Forget the heartbreak of the last two years when we thought Wayne Selden was going to be great. THIS is the year! No, really! This time will be different!
The World University Games have been a ton of fun. The team has looked good together, they’re playing really well against some tough competition and the games are very entertaining. There’s a lot to be optimistic about. But, I want to quickly remind you not to fall into the same hole we have stumbled into the last two years. A tale as old as time: Wayne Selden gives us a reason to fall in love, then his inconsistency catches up and crushes the Jayhawks fanbase.
So before we all start to believe, let’s take a step ba–
I don't wanna get too excited, but Wayne Selden, dare I say, has made the leap?
— Amir (@AmirR79) July 8, 2015
Hold on a secon–
Guys, don’t do th–
If this is a sign of things to come from Wayne Selden, he's going to have a monster year. He leads all scorers with 16. 54-53 KU.
— Rock Chalk Blog (@RockChalkBlog) June 27, 2015
I’m warning you!
— Fancaster (@fancaster) July 6, 2015
Don’t make me do this…
I am starting the 2015-16 Wayne Selden bandwagon.
— RCT (@rockchalktalk) June 27, 2015
I guess there’s no avoiding it.
Wayne Selden is very inconsistent every year. He shot 35% from two in conference play last year. In two years, he’s made four shots and had six turnovers in NCAA tournament games. His player efficiency rating last season was 11.2. Evan Manning’s was 12.0. I may never completely recover from his Big 12 tournament performance suddenly crashing into the harsh reality of a Round of 32 exit.
But the summer is a time for dreaming about what could be, right?
Let’s talk about why THIS is the year! This time will be different!*
*this time may not actually be different.
A few games of international play is a small sample size, but there are plenty of things we can take away from what we have seen so far:
Wayne Selden looks like he is actually 100% healthy again. If this is the first we’ve seen Selden at 100% since his freshman year, and it definitely could be, then that’s absolutely huge. His knee was a problem at points late his freshman year, and it seemed to give him trouble most of last season. Now Selden’s explosiveness is night and day compared to the last two seasons, and if it is based on his health, the implications are enormous.
Selden has averaged 20 points per game over the last four games. He’s been rebounding well, and his three point shooting seems to have improved. The best news so far, however, is that Selden is finally finishing his dunks. Last year, he shot a horrible 50.7% at the rim. That hasn’t been the case in the World Games.
Selden looks much more comfortable at the small forward position. This is a huge factor. Playing next to two smaller guards has made a visible difference in terms of how comfortable he looks on the court. If he continues at that spot for Kansas in 2015-16, often playing next to Frank Mason and Devonte Graham, this is a great start.
He has been consistent in these (few) games. The biggest problem with Selden is that he has been fantastic for game and shown flashes of his potential, only to fall off completely for the next few games. Keep the small sample size in mind, but… he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down yet.
He seems to have legitimately improved. These games don’t look like a fluke. Selden is bigger and stronger than last year. He almost looks like a completely different player, and that is exactly what he needs to be. Selden is a junior now, and it looks like he has really developed over the last year.
For our own sakes, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves. But… Wayne Selden might have finally arrived.
Or maybe we just fell into the trap again.