Wayne Selden arrived at Kansas as part of their highly touted 2013 recruiting class, joining Andrew Wiggins and Joel Embiid to create an extremely talented, if inexperienced, team for Bill Self and the Kansas Jayhawks.
Kansas started that year off strong, sprinting out to a 22-6 record before an injury to Embiid all but removed them from title contention. Selden played his part well, sliding into an important role alongside those two aforementioned focal points, chipping in 9.7 points and 2.5 assists per contest, while hitting the occasional, albeit inconsistent, three-point shot.
After a disappointing sophomore campaign, which saw Selden shoot just 39.5% from the floor and fail to make the jump many expected, Selden bounced back this year. He averaged a career-best 17.9 points per 40 minutes, pace adjusted, easily besting the 13.3 he averaged as a freshman, while shooting 46.9% from the field and a career-best 38.3% from three-point range.
That continued improvement from three-point range is key for Selden's draft stock, as the intrigue surrounding him begins with his potential as a three-and-D wing. Selden stands 6'5, with a borderline freakish 6'10 wingspan and a strong upper body, a combination which gives him quite a bit of defensive versatility.
The form on Selden's jumper looks more or less the same as it did in previous seasons, albeit perhaps with a touch more arc underneath it, but it's clear he's put in the work to make it a more consistent part of his game. The results can still have a little more variance than you would prefer, with bad misses cropping up from time to time, but the progress Selden has made to force defenders to pay attention to him out to the three-point line has increased his value considerably.
Selden's also shown some improvement shooting off the dribble, although it's a relatively small portion of his game, and he doesn't likely project as a player who would be creating off the dribble all too frequently anyway. Still, for a player who is going to make his living spotting up on the perimeter, being able to attack a closeout with one or two dribbles and effectively hit a pull-up jump shot is a key addition to his game.
Selden has also continued to make incremental progress in his ability to utilize screens to his advantage, showing improved footwork and balance when curling off of a screen and rising up for a quick jump shot. Once again, for a player who is likely to spend the majority of his career off the ball, this is a welcomed addition to his game, which should help him be more than just a one trick player offensively.
The rest of Selden's game is still a work in progress. He doesn't have the quickness or advanced ball handling moves to really create off the dribble with any real consistency, especially with his left hand, which remains under-developed and a real hindrance to any kind of reliable dribble-drive game. Even when he does get into the paint, he's not the greatest finisher, with just average explosive ability around the hoop, especially when elevating in traffic. To make matters worse, Selden can get caught out of control at times, taking wild shots that he has little chance of converting, and frequently putting his head down and becoming a black hole when driving to the hoop.
Another area where Selden can improve is in his recognition. While he shows an ability to make strong cuts off, and does a better job of showcasing his athletic ability when he's not burdened by having to maintain control of the basketball, Selden far too frequently relegates himself to standing in the corner, missing opportunities to utilize screens or cutting lanes to the basket. On the one hand, this is frustrating for a player who is going to be utilized in an off the ball role, but it does suggest that he may have some more potential if he can improve his offensive awareness and recognition.
Finally, scouts have always questioned just how tough Selden is on and off the floor. While he sports a chiseled frame, he doesn't always quite know how to use it, as it's not rare to see him shy away from contact around the basket.
That trend of having intriguing role player potential, but not yet fully realizing it continues on the defensive end, where Selden's always had more physical tools than he did realized production. Part of the problem is that while Selden has elite length for his position, his lateral mobility is only average. To compound matters Selden possesses just average defensive fundamentals, with inconsistent attention off the ball, frequently being in a poor defensive stance even when engaged, and struggling at times to recognize, and navigate, screens off the ball. The potential is there, and the effort typically is as well, so this is hopefully an area where he can make progress going forward, but it's still an area where he hasn't quite made the progress many would have hoped for.
That all combines to create a player who is a little bit of an enigma. The role player potential Selden has is still readily evident, with an improving three-point shot and a frame that should make him a plus contributor defensively. But the ability to harness that into an effective role player at the next level is still in question. Selden made steps in accomplishing that this year, with the improved three-point shooting playing a key role in his development as a prospect, but realizing his defensive potential, cutting better off the ball, and making better decisions with the basketball are still areas in need of improvement to fully unlock his potential as a role player.
One of the most physically developed players in college basketball at 6-5, 230 pounds, Wayne Selden has been on the radar of NBA scouts for several years, as he was ranked 13th in RSCI in 2013. Now entering his junior season for Kansas, Selden is hoping that he can show NBA teams he has the basketball skill set to match his physical tools after a somewhat disappointing sophomore campaign.
Selden has almost everything you want from a physical standpoint in a wing player, standing 6'5 with an impressive 6'10 wingspan to match. He has a strong frame that is already developed for a player of his age and allows him to compete physically on a nightly basis. He is not incredibly quick or explosive, but with his size, length and build has the athletic tools necessary to be a NBA player.
The key for Selden's draft stock and his NBA future is his ability to demonstrate that he can score consistently in some fashion. His 12.5 points per 40 minutes pace adjusted average as a sophomore is very poor, as he struggled badly with efficiency, posting a true shooting percentage of just 50% last season, which included making 39.5% of his two pointers.
Selden does not possess a very quick first step, as he often relies on his brute strength to shed defenders en route to the lane, often resorting to push off to get a clean look. On top of that, he's a relatively average ball-handler, showing little in the way of advanced moves or craftiness weaving in and out of traffic with change of speeds.
After being a 65% finisher at the rim in a limited role as a freshman, he tumbled all the way down to becoming only a 40% finisher according to Synergy Sports Technology after being forced to shoulder a bigger share of Kansas' offense. For someone with Selden's build, it's surprising to see how infrequently he's able to get all the way to the basket and finish strong, as he often stops short and settles for floaters, which he hits at a very poor rate. His combination of an average first step and a lack of crafty ball-handling ability made it difficult for him to get off too many clean looks as a sophomore. All in all, Selden converted just 25 of the 75 shots he attempted inside the paint in the half-court last season, which is nothing short of disastrous. NBA teams will want to see a player with Selden's build show a much higher degree of toughness as a finisher around the basket at the college level as an upperclassman.
While Selden struggles quite a bit as a creator inside the arc, he has proven to be a capable passer through his career, showing a very strong basketball IQ and a willingness to make the extra pass. His 3.5 assists per 40 minutes pace adjusted is a strong mark for a shooting guard. He delivers accurate passes to his teammates and has nice vision to find the open man. He doesn't always make the flashy play but he plays within himself and makes the simple, unselfish pass to keep the offense flowing.
Selden has also shown promise as a perimeter shooter, displaying a fundamental, consistent form that could make him an outside threat at the next level. He has improved slightly as a three point shooter in his two seasons at Kansas, seeing his percentage rise from 32.8% to 36.5%. He has a high release point that allows him to shoot over the defense and he looks comfortable shooting with his feet set from outside the arc. Increasing his consistency will be a big selling point for him as a prospect, as he already struggles to score inside the arc at the college level and will have an even more difficult time in the NBA. The foundation is there for him to be a perimeter threat, but he needs to show better shot-selection and consistency with his mechanics, which appear to be a bit stiff at times.
While Selden is no doubt capable as a catch and shoot player, he has also shown some flashes of ability shooting off the dribble as well. When he can put the ball on the floor and get into the lane, he has the strength to shed his defender with the potential to control himself and rise up for a pull-up jump shot. His execution on these attempts was inconsistent last season, making just 32% according to Synergy Sports Technology and an improved mark to support his catch and shoot ability will be key going forward, providing him with a secondary way to score.
Defensively, Selden puts in a high amount of effort and is a fierce competitor. He throws his body around the floor and is always moving and looking to make an impact for his team. With that said, he too often gets beat on dribble penetration with his lack of lateral quickness, which leaves his team exposed. Selden's career .9 steals and 3.6 rebounds per-40 is a below average mark for a player with a 6-10 wingspan, particularly someone with his build.
After an impressive stint in the World University Games over the summer, expectations are high for Selden's junior season. On a talented Kansas team, Selden will need to find his role and work on his skills that can translate to the NBA. He was pegged as a NBA prospect already in high school with his strong combination of size, strength, length and high basketball IQ, but rounding out his skill-set will see his stock rise before next year's NBA Draft.
Strengths: -Physically developed prospect. Great frame -Long arms -Can create his own shot driving left or right -Finishes powerfully through contact -Capable of making shots with feet set -Can create separation nicely on mid-range jumper -Plays with solid effort. Tried to take a charge. Dove in crowd for loose balls -Improved passer and teammate.
Weaknesses: -Looks a little more athletic than he actually is. First step is good but not great -Struggles to fully beat opponents off the dribble -Likes to get his shoulder into the defender and power his way to lane. May not work as effectively at college level -Doesn't show great lift elevating around the basket in the half-court unless he has a head of steam -Must continue to improve the consistency of his jump shot -Awareness defensively is average, particularly off the ball.
Outlook: Declassified this year to return to his original class of 2013. A power wing with tremendous strength and solid scoring instincts. Interesting prospect if he continues to develop his skill-level.
One of the most highly touted prospects in attendance this year, Wayne Selden (#10 ESPN, #9 Scout, #12 Rivals) has no problem fitting in among players two and three years older than he is, having comparable physical maturity to everyone else on the court even at his young age.
In the one game Selden played this weekend, he looks to be largely the same player and prospect we saw just one year ago, though he played more of a deferential role this time around on his very talented squad. Selden wasn't able to get his three-point shooting going here, having few attempts to do so, but looked good with his form and did a solid job spacing the floor and playing within his team's offense.
Selden did show a little more with some opportunistic drives to the rim both in the half-court and transition, displaying nice speed and bounce to get by and above defenders around the basket. He struggled finishing when dealing with weak-side help, however, and still is relatively unpolished in this area of his game, usually relying on his strength to bail him out.
Selden clearly didn't have one of his best games from what we saw, but still managed to make solid contributions to his team's blowout victory by spacing the floor, making solid flow-of-the-offense passes, and committing himself to defense and getting out in transition.
Still an incredibly young player, it's tough to make any confident projections about Selden at this stage, especially given the role he plays on his immensely talented team, but he's definitely someone we'll be watching closely for the next few years.
One of the youngest players in attendance at the National Prep Showcase, you would have never guessed that Wayne Selden is just a freshman in high school based on the way he carried himself at this event. Standing around 6-3, with a nice frame, good length and solid athleticism, Selden looked like he fit in comfortably from a physical standpoint with players who were as much as four years older than him.
Selden's biggest contribution in his lone outing in New Haven had to revolve around his perimeter shooting ability, knocking down an impressive six 3-pointers in the lone game we saw. He has somewhat of a slow and flat-footed release, but was deadly with his feet set, knocking down shots from well beyond the arc at times, and doing so confidently at that.
Selden also showed some shot-creating ability, driving the ball both left and right with a nice first step and even finishing around the rim emphatically when given the opportunity to do so. He appears to have solid court vision as well, making some very heady, creative passes to teammates that demonstrated a pretty advanced feel for a game.
Selden certainly isn't a bashful freshman, he talks quite a bit with his teammates, directing traffic confidently and showing far more maturity than you would expect from your average freshman. His lack of experience showed on a couple of occasions in the form of some bad decisions, but all in all it was tough not to be impressed with he handled himself on the court.
While it's certainly way too early to be drawing any long-term conclusions about a player this young, Selden looks like a guy to keep an eye on for the future based on his performance at this tournament, particularly if he continues to grow and develop his skill-set.