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Draft Sleeper: Josh Selby
Posted By Stephen Brotherston On May 14, 2011 @ 7:00 am In All,NBA Draft | No Comments
Coming into this past college season, the future 2011 NBA mock draft top pick Kyrie Irving was listed as the number one college point guard prospect by Scout.com, but a kid from Baltimore – Josh Selby - was listed as both the number one point guard prospect and the number one college prospect overall by Rivals.com.
Both these players were injured during their freshman college seasons, but while Irving recovered well enough to solidify his draft position during the NCAA tournament, Selby wasn’t as fortunate.
HOOPSWORLD caught up with Selby at Impact Basketball in Las Vegas.
"Unfortunately I got hurt at Kansas so it kind of set me back further than I wanted to be so this a new start for me and I just hope I can showcase my game to everyone," said Selby.
After serving a nine-game suspension for inappropriate benefits received to start his collegiate career, Selby made his mark on a very good Kansas team that featured likely 2011 first-round NBA draft picks Marcus and Markieff Morris. Coming off the bench on December 18th Selby scored 21 points against Southern California and hit on five of eight three-point attempts. After just one more game, Selby had worked himself into a starting position and soon won two Big 12 Rookie-of-the-Week awards.
Selby held onto that starting role until he was sidelined by a stress fracture in his foot relegating him to the bench for the final six pre-tournament games and both the Big 12 and NCAA tournaments. Selby’s averages dropped from 12 points on 42 percent shooting to 3.8 points on 28 percent shooting post-injury and any chance of being a NBA lottery draft pick disappeared.
"I don’t really pay attention to the draft picks," said Selby. "As long as I get drafted I will be cool with that. One of my goals was just to get drafted. If I get drafted, I am just going to have to work hard and do what I have to do to get on a team."
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Currently ranked between a late first and an early second-round draft pick in most mock drafts, Selby is spending his time working on his game in preparation for the start of pre-draft workouts.
"I am working on everything," said Selby. "There is room for improvement on everything in my game.
"I don’t know what I bring to the NBA. I am just going to work hard and try to get better and better. Whatever my role is for a team, I am going to do that."
This former number one-ranked high school kid is getting noticed at Impact Basketball as he works out with other draft hopefuls but it is not always his exceptional athletic abilities that are gaining the most attention. Like another coach on the floor, Selby is showing there is more to his game.
"People have helped me," said Selby. "So when I get a chance to help someone else, I am going to help them. If there is something they are doing wrong, I am going to point it out to them so they can fix it because they have the same goals that I have.
"I am just going to continue to be me, and if I can continue to help people, then I am going to help them and just try to show that I am a leader to everyone."
Selby is a year older than other freshmen because attended multiple high schools and changed his mind about which university to commit to, plus he grew up in a tough Baltimore neighborhood which all brings some baggage that NBA teams may be concerned about.
"Everybody has the perception that I am like a thug or I come off as a thug but that is not me at all," said Selby. "I am (really) an outgoing and funny person."
That Selby went through challenging times growing up is not in dispute, but this highly rated prospect out of high school would likely have been a NBA lottery pick last year if the rules had permitted him to enter the draft. NBA scouts would be wise to consider his production in the 13 games at Kansas before his injury where Selby averaged 12 points on 42 percent shooting and 43.5 percent from three, 2.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.2 steals per game in 26.6 minutes.
The hard working kid showing leadership potential at Impact Basketball could be one of the big sleepers of the 2011 draft.
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