Josh Selby told the world during the first media timeout of the Jordan Brand Classic what Kansas fans have been waiting to hear for quite a while.
“The most challenging thing was picking the school that I wanted to go to,” said Selby during a first-half media timeout at the Jordan Brand game televised on ESPN2. “I am going to be a Kansas Jayhawk. It’s the best fit for me because I will be able to mature and it will help me get to the next level.”
He could be Self’s second one-and-done player ever (and in consecutive years). However, Selby made it aware he’s not just there to use Kansas as a stepping stone into the NBA.
“I’m ready to lead Kansas to a national championship,” said Selby in the post-game press conference.
It’s a bold statement for a kid who hasn’t played a minute of college ball yet, but certainly gives Kansas fans a message that 2010-11 is not a rebuilding year.
“This is a big day for our basketball program,” Self said in a press release. “We felt like losing the caliber players we lost off of last year’s team, that we really needed to hit a home run from a talent standpoint in the spring signing and we’ve done that with Josh. He’s a point guard that can score. He’s a playmaker. He can be a great facilitator and also a great finisher himself. We’ve been really fortunate to have really good guards here, but certainly Josh is the most highly recruited guard that we have signed since we have been at Kansas.”
Not only is Selby the highest recruited guard Self has signed at Kansas, he’s highest recruited player, period. Julian Wright and Xavier Henry were both No. 8 ranked recruits while Selby is ranked No. 4 by Rivals.com (No. 2 point guard).
Selby mentioned that Self’s biggest recruiting tool just happened to be the winningest player in program history.
“We just had a connection,” Selby said about Sherron Collins. “He just kept forcing in my head, ‘Coach (Bill) Self, he’s great for you. He’s going to mature you both on and off the court. He’s going to get it done, and he’s going to let you achieve your goals.’”
Selby confirmed the genius of Self’s recruiting prowess.
“He’s very outgoing. He knew how to handle a street kid,” Selby said. “When we talked, it felt like I was talking to a father figure.”
Self said that while he is comfortable with his 2010 recruiting class, there may be a possibility of a third player.
“Although you don’t play the games on paper, on paper we have one scholarship to give and that may or may not be used,” Self said. “One thing I am very comfortable with is Josh and Royce (Woolridge). They are two perimeter players we feel like are going to be very good. Josh is definitely a top-five player in the country and Royce is one of the most underrated players that we recruited and we think has a chance to be terrific. I am very pleased with our recruits so far and certainly won’t rule out the possibility of adding a third player to the class if things fall perfect.”
The third player could be Terrence Jones, who has confirmed that he is making an official visit to Kansas and is being recruited by Selby.
“I think he is going to make an official visit,” said Selby after he committed. “If he makes that official visit it is a done deal.”
Jones is Rivals’ No. 13 ranked player and would easily put Kansas’ 2010 class in the top five.
Which brings me to my point…
The addition of Selby makes Kansas a top 10 team in the 2010-11 season. The addition of Jones makes Kansas a better team than the 2009-10 team.
I’m not saying that Kansas will be ranked No. 1 for the majority of the season but the squad will be more athletic, more exciting and will be able to stomp on the throats of their competition that the 2009-10 team was so hesitant of doing.
I’ve heavily followed Kansas basketball since approximately 2002. Last year’s team was easily the most boring, uninteresting Jayhawk team I’ve seen play in those eight or so years.
Just to show how flexible this lineup can be, here are some of the potential position lineups:
PG – Josh Selby / Elijah Johnson
SG – Tyshawn Taylor / Brady Morningstar / Tyrel Reed
SF – Terrence Jones / Marcus Morris / Mario Little / Releford
PF – Morris twins / Thomas Robinson / Terrence Jones
C – Withey / Morris twins
A lineup of Selby, Taylor, Jones, and Morris Twins would be freakishly athletic and exciting.
Releford and Little come back with a year on the bench and practicing against one of the best teams in the nation.
Marcus Morris had his coming out party and may be the best player in the Big 12 conference (LaceDarius Dunn and Jacob Pullen will also be the leading candidates for Big 12 pre-season POTY).
Markieff Morris will take on a bigger role now that Aldrich is gone.
Make no mistake that Collins and Aldrich will be big losses for KU, but Selby provides more athleticism and speed and the Morris twins and Thomas Robinson will crash the boards much like Aldrich did. Kansas was awful defending the three-point shot this year, which is not characteristic of a Self team.
Everyone should be ready for Kansas next year as they haven’t missed a step. K-State won’t be running away with the Big 12 title like everyone thought.