Thursday, April 14, 2011
Josh Selby thanks KU fans, takes on critics
By Diamond Leung
Josh Selby came to Kansas as one of the nation's top recruits and ended up having a freshman year marred by a season-opening nine-game suspension and various injuries. He came off the bench in the NCAA tournament and after the season went off to Las Vegas to work out rather than attend school or the team banquet.
When Selby announced via Twitter on Thursday that he would declare for the draft and forgo his remaining eligibility, he thanked Kansas fans. But some of the reaction wasn't so positive, with more than one barb referencing how he'd end up in the NBA development league.
Selby responded directly to some those critics and summed it up by tweeting, "All this negative energy is creating a monster. Y'all light the fuel up inside me. #hatersmymotivator."
Clearly Selby's presence in his lone season didn't have the desired effect, ultimately leading to that negativity. He showed glimpses of his talent, including a memorable college debut against USC when he scored 21 points and sank the game-winning shot. But after missing three games with a foot injury, Selby wasn't the same and was left to play a bench role on a top-seeded team that didn't get to the Final Four.
Leaving for the NBA after averaging 7.9 points in only 26 games wasn't what people in Lawrence had expected when coach Bill Self managed to land the attacking guard from Baltimore. They only got to see Selby skim the surface of his potential.
In bidding Selby farewell, Self seemed to use his comments to protect the freshman one final time. Self emphasized he and his staff supported not only the NBA decision, but also Selby working out in Vegas. He noted the suspension was a setback that Selby fought through and that the kid played hurt. Self even made mention of Selby's 3.0 grade-point average in his first semester and how he "worked with his professors to complete his work second semester."
"I feel good about Josh leaving here knowing he took care of his business the way that he should have taken care of it," Self said in a statement.
But numerous Kansas supporters feel very differently about what amounted to a Selby's mere stint as a Jayhawk.