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Top Recruit Wayne Selden Chooses Kansas Jayhawks

After one visit, highly sought-after small forward Wayne Selden chose Kansas over Syracuse, Florida, Missouri and UCLA.

“It is the right fit for me as a person and a player,” Selden said. He is Boston native who plays high school ball at the Tilton School in New Hampshire.

“When we walked in the arena (for Late Night in the Phog), the roar of the crowd was insane. I was filled with excitement and to a certain extent overwhelmed,” said Seldon, ranked by ESPN as the No. 14 best player in the country.

The Jayhawks, who move to No. 2 in the 2013 class rankings behind Kentucky, are now loaded on the perimeter for the future, as Selden will join fellow ESPN 100 recruits Conner Frankamp, a point guard out of Wichita, Kan., and Brannen Green, a shooting guard from Monroe, Ga. In addition, Kansas has a commitment from two-star point guard Frank Mason of Petersburg, Va.

Selden said attending the Tilton School has prepared him for this decision, as he is comfortable in a small-town setting.

“Growing up in the city (Boston), which I love, but there are always distractions both positive and negative,” Selden said. “Tilton helped me stay focused on academics and basketball. Lawrence, Kansas, is a great college town and has the same feeling as Tilton.”

The 6-foot-5, 220-pound Selden has dominated high school and the summer circuit thanks to his size and strength.

This past spring and summer Selden started to make individual improvements with the help of Steve Hailey, a former Boston College player who trains him. He and Hailey worked together to enhance his scoring and ball-handling skills.

Scouting reports say he is also a good passer with terrific vision and unselfishness. In addition, his long-range jumper is now a weapon and no longer a weakness. Whether it’s a drive, post up or an offensive rebound, when he gets near the basket, he can physically punish opponents.

Still, he knows there are holes in his game and understands there is a huge learning curve from prep school to the Big 12.

“I must work on my lateral speed to defend better and keep working on my ball-handling,” Selden said.

He will now head to play for one of the most successful coaches in the nation in Bill Self, who Selden hopes will continue to help him improve his game.

“Coach Self is a great coach,” Selden said. “They made me feel welcomed and wanted. He has a plan for me.”

During his visit to Kansas this past weekend, Selden couldn’t help but notice the family atmosphere.

“I noticed the connection between the players, coaches and the fans, as well as the family members of the players,” he said. “It was special.”

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