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Originally published May 27, 2009 at 01:52p.m., updated May 28, 2009 at 12:00a.m.

Taylor selected for USA tryouts

Motivated Jayhawks guard relishes unique opportunity

KU's Tyshawn Taylor blows by Texas defender Texas Connor Atchley in the second half of Kansas' 83-73 victory on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU's Tyshawn Taylor blows by Texas defender Texas Connor Atchley in the second half of Kansas' 83-73 victory on Saturday, March 7, 2009 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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Taylor selected for USA tryouts

The Kansas men's basketball team will have a representative at the 2009 USA Under 19 National team trials.

Tyshawn Taylor has come a long way since his senior year at St. Anthony High School, when the New Jersey native was regarded as the No. 77-ranked prospect in the basketball recruiting Class of 2008.

“This shows hard work does pay off,” Taylor, KU’s 6-foot-3 sophomore point guard/shooting guard said Wednesday after he and 16 other college players were selected to attend the 2009 USA Under 19 National Team Trials June 16-18 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

In all, 17 players will compete for 12 roster spots on the USA Under 19 world championship team.

“It shows how much I’ve improved. Instead of me talking about it, this shows it,” added Taylor, who will be reunited with former St. Anthony teammate Dominic Cheek at the trials.

“It’ll be fun, like old times,” Taylor said. “Cheek is one of my favorites to play with. I wanted him to come to Kansas to get to play with him. I hope we both make it.”

Cheek, the No. 30-rated player in the Class of 2009, is headed to Villanova.

At the trials, Taylor and Cheek will be joined by Kemba Walker, UConn; Al-Farouq Aminu, Wake Forest; Drew Gordon, UCLA; Kenny Boynton, Florida; Darryl Bryant, West Virginia; DeAngelo Casto, Washington State; Seth Curry, Duke; Gordon Hayward, Butler; Darius Miller, Kentucky; Arnett Moultrie, UTEP; Ralph Sampson III, Minnesota; John Shurna, Northwestern; Howard Thompkins, Georgia; Klay Thompson, Washington State and Terrico White, Mississippi.

“There’s a lot of great players on that list. It’s an honor to be included,” said Taylor in a phone interview from Jersey. “I’m excited to get to try out, but now I’ve got to make the team. Coach (Bill) Self told me it’s not a cakewalk. Just because I’m invited doesn’t mean I’m on it. I’ve got to work really hard to make the team.”

In an attempt to do that — and improve on his 9.7 point, 3.0 assist average of a year ago — Taylor has been working out daily this offseason.

He reports he’s up to a solid 182 pounds, compared to 174 his frosh season.

“I hit the weight room and get a lot of shots up every day,” Taylor said, adding that he’s happy to be home, “chillin’ and enjoying family and friends.

“I’m working on being a point guard and distributor, being a true point guard more. Playing for the USA will help if I’m at the point. I played it a little last year. We’ve got a lot of talented players on our (KU) roster. I’ve got to play well if I want to contribute to the team.”

Self is convinced the USA Basketball opportunity will benefit Taylor.

“This is great for Tyshawn,” Self said Wednesday. “He had a terrific freshman year and this opportunity to play against the nation’s best will enhance his preparation for next year.

“I have no idea,” Self added, asked if he thought Taylor would make the squad. “He’ll have to play. It’ll be tough. I hope so.”

Taylor does too. He calls the invitation his biggest accomplishment in his hoops career.

“Until we get a national championship,” he said.

Training camp for the selected finalists will begin June 19, with the 12-member USA roster being announced before the team’s departure for New Zealand on June 25. The Under 19 World Championships begin on July 2. Sixteen countries will battle for the 2009 FIBA U19 World Championship for Men title July 2-12 in New Zealand.

Pittsburgh’s Jamie Dixon will serve as head coach of the team. Chris Lowery of Southern Illinois and Matt Painter of Purdue will serve as assistant coaches.

Comments

mariofan11 10 years, 8 months ago

He should have zero trouble making one of the spots!

Dirk Medema 10 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations Tyshawn.

Work hard, represent well, and learn lots. This is a great opp to take your game to the next level and be that much more of an integral part of next year's championship.

Rock Chalk

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 8 months ago

How do they make their invitations for these teams? I'm curious why Tyshawn is the only Big 12 player on the invite list. I understand that the pool is pretty shallow in the Big 12 when you're looking for 19 and under players. I assume that players either apply for these teams and then the finalists are invited to trials, or something similar to that. Usually these teams have multiple players invited from the Big 12.

Martin Rosenblum 10 years, 8 months ago

Sorry, nothing to do with this story...

Since this is the only hoops story active - Breaking News regarding the U of M bsketball program. Seems as though Memphis may have to forfeit all of their regular season wins as well as the post season wins including the championship game for the 07-08 season. Early info suggests some issues with Derrick Rose's qualifications for student status in the only year that he was enrolled at UofM. This is only the tip of the iceberg with the NCAA revealing some sort of report regarding other violations, etc.

More to follow, I'm sure!

Congrats Tyshawn!

Chris Shaw 10 years, 8 months ago

"He should have zero trouble making one of the spots!"

That's what we all said about Sherron and Mario Chalmers making this team a few years back. Both were sent packing, but a "Chip" was placed on the shoulders and a National Championship was the result. I wouldn't mind if the same scenario happened. Good things happen when you become "Hungry".

overseashawk 10 years, 8 months ago

I agree about he big 12 thing. I would imagine Willie Warren would be a shoe in for this team. Perhaps he's older than 19.

Michael Mulvihill 10 years, 8 months ago

What about Willie Warren you would think he would have been a lock for this. just more east coast bias.

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

memhawk

Interesting...I'll wait for more confirmation but it would be no surprise...er...didn't Memphis lose the last game of the 2007-2008 season?? Just wondering.

kerbyd 10 years, 8 months ago

You would think Warren would have been asked to try out for the World University Games if he was too old for the U-19.

rockchalk80 10 years, 8 months ago

He had a terrific freshmen season, but I think we will see some great strides from this young man---He is a great kid, and a great story in the making. Congrats to TT!

Jonathan Andrews 10 years, 8 months ago

First of all, YES, Willie Warren is 19. He turns 20 on October 22nd this year. So he is not eligible for this team. Although, I wonder if Terrico White will be deemed ineligible as well, as he just turned 19 in March. Maybe it has to do with the calendar year or something, all 1990 or before born players, as they do around the world...

As for the final cut, I predict the roster will look like this:

Walker, Boynton, Hayward, Aminu, Sampson Curry, Taylor, Cheek, Gordon, Moultrie Thompson, Casto

(Bryant, Miller, Shurna and White cut)

Congratulations to Tyshawn, and best of luck this summer! Rock Chalk!

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

More coming out on Coach Cal and Memphis......looks like Memphis is screwed and "Sleaza'mari' as he is now being called by the Memphis faithful will slip out unscathed...at least from this.

Read the article in yahoo sports...it is so great to have a clean program with a stellar tradition and an honorable coach at KU!!!

Best of luck to TT...anyone hear about when the Bob Hurley movie with Tyshawn and Cheeks about St. Anthony's is coming out????

jaybate 10 years, 8 months ago

Looks like KU's points allowed in the NCAA championship vs. Memphistopheles just fell to zero! Self defense is really sticky!!!

And now do we know why the Henry brothers came to KU?

I just hope CJ doesn't get swept up in the dirt.

Brian House 10 years, 8 months ago

Don't get me wrong, I am bathing in excitement that Memphis is feeling the heat of the Calipari fire that is producing the smoke we have all seen for years...but isn't this Rose situation very reminiscent of DA and his grade changing scandal at South Oak Cliff?

Tony Bandle 10 years, 8 months ago

casa91Hawk

Those exact sentiiments were mentioned more than once in the responses to the article on yahoo sports. The gist of these responses seemed to be that because Coach Self is squeeky clean, KU can get away with murder and, conversely, because Coach Cal is suspicious, so he is automatically presumed guilty until proven innocent

WHAT A CROCK!!!!!!

Lance Hobson 10 years, 8 months ago

Great job! This is an excellent opportunity to get better in the off-season. I'm sure he'll make the team, this kid can flat out play.

cklarock 10 years, 8 months ago

@casa91Hawk: If DA had grades falsified during high school, it doesn't reflect on KU. DA was cleared by the NCAA as eligible when he played for us. If that wasn't true, that was on his high school, not us.

As I understand the Cal/Memphis thing, they helped him cheat on some college entrance exams, presumably under the direction of members of the Memphis Athletic Dept.

chicagoeddie 10 years, 7 months ago

food for thought....

what if we lost to memphis in 2008 for the national championship... if implicated and charged that means we would get the championship title as a result?

yovoy 10 years, 7 months ago

after reading the list, i believe that tt belongs among those listed. initially i didn't really think that. i've been extremely critical of that kid. i don't remember being as critical of any ku player for a long time (maybe back to chenowith). after reading that he avged. almost 10 and 3 i changed my mind. on a team where a guard like sherron is taking soooo many shots, or we are trying so hard to feed the post, numbers like that are surprising, and a little bit impressive for a frosh.

maybe i was so hard on him because i expected great things. i DO think that my expectations clouded my ability to see the great things that he really did, in what has to be a tough situation.

congrats to tt, and may his work keep paying dividends for him and for the team.

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