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Thursday / February 23.

Freshmen Focus: Kansas’s Selden Takes It Up a Notch, But Scouts Say He Should Stay in School

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Kansas freshman guard Wayne Selden appears to have turned a corner recently, and that could prove a huge plus for the Jayhawks down the stretch of the college basketball season.

After averaging 22 points in his first two conference games, the 6-foot-5 Selden was named the Big 12 Newcomer of the Week on Monday.

Selden helped the Jayhawks start 2-0 in conference play as Kansas won at Oklahoma (90-83) and defeated Kansas State (86-60).

The Roxbury, Mass., guard opened the week with a career-best 24 points, including five 3-pointers, in the win in Norman.  The five 3-pointers were the most in a game by a Jayhawk this season.  Selden then added 20 points and four boards versus the Wildcats, connecting on 7-of-10 shots from the field.

“I feel like it gave me a lot more confidence to come out and shoot the ball a little bit more and we are just feeding off of each other, which is the biggest thing,” Selden told reporters about how the Oklahoma game fueled his performance against Kansas State.

If Selden can become consistent offensive force, then watch out for the Jayhawks going forward.

Against Kansas State, the freshmen trio of Andrew Wiggins, Joel Embiid and Selden all started and combined for 53 points, 18 rebounds and 7 assists.

“I feel like over time we were just getting better with it and getting more comfortable with everybody and coming together,” Selden said. “It starts on the defensive side, being able to get out and run.”

Wiggins and Embiid have gotten most of the attention at Kansas thusfar, and with good reason. projects them as the No. 1 and No. 4 picks in the draft, respectively.

Wiggins is expected to come out, and it may be hard for Embiid not to follow suit given his upside.

“Like to see Embiid stay but as a possible No. 1 pick, it would be difficult for him to stay one more year,” a veteran NBA scout told

DraftExpress has Selden at No. 23 in the 2014 Draft, but several scouts believe he would do well to stay on campus another year.

“[He’s a] late-first [round pick],” the aforementioned scout said. “He sould definitely stay in school.”

A second veteran concurred.

“Yes,” he told “Great upside, will show great improvement after one year of college ball. Will be a dominating player next year. The difference between 24-28 and 8-12 in the Draft.”


With that in mind, here’s a brief breakdown of the five top freshmen and what they’ve been doing and what’s ahead. In future weeks, we will feature other top freshmen, including  Kentucky’s James Young, Indiana’s Noah Vonleh, LSU’s Jordan Mickey and others:***

**ANDREW WIGGINS, 6-8 SF, Kansas

Stats: 15.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 1.4 apg

Next 3 games: Monday at Iowa State, Saturday vs. Oklahoma State, Jan. 20 vs. Baylor

Mock Drafts: Draft Express No. 1, The Big Lead No. 1.

What to read: NBA still high on Wiggins despite lackluster play.

A tale of two Canadians: Ennis succeeding at Syracuse, Wiggins adjusting at Kansas


**JULIUS RANDLE, 6-9 PF, Kentucky

Stats: 16.7 ppg, 10.9 rpg, 1.5 apg

Next 3 games: Tuesday at Arkansas, Saturday vs. Tennessee, Jan. 21 vs. Texas A&M

Mock Drafts: Draft Express No. 2, The Big Lead No. 2.

What to read: Magic, Jalen Say Randle Should be No. 1 Pick.



Stats: 19.5 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.6 apg

Next 3 games: Monday vs. Virginia, Saturday vs. N.C. State, Jan. 21 at Miami

Mock Drafts: Draft Express No. 3, The Big Lead No. 3.

What to read: NBA Assistant: Jabari Parker Would Help Multiple Playoff Teams This Year.

Duke’s Parker Can Envision Playing with Okafor Next Year


**AARON GORDON, 6-9 PF, Arizona

Stats: 12.2 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.4 apg

Next 3 games: Thursday vs. Arizona State, Jan. 23 vs. Coloardo, Jan. 26 vs. Utah

Mock Drafts: Draft Express No. 6, The Big Lead No. 7.

What to read: Guard Play has Arizona Poised for Big March.

Coach K: ESPN is Overhyping the Diaper Dandies


**JOEL EMBIID 7-0 C, Kansas

Stats: 10.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1.3 apg

Next 3 games: Monday at Iowa State, Saturday vs. Oklahoma State, Jan. 20 vs. Baylor

Mock Drafts: Draft Express No. 4, The Big Lead No. 4.

What to read: Tyshawn Taylor says Kansas had three one-and-dones

 Meet Kansas’ Joel Embiid


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Adam Zagoria is a New York Times contributor and Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.