KU Sports - Oct 25: Keegan on Wayne Selden

  • Keegan got this quote and wrote an article around it:

    Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News, not a man given to hyperbole, wrote this 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.”

    KU Sports Article

  • I would like do bring up the same issue to those in charge. approx and the rest. How would you guys feel about doing live game coverage? As I have said I am willing to volunteer to do some of those games

  • Keegan did a good job of adding more quotes from Selden and fleshing out the article. It’s a good read. Not to beat a dead horse, but the comments were…interesting.

    Selden sounds like an articulate young man, at least in print. He makes the KU basketball program look good even before he plays the first game.

  • If you go to the kusports.com story and read the comments , I wonder if anyone has ever seen Selden handle D-1 pressure? Self said he could be an “emergency” point guard. That’s what Self has said.

    There is a huge difference between dribbling it a few times with a few moves, and being a point guard. Last season, some folks did the same thing when Self was motivating Tharpe with some talk about alternative point guards – suggesting KY, or Releford. As if you just put a player at the PG spot, and he’s a point guard. I said that was silly then, and it’s silly now.

    And I disagree here with Keegan. It is nowhere near clear that Selden’s NBA job will be as a point guard. Quite frankly, I doubt it. But I really don’t care about the NBA.

    Here, with coach Self, he needs and wants sure ball handlers. Guys that can dribble with incredible pressure, deliver passes to pressured wings, penetrate and dish … guys that can create and make players better.

    In September of 2012, Self specifically said he was searching for a “point guard” as part of the class. There is a reason for that.

    Selden is exactly what Self said he is … and emergency PG. That may be enough, as he evolves this season, to be a 6-8 minute guy there when Tharpe rests. But I doubt that. Mason or Frankamp will likely get those minutes. Mason looks the part.

    If there is anything that is concerning, it’s the back up PG spot … in 2011-12, we had EJ to spell TT. Remember how horrific Tharpe was? Could you freshman candidates be that bad? Maybe. Seems to me that we have an 8+ man rotation, that includes Mason as the “+” minutes.

  • Great post, HEM!

    You are spot on concerning Keegan’s remarks that Selden will surely be a PG in the NBA.

    Selden COULD be a PG in the NBA, but he’ll be what fits the situation with the team he’s with, and if he hopes to earn NBA PG minutes, he’ll have to show the world he’s got what it takes to own ball control for a NBA team.

    In my imagination, Selden is a 2… including at the next level. He’d be wise to own his identity now as a 2, and polish his skills there for the NBA. Selden’s build is beastly at the college level… it is for the NBA, too. He will have a unique skill set for pro ball and he doesn’t have to sell it short by trying to fit in at a position he doesn’t belong in. Can Selden play point? Sure he can. So can EJ. You all know where I’m going with that…

    Your statement about the huge difference between dribbling it a few times with a few moves and being a point guard hits the mark so tight I’m going to remember that one. Sometimes I wonder at what level Keeg understands the game. I’ve always questioned his knowledge of the PG position. Heck… I’ve been über critical of Self in the past for his concept of going after tall, athletic utility guards to run the team at point versus going after small PGs who know what it takes to be effective at PG.

    If we want to hang more NC gold in AFH we better learn how important the PG position is, and we better always make it our #1 priority to land quality talent for that position, because it’s a tough road to victory on a consistent basis when you don’t have the right talent running the show. UCONN proved it in 2011… how an under-qualified team can win it all as long as they have a real PG.

    I really liked EJ and don’t want to blast him. But what if we had a real PG last year? Who would have stopped us in March? EJ was a 2, and he did what Self told him to do. I won’t challenge him for that.

    I saw with my own two eyes Mason last weekend. That dude is the real deal. What I’m not sure is if he can “get it” enough this year to earn big PT. I hope he does get it… and then we’ll have a real showdown for the PG position this year. If Tharpe wants it, he’ll have to fight him for it.

    Self’s comments on Selden playing PG touch on some possibilities that could happen. If we end up playing UK in March… they’ve got more size on the perimeter and if they exploit Tharpe’s small size, maybe Self would try Selden at point for that particular match-up. We’d suddenly become a big team if we had Selden at PG, AW3 at the 2, Wigs at the 3… I don’t ever see this as a permanent lineup. It’s just something we might be forced to try against only a few teams, like Kentucky, who have NBA size on the perimeter.

  • Hell, the starting point guard spot still concerns me.

  • Dan … not to worry. slayr and I have great confidence in Tharpe. You should too.

    Tharpe is a pure point guard. As slayr pointed out, EJ was really a 2. That was fitting a square peg in a round hole. Selden is a 2. Why try to fit that peg in the wrong hole? As Self said … emergencies. But Tharpe and Mason are pure PGs. And they are the “real deal”, to quote slayr (his was referring to Mason). Mason may have some major rough patches as a freshman on the ball … so I expect that.

    Just my view here … but Tharpe had his career defining moment late last November. Self said a change might be coming. Rio almost got the back up job. But Tharpe responded. Just look at his terrific assist to turnover. Tharpe is exactly what we want in a point guard. Upperclassman, knows Self’s system, pass first, no ego. You wait. You’ll be happy.

    I’ve been accused of being too giddy about Tharpe … nah, just recognizing the incredible improvement I have seen. As I’ve mentioned before, if he makes half the improvement from year 2 to year 3, that he made from year 1 to year 2, we are well taken care of.

    slayr knows his PGs … I’m along for the ride.

  • Couldn’t have said it better, HEM!

    I am giddy about both our PGs… Tharpe and Mason. And I’m holding out a bit of space for Frankamp to become a specialist used to pull defenses out. Conner will have to lift his d considerable to earn real time, and he doesn’t have the athleticism to penetrate, but he does have the #1 gun in the country at 3. He’ll have to realize that he’s not helping our team if he isn’t shooting the 3… so he pretty much has to bomb a 3 at least 1 per minute while on the court, otherwise, we are making too many tradeoffs for what he gives up on d.

    The minimum we should expect out of a PG is:

    1. Protect the ball. That means being able to dribble or pass out of a double-team.

    2. Lead the team. Lead first by being the go-between from Self to the rest of the players. Communication is king… between the bench and team and also within the team on the court.

    3. Controlling tempo. Finding the speed on offense that gives us the best advantage over the team we are playing. Good PGs feel tempo. This is something very hard to teach. This should come with experience, bball IQ and instincts.

    4. Create offense. A PG has to be able to create offense, and should be able to create to the situation of what a defense gives. That may mean penetrating in one game, feeding assists in another, being patient until the zones collapse late in the shot clock… whatever it takes.

    5. Keep the cool. If your PG freaks out, you can furgitaboutit.

    Since PGs play way out on top, height becomes less of a factor. Because height is marginalized (usually), it is typical to want a X-axis type player… meaning… a player who has strength going laterally. Speed, timing, lateral dexterity, dribbling skills…

    If you look at the PG position like this… you will quickly realize what we gave up last year by having a 2 play the 1.

    Magic Johnson did a real disservice to the game of basketball. Yes, he was a great PG. He was an enigma at that position. He took it to a new level; a different level. But once he proved his weight in gold, GMs started applying their golden rule (“bigger is always better”) to the PG position. College programs quickly accepted this rule, too. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with height at PG, but you never trade the skills required at that position just for a few inches of height.

    If Tharpe and Mason hold their own this year, we are in for some fantastic basketball! We will be regardless, but imagine a Self team holding under a dime on the TO stats every game! Imagine Tharpe or Mason driving the paint and either finishing or having crazy options for earning an assist! Imagine an entire year where we escape from the sometimes doldrums offense of 3 guards along the trey line standing flat footed and doing nothing but feeding the ball back and forth until the shot clock ends.

  • Love the post Slayer.

    I feel Tharpe has #2 and #5 in spades. I think is also very good at #3 (although this is debatable) #1 is a little weak, but I think the continuing improvement on Tharpe’s part will sew this one up. #4 is a mixed bag, Tharpe is great at passing but seem to lack the ability to penetrate at times. I think last year, this was due to having Travis and BenMac who were catch and shoot wings and a 4 who was not an offensive threat. Which led to his man being free to clog the lane and double team Withey.

    Tharpe and Mason will be a great benefit this year not a question mark.

  • Kansas freshman guard Wayne Selden soars in for a dunk during an unofficial dunk contest during warmups before a scrimmage.

  • @Case Woa! I like that and it sure helps on the old eyes. 🙂

  • @bskeet It’s beautiful shot! Well done!

  • @Wishawk Thanks! I’ll try to include images when new articles are posted.

  • Slayr, I’m satisfied with your 1 - 5 with Tharpe. How about:

    1. ? Be able to hit a clutch shot when you need it? Tharpe had two chances to win that michigan game and clanked them both… that’s what worries me–ball stuck in his hands at the last second.

    2. ? Defense? Chalmers, Robinson, Miles, Sherron, Vaughn, Taylor… those guys could be pests. I hope Tharpe brings some of that this year.

    Haven’t seen Tharpe show that he can take it coast-to-coast really much either (not really Self ball anyway), although I like him running the break as he absolutely does not hesitate to make the tough pass. With Selden and Wiggins running, it ought to be fun to watch.

    Honestly, I’m already more comfortable with Tharpe out there than a Tyshawn Taylor as a junior.

  • DanR… good points.

    Tharpe did hit a clutch game winner last year. He wants the rock at the end of the clock, and that’s a good trait for our team leader.

    Defense… It’s great when your PG puts out tough d… but if they don’t, they at least have to follow some rules to limit the damage. Sometimes they can counter their poor defense by getting out on the break at the other end and earning a quick layup because the other team’s PG penetrates deep and no one picks up the slack on the other end. Another minimum requirement is a PG has to switch off when he’s blown by. With any luck someone in the post has help to offer, but good PGs also look to feed off a drive. In the least, Tharpe can minimalize poor defense by learning some of these others abilities. I know Tharpe is capable of playing respectable defense. He did step up in a few instances last year. We just need him to hustle on d all game this year. I will trade off some d for a guy who can really run the show right on offense, but the ultimate deal would be to see him put the same energy on d as on o. We all know how Self preaches defense, so I’m sure he’ll expect decent d from Tharpe this year. There were a few games last year when Tharpe was totally lost on d!

    I’d also like to see Tharpe go coast-to-coast, and that would help fulfill some of his responsibility to create offense… when it’s there. He has the wheels, the question is whether or not he sees the entire court and the potential, and does he have the confidence? He better have both, or he’ll be watching Mason run the show!

  • I am very confident in Tharpe based on what I saw late in the season. He showed great improvement in running the team. HEM makes good points in this regard. I thought he also showed the ability to get to the paint…although his size does hurt him in that respect sometimes once he gets there. He also showed the ability, though somewhat inconsistent, to hit the open 3. There were times toward the end of the year, where like others, I felt more comfortable with him than EJ. I wouldn’t have gone so far as to say he should have been in at the end of the Michigan game ((that is totally after the fact 2nd guessing) because I am a believer that you have to go with the guys that have gotten you there (EJ)

  • DanR – “Honestly, I’m already more comfortable with Tharpe out there than a Tyshawn Taylor as a junior.”

    Ya think?? That quote could be a thread all by itself.

    And while I spent paragraphs getting to the point, Dan hit it with one sentence.

    Of course, they are completely different players. But my point with TT over the years was that he struggled to make the team better. He was focused on his game. He had some many ill-advised drives and mishaps there was no way to keep track – though I tried from game to game.

    One of my favorite posters from a ways back … KULA … a true TT lover … made the point (when kind of backed in a corner) that, well, his missed shots and blocked shots can be recovered for a few easy baskets by our interior guys. I had to concede the point.

    Give me Tharpe.

    But, hey, Tharpe does have to prove it. It has never been his team. That does have a bit of weight to lug around.

    And to slayr’s top 5 (which is a tremendous primer … I’ll plagiarize), his #1 point is the key. Because you really can’t get to any other functions unless you can do that. And that’s why “point guards” are so important. The functionality of the team shuts down without that not so simple function. It’s why Frank Mason would play over guys much more talented (in other aspects of the game). He seems to be able to handle function #1.

  • Sorry! Not sure why the middle part ot the post came out in such BIG type.

  • I think the # at the beginning of a line does it.

  • Just like old times…

  • Ok… Hoping this site captures the fun we’ve had without tying ourselves to facebook.

  • Its dy-no-mite already, bebe…!

  • Great discussion. Tharpe has shown a better “knack” for assists, and after the TyshawnTaylor exasperations, Self likely sat Tharpe down and threatened to burn the Self Commandments into Naa personally if he didnt mind the a:t ratio…and he responded with that 21assist:1 turnover stretch of 3 games, I think…One thing to be clear about Naadir, and I have seen it time and again:

    1)He without question, absolutely considers himself a 3shooter, and just the presence of Conner Frankamp’s main claim to fame (3gun) has lit a fire under Naa. The biggest question on Naa is his defense improvement, although the rules have just changed per NCAA (which I dont like, since this game is supposed to be played at BOTH ends). The other question is how fast Mason grasps the offense and gets up to speed on defense…

    2)The other repeating phenomenon Ive seen out of Tharpe is his penetrating ability: early on it was behind a not-ready defense (clearly took notes from goodTyshawn), but later, showing some ability to create off-the-dribble (ask Phil Forte, and Tharpe’s heroics in the 2OT win at ChokieState). So he can slash and finish…

  • Should also add Tharpe has good, positive competetive swagger. Never seen him pout. Actually seen him mad at himself after a rare bad play. I think he has learned to not launch 3s early in the possession (unless Self gives him the 100% green light…). With the bigs we have this year, there is way less pressure on the PG and SG position to score, unlike last year, where EJ (or his sub Tharpe…) were expected to add scoring in most games. Its a balance between “just let em do their thing” (like 08Champs were allowed to) vs. playing smart basketball to your strengths…

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