Josh Selby came up big in his debut again USC scoring 21 points.  Selby is the second highest scoring freshman in Kansas history. Xavier Henry scored 27 against Hofstra last season in his debut.  To continue the history lesson, Wilt Chamberlain put up 52 big ones in his debut but was a sophomore.  It’s no lie that Kansas fans love Josh Selby but does he really deserve all the praise he’s receiving?

I’ll let it be known that I love Kansas basketball.  When I was little, probably six or seven years old, I saw them play on television and thought their mascot was cool and became an immediate fan.  Since then my two favorite teams have been Purdue and Kansas, respectively.  In all my posts I will do my best to not be biased in any way.  So far I’ve done a post on Duke, who I despise with all my heart, and feel like I did a good job at not being biased.  With that said I will now address whether or not Selby deserves all the hype and praise.

It’s hard to deny the fact that Selby had an outstanding performance in his debut.  He put up 21 points, pulled in 5 boards(all defensive), and had 1 assist.  What’s most impressive about Selby’s performance are his 5 triples including the go ahead 3 he hit with 26 seconds to go in the game.  He was also 6 of 7 from the free throw line.  For all the mathematically challenged that means all of Selby’s points came from the charity stripe and from behind the arc, no 2-pointers.  Only seeing him play once isn’t enough to make an educated guess as to whether or not this will be a problem or that it’s a flaw in his game.  However, at this stage I’m not concerned by him not hitting any 2-pointers.

I was very surprised with Selby’s poise throughout the game.  The first time he touched the ball he turned it over but was absolutely amazing from there on out.  He went on to hit 2 consecutive 3’s and had 10 points at halftime, which led the team.  Kansas fans were definitely pleased with their freshman phenom’s debut up to that point.  If they only knew how much more happy he would make them.  For those of you who do not know why this was Selby’s debut he was suspended by the NCAA 9 games for accepting impermissible benefits.  I said it in my Duke post that Kansas thus far has been the only consistent team that I think would give Duke a run for their money this point in the season and that was before Selby was in the lineup but, they needed Selby more than ever today.

I also want to point out USC’s effort today. I still think Kansas is a very solid team and I don’t see them losing anytime soon.  Hats off to the Trojans.  They played a terrific game and with a few bounces of the ball the other way they walk away with the victory.  Kansas is now 10-0 (1-0 with Selby playing) and ranked #3 in the nation.  If they continue playing the way they have I can see them moving up to the #2 spot once conference play starts (I’ll talk about #2 Ohio State in a post very soon to come).  It’s very apparent that Josh Selby is the player he was projected to be (most highschool recruiting sites had him ranked as the top recruit for this freshman class).  I wouldn’t say he “saved” the Jayhawks today but he definitely hit shots when they needed him to to help catapult the Jayhawks to another win.

So, is Josh Selby a hero? Does he deserve all the hype and praise? I definitely think he deserves all the hype, he showcased his talents and abilities today and put on a very convincing performance.  I look forward to watching this diaper dandy throughout the rest of the season. For his performance today I would say he does deserve the praise.  Here’s a kid who made an honest mistake, paid the price, and was able to hold his emotions in check and put up 21 points and hit the game winning shot.  Is he a hero? For the time being he’ll be whatever Kansas fans want him to be.  If they consider him a hero for his showing today then so be it.  I personally think it’s too soon to say and I said earlier that I don’t think he “saved” the Jayhawks today.  But, who am I to take away this Kid’s amazing day and whatever praise that may come with it…

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