Friday, September 17, 2010

Growing pains: KU’s Tyshawn Taylor learns from mistakes

Kansas university guard Tyshawn Taylor poses with a basketball. Taylor has been learning from mistakes made a year ago during the 2009-2010 season.

Kansas university guard Tyshawn Taylor poses with a basketball. Taylor has been learning from mistakes made a year ago during the 2009-2010 season.


Talkative Tyshawn Taylor — who likes to express himself through both the spoken and written word — had a heart-to-heart conversation with Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self in early August.

In an informal meeting, Taylor, KU’s junior combo guard from Hoboken, N.J., asked his boss to remove the muzzle — to unzip his lips — by giving him the freedom to re-open his controversial Facebook webpage.

“I hit him up one day. I was like, ‘You know coach, I feel like it’s been a while since I had any,’’’ Taylor said, referring to Facebook privileges.

They were stripped by Self last January after Taylor implied on the social media Internet site that he might leave KU over frustration about his role on the 2009-10 team.

“I told coach it’s a way to keep up with my friends back home, people I can’t talk to on a regular basis. I told him, ‘I feel I learned my lesson. You can monitor it or do whatever, but I feel I should be able to get it.’

“He said, ‘You know what? I think you are right,’’’ Taylor said. “He gave it back to me right then.”

Taylor, who previously caused problems by posting controversial rap lyrics and inflammatory comments following skirmishes between KU’s football and basketball players last Sept. 22 and 23, says there’s no way he’ll stir things up on Facebook or Twitter again.

“It’s something I’ve always been doing. I listen to music, and if I hear something, I throw stuff on there ... instantly,” Taylor said of lyrics. “Now I think about it. Sometimes I even change words around.


Blue team guard Tyshawn Taylor lofts a pass over red team guard Jordan Juenemann during the alumni scrimmage Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at the Horejsi Center.

“I know I can’t do it. There’s no point in me even thinking about doing it. If I do think about it (posting potentially explosive stuff), I’m thinking, ‘Oh no. You can’t do this,’’’ Taylor added emphatically.

Living and learning

Now an upperclassman, Taylor said he’s learned to police himself.

“I make mistakes, but I learn from my mistakes and try to not make the same mistake twice,” said Taylor, who, through his actions — a productive (and quiet) offseason in the weight room and on the practice court — has re-gained his coach’s confidence.

“I mean, I am not giving him any reason not to trust me,” Taylor said. “I think trust is earned. Once somebody trusts you and then they feel they can’t, you have to earn it back. I’m trying to do everything to get him to trust me, because I know that’s a big part of me being a point guard on this team.

“I can’t be a point guard if coach doesn’t trust me.”

This is about the time last year when things started to sour for Taylor, who had a promising freshman season. He suffered a dislocation of his left thumb fighting the football team outside the Burge Union.

“I am not fighting anybody. I can tell you that. No fighting for me (again), man,” Taylor exclaimed nearly a year to the day from last year’s scuffle. “That was just a bad situation that kept getting worse and worse. It was a couple guys that had a misunderstanding. It was nothing about not liking the football team. The football team has a lot of guys on it. I don’t see half of them.

“I support our football team. I go to the games and cheer for our football team to win every game. It’s cool (now). It never really was a problem before.”

2009-10 full of frustration

Before burying all mention of last year — and looking ahead to his fresh-start junior campaign — Taylor was willing to re-live the frustration of losing his starting spot in the lineup twice in 2009-10.

“It sucks not starting. I love starting, especially when you get used to it, when you get comfortable,” said Taylor, who started 25 of 36 games, averaging 7.2 points off 43.8 percent shooting with 121 assists against 61 turnovers.

“I think that’s why coach did it (demoted him). I think he felt I got comfortable. It definitely lit a fire under my butt,” added Taylor, who was replaced the first time by Elijah Johnson during a two-game stretch in early December and second time by Brady Morningstar before the Jan. 20 Baylor game. He returned as a starter versus Oklahoma on Feb. 22 and started the rest of the way.

“I had an up and down year. I just want to be consistent,” Taylor said. “If I start starting, I want to finish starting. That’s part of being consistent. I think if I get better, I think there’s no reason I shouldn’t be starting.”

In an attempt to “get better,” Taylor has been working on various aspects of his game, like ...

• His strength and conditioning.

“Tyshawn Taylor ... he worked hard this summer,” KU strength coach Andrea Hudy said of Taylor, who is listed 6-foot-3, 185, same measurements as last season.

“I feel like no matter what I do, my weight will be in the same area,” Taylor noted. “I got on the scale this morning and I was 177. It’s where I usually am, in the area between 175 and 180. I want to get to the point when I am running so much and sweating so much that I’m able to play at 180 — be 180 solid.

“I definitely am the smallest on the team. Me and Brady were neck and neck and then I guess Brady started eating a lot,” he joked of 6-4, 185-pound Morningstar.

• His outside shot.

“I think it’s obvious I’ve got to become more of a consistent jump shooter, outside shooter and more of a threat from that position,” Taylor said. “I focused all summer on shooting jump shots off the dribble, coming off left two dribbles, coming off right two dribbles, one dribble pull-up.

“It (shot) looks pretty good in pick-up. It looks better. It feels better. I feel better about it. I think confidence is a big thing with your shot.”

Impressing his peers

Taylor’s teammates have noticed the improvement.

“It goes in more,” senior guard Morningstar said of Taylor’s jumper. “Not to be funny ... he is making more shots off the screen, more three-pointers. I think it adds to his game, obviously when they have to guard his outside shot. The best thing he does is get in the lane and lay up a floater.”

“He’s gotten a lot better shooting the ball and having more confidence,” junior forward Markieff Morris stated.

The two are expecting a lot from Taylor this season, which opens with the Oct. 15 Late Night in the Phog.

“A ton of energy when he’s on the court, to just play hard, go have fun,” Morningstar said. “He’s a type of player the crowd loves to watch because he’s so athletic and can do this and that.”

Noted Morris: “I think he’s matured a lot and will continue to take on the role of being leader on the team. That’s the main thing we need him to do.”

As far as the man whose opinion counts the most, Self has let bygones be bygones. He joked about Taylor’s past troubles, introducing him publicly at last spring’s postseason banquet as “Tyshawn Facebook Taylor.”

Sky is limit

Self expects Taylor to continue to play like the guard who, according to scouts, more than held his own against the likes of Duke’s Nolan Smith, Villanova’s Maalik Wayns, UCLA’s Malcolm Lee and Xavier’s Terrell Holloway, at this past summer’s Adidas Nations Experience in Chicago.

“When Ty is playing well, he gives us a little more oomph,’’’ Self said. “He’s a guy on our team who can go make a play by beating a guy off the bounce. He gets to the line by attacking the rim.

“I think his ceiling is still very high, and he has a couple steps before he gets to that ceiling. Hopefully he’ll play at that high level the rest of the way.”

Of course, it’ll help if there are no more off-the-court distractions.

“I see him as a great guy,” Markieff Morris said. “It was a tough year for him last year, which was immaturity. He was just not being mature, not knowing what was right, what was wrong at the time. That was the main reason he struggled. He’s matured a whole lot.”

“I love him as a person. I wouldn’t trade anything about him,” Morningstar said. “He’s an East coast guy, talks loud. I’ve got to tell him to be quiet sometimes. I guess that’s how they are,” Morningstar cracked.

Accepting the heat

Taylor — he has played for tough taskmasters in Bob Hurley at St. Anthony High School in Jersey City and Self at KU — said he’s more than willing to take the criticism that’s been dished his way by KU’s coaches and fans.

“I’m sure people get the wrong idea about me sometimes. I’m not going to sit here and try to clear that up,” Taylor said. “I think people who know me know what type of person I am and know who I am.

“I think I’m a good dude. I think I smile a lot. I think I’m funny. I am just a nice guy. I’m just a kid, too. I think all the KU fans support me. I think some fans out there are rough. I think it’s that way for any fans. I love all the Tyshawn Taylor fans,” he added with a laugh.

For the record concerning the Facebook flap, Taylor said even in his most troubled times, he never seriously considered leaving KU and its legion of fans.

“I got upset at times, and I was like, ‘Man I can’t do this,’’’ Taylor said. “Then when I’d sit down and think about it, I’d say, ‘What’s better than this? What am I gonna do, sit out a year and go to a lesser division school not as good?’ Why would that even be a thought? Sometimes you get frustrated and feel things are so overwhelming you can’t handle it any more. At times I felt like that last year.

“It was a rough up-and-down year for me. I never took any action. I never talked to any other coaches. I never even told anybody besides maybe my mother, ‘I can’t do this any more.’ I never put a plan aside, ‘I’m going to do this if this happens.’ I’d be wasting a year to go to not as good a school. It doesn’t get any better than this right here.”

While he acknowledges that a big year might make him think about leaving for the NBA after three seasons — “when you are in college and are at this level, the NBA of course is your dream. You think about it a lot. Who doesn’t?” he said — his major goal involves producing for this year’s KU team.

“I just want to be consistent and win, man,” Taylor said. “Winning is so much fun. I think we’re really going to have a great team this year.”


theboehr89 9 years, 5 months ago

good article, glad to see tyshawn is doing well

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 5 months ago

After TT got his FB priviliges back he was moaning the fact his live life wasn't what he wanted. If he truly wants to be mature about all this stuff then he needs to knock that nonsense off. I love to hear him TT and aticulate what he believes. He needs to continue to mature and grow.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 5 months ago

Great article! I was hoping this article would wait a until after Oct. 15th, but definitely worthy nonetheless. Everybody knows TT's history so no reason bringing it back up. I am most excited to see his maturation and growth as a player on the court. TT definitely has the qualities to take the next step because he exhibited this while at St. Anthony's.

I've always liked TT, but his antics have always baffled me. I have some former KU players in mind that have taken negative negative heat, but TT's role reversal from Freshman to Sophomore year was quite surprising. I am truly hoping hawk fans will give TT benefit of the doubt and let him change that image.

If Selby can get cleared to play ball, I think Selby will be the best thing to happen to not only TT, but E. Johnson as well. I think Selby could be that guy like TT had at St. Anthony in Mike Rosario. Let the spotlight shine on someone else and receive all the accolades in return and ride off into the sunset as a first round NBA draft pick.

Anybody else remember any controversial players over the years that just couldn't shake the negativity of the fans?

Eric Chenowith

Jeff Graves

Ben Davis

dylans 9 years, 5 months ago

Jeff Graves was well received. And a teddy bear off of the court.

Jaminrawk 9 years, 5 months ago

I was in school when David Padget was a freshman at KU. I honestly think it was the only situation where I felt for one of those guys. The students were BRUTAL on him in the University Daily Kansan's "call- in" section. In retrospect I look back at an 18 year old kid who originally wanted to play for Roy Williams that probably unfairly became the whipping boy of a fanbase still stinging from Roy's departure.

DallasHawk 9 years, 5 months ago

Couldn't agree more. I was there the same time. It also didn't hurt that he had a striking resemblance to Chenowith.

b_asinbeer 9 years, 5 months ago

Jeff Graves was pretty solid. He had some problems, but I don't think he was in the same class as the other two you posted.

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 5 months ago

Bumped in to Eric Chenowith before the UCLA game last year. Very nice guy and was very open and cordial to the fans who wanted pics with him. He even had a corny reply to my "Nice to meet you Mr. Chenowith" . "My Dad is Mr. Chenowith , I'm Eric". Nice guy.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 5 months ago

"Let the spotlight shine on someone else and receive all the accolades in return and ride off into the sunset as a first round NBA draft pick. "

Wasn't this the case last year? The spotlight was always on Collins, Cole, & X for the positive attention. TT's ego needed fed so bad that he had to get whatever attention he could, even if it was bad. The "I don't know my role" fiasco was proof of that.

I think the best thing for TT would be some focus factor X

He reminds me of a high schooler with his incessant whining about starting. We don't hear that crap from Reed & Morningstar....because they understand a team is made up of certain roles and they care about winning and.......winning. That's it, they don't care who comes off of the bench and who starts.

I hate to use Jbates line...but there is no malice here, just a thought!

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 5 months ago

Good article---it is a matter of "trust" with TT. Of course, if he goes back to his antics, I would imagine the consequences would be severe.

Not to change the subject-------I saw in "Lindy's" that Kansas State was ranked preseason fourth in the Nation. Are they really going to be that good? The magazine went on to say that the Wildcats were simply the best in the Big 12 this year. Any thoughts?

Chris Shaw 9 years, 5 months ago

I miss Lindy's magazine. At least the regional ones with Big 12 teams on them. I think KSU should be where they are. Right now, KSU has earned the right to be preseason Top 5 and the # 1 team preseason in the Big 12. They have a ton of talent coming back, only losing Clemente and they have some added depth with their new recruiting class.

With all that said, the Big 12 crown will still go through KU IMO, but KSU is going to have every opportunity to try and dethrone KU from the top spot. Talent vs Talent it's about the same, but KSU at the moment has the experience factor going for them. Hopefully, by January and Feb that won't be a factor.

I haven't seen the Lindy's magazine of the rankings, but these would be my preseason rankings.

1) KSU 2) Kansas 3) Baylor 4) Texas 5) A&M 6) Missouri 7) Okie State 8) Colorado 9) Nebraska 10) T. Tech 11) Iowa State 12) OU

Chris Shaw 9 years, 5 months ago

Sorry, they lost Luis Colon as well, but he only averaged just 15 minutes a game as a starter. Wally Judge and Jordan Henriguez-Roberts will make up the slack.

I did forget about Dominique Sutton transferring. That was a huge shocker. He was KSU's best defender and better athletes on the squad. Not exactly sure why he ended up leaving? Anybody got any scoop?

David Hodges 9 years, 5 months ago

Last i heard on Sutton was that he has two small kids in North Carolina and transfered to be closer to them. As a side note the lose of Clemente is going to play a huge roll on KSU, without him their offense gets MUCH slower. Losing a seinor leader and your best defender does'nt help either. Pullen is nice but I'm not sure he's good enough consistently to see them as #4 in the nation or #1 in the Big 12 Guess we'll see in a little over a month.

Andrew Moore 9 years, 5 months ago

They will be overrated based on last seasons success. They're team has changed a lot since then. No Luis Colon, Denis Clemente, or Dominique Sutton. All three were starters. I think Rodney McGruder steps in for Clemente and Wally Judge steps in for Colon (he did at times last season anyway). I think they're entire team chemistry will be different. Pullen won't be as prolific at the point. He made so many 3s coming around screens and zig zagging off the ball.

Kansas is still stacked. I love this team we have. I love the twins and selby. I love the redshirts we have coming back. I love the dynamics of having guys that can beat guys on the bounce and having dead-eye shooters as well. Not to mention a potential 7 footer coming off the bench.

Lots to be excited about!

My preseason:

1.Kansas - Great team coming back! 2. Baylor - LaceDarius Dunn is a machine 3. KSU - Riding on the backs of Pullen and Judge 4. Texas - Bounce back? Could be better than this by seasons end 5. Texas A&M - Always a solid squad. Good team chemistry 6. Mizzou - More experience in the system returning. No top recruit though... 7. Colorado - Burks and Higgins (he's still there right?) 8. OSU - I don't have much faith in Travis Ford (or any at all) 9. Texas Tech - Same old 10. Iowa State - New coach, new team, growing pains 11. Nebraska - they suck 12. Oklahoma- they really suck

hawksince51 9 years, 5 months ago

Regarding CU, yes Higgins is back for his senior year and he and Burks are a great pair of guards. As usual they don't have much up front unless the freshman 7-footer is a surprise.

Dan Pawlowski 9 years, 5 months ago

Preseason rankings are fun and it gets me juiced up for the season but I don't take them too seriously. I do like the articles on the new players. But you never know how a team gels and handles adversity until the season, and even then not until they start playing solid competition.

tophersdad 9 years, 5 months ago

TT has a lot more than maturity to accomplish for KU to get where it wants to go. Nobody talks about this. But, watch the play in the Northern Iowa game when the kid hit the killer three. Reed had to guard two guys on that break out. The guy who shot the three? That was TT's man. TT left him to wander off after the ball in the back court.

This guy loses his train of thought CONSTANTLY, especially on D. The more pressure... the more he gets lost. I have literally stopped games on DVR and watched his head swivel 360 while trying to find his man. Once, my eight year old screamed at the TV "he is right behind you!!"

TT is an exceptional talent. But, I think he is more focused when he comes off the bench. I seriously hope that Elijah Johnson has improved to the point that he can take those pressure minutes away from TT. It will incent TT to focus more. And our team will be better for it.

Theutus 9 years, 5 months ago

This is exactly how I feel. Taylors off the court stuff is just him growing up.... I wasn't happy about it, but hey he's a kid growing up in the spotlight....

My concerns lie on the court, in his ability to handle pressure situations. To me, his weakness has always been in his head. He has all the athletic ability, but can't seem to keep focused and remain consistent... If he does that he'll be great.

I hope he succeeds... I also hope EJ gets significant minutes because I think he's going to shock a lot of people with just how much he can contribute.

Joe Baker 9 years, 5 months ago

I totally agree Theutus and am totally sold on EJ. I hope you're right and he sees significant mins. We could use him. Dang- TT, EJ and Selby? Crap!

Ever since EJ waived the KU jersey on the court in front of a bunch of uk fans, he won my trust and complete admiration as a player.

RockChalk26 9 years, 5 months ago

Yes yes yes! I am a front runner in the campaign for a louder EJ.

Brian Powell 9 years, 5 months ago

I was on the EJ wagon last year too -- it just didn't go anywhere :P Hope he gets to shine some this season... kid's got it, I know it.

honk_for_hawks 9 years, 5 months ago

You can not seriously blame tyshawn for that shot. Self wanted to pressure the ball. Tyshawn was within about 6 inches of stealing the inbounds pass. Tyrel was covering Farokmanesh in the frontcourt but backed off to guard the layup from the other UNI player (even though one of the twins was there). They broke the press and the defense was guarding the layup/short shots. That is what you are taught to do because lets face it, 99.9% of people aren't going to take that shot in a close game with NO REBOUNDERS under the basket. That was horrible shot selection by Farokmanesh and he got lucky getting away with it.

tophersdad 9 years, 5 months ago

I went back to watch the play, again... just to be sure. TT left his man to go for the steal. And he DID almost steal the ball... But his man was left wide open. and he left TReed to guard two men.

I agree that it was stupid for AF to even take that shot. But you are missing the point. TT is a loose cannon. You cannot count on him to keep his cool under pressure. His man took that shot, that is the fact....

Sam Constance 9 years, 5 months ago

Yes, Taylor has had his share of issues, and big ones. He certainly had a lot of maturing to do in the offseason. And there is absolutely no excuse for his actions in instigating the altercation between the basketball and football teams.

That being said, you are dead wrong on blaming Taylor for that last play. He did exactly what the staff was coaching him to do--be aggressive on defense and force the kids from UNI to make a play.

Think about it without the benefit of hindsight. If he goes for the steal and makes it, KU gets the last shot down by only one. Game: Kansas.

If he goes for the steal and doesn't make it, the chance that a kid is going to take a deep three when his team is leading and only 30 seconds or so left to play is extremely small. In the case of that kid being foolish enough to take the shot, he's still got less than 50% odds of making the shot.

I'm not inside Self's head, but I imagine his thought process was something like this:

1) We are having success pressuring the ball and forcing turnovers.

2) If we do over-pressure going for a steal and miss, the most likely "worst case" scenario is that the UNI player takes advantage of the numbers and takes the ball inside for a near guaranteed layup or foul shots, putting us down by 3 with the final shot.

There is no way anyone could have planned for Farokhmanesh taking that shot because it was a stupid, ill-advised shot. Granted, no one really cares how foolish it was, since it went in and UNI went on to win the game. It doesn't change the fact that it was a shot that shouldn't have been taken. Just thinking about all the praise he got for essentially making a bad decision makes me mad all over again.

It was one thing to make a buzzer-beater three to win against UNLV in the first round. It's another entirely to take a huge risk with your team's lead.

Sometimes stupidity and ego are rewarded.

KU_FanSince75 9 years, 5 months ago

@kushaw----thanks for your input. I enjoy reading your posts, as always! I agree with your Big 12 preseason rankings. Enjoy the game tonight!

tis4tim 9 years, 5 months ago

They don't call it a sophomore slump for nothing. Based only on this article, it really seems like TT has his head a lot closer to his shoulders and further away from his posterior. I cannot wait to see how he performs on the court this season.

Recently, I read an article about some of the ridiculousness that is posted in social networking sites. It had to do with how prospective employers and insurers and others are now visiting these sites routinely to assess the risk involved in hiring or covering certain individuals. One expert said essentially that the internet is forever. I wish more high school and college kids, and even adults, kept that in mind before choosing to upload questionable photos or implicating themselves with disparaging remarks toward others. I'm all for free speech and freedom of expression, but it should be tempered with common sense.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 5 months ago

Personally, I want KSU in the Top 5/Top10 the entire season. As much as it pains me, I want Mizzou in the Top 15. I want KSU, KU, and Mizzou back to the old days in the 80's and mid 90's.

I am so sick and tired of the Tobacco Road schools (Duke, UNC, NC State) that I would love for the I-70 Dominance to return. IMHO, I would sacrifice a few more losses to KSU and Mizzou in order to bring more publicity and recognition to the states of Kansas and Missouri.

Kurt Eskilson 9 years, 5 months ago

Love your posts, kushaw, and generally agree with this one. Yes, KSU and Mizzou playing well brings more respect to the region. But no, I'm not willing to lose to either of them. For any reason. Ever.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 5 months ago

Duke losing to Carolina and vice versa hasn't slowed down that rivalry any. Actually, because of the TV and ESPN explosion in the early 90's, Duke and Carolina as Universities strengthened because of this rivalry on the basketball court.

Look, I don't like losing to Mizzou or KSU any more than the rest of you, but the only way to bring back "Prominence" and "Respect" back to the heartland for hoops is for KSU and Mizzou to be consistent Top 20 performers year in and year out in hoops.

Gradually, over time that enhances the KU product on the court and as University. IMHO it can't just be KU dominating the conference in basketball. As selfish as we all want that to happen, but in the long run that doesn't make KU better on the court. When KU has "Reloading" years (Some call it rebuilding years) somebody else in the conference is going to have to step up (That is why the Big 12 only has Kansas with a Basketball Championship in the last 60 years). Mizzou and KSU have kind of done that in each of the last 2 years reaching the Elite 8.

Who knows, maybe my feelings will change in 10 years if Mizzou and KSU are constantly getting to Elite 8's and KU is getting bounced in the second round, but right now that isn't happening. I would, however, like for them to continue the success their having because I genuinely like Frank Martin and Mike Anderson.

To Oakville and Anthonyzal's point, KU did go 5-0 against KSU and Mizzou last year and managed to win the Big 12 all the while Mizzou and KSU went to the sweet 16 and Elite 8. This is just me, but I would rather have Championships (Big 12 and NCAA-Final 4 minimum) and have a few losses to our rivals than beat them up in the regular season and not go as far in the post season. It's happened in each of the last two seasons.

Good debate. At the moment, I'm all about publicity coming or to the Midwest and strengthening those Universities that directly benefit and or directly correlate with the University of Kansas. As we've all seen with the conference realignment talk, KU really needs enhance their relationship with Missouri and all 3 schools (KSU, KU, and Mizzou) need to strengthen their product on the national stage.

hawksince51 9 years, 5 months ago

Agree with your point but IMHO we manage to lose to MU often enough already. I am happy to see KSU get competitive again and could stand to lose more often than we have in the past 20 years. With the upcoming merger of North and South we will play home and home with all the former South teams and there will be plenty of opportunities to lose. I see Texas as being our perennial rival, not KSU or MU.

tstanlick1909 9 years, 5 months ago

Typical d-bag comment. I don't do the whole social network scene. If people want to know what I'm doing and what I'm interested in, they can ask.

John Randall 9 years, 5 months ago

Hold on to that thought . . . while the rest of us stay in the real world.

Tam Bui 9 years, 5 months ago

He's admitted his mistakes. That's a HUGE maturity step in the right direction. I'll try to be civil and not bring up the past inconsistencies if you make a few bad plays this year. Heck, I remember I was able to do it with Nick Bradford and the Morris twins. I don't see any exception in this case. Best of luck to ya, Tyshawn! Can't wait to buy the sports package again this year to see you play!

justinryman 9 years, 5 months ago

I liked the way TT kinda picked on Brady for eating and Brady got him back a little with a little poke about how more shots are going in. Good to know the boys all get along and can have some fun.

Can't wait for theseason to start and put last years debacle at the end behind us.

Rock Chalk!

phi4life940 9 years, 5 months ago

Tyshawn is the best!

I like how he said what's better than this!? -He should have talked to CJ....because he did exactly what Tyshawn described. Lol. Have fun CJ...TT and the gang will be on their way to the top!

God bless KU basketball! Love it!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 5 months ago

I truly want to give TT every benefit of the doubt and have him explode onto the basketball scene, but I am from Missouri [unfortunately] and he is going to have to show me. At least he is saying all the right things.

I apologize for my scepticism but the results of his actions over the last two seasons both on and off the court flash a big yellow caution sign to me.

Let me end on a positive..I think he has the strength to turn it around. Let's hope he does.

duanep5ku 9 years, 5 months ago

I will agree that the past = the past, so their is no need to dwell on it,mistakes will happen to every body in life after all were all human. I hope TT has a great year along with everyone on the team. Kansas fans lets all remember too that the players on the team are young men and for some of them it may also be their first time away from home. Here's to the 2010-2011 season go KU lets win another big 12 title or better yet win some games in March this year in the tournament.

mikehawk 9 years, 5 months ago

I hope the coaches teach these kids to NEVER read the blogs!

AverageCitizen 9 years, 5 months ago

Kids from rough backgrounds have been shown to lag in maturity from middle America. I think it is great that TT has hung in there and benefited from some lessons many of us learned in our comfy suburbs when we were younger. What better endorsement for increasing the OAD rule than this? I am happy Tyshawn gets this valuable education and life experience where there are good people around to help him. Talk about the classic definition of the Prodigal Son!

Paul Brozik 9 years, 5 months ago

The worst thing ever to happen to TT was that his name showed up on NBA draft boards before last season. Unfortunately he bought into it and I think many KU fans did too. He is not an NBA player and never will be IMO.

If KU has to rely on TT to be great all the time it will not bode well for their season. TT just needs to figure out who he is which is a solid role player. He can be great...on the defensive the open floor...getting to the small doses.

The backcourt is going to be crowded and I think his minutes are going to go down no matter how well he plays. With Selby and hopefully EJ playing more minutes Self is not going to have to be as patient with TT poor decision making so he better focus on being an efficient and consistent player. The scary part is that with TT it seems to always be one extreme or the other and Self is going to have more options this year. I'm really want TT to succeed...hope he proves his doubters wrong...not holding my breath though.

SoCalAlum 9 years, 5 months ago

Thanks Gary for the article - there wasn't much written about Tyshawn this summer, but "no news is good news," especially compared to this time last year. Sounds like his teammates like him and are behind him. If/when Selby gets cleared and if EJ gets and makes good on opportunity for more PT, Tyshawn runs the risk of being the forgotten guy on this team. If nothing else, if he dedicates to being the lock-down defender that Coach Self wants, he'll be on the court.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 5 months ago

I'm glad he's maturing and all that, but none of it matters (for basketball) if he plays this season the way he played last. Presumably he was less mature as a freshman than as a sophomore and he was more valuable (my perception anyways) as a freshman than as a sophomore.

HawkNVegas 9 years, 5 months ago

What do you do? Play basketball?

Then shut up & do it, quit thinking NBA, or shutup about it, you won't get there just like ya boy sharon collens.

ATTITUDE DOES MATTER & THE REST OF AMERICA DON'T GIVE A DARN ABOUT WHAT KU BASKETBALL MEANS TO LAWRENCE, KS. Crappy attitude at any job gets you no upward mobility & for crybaby it's the NBA. Again, sharon colon's fat fatty fat & thuggish ruggish bone attitude will get you d-league or overseas, so you have a choice, make it show with actions, NOT WORDS.

Chris Shaw 9 years, 5 months ago

I don't know where to begin so I'll leave this for Jaybate. "Sharon Collens"? Really?

I did laugh at "fat fatty fat" though.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 5 months ago

HawkNVegas..please don't tell us you have a degree in communications from KU!!.

kushaw..the thuggish ruggish was pretty good too.

honk_for_hawks 9 years, 5 months ago

I like "sharon colon" better. almost sounds like sharon's colon is fat fatty fan. which is probably true with his love of fast food.

redlegger 9 years, 5 months ago

HNV - were you hufffing paint when you wrote this? You certainly can ramble with the best of them.

As far as crappy attitudes - you are right up there with some other elite posters on this site.

Tyshawn Taylor, no matter how you slice it, is just like any other college kid who struggles at times. But at the end of the day, he is a Jayhawk - please respect him as such!

It's a new year Tyshawn - bring your game!

RockChalkGuy 9 years, 5 months ago

Anybody got a prediction on who will be doing the jump ball for us this year?

SoCalAlum 9 years, 5 months ago

How about Jeff Withey as "designated jumper"? Then leave him in for first two minutes or first two personal fouls, whichever happens first.

NotWiller 9 years, 5 months ago

I've been really hard on TT in past posts, and like the rest of you, have been wanting an article like this. But frankly, there's not a ton here that gets me super excited. "TT...he worked hard this summer," is an average comment at best from Hudy. And she's a woman that knows when and how to hand out compliments for hard work. Look back on what she's had to say about Tyrel and the Twins' off-season progress. Maybe there was more to the comment that didn't make the article, though. The comments from the other players are pretty standard, too. Far under compliments they've paid each other in the off-season. Brady is a bit more convincing.

I'm happy that TT is saying these things, and I really do hope he has earned it in BS's eyes. If so, we'll see it pretty soon.

TT- there are SO many of us rooting for you, and we LOVE to watch your game when you're switched on. But it doesn't help to keep thinking of and describing yourself as a kid. We all love to have fun, but you have to be a man to make this deal work.

And for the record, I loved watching Jeff Graves.

tis4tim 9 years, 5 months ago

I thought the same thing about the rather underwhelming quotes in support of TT. But, this is a guy who many of us believe bought into his own hype and into the one-and-done possibilities after winning gold. So, I can only guess that people like Hudy, Self, and his teammates, either instinctively or by coercion, are careful not to risk the consequences of feeding his ego with a bunch of overly bombastic comments, regardless of the solid progress he has apparently made.

There have been many discussions on this board how our team plays with so much more heart and desire when we're under the radar. I have a good feeling about the low profile that TT has kept all summer and I'm hoping that when version 3.0 is unveiled this season we're all in for a very welcome surprise.

Paul Brozik 9 years, 5 months ago

I agree it feels like all the staff and teammates are really stretching to find compliments about TT. I mean TT admitted he actually weighs LESS than his roster weight. How does Hudy always seem to put wieght on everyone else and get them stronger but TT never makes any gains. Its hard not to read too much into this but my gut says that it says alot about how consistently he is "switched on".

Chris Shaw 9 years, 5 months ago

For the record, I also loved Jeff Graves. Yes, Bill Self and he had some problems, but I always thought there was a negative stigma not only from Bill Self, but the fans as well.

Obviously, I will never know what happened behind the scenes between Self and Graves during practice time, but I still feel to this day that Self mis-managed Graves during that entire 2004 season. I just never thought David Padgett was worthy of starting over Graves during that entire season. IMO Padgett hadn't earned it.

I always found that first year for Self as a constant struggle despite them going to the Elite 8 (Should have been a Final 4). Graves was the type of player that Self currently gets into his program so I don't understand why Graves was being used as example over the course of that season. It was just hard to see Graves go from 16 pts 16 rebs in the Championship in 2003 to a bench player behind David Padgett? I didn't see it then and I still don't see it today. Graves was probably a bad name for that list above.

KANSTUCKY 9 years, 5 months ago

If TT goes to the NBA this year it means we won or made a huge run in the NCAA's. David Padgett was more than a clean up player and could have been great here. KU stays on top of the Big 12 until someone knocks us off, period. But thanks for the motivation.

KANSTUCKY 9 years, 5 months ago

Yes, right after Elijah Washington...

yovoy 9 years, 5 months ago

I took a tongue-lashing for questioning this kid's head, heart, and consistency after his frosh year, and during his summer with the US under-whatever-age team. My opinion of him hasn't changed, but the sentiment about him sure has. Did it take the facebook football fiasco for you to see what this kid was about? Really?

My main complaint with him was his consistency, and I think his inconsistency has to do with his view of himself in the world that's in his mind. He just gets lost. Sometimes he loses himself in playing basketball, and that's the TT that those that still give this kid ANY love long to see. I rarely see that player. I see a confused and petulant could-be, that hasn't really been - yet. In our wait, many of us have seen the next TT (minus baggage) in Mr. Johnson. I will probably not cheer for a single player more this season than I will cheer for him. Who would you rather have on the floor, him or TT? I want EJ, and mainly because he acts like he wants to be on the floor. It's hard to play a kid that's seems confused and seems to sulk over nothing.

Whoever said that TT won't make league is right. I don't know how anyone could really believe that he's got a chance.

I DO hope he does well, because what's good for TT is good for the team. Unfortunately, we haven't seen enough of it. I WAS surprised at his stats last year - they weren't bad for a guy that "didn't fit". To his credit, that "fit" problem wasn't completely is fault.

Sam Constance 9 years, 5 months ago

These kinds of posts really aggravate me.

You pat yourself on the back for making a rash judgment about a 19-year-old kid when you really had no basis (as you admit, it was before the most recent summer and the turmoil therein) and now you've decided you were correct all along and you've got this kid nailed.

In fact, you think you've nailed him so well that you are going to root for others to surpass him (i.e., Elijah Johnson) rather than root for him--as a Jayhawk--to figure it out and succeed. Personally, I'd prefer to see Taylor mature and become a dangerous weapon in addition to Johnson taking a step forward.

I've also never really understood the virulent backlash against Taylor. Sure, he's had his fair share of problems, and we as fans deserve to expect better. But let's keep something in mind--he is still a kid. He will make mistakes, and really stupid ones. That's not to say that we should just accept them, but the way he has become an outcast is just disgraceful. There are actions that actually deserve such scorn. Taylor deserves support and understanding. It's not like he shot a bb out of Jayhawker Towers, like a player who has gotten far less criticism from the fans. (For the record, I'm not saying we should be doing so, just pointing out the odd double-standard)

I can't help but think this ugly side of fanhood and giving these kids no margin for error is an inevitable side effect of KU's recent success. There is a type of fan that has sprouted up who has no appreciation for how successful KU has been and acts as if it is expected, and any person or thing that seems to stand in the way or hinder said success needs to be left on the side of the road. The moans and groans about Self's "lack of recruiting success" I've seen on other message boards are another example of this.

Look, I'm not saying you are one of those fans, but this post sure gives me reason to think that you might be. And those are the types of fans that I think KU can live without. It had been so long since KU won a championship before 2008 that I had forgotten that winning is great, but has sometimes unwanted side effects...

jayhawk15 9 years, 5 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor is going to have a monster year!!! I think he has learned from his mistakes and has been humbled. He's a freaking 20 year old kid. Give him a break and lets see what he can do, he has the upside to be a top guard in the NCAA this year. Him and selby in the backcourt are going to go to work this year. E. Johnson is going to be a good player, but he hasn't proven anything yet. He really struggled on defense last year, and thats why he didn't play. My prediction Starting backcourt Selby, Taylor, Little. With Reed as the main guy off the bench and either Releford/johnson getting the second guard minutes.
This team could really surprise some people, and I'm excited.!

Paul Brozik 9 years, 5 months ago

I would love the definition of a monster year???

hawksince51 9 years, 5 months ago

Elijah will be in the guard rotation with Josh Adams, Tyshawn Jefferson, Brady Madison and that Monroe kid.

KULA 9 years, 5 months ago

Elijah Washington? Always great to hear 2 cents worth from the dedicated KU fans.

murph 9 years, 5 months ago

Um, Pig - we don't have anybody named "Elijah Washington". Perhaps you should do a little more homework before you post your opinions.

FairgroveJayhawk 9 years, 5 months ago

tyshawn, you da man. do some great stuff and shut up the non believers.

WilburNether 9 years, 5 months ago

Um...and what exactly is your basis for asserting that he is "da man?" Hmmm???

WilburNether 9 years, 5 months ago

Time for Tyshawn to put up or shut up. He has not played up to his potential yet, and it's high time he started. I hope he has a breakout year. But talk is cheap; it's time for him to start getting it done in practice and on the court.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 5 months ago

He needs to stop trying to expose his "love" feelings on Facebook and play the game.

dochambers 9 years, 5 months ago

A. Taylor never learned how to make a fist when he was growing up otherwise he never would have dislocated his thumb. B. How smart is it for guys who are six foot three and one-eighty-five to rumble with guys who are six foot three and two seventy five?

When I was young, I may have been involved in extracuriicular fisticuffs. But as Joe Lewis said, "He can run, but he can't hide!"

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