How Many Excuses For Wayne?

  • Well, this time we are coming up with reasons why Wayne is playing GOOD!

    Why did Wayne go from mediocre D1 play to Superman status in just a few months? There has to be reasons.

    Here is my list of “excuses” :

    1. He didn’t have to think about anything except scoring and rebounding when moved to the 3. No more overthinking about dribbling.

    2. Small forwards don’t defend as tight as shooting guards. They tend to be slower, giving Wayne an advantage on his drives. Wayne has the strength to create his own scoring space, even against taller defenders.

    3. WUG does not equal D1. There were plenty of D1 players on other teams, but let’s face it, I don’t care what anyone says, this did not equal “March Madness” games.

    4. There was less pressure than in D1. We played thousands of miles from home. Media coverage was small or none. The crowd at venues was small, and many in attendance didn’t know much about KU.

    5. Failed hi/lo helped create a wider door for Wayne to shoot through with more offense.

    6. Wayne lost 10 to 15 lbs, all baby fat! This is huge! It definitely showed with him having a faster first step and he has his hops back!

    7. Self and Townsend have been talking to Wayne that this is his year to lift his role on the team.

    I’m sure many reading this can add “excuses” for Wayne’s herculean results in Korea!

  • WAYNE.jpg I think its the Glasses!

  • @Statmachine I love his glasses.

    Maybe it all comes down to it was in him all this time but he needed the “world competition” to bring it out by getting his legs under him after a 32 hour first class plane flight.

  • @RockChalkinTexas

    Might be a lot to what you said.

    Remember last year when his dad was at a few games and Wayne dominated those games?

  • @drgnslayr

    Glasses Rx. “Better or worse.” Better. Swish.

    Healed and enough thigh and calf strength acquired to off set lost pop in ligaments.

    Playing 3 instead of two. His natural position.

    24 second one-read, no-think offense keeps him focused on making shots instead of timing and multiple reads.

    No ball handling chores.

    An end to shrinking impact zone attack of Bad Ball. Once again Wayne gets to do what comes most naturally to a player–move to increase impact space, rather than reduce it. Benefit = more open shots. Cost = fewer FTs.

    Better suited to guarding 3s than 2s and 3s generally require less defensive effort than 2s, so more energy budget left for shooting legs which implies —> increased shooting accuracy. Big guys chasing mighty mites for 35 mpg is hard on the big guys. As anyone that had to guard Nic Moore.

    Summation: Wayne is experiencing the net benefits of having an offense finally crafted around his abilities and it makes life a lot easier to look good at. Self is like a master tailor. He can tailor his offensive and defensive schemes to fit any player’s range of abilities and strengths and weaknesses, like a Kowloon suit.

    But like any master tailor, he must make trade-offs in choosing what suit not only fits the player, but also allows the player to fulfill the role the team requires him to play. Some roles are prettier than others, and some players can do some roles better than others. But if a team needs a role fulfilled, someone’s gotta do it, no matter what, or the team thing doesn’t yield .82 W&L statements.

    In seasons past, Wayne has worn a suit of a supporting player as a freshman. The team needed a two, so he played it. But he was injured in the knee, so he didn’t look too good playing the role; i.e., no Oscar for best 2 and so Self won no Oscar for best costume design.

    Last season, the team needed a full blown glue 2, because Wayne’s pop was greatly limited situationally (i.e., he could only elevate off the dead run most of the season and his no-step jump was non existent by season’s end). Being the most experienced perimeter player, but the team needing to go with green point guards, he was also needed as a kind of single wing quarterback (ball is hiked to tailback [think point guard], but the quarterback [Wayne’s 2] is calling the shifts), while Frank, in his first full season starting at PG, and Devonte, in his first season backing up, learned the ropes and the leadership thing from Wayne, who was himself wearing the leadership cloak for the first time himself. It was, frankly, an ill-fitting suit for anyone to have to wear–too much leadership here, not enough there, too much control here, not enough control there. It lead to a near total brain overload at times that bled into Wayne losing sight of his game and losing sight of what the team was needing from him at many moments. It was the sophomore jinx with a bad suit and incompletely regained pop. Not only were no Oscar nominations forthcoming, some outright rotten tomatoes were justifiably garnered, though only if one were to expect a player to wear an ugly suit and make it look pretty. Even Cary Grant could not have worn the suit Self sewed for Wayne well last season. And Self knew it and that’s why Wayne kept getting to play. He knew Wayne was making the best of a bum two-button triple breasted freak of a suit.

    Last season, Self clearly tailored the Denzel tux for Perry and it took Perry awhile to find The Designer in himself in that bespoke design Self rough cut for him and then asked him to do the finish work on.

    This season, there are enough bodies around, enough pieces of a puzzle, and Perry is comfortable enough, for Self to design Wayne his very own signature George Clooney threads.

    Wayne Selden, new specs and all, gets to step out on the floor every game in a role tailored just for what he can do best.

    There will be Oscar nominations, if he stays healthy, for him and for Self.

    But remember.

    While Wayne is in the spotlight and draining treys, and creating space, and taking bows in his sweet suit, there is another Jayhawk that will not be looking as good as we hoped; that will appear to be wearing an ill-fitting suit; that will appear to be doing far less than he is capable of doing.

    I don’t know who it will be.

    But given any 8 to 10 man rotation at any given time of the season, in any team with a true team approach, some one or two fellows are going to be asked to put on a uniform that doesn’t fit quite as well as it could, because for this year’s Denzel, this year’s George, this year’s Cary to look and play with the sartorial splender required, eh, some one’s gotta be as they say in the Tour de France, the domestique for a season, till its their turn to play the leading man. (Sorry about the metaphor shift, but at two thirds into the Tour and starting the Alps I am unable to completely escape it.)

  • @drgnslayr

    Shouldn’t the title be “reasons” instead of “excuses”?

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Yes it should. I used “excuses” because last year we were all thinking of excuses why he was playing poorly. This was just a stunt to make a catchy headline so people didn’t know what to expect until reading the thread.

    What are your thoughts on Wayne? Can he translate what he did at WUG to D1? At the 2 or 3 or both?

    His play at WUG reminded me of when his dad was at a few of our games last year and how he played then. I’m thinking back… was that the B12 tournament?

  • @drgnslayr

    There is no question in my mind that Wayne found his optimal position at the 3. It is possible and maybe even likely that a the next level he might end up as SG, but at the present time, he is KU’s best option at the 3. Even when he is playing with Mason/Graham and Svi, he will stay at the 3 since Svi appears to be better equipped to play the 2, i.e. better handler, better passer.

    Having said that, and as I have mentioned in a previous post, the biggest unknown for next season is Svi. Let’s face it, for whatever reason, be it youth, lack of strength or whatever, Svi was unable to secure a position in the rotation, even he was given plenty of playing time at the beginning of the season and he ended up #10 in MPG and the only players (in the current team) with less playing time were Mickelson. Self and Manning; makes you think, doesn’t it? There is no question that Svi will need to have made huge progress in the off-season to secure substantial playing minutes.

    I know many posters feel/believe that he will start at the 2; based on what I saw at the end of last season, I personally believe that Graham will starts at the 2…but then…Graham had an injury that limited his off-season play time and more importantly, we have no clue how much Svi has improved…I am sure that one off-season of conditioning with Andrea has improved hims physically but I don’t know how much the basketball side has progressed.

  • @JayHawkFanToo One thing to remember about Svi is brains. When Oubre wasn’t getting it, and wasn’t ready, and whatever, who started? It was the guy who arrived late and who didn’t speak the language. Somehow, though, he was able to grasp the system enough to start (over both Oubre and Graham).

    What does that mean for 2015-16? I’m not sure. It seems interesting though.

    A few other things - Svi’s outside shooting was poor last season. But he drove to the hoop competently, and made very nice entry passes (some might have made even B-Star blush).

    Question: Other than outside shooting, what about Svi’s game seemed to be a problem? I think there is rather large contingent that thinks we would have had a better product in March than Selden if Svi just took Selden’s job in mid-January. Don’t know.

    Svi might be the most talented player on this team when all is said and done with (years down the road). Additionally, I do not think it outside the realm of possibility that Svi ends up being our best all around player this season, though Selden’s WUGs has caused me to reconsider that prior suggestion. And Mason is just terrific.

    But based on our success with small guards at the WUGs, coupled with Townsend’s statement, it is safe to say Mason and Graham start together, with Selden at the 3.

    I do think the next guy that would start in the perimeter is Svi (over Greene or Vick).

    It might just be a battle between Svi and Greene for perimeter minutes – in Self’s system, Svi’s my winner there.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I never thought that the “basketball” side of Svi needed too much work. It was clear he just wasn’t physically or mentally mature enough to handle the situation. His basketball skills and IQ shouldn’t be questioned. If you think back to where you were at 17, a Junior in High school, think about how mentally inept you would be to play a sport at such a high level. At that age your confidence get shook from the littlest of things.

    So put yourself in his shoes. You are a Junior in HS, but It’s your first game in a KU jersey. You feel the pressure of 16,300 people wondering how good this Ukranian freak is going to be? You go to check in and the crowd immediately starts cheering. You finally get that open shot… And Airball. Your adrenalin is pumping so hard you accidentally shot the ball 5 feet over the rim straight into the backboard. You hadn’t missed a shot that badly in a long time. So immediately you are freaking out (because c’mon you just embarrassed yourself in front of everyone) and think to yourself “let me just shoot another 3 to prove to everyone I can shoot.” Except, uh oh, you nearly do the same thing. Your confidence is shot. And at this point, you are flinching just trying to make a layup.

    And that is how his season was. These pressures and expectations that he couldn’t live up to and you couldn’t even imagine at 17 years old. Now, he has had a year to adjust both mentally and physically. He has no excuses this season. He has had an entire offseason to bulk up and shoot so many 3’s that calling it muscle memory won’t be doing it justice. I just can’t wait to see it.

  • @Kcmatt7 Your post above is right on point … but you knew this was leading somewhere.

    Can this logic be applied to a player moving from a position of greater responsibility and more stress to a position that better fits his skill set?

    See, my upvote was a just a little selfish. But justified, no doubt.

  • @Kcmatt7 @HighEliteMajor

    I am not disagreeing with you and I believe we are basically on the same page, This is what I said:

    Let’s face it, for whatever reason, be it youth, lack of strength or whatever, Svi was unable to secure a position in the rotation

    Which given his lack of playing time we know it to be correct. I separated the game in two parts the physical part and the rest and maybe should have used three part instead. The physical, that Andrea will certainly improve, the mental component that age and the extra year will certainly help, and the basketball skills that hopefully have improved over last year and his potentially full set. of skills has developed enough to warrant playing time. Last year he did show flashes of his potential but we did not see him master one (or more) skill. In many ways, he is a jack of all trades, insofar as he does a lot of thing reasonably well, but he really is not, or at least he has not shown so far, IMHO, to be the master of one.

    If Svi can put all the three parts of the game together, he can be indeed the player with the highest ceiling in the team, but as I indicated, we have yet to see this and this is why he is the biggest unknown in the team. He obviously has tantalizing potential and he could well be the star of the team or he could ride the pine…or more likely somewhere in between. At the end of last season, there is no question that Devonte was ahead of him in the rotation, and since this is the only frame or reference I have, I would have to say that Devonte would start ahead of him. Like I said, I have no clue on how much Svi has improved in the off-season and if he has done enough to overtake Graham. I just don’t know and until the season starts, none of us really know it either. I would love to hear from any one that has any information on his progress; I don’t recall seeing anything in this or other forums on his progress.

    That’s it. This is my story and I’m sticking to it…:)

  • @Kcmatt7 I know you love Svi, and are really hoping to see a huge break out from him.

  • @JayHawkFanToo I’d like hear how bg’s doing.

  • @Crimsonorblue22 He is doing all of the things he normally does. I bet he had some breakfast, some physical therapy, lunch, shooting drills, maybe a class or 2 and he might have even taken a dump? I am just messing around

  • All this talk about Wayne, IMHO, has everybody comparing apples and oranges and everybody is right about some things.

    First off, I only watched the Germany game and just watched it again to verify what I thought I saw the first time I watched it in regards to Wayne’s play. I believe what we saw was traditional Selfball, where there is only 2 positions on the floor, guards and bigs. Which is what he has when he doesn’t have an ubber talented, athletic, traditional, SF on the rooster.

    Ask yourselves this, did Wayne actually change positions? Did Wayne really “move” from the “2” to the “3”? No he didn’t. The vast majority of the possessions he played on the left side of the court. The same position on the floor he has always played at KU. His shots came from the same spots on the floor and his drives came from the same floor position as they did last year. I also think that he had the ball in his hands about the same amount of time as he did last year, and maybe a little more. Now there is something to the responsibility of rebounding or getting back on defense, but if the criteria for being the “3” we need is scoring, rebounding, and attacking (as some on here has said) then we might as well have Frank being the “3”! 🙂

    But @jaybate-1.0 is right. What changed is his role on the team. No more differing to Wigs or Oubre. No more glue guy. He simply moved up the peaking order in scoring options and is getting set plays run for him now.

    I’m sorry, I just don’t buy into this whole idea of a “2” and a “3” and such. I believe Wayne benefitted from being healthy and losing some weight. Also from more open court play and no one to differ too, to increase his scoring.

    Now as to who starts, Svi or Graham, depends on several different variables. The most important, defense. Another is, whether the starting bigs rotate side to side as Embid and Perry did, or high to low as Perry and Traylor did last year. And who can hit the 3pt from the right side wing. Who shoots the best 3pt% between Wayne, Svi, and Graham. And a whole host of other things.

    I really did enjoy watching Wigs and Oubre, however, I really want to see a backcourt much like the 08 team had but I digress.

    Just my 2 cents worth, and I wanted to stick up for @Statmachine and others who were getting hammered on this whole position thing. And also support @HighEliteMajor and JB in their points that don’t have to do with floor positioning.

    Rock Chalk!

  • @KUSTEVE I do love Svi! But only because he clearly has his mind set on becoming great! All the stuff in the weight room this summer is awesome. I mean when is the last time we heard someone put on 15lbs (already! Could be more come November) or put as much time in during the offseason. The most recent in my mind is T-Rob. And I may be premature in my love for Svi. So, I will admit to being biased towards Svi in all of our debate. Part of it is I just want the kid to succeed as bad as he clearly does! Part of it is I just don’t see greatness from Devonte. I see a lot of goodness. And maybe I’ll be saying that a lot at the TV screen this year as Devonte proves me wrong and crosses three defenders for a ridiculous bucket. Time will tell. I do love hearing how people see the team though! Really makes ya think…

  • @drgnslayr

    The only clear “excuse” I see missing is the Motivation factor.

    Wayne was motivated by the losses in the NCAA tourney the last 2 years. I bet he was motivated that he had no choice but to come back to school and prove scouts wrong after seeing his stock drop dramatically. With both of those fresh in his mind still, he was Hungry and proved it. The weight loss, the bounce, the smooth jumper were all there.

    I think @jayhawkbychoice really nailed it on the Pecking Order. Wayne didn’t have wing phenom’s Wigs & Oubre in front of him anymore. He naturally inherited more responsibility without them and has seemed to thrive with that. He’s now the focal point instead of the 3rd wheel. Confidence was through the roof, and he was acting like a true leader out there. Sometimes that’s all it takes for guys to become better players. If it continues we will be a happy fanbase!

  • Look at you all… It is mid-July and you people produced a very nice thread on Wayne! Very good read of ideas. Glad to see the momentum in here making it through the summer. I might not even have to bore you with tomato stories! Great job!

    I really thought I had this figured out, and I’m glad I posted this thread because now I’m not so sure because of several good posts.


    Very good on motivation factor! I do think “pecking order” is a part of this!

    I think Wayne may be a bit to polite. He now knows it is his time to shine and he can’t take a back seat to anyone!

  • @drgnslayr

    I went into the WUG expecting to come on here and say the same stuff about Selden that has been said for 2 years. He did a 180 or a 360 for me and now that we’ve seen the appetizer we definitely can’t go into the main course and get a bad meal.

    Things might have worked out the best for Wayne if he takes this huge step forward. As they say, it could be his time to shine!

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