Before Saturday's game, Kansas Jayhawks head coach Bill Self attempted to downplay expectations on the debut of freshman Josh Selby, Rivals' No. 1 rated player. I, too, thought expectations were reaching unattainable highs.
And then I saw Josh Selby play. He put up 21 points in a 70-68 victory over the USC Trojans on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse after a fairly slow start. Simply put, he was quickly (and arguably ) the best player on the court as the Jayhawks eked out the victory over USC.
Selby's role in the game was instrumental as he drilled a three-pointer with 26 seconds remaining to give Kansas a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Selby was 5-of-11 from the field, 5-of-8 from beyond the arc, and 6-of-7 on free throws. He was efficient, athletic and pretty much lived up to the hype (or the realistic hype at least).
USC shot 45 percent while Kansas shot 38 percent, which is the biggest statistical difference in the game. Kansas' offense as a whole just wasn't very good. It's surprising the game was this close considering the amped up Allen Fieldhouse crowd that stood in line for hours to see Selby's debut.
Marcus and Markieff Morris added 11 points each while Thomas Robinson ended with 10 and a solid day on the boards. As Self said, Selby did not start but, after this game, it's hard not to look at him as a starter and immediately an important piece of the puzzle.
The Josh Selby debut was as good as advertised if you ask me.