Sunday, December 13, 2009

Taylor again solid — as sub

‘I’ll do whatever role my team needs me to’

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pulls up for a three over La Salle guard Terrell Williams during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pulls up for a three over La Salle guard Terrell Williams during the first half, Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.


Audio clips

2009 KU-La Salle

Reader poll

Which Jayhawk's stat line were you most happy with against La Salle?

  • Xavier Henry's 31 points on 10-for-15 shooting 31% 713 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor's 6 assists and 0 turnovers 28% 653 votes
  • Markieff Morris' 12 rebounds and four blocks 13% 305 votes
  • Cole Aldrich's 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting 26% 613 votes

2284 total votes.

GameDay Cram Session: La Salle online editor Jesse Newell and Journal-World sports writer Matt Tait take a look at what to expect from the Kansas basketball team's matchup against La Salle.

— Saturday afternoon, for just the fourth time in his college career, Kansas University sophomore Tyshawn Taylor started a game on the bench.

And for the second game in a row, Taylor showed thousands of fans that his new role suits him well, even if he doesn’t much care for it.

“I don’t really like coming off the bench too much, but I’ll do whatever role my team needs me to,” Taylor said. “I think the last two games were my best two games. I’m not sure if coach noticed that, but however he needs to play me, I’m going to do that.”

Taylor finished Saturday’s 90-65 victory against La Salle with 10 points, on 3-of-6 shooting, and added six assists and three rebounds in 28 turnover-free minutes.

In addition, he was responsible, at least partly, for the one play that brought the Sprint Center crowd to its feet and nearly blew the roof off the joint.

With just less than nine minutes to play, KU freshman Xavier Henry — who scored a career-high 31 points — stole a pass near midcourt and rushed the ball up the floor to a streaking Taylor. With nothing but an open runway between him and the basket, Taylor took off and appeared to be on his way toward one of his signature fast-break slam dunks, the kind that so often have ended with the playful Taylor posing for the cameras along the baseline. This time, perhaps inspired by the spirit of the holiday season, Taylor had gift-giving in mind. As he rose on the right side of the rim, he heard a voice behind him and saw a charging Markieff Morris roaring toward the rim.

Instead of taking the sure two points, Taylor flipped the ball behind his head to Morris, who flushed the ball through the rim to give Kansas a 20-point lead.

“I wasn’t going to pass it,” Taylor said. “But he called my name. I probably could have finished it, but (passing to Morris) looked better.”

Asked what Taylor said to him after the highlight-reel slam, Morris broke into a rendition of the SportsCenter theme song: “Da da da, da da da.”

With a perfect, pirouette-style spin, Morris screamed into the air at no one in particular. Seconds later, his brother, Marcus, followed suit, and Taylor, who by now had a schoolboy smile plastered across his face, rushed toward Henry to credit him for starting it all.

“I like anything when we score,” KU coach Bill Self said. “But I particularly like it when a guy gives up himself to make a play for a teammate. I like that so much.”

Although it’s a little early to determine if Taylor’s response to coming off the bench has earned him a spot back in the starting lineup, Self hinted at the subject following Saturday’s game.

“Well, he deserves to be back out there. He’s one of our best players,” Self said.


UmbertoConforti 10 years, 9 months ago

Where are all his critics now? Good Job hot dog!!! Go TT.

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

Maybe TT thinks the tip off is bad karhma, bring him off bench after 2 minutes so his tummy (pysdch) settles down. if it works for two games it will for more.

The 'give it up play' sets the tone for the team over individuals, welcome back TT, we knew you wouldn't be gone forever.

Chris Shaw 10 years, 9 months ago

Asked what Taylor said to him after the highlight-reel slam, Morris broke into a rendition of the SportsCenter theme song: “Da da da, da da da.”

This is the only thing I don't like about Tyshawn Taylor's game at the moment. Let me not forget about the stupid signature "Pose" for the camera bit after a dunk. T

There is no need for this stuff! Just play ball and have fun without all the antics. Great game yesterday Tyshawn.

Nick Cole 10 years, 9 months ago


It's called being a talented athlete. These kids know they are good and they want everyone else to know about it. Anyone who was ever at least decent at a sport should know this. He!!, I was a very gifted runner and I would showboat after I won races. All athletes at almost every level from high school and up in nearly every sport (especially sports like basketball and football) do this sort of thing. Don't think for a second that these kids don't know they are on ESPN.

It's called having a little fun with the game. Lighten up brother.

ryanzig 10 years, 9 months ago

this kid IS solid! Hope he stays 4 years with us! I agree that he should remain as a bench player for now, because he delivers better.

100 10 years, 9 months ago

ZERO turnovers!!!!!

Great job TT!!!!

Just keep it up!

"Humility Wins Championships"


Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

TT we pick on you on the blog 'cause we know you have super talent, more than that, HCBS knows you have talent, he doesn't have to call Jaymie Dixon so get Greece out of your head. 19 league means nothing now.

We know, even more than you, that you have all it takes, so quit posing, smile, have fun, enjoy every possession and quit worrying about ESPN highlights of Wall, you + team will get a shot at him in due time. Just be you, as YOU ARE EXACTLY what this championship potential team needs this season. just be you. look around you, SC has your back, X, twins, cole not to mention that deep bench, you are here for a reason, all your career hard work and St. Anthony's championships, lead you to be here, enjoy every possesion, they are fleeting.

thanks for working thru the soph slump and turning it into great stories for your grandkids & banners for our beloved AFH.

Smasher88 10 years, 9 months ago

Bleed Cand, Lewboski, I think you both have a point. First of all I love TT. I think he's one of the most unique players with the most potential i have seen in a while. Now, Me, personally, have never been able to punch it let alone punch it during a game as a Kansas Jayhawk, so i can't really say what my reaction would be. I'm guessin somethin technical worthy:) I did hit quite a few dingers as a younger man and i have to say that after the first couple, I felt that less was definitely more when it came to my celebration. But at the same time, i didn't need to pump myself up to get another one at my next plate appearance. Different strokes i guess. Whatever works. I'd say, until i see somethin thats just down right embarrassing, I don't wanna see TT check his celebration practices. I think it's good for the team. If I was posterizing kids and on the #1 team in the nation, then you better believe i'm gonna get excited about it from time to time. I do like the message it sends to opposing teams and anyone who sees you play when your stone cold focused after a highlight reel play. But on the other hand, if they're having fun, thats usually a good sign too.

Steve Brown 10 years, 9 months ago

is there any value to keep him as a sub, bring him in after 2 minutes when his heart is 'settled' down.

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