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Archive for Sunday, April 18, 2010

Selby looking for ‘national championship’

April 18, 2010, 12:00 a.m. Updated April 18, 2010, 6:39 a.m.

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— After announcing his decision to attend Kansas next year during the Jordan Classic game, Josh Selby didn’t waste much time in making a bold declaration in the postgame news conference at Madison Square Garden.

“I’m ready to lead Kansas,” Selby said, “to a national championship.”

Selby, the No. 4 ranked basketball senior according to Rivals.com, made his decision official during the 12-minute media timeout of the first half.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound guard from Baltimore chose KU over Tennessee, Kentucky, Arizona and Connecticut in an announcement that was broadcast live on ESPN2.

Though his recruitment extended to the spring, Selby said he mostly had his mind made up after his campus visit to KU.

“To be honest, I knew from the jump that I was going to go to Kansas,” Selby said. “I just wasn’t quite sure a slight bit, because I built a great relationship with the Tennessee coaching staff. But I knew that I was home when I chose Kansas.”

Selby scored a team-high 21 points on 9-of-18 shooting in the West team’s 129-125 victory over the East on Saturday.

He said that he was recruited well by KU senior Sherron Collins, the man he figures to replace as lead guard.

“We just had a connection,” Selby said. “He just kept forcing in my head, ‘Coach (Bill) Self, he’s great for you. He’s going to mature you both on and off the court. He’s going to get it done, and he’s going to let you achieve your goals.’”

Selby said playing for Self was a major factor in his decision.

“He’s very outgoing. He knew how to handle a street kid,” Selby said. “When we talked, it felt like I was talking to a father figure.”

After the game, Selby made sure to find his mother, Maeshon Witherspoon. He gave her a kiss on the court.

“That’s my baby,” Selby said. “She stuck with me through it all, so I had to give her some type of love back.”

As expected, 6-foot-4 guard Doron Lamb — Rivals’ 21st-ranked player — chose Kentucky. He announced his decision at the 12-minute media timeout of the second half.

“It was hard to pick a school, but I’m just so happy,” Lamb said. “No more phone calls to my dorm. No more phone calls to my cell phone, my parents. I’m just so happy everything’s done.”

• A previous version of this story was updated.

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