Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Taylor continues his hot streak

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor soars in for a bucket around California forward Jamal Boykin during the first half, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor soars in for a bucket around California forward Jamal Boykin during the first half, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.


Audio clips

2009 KU-California

Reader poll

Who was KU's MVP against Cal?

  • Xavier Henry 1% 27 votes
  • Sherron Collins 35% 799 votes
  • Tyshawn Taylor 27% 615 votes
  • Marcus Morris 9% 206 votes
  • Brady Morningstar 23% 532 votes
  • Cole Aldrich 1% 41 votes
  • Other 0% 10 votes

2230 total votes.


KU vs. California

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KU takes on California

Reader poll

What will KU's toughest home game be this season?

  • Tonight vs. California 9% 8 votes
  • March 3 vs. Kansas State 64% 53 votes
  • Jan. 25 vs. Missouri 8% 7 votes
  • Jan. 16 vs. Texas Tech 12% 10 votes
  • Other 4% 4 votes

82 total votes.

Kansas sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor, an excitable sort, said he walked into the locker room after a most impressive 84-69 Tuesday night victory against California and proudly proclaimed, “I didn’t have any turnovers again.”

He was reminded that wasn’t the case.

“Oh yeah,” Taylor said. “I threw it right to him. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

After that unforced second-half turnover, Taylor wheeled around, looked directly at coach Bill Self and tapped his chest three times, just in case Self thought maybe one of the ushers or cheerleaders, not Taylor, was to blame.

Taylor then went on to play pretty much a perfect half and had a whole lot of company in doing so. He, Brady Morningstar and Sherron Collins did a terrific job of feeding the fast, sure-handed big men during a 44-30 second half.

Taylor finished with 13 points, seven assists, two steals and one turnover. In the past four games, he has 24 assists and two turnovers. The hot streak coincides with Self pulling from the starting lineup for two games. The coach won’t acknowledge he was lighting a fire under Taylor, but he was, and it worked. Still, it only partially explains the improved play. Brady Morningstar’s return to the lineup in the last two games surely helped Taylor, too, because Morningstar makes all teammates better.

When he’s not playing well, Taylor looks like a show-off swinging for the fences before walking back to the dugout, head hanging low. When he’s playing well, as he has been of late, he looks like Derek Jeter in sneakers: smart, quick, relentless, a great teammate.

His long-range jumper is behind the rest of his game (.349 career three-point percentage), but everyone else’s three-point percentage benefits when he penetrates and dishes and when he whips quick passes around the perimeter.

Taylor played about as well as he ever has Tuesday.

“I think I’m just playing smarter,” Taylor said when asked about whether the move to the bench triggered his improvement. “I’m not forcing as much stuff, trying to be aggressive but smart at the same time.”

Coaches are fond of saying it doesn’t matter who starts. Pride is a powerful emotion.

“It matters a little bit,” Taylor said. “I’m not going to act like I don’t like starting because I do. I love hearing my name out of the huddle. I love starting. But if coach needs me to come off the bench, I’m going to do that. Whatever my team needs me to do, whatever my coach needs me to do to be a better, more productive team, I don’t have a problem doing it at all.”

Even though the Memphis game was closer, this had the most big-time feel of any game KU has played this season.

“I like playing in games like this,” Taylor said. “The crowd’s always into it. This is why we come to Kansas, to play in games like this. ESPN, on TV, against another good team. I love playing in games like this.”

The crowd roared its approval after Taylor’s pass to Marcus Morris on the fast break.

“This might be one of the loudest I ever heard it besides last year against Texas,” Taylor said. “I love our fans. I love our fans to death.”

The feeling’s mutual.


melrank 11 years, 2 months ago

Tyshawn is finding his role on this team and seems to be enjoying it.

He's been thru a lot the last few months but is saying and doing all the right things.

Go Ty!

leonard 11 years, 2 months ago

Great work on cleaning up the silly turnovers.

Next step? Follow thru on your commitment "whatever my coach needs me to do to be a better, more productive team, I don’t have a problem doing it at all".

We need your offensive talents...but just as importantly you've got to be the lock down defender you're capable of...not the current turnstile defense on the ball handler...that breaks down the team defense and places our bigs in jeopardy of foul trouble.

You can do it, Tyshawn!

FSUJHAWK 11 years, 2 months ago

Great game TT. Keep up the good work on and off the court. And yes, we also love you to death.


Ben Kane 11 years, 2 months ago

He's made about a half dozen brilliant flashes to the basket in the last few games. They haven't all gone in but I think we are seeing glimpses of how good he will be next year when it's his turn to lead this team.

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

leonard......You nailed it on the head. Poor perimeter defense could hurt this team in a game that really counts if they don't tighten it up. X did a good job offensively (as usual) and really did a nice job on the boards, but I think he took a step back defensively last night after playing pretty well against Manny Harris from Michigan. Christopher looked like a lottery pick for the first 35 minutes of that game last night. Tyshawn nor X could guard him. Good thing he wasn't hot from 3 or he would have scored 30. Tyshawn seems quick enough laterally to keep his man in front of him, but I'm afraid he doesn't have the "want to" (read with a North Carolina drawl) that's necessary to lock down. Add to that, he gets lazy and has poor footwork on the defensive end--standing up too straight, getting his feet crossed over. Whatever happened to good 'ol fundamental defensive slides?

I think Sherron needs to be the example on the defensive end if he wants his senior year to end with a win on an April night in Indy. Until he leads by example with intensity on defense, his younger teammates aren't going to understand that it's the most important phase of the game. There will be games where KU can't throw it in the ocean and they will score 59 points. But you can ALWAYS play great defense and hold your opponent to 58 on those nights.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

Keegan drinking the Bob Knight Kool-Aid. Was I the only one that thought that Bob Knight comparing Marcus Morris to Derek Jeter was utterly ridiculous? And now we got Keegan likening TT to Jeter. Maybe one of our guys can start bringing some Jeter-esque ladies to the game for the camera to pan to.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

TT is playing a much better game and making better decisions.

He needs to get Coach Dooley in practice, take a rack of balls to place around the perimeter and shoot them in a shoot-out type contest. He then needs to play some pick-ups or scrimmages and take nothing but outside shots. If he can get his trey more consistent, he would be devastating to opponents.

He has to hit that trey in transition after a pass from the point. This is staggering to a defense. They can't defend a wide-open shooter. TT has the ability to shoot and drain at will.

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

I couldn't care less if Tyshawn shoots the 3. His role on the offensive end is to move the ball and break down defenses by penetrating. He's our best perimeter penetrator until X develops that skill. X, Sherron and Brady have the 3 point line covered.

The thing Tyshawn really needs to concentrate on is not shooting, but defending.

KUFan90 11 years, 2 months ago

"After that unforced second-half turnover...Taylor then went on to play pretty much a perfect half"

Umm...that turnover was with like 1 minute left in the game wasn't it??

Mike Kendall 11 years, 2 months ago


You have to keep in mind that Bob Knight's comparisons are sometimes off the wall. I thought that Morris to Jeter comparison was rediculous, too. I was dreading Bob Knight calling our game last night, just ask Chuckberry32. However, he was quite complementary of our Jayhawks and, a very nice complement for X, comparing him to John Wall. Rock Chalk!

jayhawkjoe98 11 years, 2 months ago

Taylor saved the day for Kansas last night.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

KU- I appreciate your positive criticism and agree for the most part. I don't think having another shooter would hurt, do you?

You're limiting him to 1-2 roles and then expecting others to pick up the slack. What if the others are "off" on certain nights? then what? TT has made some pretty good shot selections and made most outside shots. I want him to let it fly in a controlled fasion. He's a soph and needs to develop his shot a bit more. He should be a freakin' sharp shooter by his junior year.

I don't want him driving anymore than you want him shooting. He can get too rushed and caught in the air. He has fortuantely been able to convert those drives. He can move the ball quite well, but when it swings to him and he's open, he's got to drain it at will.

Scott Smetana 11 years, 2 months ago

Did Jeter play college ball? I wonder if he has any college eligibility left and could give us a year or two on the court. Him and CJ could snag some serious passes. Not sure how we would pay him, so I'm afraid he'll sign with Calipari if he gets wind of this.

RussRob had some serious shoes to fill... Tyshawn's feet are growing quick.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

Ralster - it would be nice for TT to improve his 3 pt shooting, but we won a championship with Russell Robinson being a below average shooter. Just saying, it's not critical. As for Knight, I too enjoyed his calling of the game, but the Jeter comparison had me saying "huh?".

Mike Kendall 11 years, 2 months ago


Nice jokes about Tiger. Enjoyed those!

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

icthawkfan......Good point about RussRob. One ingredient we are lacking is NOT the 3 point's perimeter defenders like Russ and Mario.

Joe Baker 11 years, 2 months ago

There will never be another Mario or RussRob. Let's let the guys develop their own style of play. Don't get me wrong, I understand the analogies but they will never be like anyone on the 2008 team. They will contribute in their own special way, one way or another! ;)

Merry Christmas Jayhawk Nation!!

Beat Belmont!

Matt Bowers 11 years, 2 months ago

Love the focus in the pic TT. Merry Christmas.

Rock Chalk

aerohawk 11 years, 2 months ago

I thought TT was terrific. I just loved 7 assists and 1 turnover. I think if he focuses on assists a no turnovers the points will come on their own.

Steve Brown 11 years, 2 months ago

RussRob, NYNY awesome still see him crying senior night and recall after his 1st yr. wanting to leave and return to east, fought off that inclination and stayed.

HCBK comparing anything KU to Mr. Yankee is high tribute to us and continued TV audience ratings. I have several clients in NY & Philly and they care darn little about college bb and a ton about the Flyers, and Yankees. I thought at time he was investing in an audience to 'hange around. subtle and brilliant. HCBKnight say what you may about his sterness, he has high BB IQ.

after what Bob Knight said about Coach Cal and Final Four banners being taken down at UMass and Memphis State, well well, I'm a renewed fan of coach.

back to TT, yes we love you to death as well......give it up for DEFENSE and passing.

Kye Clark 11 years, 2 months ago

KU - I would agree that our perimeter defense is lacking, but also agree with truhawk. We may never see another group of perimeter defenders like Russ Rob, Mario, & B. Rush. Tyshawn shows flashes of being a great defender, hopefully he'll be more consistent come tourney time. Brady's back and he's solid. He won't give you the steals and isn't as pesky as the '08 group, but he sticks on his man like a leach. X is improving. Sherron is above average. As I pointed out in a different posts, HCBS's teams really gel and make huge strides during the break between semesters. I'm sure perimeter defense will be a point of emphasis.

waywardJay 11 years, 2 months ago

I think you miss the point Bob Knight was getting at.... When he was comparing the two... it was rigth after Marcus Morris saved us from a turnover..... the pass was going out of bounds and Marcus caught it one handed and scored... to make a turnover an assist.... it was an incredible catch.... think back a year and that ball bounces of his hand shis knee and out of bounds... in a tight game.....

Comparing them out side of the scenario is ridiculous.... but in the context of the play... it was very much like a shortstop scooping the ball up and throwing to second for a force out

Personally... I found Bob Knight to be enjoyable to listen to... he was very falttering of our 'Hawks.... and even cracked a few jokes here and there... which when he was coaching i thought was impossible.... For as much as he hates the media, He's certainly getting better at acting like the media.

waywardJay 11 years, 2 months ago

i foudn the play in question... the derek jeter play....

espn 360 has the replay available....

Roughly 5:23 remaining in the second half..... taylor throws the pass from the wing down low to marcus.... the throw is about 2 feet wide right..... Scooped the ball took two steps and went up strong to the hoop..... it was an athletic play that frankly... last year would have went off his hands and out of bounds... Instead... it sparked the crowd and helped clinch the game for us.....

The play it's compared to is the "flip play" from the 2001 ALDS..... a throw that was thrown about 5 feet wide from furtther away.... and flipped quickly to Posada for a tag out......

I think it's INCREDIBLY accurate....

KU 11 years, 2 months ago

icthawk and truhawk......I thought about this some more last night while I watched MU beat down Illinois. I'm not going to buy the idea that KU will never have defenders as capable as Mario and Russ. Why?

Because defense is more about DESIRE and ATTITUDE and HUSSLE than it is about pure athleticism. Anybody can play good defense. Great athletes like KU attracts can play GREAT defense.....if they want to.

Look at MU's guards--a couple of them are from KC but KU wouldn't even look at them in recruiting. Yet, they play defense with passion 100% of their possessions. MU's perimeter defense puts KU's to shame. K-State's the same way. They have the desire to play great defense. Frankly, I'm impressed by both MU and KSU and their coach's ability to get them to buy in to playing great defense.

So if you're willing to accept mediocre perimeter defense because Russ and Mario were just so good nobody can ever match them, I invite you to rethink your position. I expect more effort from anybody that puts on the crimson and blue.

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