Matchup Monday: Selden vs Smart



  • I know, I know… it’s Friday. I just thought of a good theme for starting our Mondays in here… Matchup Monday! (and I like how it rings)

    Will everyone do their best to bring us a matchup in college basketball that we can discuss in depth? Monday is a good time, but anytime is good to talk basketball.

    I’ll get it rolling with a matchup we are all creaming to see… Selden vs Smart

    Tale of the tape: We all got a big taste of Marcus Smart’s size last year as he blasted through our Jayhawks on our own home court. At times he seemed larger than life; a bull in leotards dancing around our china closet without cracking a teacup. I remember that game like it was yesterday…er… like it was Halloween. I kept asking myself, “how can he do that?” I asked the same question about Durant when he was in our league. Marcus Smart is 6’4" and 220 lbs. of ballerino pitbull. How can Wayne-John Wayne-Selden hang with that? He can hang by being bigger! Wayne Selden is 6’5" and a ripped 230 lbs., edging out Professor Smart by a catch-of-the-year large-mouth bass, or a tenor saxophone, or a juicy Black Diamond watermelon. On paper it looks like Wayne-John Wayne takes Prof Smart on size, but don’t be fooled… Smart has spent his off-season in the weight room and has added considerable size to his upper body. Size advantage: draw!

    Experience: Got to give it to Prof Smart. He’s been down this road before. He had a good year last year as a freshman, even in his wrist-injured performance in March when the Oregon Ducks quacked all over his team. Smart still lead his Cowpokes with 14 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals. For the most part, Smart played like a seasoned veteran last year. How will he top that this year? Wayne-John will have to counter Smart’s experience by just remaining poised and grinding through with a solid effort. He can’t match Smart’s experience, but he can mask the difference by not playing like a rookie.

    Skill level: Both of these players have talent light years ahead of most players in D1 basketball. Smart can do more with the ball between himself and the goal. He has a solid crossover in both directions, good ball skills, and the capability to create space for his shot and can make shots in artful form in so many ways. When the Prof is on his game, he has to be guarded by a real lockdown defender, and has to have the other 4 defenders ready to cut down driving lanes. Selden is a rougher-cut version of Smart concerning penetration. He doesn’t quite have the precision and speed of Smart when cutting through defenses… but he’s close, and he looks to have better lower body strength than Smart. Smart comes at defenses like a tailback. Selden comes like a small fullback. Selden will surprise a lot of fans this year with his ability to pop the 3. He gets the edge in perimeter shooting over Smart. On defense, Smart has to be considered one of the top 5 defenders in the country this year in all of college basketball. When he amps up his game he inflicts total control over opposing guards. Smart has the skill advantage over Selden, but will it be enough to help his team overcome lopsided disadvantages at other positions?

    Shoulder chip: This factor will help the Cowpokes hang with the Jayhawks. This was supposed to be OSU’s year to take the B12. This was supposed to be Marcus Smart’s year to stand atop of college basketball. Who got the cover of SI? If we think we’ve had teams jacked up to play us in the past, we haven’t seen anything compared to what we will see this year! Every game will be: Kansas Jayhawks vs SI Cover. Smart says he came back because of his wrist injury. Don’t believe him. He came back because he has unfinished business to take care of. There are few players in college basketball that have his level of competitiveness. One thing for sure, he has something to prove and he’s not carrying a chip on his shoulder this year, he’s carrying a boulder. Our only solution for beating down the Cowpokes this year is to come ready for a street fight. Come prepared for a game that will end tight. Come ready to play 40 (or more) minutes of basketball because if we let up for a minute, we’ll pay the ultimate price.

    Overall view: Our games with OSU this year will show us all what Wayne-John Wayne is made of. He appears to be a man playing a boys’ game. Appearances are not always reality. These games will show us what our fullback is made of. Consider this a heavyweight fight, and Prof Smart is not backing down; he’s coming at Wayne with everything he’s got. Wayne will have to back up his handle “John Wayne” with the heroics of the cowboy John Wayne, and the killer instinct of John Wayne Gacy!



  • Parker vs Wiggins & Dook vs Kansas is on the horizon…



  • Kevin Young seemed to intimidate Smart by whacking him as he was bulling his way to the basket. All of a sudden he was limping around and rolling on the floor whenever he was faced with a confrontation. If we’re lucky he has’t outgrown all of that.



  • I’ve had a pretty good look at Smart already this year and we better be ready, because he’s not the same guy. He looks like he’s been through a Hudy summer.



  • Ahhh! The “shiver” KY put on Smart was epic…and I like Smart. But I had to smile when I watched that.



  • One confusing factor for Marcus: He speaks to the Wiggins mania, but has not yet mentioned or perhaps fully considered the oncoming Selden matchup. In no way do I take him lightly, as I recognize him as our most imposing league foe, proven already to be one of the top 3 players returning to Div. 1 Hoops. But I am certain that he will not bull his way through our defenses this season as he did last year at Allen Fieldhouse. By January, the Jayhawks will have too much unified experience, bulk and athleticism to bend to his wrecking ball maneuverings. If the Cowboys defeat us, it will be because Brown or Nash join with Smart for a high percentage outside shooting occasion. IN MY HUMBLE OPINION…



  • @drgnslayr Awesome read! So, I have to give the definite edge here to Smart. He’s a proven commodity and he’s a total badass. He joins an elite company of players that carried their teams to victory at Allen Fieldhouse. Selden, with all his potential, has proven nothing yet.

    But, that being said, our bigs are going to absolutely destroy their bigs, and this shouldn’t be much of a contest 🙂



  • Selden will own him. Even if he doesn’t KU will own Okie st. The rivalry has started.



  • slayr stepping to the plate and hitting the grand slam for his new team.

    The bench has cleared.



  • See, this right here is what I am talking about. None of the journalists on LJW can write stuff like this. Then they change the website so its even harder to enjoy. Losers. Sorry, I know I am beating a dead horse at this point but still.
    Thanks Drgnslayr for your post and Idea about Matchup Mondays. I don’t know if I can contribute but I will definitely enjoy reading and learning!


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