Yesterday Josh Selby met with the media as he enters his final week before taking the court this coming Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
On how the last month has been:
"My teammates, for the past couple of months, have made it very easy by keeping me focused on basketball and school. Thanks to them, the coaching staff and the fans here. For the past few months I have been making sure I have kept my grades up and getting into the chemistry of the team, practicing and working hard so I will be ready for the game that will take place December 18th against USC."
On what Saturday's game means to him:
"It means a lot to me because I never thought this situation would be over. It's finally over; I get to go out there and play along with my teammates, which we have all been waiting for. We are all looking forward to this game. It means a lot to us (the team), the Kansas fans and the coaching staff."
There's going to be a theme developing with what Josh Selby said yesterday. He talks team, he talks chemistry and he shows a tremendous amount of maturity and a humble attitude which is refreshing considering the fanfare and expectations that have followed him to Kansas.
This might be the Kansas fan in me, but it seems that regardless of who Bill Self is recruiting he generally has a certain type of person that he lands. Yes there have been risks and times where things haven't worked out, but look through Self's time at Kansas and either it's the way he drives people or maybe it's just the type of player who chooses to play for him but there seems to be a pattern.
On what he believes will be the toughest adjustment for him in the first game or two:
"The toughest thing that I am going to have to adjust to is the game speed because the collegiate level is much faster than the high school level. I've missed nine games. That, and the fans, because the fans here are crazy. Those will be the two toughest things for me. We were voted the loudest fans here and just the cheering and acknowledgement will put butterflies in my stomach."
I think most of the people that sit through a game in Allen Fieldhouse get butterflies, goosebumps or some other feeling that they are in and around something special. Again though, great understanding of what he's going to be facing from the start. Faster, stronger players and a much bigger stage.
On having to play off the ball:
"I was known for playing with the ball, but I think it will easy to adjust to because the coaches have done a great job teaching me how to play off the ball and giving me some good pointers along with the other players. I think it will be easy for me because me and Tyshawn (Taylor) have great chemistry together in practice."
This might be the best thing I've heard yet. Tyshawn seems to be coming into his own as a player, he seems to understand his role and who he is. If there was one player that I think most Kansas fans were concerned about the Selby addition affecting, it was Taylor. IF, and it's still an if, Taylor and Selby have "great" chemistry on the court Kansas can be REALLY good.
On people expecting too much from him after all the hype:
"I'm not really worried about that because I'm just going to go out there, play ball and try to win with my team. That's my biggest concern right now. I'm not focusing on myself. I'm focusing on my teammates, just making the fans and the coaching staff feel happy and walk away with a ‘W'. That is my biggest concern."
I can't imagine there won't be some desire to meet expectations, but as a fan you can't help but like the attitude in this quote again. There were times where it seemed maybe Xavier Henry struggled with expectations. I could be wrong.
On if there was ever a time he thought about leaving Kansas, playing in Europe or somewhere else:
"I never thought about leaving Kansas because they put so much work into this situation and they never gave up on me so I was never thinking about giving up on them."
On his expectations for himself on Saturday versus USC:
"The only thing I would like to do is don't mess up the chemistry of my teammates. They already have a great chemistry out there, as you can see, when you watch the games."
On taking a backseat compared to pushing the envelope in the games:
"The only thing I see in our offense is the offense runs through the twins (junior forwards Marcus and Markieff Morris). As you can see, they are great guys. They are great scorers, great players. Our offense runs through them. I'm taking a backseat regardless. Whatever my team and the coaching staff needs me to do, I will do it for them, to win. If it's scoring or playing the point guard, that's what I will do."
These two quotes grabbed my attention yesterday and they still do. Something seemed off with last years one and done. Maybe it was Xavier, maybe it was something else, but the fact that Josh Selby seems so enthused about joining the team and finding a way to fit the team rather than have the team fit him is refreshing and encouraging.
On what dimension he brings to the Jayhawks that the team might be lacking in (strength):
"From what my teammates have been saying in my ear, (I am) somebody who can create his own shot and (I also provide) a toughness."
Hey look!! The team knows what we need just as much as all of us part time coaches! Toughness is always part of the Bill Self equation, but a guy that can creat and make his own scoring opportunities seems right on target.
On how his mother and grandmother felt once the eligibility situation had been determined:
"My grandma and mom were very happy because my mom was thinking I wasn't going to get to play. It was so frustrating. Saturday, with my grandmom and mom, you will see a lot of tears. I don't know if you will see them shed tears, but they never thought I would play college basketball."
The human side of the story. I assume this means mom and grandmom will be in the stands. Hope they enjoy this one. Remember the days where a guy like Selby would have a chance to thank all these people in a senior night speech? Those just don't seem to hit the same level that they used to, of course last year was pretty special.
On how much difference he believes he can make for the KU team:
"I don't know how much better they can be. I guess we have to find out the 18th, I really don't know."
I don't expect we'll know right away how much better we can be, but it's a start and a step toward finding out.