When he offered up a very early commitment to Tennessee, Josh Selby effectively bypassed the recruiting process. But, during the summer, the 6-foot-3 guard decided that he may have made a hasty decision and opened his recruitment back up. Back on the open market, Selby has jumped head first into the recruiting process as he looks to pick a school and show people what kind of kid he really is.
Things kicked off this week as Selby and his mother, Maeshon Witherspoon, began to host coaching staffs for in home visits. Getting the first crack were Jim Calhoun and Connecticut.
"UConn's visit was very innovative," said Witherspoon. "They decided that because they wanted to be the first one to see Josh they would came out at 12:01 AM on Wednesday. That was innovative, I like the creativity and the thought process behind doing that."
After recovering from their late night/early morning meeting with the Huskies, Selby and his mother next met with Bill Self and assistants Joe Dooley and Kurtis Townsend. According to Witherspoon, the visit was a success.
"With Kansas, I really liked talking to Coach Self and his staff," Witherspoon told Phog.Net. "There were a lot of things that I didn't know about them before they came in. I think that needless to say that after this process of sitting down and looking at schools they'd be a school we'd like to look at more and visit."
Having seen the Jayhawks on television, Selby and his mother were familiar with the current Jayhawks. However, the visit allowed them to get a better feel for the history of the program and the man who is currently in charge.
"I think it was more so finding out the history of Kansas," said Witherspoon about what stuck out about the Kansas visit. "Learning who coached there and who represents them. I told another guy that I didn't know Wlt Chamberlain went to Kansas."
"It was also surprise how young Bill Self looks and then find out how long he's been in the game."
With the UConn and Kansas in homes out of the way, Selby and his mother host Baylor on Friday before hosting Kentucky, Syracuse, Miami, Tennessee and Florida State over the next week. While they enter the visits with a plan of attack and some questions they'd like answered, there's also room to let discussion take a natural course.
"I think it's a little bit of both. We have a set of questions that we ask. But also I like to let the coach do a lot of talking," said Witherspoon of her and Josh's approach to visits. "As I'm watching them talk I'm also watching the assistant coaches reactions to what he's saying. I also watch Josh to see how he reacts."
Because her son has asked her to, Witherspoon does a lot of the talking with coaches. She feels them out, and then Josh plans to grill the players for their point of view on visits. But when it comes to a decision, they'll be making it together.
"It is a democracy," said Witherspoon. "I'm not saying Josh is going to this school and that's it. We're going to do this as a family so we make a smart, well executed decision here."
A side benefit of re-opening his recruitment is that coaches, analysts and fans are starting to find out what Selby is all about. Because of early transfers from private schools outside of Baltimore, some labeled him as a malcontent.
But, anybody who has been around him knows that he's a fun loving, outgoing kid and that the transfers were more the result of school days that went from six in the morning until nine at night because of travel.
"I think it bothers me more than it bothers Josh," said Witherspoon of those who have questioned her son's attitude. "I can handle criticism as long as you know what you're talking about. The problem I have is when people don't know what they're talking about."
Growing up in a neighborhood where trouble can be found easily, Witherspoon is proud of how her son has continued to use basketball as a tool to open doors that might otherwise be shut.
"That's why he's been so passionate on the court. Basketball is an escape for him," said Witherspoon. "Where some other kids might run to the streets, Josh lives sleeps and eats basketball."
Since Selby has yet to take a standardized test, he's unable to take any official visits at this point. However, that's not a concern as the plan is for him to wait until the spring to pick a school. It's also likely that some unofficial visits will be set upon the completion of the in home visits.
For now, though, it's all about being immersed in the recruiting process and figuring out who is genuine and who isn't before picking a college destination.
"The relationship that we build with the coaching staff is going to be very important," said Witherspoon while stressing that every school is on equal footing at this point. "How are they going to treat and perceive Josh? Every school has the facilities, all the programs are pretty much the same in a lot of ways. It's going to be those intangible things that set them apart."