The Wayne Selden that Kansas coach Bill Self has spent the better part of the last year recruiting will take on a new look when he enters college in the fall of 2013.
The Jayhawks are happy to embrace it.
Selden, a Boston native who plays his high school ball at the Tilton School in New Hampshire, committed to Self’s program on Monday after attending “Late Night in the Phog” (Kansas’s version of Midnight Madness) over the weekend. The 5-star swingman likely will not, however, be playing one of his natural wing spots the next time he arrives in Lawrence.
Selden plans to play point guard in college and off-ball only if necessary, Busting Brackets has learned. The 6-foot-5 swingman has operated mostly at small forward in high school, but most high-major schools have recruited him as a 2-guard.
The Jayhawks have a noticeable void at the point in 2013 and beyond after whiffing on recent Louisville commit Chris Jones and backing off NC State pledge Anthony “Cat” Barber. Kansas is also pursuing 4-star floor general Roddy Peters, a Maryland lean, but is pessimistic about its chances. In fact, the program is so cynical about its future at point guard that Bill Self settled on lesser-known point guard and new Jayhawks pledge Frank Mason (a fringe 2-star recruit) just last week.
That’s where Selden comes to the rescue.
The strong 6-foot-5 high school forward hopes to make his mark at point guard, and there’s a realistic chance he could run the show from the moment he arrives on campus. Selden will need to refine his point guard skills for the next level, and his senior season at Tilton, where he’ll function as a point forward, should allow him to do just that.
The best prep backcourt player out of the Northeast, Selden is blessed with great athleticism, unheralded court vision and an overlooked willingness to distribute. He has a smooth pull-up jumper and spent most of his summer bolstering his ball-handling to complete the offensive puzzle. A natural scorer with borderline impeccable court awareness, Selden is equipped to be one of the premiere combo guards in college provided he stays around for his sophomore and junior seasons.
Selden is the No. 15 prospect in the class of 2013 according to our FanSided150 rankings. He joins fellow top-100 prospects Brannen Greene (SF) and Conner Frankamp (PG) as part of Kansas’s fast-rising 2013 recruiting class. Though listed as a point guard, Frankamp, a deadeye shooter with a decent handle, is more effective playing off-ball so that he can catch and shoot.
Were Frankamp and Selden to start as freshmen next season, Kansas will likely play Frankamp as the defensive 1 (thanks to size and athleticism limitations) and offensive 2. Selden, meanwhile, figures to run the show on offense and defend opposing 2-guards on defense.
The Jayhawks recruited a standout high school wing. They’ll end up with a play-making, 5-star-caliber point guard instead. And given the program’s recent misses with top point guard targets, odds are the coaching staff is pleased with the trade-off.