG?)

    I like the thought of Wayne, Perry and Frank having a little contest for POY, but I think in 9 months Farnk will be the most valuable, Wayne will be the most improved/clutch/NBA ready, but Perry will be the POY.

  • @HighEliteMajor With Ellis, Mason, and Selden on the floor this team is a triple threat! That’s not even the tip of the iceberg. There are so many quality pieces at HCBS’s disposal and that’s why KU will be in the final 4. I am not going into starting 5 or anything but you could start who ever you want and wear teams down with all of our guys being ready and able to compete at the D1 level come November.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I agree. I indicated after the Canada games that this is the Wayne Selden we all had hope to see. If he continues to play like he has, he is definitely a lottery pick, maybe even a top 5 since because of his maturity and strength he would be ready and able to contribute immediately.

  • @clevelandjayhawk Right now, I think the starting 2 is Devonte Graham. There was a quote from coach Townsend last week in the KC Star where he said the likes Graham and Mason together. I had thought Svi over Graham, but sounds like the staff prefers Graham. Either way, we have a terrific group of perimeter players.

  • @HighEliteMajor I don’t want to put a label on it BUT HCBS will have to incorporate something similar to a platoon system to get his seniors and the guys projected on the draft boards enough pt to keep everyone happy. He has actually already started the mindset during the WUG. I know there will be guys that will play more BUT with Mickelson, Ellis and Traylor being Seniors and our sole OAD Diallo HCBS will have to juggle BIGS to enable himself to recruit more top 10 players. Then you have so many quality guards and wings that have put in the time and deserve pt that he will have to do something to keep everyone happy and keep the team chemistry together!

  • @Statmachine I wish I could have watched that Chile game on tv. Inferior opponent or not, I love the idea of our team running teams out of the building (especially with our bigs that can get up and down). Hopefully with the short shot clock it even speeds the game up more, and our depth can really shine.

  • @HighEliteMajor Absolutely. I posted yesterday that I think if Wayne is the best player on KU that we will be the best team in the country. What I mean by that is if Wayne keeps playing the way he is right now for essentially the entire season. We have never seen consistent game to game play from Wayne until this summer and hey, it is worth the wait if it means he is this good all year.

    Wayne is due for a huge year. Wiggins is gone. Oubre is gone. It is his turn to be the main scoring threat on the perimeter and he has 2 more years in the system than those guys ever had.

    The questions above are very interesting. Will Wayne start at the 3 all year? Will Graham or Svi be at the 2 as starters? You have to think either BG or Svi would have to suffer being the 5th guy who would get the fewest minutes.

  • He’s going to have some serious competition from Georges Niang and Buddy Hield for Big12 POY. If he wins he’ll definitely have earned it.

  • Yes it’s hard not to think that something mentally clicked with Selden in the off-season… I’ve always felt that playing under Bill self was antithetical to building swagger and confidence… He has such a short leash that it undermines players mentally sometimes, So I wonder if Coach had a talk with Wayne about being the leader. He seems to clearly want to be the go to guy, and I like that he’s not trying to drive every time, but pull up and hit a short jumper. Plus, it’s worth noting that a lot of us fans are invested in Wayne simply because he is now A third-year player - fan attachments form that way, not with one and dones. We’ve been through the good and the bad with Wayne, so when he is playing like he is it is a joy to watch !

    Perry – looks exactly the same so far … His spin move is easy to block since you can see it coming a mile away. I fear we are going to get more of the same with Perry which is fine since he tends to have fairly solid good games more often than not, and a few no-shows as well (i’m not sure I’ve ever seen a Kansas player who would benefit more from learning a good shot fake )

    Jamari - I actually spent time last night just watching him intently…Sometimes he’s in perfect position to get the rebound both offensively and defensively, but somehow he either gets pushed off his spot or he mis-times his jump More of the same it is looking like right now.

    Hunter – hard to tell at this early stage because of the level of competition, but he seems more confident and he also seems a tad quicker LOL He is a great free throw shooter, so let’s hope he develops a way to get fouled a lot more… Again a guy who could sorely use a good pump fake move.

    Frank – it could be just me, but he looks more relaxed, confident, and in more control than he was last year…

    Lucas – too soon to make a definitive perception yet, but looks like more of the same so far

    Let’s hope Coach doesn’t beat too much of the exuberance and confidence out of Vick . There have been moments where he looked explosive 🙂

  • @Statmachine

    Coach Self said all along that all players will get playing time at the WUG and he is using these games to evaluate progress. Even Calipari said that will not use the platoon system again so it is highly doubtful that Coach Self would. He has indicated on several occasion (he is not the only coach to think this way) that by the meat portion of the season he likes to have the rotation down to 7-8 players; many will get minutes but 7-8 will get the bulk of the playing time. Up for grabs on which players will be part of the primary rotation.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I was just saying that because KU hasn’t been this DEEP in a long time! What I am getting at is we have 2 fifth year seniors and big 12 player of the year candidate Ellis all 3 seniors and an OAD in the frontcourt. Who gets left out or does Self evenly distribute the minutes when possible? Then you have Mason, Graham, and Selden. Who gets minutes beyond that? We will still have Vick, Svi, and Greene. All but Vick have put in the work and deserve minutes and Vick has proven this summer to be highly serviceable. Self has said publically that Green has NBA talent and Svi is projected lotto either next year or the year after? So if all 9 of those guys get pt its almost a platoon. Will HCBS stick with a 9 man rotation? That still leaves Bragg, Lucas and Vick out of the rotation except for clean up minutes. That is a deadly bench with a lot of depth at every position!

  • @JayHawkFanToo I’ve been rolling around in my head a 10 deep rotation, with Frank, Perry, and Wayne getting the bulk, with Devonte, Diallo, Bragg, Hunter, Svi, BG, and Jamari get minutes every game. Could be wrong, but it will be interesting to see him utilize so much talent.

  • I think they will push tempo and utilize the depth to wear teams down by putting fresh legs on the court as often as possible.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Man, I hope you’re right. The last two years I kept thinking the light was going to go on for him and he would live up to his incredible talent, but all we’ve really gotten are flashes. I’d be ecstatic if he play up to his potential for the whole year.

    And not get injured - I hate these injuries late in the season that rob of us our best players and player performances. Jesse N had a column not long ago on how he wonders if it might not be a bad idea if Self took his foot off the accelerator in practice sometimes, as well as during the season. I’m all for toughening up the players, and like to see them leave it all on the floor, but…

    I look at the injuries and how worn out we often look near the end of the year (maybe that’s every team tho?). I look at how Wigs seem to hold back on us (which I wasn’t a fan of) but then turned it on and won Rookie of the Year. I watch games where we are 15 points ahead with 2 or 3 minutes left and Mason is still in there grinding away.

    Not sure I’m drawing the right conclusion, and don’t know the solution, but dang, I get tired of having our guys so banged up when it comes tournament time. Hopefully being so deep this year will be the difference. Can’t wait for the season to start!

  • @Statmachine @KUSTEVE

    I hear what you are saying and I have been trying to come up with a rotation and the best I can do is group them by likelihood of playing time:

    Sure playing time: Ellis, Selden, Mason

    Almost sure playing time: Graham

    Likely playing time: Svi, Diallo, and one of the bigs, at this time Mickelson

    Playing time depending on starters performance: Jamari

    Potential playing time depending on how well they develop/recover: Bragg, Vick, Green and Lucas

    Mop up playing time: Self, Manning

    Barring injury, the top 3 are pretty much guaranteed playing time, the rest can move up or down and really would not surprise me one way or the other. For example, I can see Bragg moving up and taking Jamari’s time or Vick playing extended minutes at the PG while letting Mason and Graham rest or Green coming back strong with an improved defense and taking time from Svi.

  • @HighEliteMajor said:

    We’re also seeing him finish at the rim, which has been a nagging and frustrating issue for Wayne.

    Last year, @jaybate-1.0 suggested maybe Wayne just has small hands. That could be why he kept losing the handle, and couldn’t finish at the rim.

    The size of the international ball is smaller than NCAA regulation size. It’s not much, only an inch circumference, but it could make a difference to a stubby-fingered guard.

    I hope that’s not the case. That is, I hope ball size doesn’t matter. But I thought the hypothesis was interesting, and it’s supported by our observations of Wayne’s improved play on the international stage. Anybody know which ball they used in the exhibition games with Canada?

  • @HighEliteMajor SOlid post! Fully agree. and to add to it, this coming season, KU is going to be very deadly.

  • @HighEliteMajor Since we are speculating early on starters and bench next fall. I have my own thoughts on the topic.

    Our front court is LOADED.
    Mickelson SHOULD start at the 5 now. backed up by Diallo then Lucas. Perry WILL start at the 4, backed up by Bragg then Traylor. Wayne WILL start at the 3, backed up by BG. Mason and Devonte will round out our to starting guards, backed up by SVI and Vick.

    KU is going to be dangerous in the fall! I also think that KU will beat the tar out of UK when they come to AFH! Total Revenge game!

  • I’m starting to think this team is going to have quite a few resemblances to the 2008 team. Lots of experienced, gifted players mixed with talented younger players… and enough depth all the way around.

    @HighEliteMajor doesn’t get all jacked up over many players. One big outing might catch his attention… but he isn’t going “all in” on a few performances. No… HEM sees what some of us see. Wayne turning a corner on his game.

    Maybe it has helped him to move to the 3. Maybe he’s now being defended by less swift feet from the 3 instead of the 2, and it is just enough to let Wayne slow down his drives enough so he can maintain his control. Maybe… Maybe Self has had a long talk with him about his role. Maybe before WUG he zipped off to someone like John Lucas for some help on his drive and finishing at the hole. TT did, and it made all the difference in the world. Old John taught TT how to adjust his speed on his drives so he could maintain his control and also be able to adjust how he finishes… taking what the defense gives. Selden did this last night. He took it into the paint and he adjusted his direction and finish. He had never done that once last year or the year before.

    This is a new Wayne Selden.

    This is a guy who might become a lottery pick next summer.

    This is a guy who is playing with lots of confidence.

    WUG has been awesome so far. We’ve won some games, and Wayne and Hunter must be super psyched to get into this coming season (along with our entire team!). Our freshmen look like they have something to offer this year… and

  • @Lulufulu

    Our front court is loaded with “potential” but the only proven player is Ellis. Around this time last year we thought we had a good front court…it really did not work out well… 😞

    Mickelson has impressed me and is showing signs that this might be his breakout year. Bragg has a nice stroke and he could end up being the prototype stretch 4 and Diallo could be everything we need up front. If we can get rid of the “coulds” and “mights” we COULD have a great front line. 🙂

  • @JayHawkFanToo true dat. There are still some unknowns regarding our Bigs for next season. Ive got a good feeling though, especially if Mickelson can keep it up and Bragg and Diallo develop and contribute faster than we expect them to.

  • I’m cautiously optimistic about Wayne. Hopefully this is the new improved version and not just a summer fling.

    His hops are really back. I honestly can’t remember a player getting them back after losing them. How many dunks did he miss last year? His mind obviously was telling him he still had it so let’s hope his body cooperates.

  • Wayne has certainly ramped up.

    Maturity and good health help.

    But another thing is the shift to the three. In WUG, it means slower guys on him–guys he can dribble on and out quick. No more guarding guys 2-3" shorter that dribble better and cut faster. Now Wayne is the faster one.

    Lastly, the short shot clock forces more trips and shorter bursts of guarding, less third side passing, and fewer chop plays. These all mean less sustained action and more bursts of play, all of which seems to reduce Wayne’s running out of concentration.

  • I remember when Mclemore was in town and a reporter asked him if he had lost weight? He said he had lost a few pounds so that he could be faster, more explosive, and bouncy. I remember Selden saying something similar a few days later about wanting to loose 5-10 lbs for the same reason. Maybe he has lost a couple of pounds?

    I cant find where Selden said the same thing but I know I remember it. Changing it up in the gym by doing less weight, more reps, and running a lot more would make you ALOT lighter on your feet. I bet no one would even notice if he lost 5 lbs BUT his hops would improve and I think that’s some of the equation.

  • @JayHawkFanToo After watching Vick, I certainly could see him get minutes when our offense struggles. The guy is really a very talented offensive force - if he learns to play defense well, i could see him carving out time as well.

  • @jaybate-1.0 The shift to the 3 has another benefit for Wayne’s game and that is the chance to crash the offensive boards. At the 2 especially with Frank ending many possessions with a drive, that left Wayne to get back on D as the safety 80% or so of the time. At the 3 he is averaging 7 rebounds per game at the WUG. I think this keeps Wayne more aggressive hence more successful.

  • @Statmachine

    Good point… and his energy level would stay higher, too. Losing a few pounds should not only help his hops, but also give him a quicker first step. Even just 5 lbs can make a difference, 10 lbs can make a big difference.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    I had dangled with a post saying that Wayne Selden could be our leading scorer this year after seeing these games. I wanted to wait because I didn’t want to claim something without merit You my friend, have 1 up’d the anty and I don’t disagree one bit. You could argue that KU has potentially 4 players that could be vying for Big 12 player of the year. I consider Wayne, Ellis, Mason & even Diallo for the impact inside he’s going to have.

    Honestly, I’ve been super critical of Selden as you have in the past and some others on here. We know the potential that is there, you don’t get that highly rated and as much praise from Self as he’s gotten without being a good player. We’ve just never seen Wayne put it together for even 5 games consistently. In 5 games in Korea, this Wayne Selden is a totally different person. I’m seeing a committed, inspired, passionate, BEAST MODE type personality from him. In the Serbia game, he came out of a timeout in the 4th quarter and he was completely locked IN.

    I’m not sure what has gotten into his head, but I do have this theory. Wayne knows, the media knows that coming out of HS his stock was sky high and he was supposed to be a OAD, if at the most a 2AD. That didn’t happen, his stock was so low that he probably goes undrafted had he left this year. I think that has fueled his fire. I believe Wayne has this chip on his shoulder to prove everyone wrong. To prove to himself that I’m a good basketball player and I can elevate my game. He has done that. His shot looks great, his bounce is there and he’s driving to the hoop with reckless aggressiveness. His passing has been great and he’s just doing things I had dreamed he might do.

    To say that he’s improved since the end of the season is an understatement. Anything close to this level of play over the course of the season is going to not only make him our leading scorer, but will give us the Alpha dog player that Ellis hasn’t shown in Korea.

    Wayne your becoming a beast before our eyes, everyone enjoy it while we can!

  • To continue on from what I’ve seen IMO what players should be in the rotation. Hunter has squarely played himself into the rotation. If he hasn’t surpassed Mari & Lucas for PT, Self please take off the blinders. Mickelson brings hustle, and knows where to be and is a defensive presence. We see the same from both Landen & Mari so far, un-athletic & can’t finish at the hoop for Lucas, and can’t rebound from Mari. We may have 6 post players but only 4 of them should be playing any significant minutes. Unless Mari & Landon have development changing summers I just don’t see how they figure in the rotation without negatively impacting what could be a national title team.

    Frontcourt right now. Ellis, Diallo, Hunter & Bragg with Lucas & Mari getting situation minutes depending on foul trouble/injuries/matchups. There’s a lot to like about Bragg but you can see he clearly has to hit the weight room and figure out what his role in the offense is. Defense will be the thing he must improve to get any sort of minutes.

    Backcourt right now. Without Svi, Greene & Graham its really hard to project. But we now have a new SF in Wayne Selden. Lock it up, its a done deal my friends. I prefer to play Graham with Mason because that gives us so many advantages. With Svi & Greene coming in for subs. As for Vick I think we can all see that this kid can make baskets. And he has already shown a flair for making big shots. He has to get minutes if he can learn how to play Self ball. I am so pleased about getting this kid, I can definitely see him being our leading scorer by Jr year. Again a lot is subject to change but if Graham is healthy (knock on wood) we have so much backcourt depth to throw at teams, its exciting for sure.

  • Selden has been a huge surprise this tournament. Aside from the change in position, Selden looks like he’s dropped some weight to compensate for the athleticism he lost from his knee surgery. He has been the best player in the tournament so far from what I’ve read.

    Hunter has been good this tournament, but I do wonder how well he will do against more athletic teams in conference play. Even last year, he looked good against the less athletic teams and struggled against more athletic teams. The US team is by far the most athletic team in their pool and sounds like in the tournament so we probably won’t see if Hunter really has improved as much as he appears to have until he plays against some better college teams.

    Landen Lucas just isn’t strong enough. He has good fundamentals, he just isn’t strong enough to hold position on either end of the court.

    Jamari Traylor is a guy who gives energy, but never really took the next step after the jump he made from his freshman to sophomore years.

    Carlton Bragg is an energy/effort guy now, but is still too freshman weak to play long stretches. He’s got a bright future, but he’s not going be a consistent player this year.

    Lagerald Vick is also going to struggle this year because he cannot play a lick of defense yet. That will keep his butt on the bench this year. He will be the odd man out in the back court rotation this year.

  • Interesting that 10 days ago the majority on this board thought in the upcoming season Wayne should be watching Svi & Brannen from the bench. Now he is being touted for POY. How quickly things can change. Great job by Wayne. I hope Svi & Brannen can improve themselves enough for this to be a debate come October.

    No harm intended, just an observation.

  • @Barney Ooooh. I want you to name names. Which one of our comrades thought Wayne would be watching from the bench.?

    We need to form a committee on Anti-Selden activities. Hold hearings. But we need names to make this interesting.

  • I think it was pretty unanimous, me included though I did not post. Lets face it, Wayne has proved everyone wrong thru 5 games anyway.

  • This from a few days ago from (wait for it)

    Six players who will score more next season

    Dick Vitale, College Basketball analyst

    I was recently sitting and having breakfast at Another Broken Egg in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, talking to a fan about college hoops.

    While we were shooting the breeze about the summer and next season, we talked about a few players who should be stepping up their game in 2015-16. That got me to thinking about it. Keep an eye on this group of six.

    Wayne Selden Jr., Kansas Jayhawks

    He averaged only 9.4 points per game last season. Coach Bill Self will be relying more heavily on his veteran guard. You can see his confidence rising already with great performances during the World University Games. Selden averaged nearly 20 PPG in the first five games of the tournament, where the Jayhawks, plus SMU’s Nic Moore, are 5-0 in pool play.

  • I’m one of the critics who felt that Selden was undeserving of the free pass which Bill Self seemed to offer last season when Wayne was struggling to finish from the 2 position. At this juncture I feel a bit like Jerry Tarkanian, chomping on a towel. Gotta hope the New Wayne at the 3 position plays up to his pre-Jayhawk forecast. Big 12 coaches had learned to play AROUND the shortcomings of the Old Wayne. Let’s see if they can adjust defenses to cope with the explosive New Wayne, esp. in light of Bill Self’s possessing so much other talent at all positions.

  • I’ve been critical about Wayne’s year last year. His numbers weren’t there. For whatever reason, be it injury or for some other reason.

    But I never gave up hope in Wayne. I felt like he could turn the corner at any time, the question was “if” and then “when?”

    We should be hopeful of Wayne’s coming year, but I’m still cautious. WUG has many quality teams, but it isn’t USA D1. We play a tough schedule and Wayne will continue to have to prove himself and step up.

    I hope he does… not only for the team’s sake, but also because of my like for Wayne!

    Go, Wayne!

  • @BeddieKU23 Wayne and Frank are our Alpha dogs this year. We need that in such a bad way. KU has not had a team or a player with that mentality since the '12 FF team. An argument could be made for the '08 team as well. It has been a loooong time since we had a killer instinct team that can lock down an opponent, step on their throats and not let up all game.
    KU has the potential to do that very thing this season and I am Psyched!!

  • @Barney pretty sure that thought never crossed my mind. Actually I think Traylor needs to come off the bench this year, 3rd or 4th big.
    Always liked Selden, always wanted to see him turn beast mode.

  • @Lulufulu I’ve always liked Selden’s “potential”. We’ve seen that he can play when he wants to. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like he can turn “it” off as easily as he can turn “it” on. ? Does he go full throttle every game? To me, it seems like he doesn’t. And maybe he’s talented enough to get away with it.

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