For about 45 seconds Saturday night, all eyes at Madison Square Garden in New York were intently focused on Josh Selby.
After months of rumor, speculation and conjecture, the Lake Clifton combo guard was finally ready to end his recruitment at the Jordan Brand Classic all-star game. Before a nationally televised audience on ESPN2, Selby, at long last, revealed his college destination.
"It's tough," Selby said, "but I'm going to be a Kansas Jayhawk. ... I think that's the best way for me to mature on and off the court and get to the next level."
Selby, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior, selected the Jayhawks over offers from Arizona, Connecticut, Kentucky and Tennessee. At Kansas, Selby will likely be counted on to replace Sherron Collins, a four-year contributor, as the Jayhawks' starting point guard.
"His ability to shoot the basketball and spread the floor is going to give them an extra gear as well," ESPN analyst Jay Williams said after Selby's announcement. "He can attack the basket off the dribble. ... [Kansas shooting guard] Tyshawn Taylor and he might be one of the best backcourts in the Big 12."Selby, who started his high school career at John Carroll and spent his sophomore and junior seasons at DeMatha, committed to Tennessee in Sept. 2008. Ten months later, Selby reopened his recruitment and immediately became one of the most sought-after recruits in the country.
Playing for Nike Baltimore Elite on the AAU circuit last summer, Selby battled the best point guards in the country on a weekly basis and more than held his own. Rivals.com has rated Selby the No. 4 player in the country and No. 2 point guard, while ESPN.com lists him as the No. 5 player nationally and the No. 3 point guard. Analysts and scouts have praised him for his scoring ability and competitiveness.
"What I like about Josh Selby, regardless of where he goes, he's going to make that team tough," said ESPN analyst Jimmy Dykes during Saturday's broadcast. "This kid competes. He's got some dog in him, in the right way. ... Josh Selby is going to pour himself into the personality of that ballclub, and I love that about this guy."
Selby showcased that toughness as a senior at Lake Clifton, averaging 32 points, seven assists, five rebounds and two steals for the Lakers. He was honored as The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Player of the Year, and picked up invitations to play in the McDonald's All-American Game -- in which he won the dunk contest last month -- and the Jordan Brand Classic.
Lake Clifton coach Herman Harried said Friday that he expects Selby to have "a great impact" as a freshman. Selby will be surrounded by more talented players, Harried said, and those talented teammates will have to be accounted for by the opposition.
"In high school, opposing defenses played all five on him," Harried said. "At the college level, they won't be able to do that. He's going to have other talented players around him to make plays. They'll be able to trap him and stuff like that, but they won't be able to send the whole bench after him. ... He just possesses a will to win, talent, of course athleticism, and he's a team player."
At Kansas, Selby will play for a program just two years removed from the national title. Playing for Bill Self, Selby said, was a major factor in his decision.
"He kind of reminds me of myself," Selby said of Self. "He's very outgoing. He's a great coach and he gets the job done."