Wayne Selden, No. 2 Kansas stake claim to title of nation’s best team

AP
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Wayne Selden finished with 24 points and four assists without a turnover while shooting 9-for-15 from the floor  as Kansas blew out No. 23 Baylor, 102-74.

The Jayhawks shredded Baylor’s zone in the first half, hitting six of their first seven threes while jumping out to a 24-4 lead in the first seven minutes. Baylor was never within single digits the rest of the way.

It was quite the statement from the Jayhawks, who could very well become the No. 1 team in the country on Monday morning. And here’s the most intriguing part: The three guys on their roster that NBA Draft people are intrigued by — Cheick Diallo, Carlton Bragg and Svi Mykhailiuk — all played 10 minutes or fewer.

That’s what makes this team so dangerous. They don’t really have a star, per se. Selden is their best player and leading scorer, but he’s less of a dominating presence in their offense than he is a guy who is super-efficient which the chances that he gets in the flow of what they run. Perry Ellis is in the same role. Frank Mason and Devonte’ Graham have blended perfectly in a dual-point guard back court while KU’s big-man-by-committee is currently flourishing.

This group reminds me of the 2014 Florida Gators. That was the team that was led by Scottie Wilbekin and Casey Prather, the team that was 36-2 and the consensus best team in the country when they lost to UConn in the Final Four. They’re a balanced, veteran group that plays well together, that understands their individual roles and, to this point in the season, has no issue playing them no matter how limited the minutes end up being.

Might that change by the end of the year? Will Bragg and Diallo and Svi be OK playing bit roles when their NBA Draft stock is on the line?

That’s tough to know.

But what I do know is that at this point in the season, they are, and when they are, Kansas might very well be college basketball’s best team.