Saturday, December 18, 2010

Taylor to face best friend

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor claps with excitement following the Jayhawks' 87-79 victory against Arizona, Saturday, Nov. 27, at the Orleans Arena.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor claps with excitement following the Jayhawks' 87-79 victory against Arizona, Saturday, Nov. 27, at the Orleans Arena.


Through all the adversity he’s faced at Kansas University, junior guard Tyshawn Taylor always had someone helping him through: best friend and current USC guard Jio Fontan.

Self says USC defense will be toughest yet

Kansas head coach Bill Self said KU will face the toughest defense they have seen this year when they Jayhawks take on USC on Saturday.

“I was talking to him, texting him, everything,” Taylor said. “He knows all my situations, all the trouble I’ve been in, all the good things I’ve done. He’s been there. That’s my man.”

The two guards became best friends as teammates at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J.

Because of their similarities, Taylor said it was almost impossible for the two not to become attached. Not only were both of the players close to their families, they shared the same taste in clothing and also girls.

“We’re kind of like the same person a little bit,” Taylor said. “We’ve been through a lot of the same stuff.”

The two guards also bonded in an unusual place: on the bench at St. Anthony basketball games.

“We weren’t playing too much our sophomore years, so we were like, ‘Yo, we’re better than these guys. Why is (coach Bob Hurley) not playing us?’” Taylor said with a grin. “So we related in that way.”

Later, at his high school graduation, Taylor spent an emotional moment with Fontan. The two — along with a few other teammates — huddled together and broke down, realizing that they were about to go their separate ways.

“It was crazy, because I spent every day with him. Every day. Out of school, in school, we were together all the time,” Taylor said. “ ... That (moment) was cool, man. That’s when I realized, ‘This is my man. He’s my homie.’”

Fontan, a 6-foot guard from Paterson, N.J., will be playing his first game for USC today after transferring from Fordham.

USC coach Kevin O’Neill said this week that if Fontan had been eligible the whole year, his team would be 9-1 or 8-2 instead of 6-4.

“He’s our best player, our best leader, our best scorer, our best defender, our best passer ... our best player,” O’Neill said. “We’ll all expect too much of him. But the players have tremendous confidence in him, and he’s going to be a real difference on our basketball team.”

Taylor said he’s been talking all week with Fontan. The USC guard has been asking Taylor if he’s ready for him. Meanwhile, Taylor has joked with Fontan that Fontan is rusty after sitting out for a year.

“He doesn’t think I can play the point guard,” Taylor said, “so we’re about to show him.”

Taylor also wants to show off KU to his longtime buddy.

“We come from a historic basketball program in high school, so he’s big on basketball history. He’s excited to come here and see all the stuff,” Taylor said. “And I always hype Kansas up to him. He just wants to see for himself.”


ParisHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

So many expected so much improvement from the Twins, TRob, EJ, Travis, Mario... I suggest Taylor's solid play has been the most unexpected good news so far.

If Selby and he mesh as well as he thinks, we are going to see some fireworks on offense! Making each other better on defense will take a lot longer.

Dr_Roach 11 years, 1 month ago

It's not unexpected. If he were playing just average or poorly all you haters would be posting about how much improvement he should have made over the summer. The Dr. is in the house and I'm not letting you negative blow-hards take a free pass anymore.

KU-85 USC-67

ParisHawk 11 years, 1 month ago

Geez, I meant that as a compliment. Your reaction was most "unexpected".

Michael Bratisax 11 years, 1 month ago

Sounded like a compliment to me...and all those players did improve.

Dr_Roach 11 years, 1 month ago

As you can see, Dr Roach is on the scene. NOW HEAR THIS- All negative posters WILL be taken to task! These are our beloved Jay Hawks and each and everyone of them deserve and command the utmost respect from those of us that are blessed to witness the shock and awe that is heaved upon there opponents routinely.

So don't start jack'n your jaw or it will be you that receives the shock and awe, Roach style.

Kent Wells 11 years, 1 month ago

Jay Hawks? Thanks Dr. but I think it should remain Jayhawks!

lincase 11 years, 1 month ago

Also, it would be "you are" or "you're." lol

Dr_Roach 11 years, 1 month ago

Are you really laughing out loud....simple minds.

pixiejunkie 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm feeeeelin' the Doctor. I agree... way too much negativity on these boards. I'm a lifelong Jayhawk fan, and certainly have my moments of frustration, disappointment, etc with our 'Hawks from time to time.... but these are kids, playing a sport – and nothing is ever "perfect". Let's support them, and do it with constructive comments....... or the Doctor will be ON you! :)

Go 'Hawks!

Today is a specially exciting day for me, now that I have made Baltimore my home for the past couple years...... big day for local boy, JS! Make B'more proud, man!!

yates33333 11 years, 1 month ago

I doubt Fontan thinks that TT can't play point guard, but if he does, boy is he in for a surprise.

Dr_Roach 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm thinking many of us will be surprised by what JS brings to the table defensively...he is ultra quick and understands "angles" very well. Also, he has muscled up to 200 pounds, I don't think he'll be getting knocked off the ball easily.

waywardJay 11 years, 1 month ago

Hey Doc, just watched Delayed feed of the game, and he struggled a bit on defense.... i can see him becoming a great defensive player though, i think he wants to make too many big plays.....

The NBA lockout would be outstanding for him ( and Us by proxy ), his arms will muscular are not very toned, and it seems like he's stilla bit off defensively, but one cannot argue he's got clutchable to spare and he's quite the showstopper out there. IN about 5 games, we're going to be scary good.

kubsdrvr 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm excited for the game today. I've seen the highlight reels from JS's High School days, I know we can't expect 20 ppg, but I know he'll have some killer plays. I'm really interested to see how he is on defense. Those things don't show up on highlight reels. ROCK CHALK!

Dr_Roach 11 years, 1 month ago

I'm with you, he'll add excitement for sure.

Dr_Roach 11 years, 1 month ago

K, almost game-time. Let's keep it real and let's keep it positive. You won't want to deal with the wrath of the roach. As for those of you who must hate, I will be performing free rectum examination's. No lube required.

Geekinout 11 years, 1 month ago

The Street Stops Here just might be the best basketball documentary film ever!

Michael Pannacciulli 11 years, 1 month ago

as a jersey guy, it was awesome to see two jersey guys, and buds, go head to head. even if TT had a somewhat quiet day.

jamsim3 11 years, 1 month ago

Truth is TyShawn should have sat on the bench for all the turnovers he had in this game. I would love to know why EJ is not playing more especially after the quality time he has put in the last three games. Hopefully the next three cupcake games the Jhawks play will give Coach Self some insight for a winning formula because today certainly was not a very shining example of good point guard play.

waywardJay 11 years, 1 month ago

Ehh I'm not worried about tyshawns 1:6 Assist to turnover on todays game.... we brought in anothe rplayer who plays almost the same game as tyshawn and ty's getting whistled for charges in the lane ( one would think he woudl start getting the benefit of the doubt on the block/charge ) as he is a junior now.... Oh well... with selby and Ty putitng 10 turnovers up... the rest of the team played very balanced and error free....

We left ALOT of points on the floor tonight. In two weeks, those points will be in the basket.

jamsim3 11 years, 1 month ago

You are right waywardJay and I'm curious where you think EJ will wind up when the dust settles on the rotation. I have been advocating for years the greatest asset KU has is a better team from 1-10 and I don't understand why coach Self reduces his rotation to 6 or 7 in big games. It seems to me KU could wear other teams into the ground with a ten man rotation. Shed some light for me why don't ya.

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