NBA draft profile: Josh Selby, SG, Kansas

June 21, 2011|By The Sports Xchange


Shooting Guard/Point Guard

University of Kansas Jayhawks



Baltimore, Maryland

Lake Clifton High School

DeMatha High School

The John Carroll School


Regarded as the elite incoming player in college basketball prior to the 2010-11 season, to say that things did not go according to plan for Selby would be a drastic understatement.

When he recently announced that he would forgo his last three years of college eligibility and enter the NBA draft, it was not a popular decision by the 20-year-old.

His freshman season was so disappointing that it seemed a foregone conclusion he would return to school, if for no other reason than to regain the respect he had a year ago, when he committed to KU as's top-rated recruit for 2010.

Selby missed the Jayhawks' first nine games this past season because of an NCAA suspension for accepting impermissible benefits from his mentor, Robert "Bay" Frazier,

who is the business manager for New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony. Selby had acknowledged a friendship with Anthony in past interviews and spoke of his contact with Frazier in an April story in The New York Times. All three are Baltimore natives.

Maeshon Witherspoon, Selby's mother, told The Times that she had known Bay since elementary school and had asked him to serve the role of an adviser during his college recruitment. The Times report said Witherspoon asked Frazier to host Selby's in-home visits with college coaches at his own home and that Frazier attended a KU-Missouri game at Allen Fieldhouse in January 2009.

On November 21st, 2010, the NCAA made their final ruling on the matter, suspending Selby for nine games, and ordering him to pay $4,607.58, the total of the "improper benefits" received, to the charity of his choice. Once he was cleared to return to the court, he started his career on fire, scoring 21 points and hitting the game-winning three-pointer vs. Southern California.

But Selby injured his foot in January, and that hindered his explosiveness the rest of the season. After all of the build-up, he averaged just 7.9 points per game. In the thirteen games prior to getting hurt, he had averaged 12.0 points, 3.2 assists and shot 43.5% from three-point range.

KU fans and observers were quick to rip his decision to leave Lawrence so soon. One fan said Selby "is not ready for the NBA." Another told him, "Good luck in the D-League and Europe next year." Former KU forward Scot Pollard tweeted, "I think you made a mistake young man, but I wish you luck, and I hope you prove me wrong!"

CBS basketball analyst Seth Davis was less kind, tweeting, "I never wish ill on a youngster but the GM who drafts Josh Selby should have his head examined. Kid wasn't even a decent college player."

Selby's response from Las Vegas, where he has been training with Impact Basketball in preparation for the May NBA Combine, was just as brazen as his decision: "All this negative energy is creating a monster," he tweeted. "Y'all light the fuel up inside me."

Selby has never lacked fire. He has always overflowed with energy, and it's been hard for him to stay in one place too long. This year in Kansas was always supposed to be just that - one year. So what if he started the season projected as a lottery pick and finished it as a likely late first-rounder? What about his dream? And, most importantly, what about his mom?

"To be honest, I worry about her more than she worries about me," Selby said in a recent interview with The Star. "She can sleep at night. I can't sleep at night because I want her to have everything in the world. I just stay up all night, till about 3 or 4 in the morning, just worrying about, 'What do I gotta do to make sure my mom has everything she wants?' Because she deserves it."

Selby found Kansas to be a great place to play basketball but never really immersed himself in the college experience. His mother, Maeshon Witherspoon, had moved to Lawrence from Baltimore, and he spent most nights at her apartment instead of his dorm room at Jayhawker Towers. Selby didn't go out on the town very often, even though he would have been the main attraction if he did. He would rather go bowling or watch movies with his mom.

No, this year has not gone according to plan. But Selby has been on this track for so long that he couldn't turn back. His long basketball road saw him conclude his prep career at Lake Clifton High School in Baltimore, where he averaged 32 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and two steals per game during his senior season and was named The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Player of the Year.

Prior to Lake Clifton, Selby played two seasons of basketball at DaMatha High School. Before he arrived at DaMatha, he attended The John Carroll School in Bel Air.

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