Player Spotlight: Kansas G Wayne Selden Jr.

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The Kansas Jayhawks got shellacked by Oklahoma State yesterday 86-67, and Wayne Selden Jr. was a big reason why. Easily the team’s best three-point shooter, Selden had just seven points on 3 of 8 shooting and was 1 of 4 from long range as Kansas shot 27 percent from beyond the arc as a unit and lost its second game in a row.

The fact that Selden is averaging just under 15 points per game on the season and has made 49 percent of his threes this year makes his and his team’s performance tonight unacceptable, and all the more important that they beat Texas on Saturday afternoon.

Needless to say, taking down the Longhorns won’t be easy. The unranked squad is a scrappy one coached by former Virginia Commonwealth coach Shaka Smart, whose havoc style defense stresses tight on-ball defense and full-court press from start to finish along with a fast-paced offense. Long story short, to beat Smart, one must beat him at his own game.

And that alone is going to be tough for Kansas, especially since Texas has already defeated top teams like North Carolina, Iowa State and the same Oklahoma State team that beat the Jayhawks in Stillwater tonight. Simply put, this game is an absolute must-win and Selden must have a strong game as Kansas’ top three-ball specialist.

Selden needs to be quick on his feet and ready to do immediate catch-and-shoots from the corner or anywhere behind the three-point line. He needs to be prepared to draw fouls. He needs to be prepared to be the go-to guy, especially if teammate Perry Ellis has another slow scoring night (13 points, 3 of 10 shooting vs. Oklahoma State) and is unable to hold his own in the rebounding game.

The long and short of it is that Selden needs to be prepared to take over the offense even if it means stepping out of his comfort zone. Kansas was hampered by the lack of a go-to guy and on-floor leader against the Cowboys, and that just can’t happen against Texas. Not when the Longhorns have already proven that they can hold their own against some of the best.

That means Selden has to immediately shake off his sub-par performance against Oklahoma State and go into Saturday’s matchup against Texas with the following mentality.

“If you’re going to beat Kansas, you have to beat me first.”

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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