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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Keegan

The time is now for Tyshawn Taylor

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor heads to the bucket against Nebraska forward Andre Almeida during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor heads to the bucket against Nebraska forward Andre Almeida during the second half on Saturday, Jan. 15, 2011 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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LeBryan Nash (Oklahoma State), Angelo Chol and Josiah Turner (Arizona), Trevor Lacey (Alabama), DeAndre Daniels (Connecticut). OK, that’s enough about the recruits Kansas University basketball coach Bill Self and his staff didn’t land.

Naadir Tharpe, Ben McLemore, Braeden Anderson, Jamari Traylor, Kevin Young, Merv Lindsay. OK, that’s enough about the recruits Kansas did land.

This coming season will be more about the faces returning than the fresh ones.

Stop me if you’ve heard me predict this before, but I really believe Tyshawn Taylor will have the sort of senior season that will make everyone forget he often teased with talent and disappointed with immaturity.

Nobody’s more important to a college basketball team than a point guard. Taylor, more than anybody else, will be the one pounding the basketball off the massive center-court Jayhawk when the team races at the blurry pace it’s likely to play. Despite his erratic history, that’s a good thing.

Taylor has played more college basketball minutes (2,736) than every other returning Kansas player combined (2,393). The break-down: Thomas Robinson (718), Elijah Johnson (645), Travis Releford (527), Conner Teahan (218), Jeff Withey (207), Jordan Juenemann (56), Niko Roberts (22).

Young, eligible to compete for Kansas this coming season, has played 2,012 minutes of college basketball, all in two seasons for Loyola-Marymount. Justin Wesley, also available this year, played 227 minutes in one year at Lamar.

Taylor showed his talent early in his KU career. Before playing a single Big 12 game, he already had scored 17 points in 36 minutes of an 89-81, overtime loss to Syracuse in the Sprint Center, prompting Orange coach Jim Boeheim to say, “Wow, Taylor’s a good player.”

And at times, a frustrating one. But Taylor’s smart enough to know that as the leader of such an inexperienced team, growing pains must be reserved for others.

“It’s my last year. I feel every game will mean a little more to me,” Taylor said after playing in a recent Bill Self Camp scrimmage. “I can’t get it back. I’m definitely excited about it and ready for it.”

Words don’t resonate unless backed up by actions and Taylor brought a different attention to detail, a better zest for the game, when he returned from a late-season, two-game suspension pinned on him by Self.

In 27 pre-suspension games, Taylor averaged 8.8 points, shot .429 overall and .361 on three-pointers. His numbers in nine games after returning: 10.6, .550, .456. He also played better defense.

The team revolves around Taylor at the point and Robinson in the post, so in some ways it calls to mind the 2008-2009 squad that for the first time centered around Sherron Collins at the point and Cole Aldrich in the post. Those Jayhawks, with big help from the freshman class featuring the Morris twins and Taylor, exceeded expectations by going 14-2 in the Big 12 and taking a lead into the final minutes of a Sweet 16 game against title-game-bound Michigan State.

“I’ve been on a rebuilding team for three years, I guess, and we’ve been No. 1 in the country the past two years,” Taylor said.

He knows what it takes to win.

Comments

Jonathan Andrews 3 years, 4 months ago

Here's hoping for a BIG breakthrough year for our captain. Don't worry about stats, Ty (leave that to me!). Just concentrate on 1) running a super-efficient and balanced offense, 2) challenging Thomas Robinson for Big XII Defensive Player of the Year, and 3) making plays in the clutch for us to secure the W. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, else will fall into place for you if you do these things.

Dirk Medema 3 years, 4 months ago

The question will be can TT get the rest of the team to step up around him & TR. The supporting cast executed far too much of a disappearing act in '08-'09. SC probably fueled it a bit at times, but I thought the others step back as much as he stepped forward.

Eric Schneider 3 years, 4 months ago

Seriously dagger? We lost 7 of our top 8 in minutes and scoring. Remember, Roderick Stewart averaged more minutes, and just as many points as Cole in 07-08. All that 08-09 team did was win the Big XII. Again. Had an outside shot at a 1 seed until laying an egg against Baylor. And controlled 35 minutes of the game against the eventual national runner-up.

Now examine 09-10 UNC. They had more coming back, were No 6 preseason. And barely got enough wins to make the Not Invited Tournament.

waywardJay 3 years, 4 months ago

Wow. Good Article, Tom.

I'm one of your harshest critics, and I understand the Criticism of Tyshawn Taylor.

I also understand the Warrior of Tyshawn Taylor, and I see his credentials have little to do with Sherron Collins or how any other point guard has ever played at Kansas University except possibly Russell Robinson.

I get mocked for Comparing him to Russell Robinson, sure, Because people have revisionist history of Russell Robinson. All they saw is the title year. Just like all they see of Tyshawn Taylor is the petty mischief he become known for.

100 3 years, 4 months ago

I see a very good basketball player who will be playing with possibly the National Player of the Year, along with an extremely hardworking & long group of teammates, a few of them with tournament experience...

What I see is a point guard who now, more than ever, believes in TEAM....

I see a point guard who understands the vocals necessary to make sure your defensive stances are on the perimeter & it. Is. War!!!!! (clean war, no slapping, but you get the point)....

---No open looks shouts Tyshawn!!!!!!! None! And don't let him dribble that ball with the right hand, he's about to raise up & launch one!!!! On his shooting hand, I don't care if you're picked by an ice axe shouts Tyshawn!!!!!

Defense runs the offense brother Jayhawks shouts Tyshawn!!!!!

That's what fuels our fast breaks & high percentage Lorenzo Magic yells Tyshawn!!!!!!!

Get the ball back RIGHT NOW & it's a score shouts Tyshawn! Lockdown D is as good as a basket brother Jayhawks!!!!!!

And if they get an open look occasionally, shouts Tyshawn, box out!!!!


I see a young man who is ready to take the next step & LEAD this team to a national championship.

I see a point guard who gets it now.

And I see a coach who is really ticked off after the last two years... And will make sure to have some more strategic rabbits up his sleeve for TT next time around.

I see a winner who has learned... That he wants to win the whole damn enchilada....

And I see a young man who knows it isn't luck.

It's attainable for certain teams when the stars align a certain way, who are prepared....

I see a 2012 national champion.

jaybate 3 years, 4 months ago

?This is why you are a coach and Tom is a journo.

What time is practice?!

I just went out and shot 20 FTs in my robe and slippers after that post.

Rock Chalk!

HawkNVegas 3 years, 4 months ago

Wow, I bet you saw a National Champion this year too huh? It takes performance on the court, who cares what we as Jayhawk fans want. We can wish upon a star, but reality has to set in at some point. I am not going to speculate until I see a basketball team play, until then what are we analyzing. Years past teams that don't compare because of the component pieces. Just because somebody on the team now did something like somebody on a team years ago, does not mean it should compare to the 2011-12 team. It's the play on the court come November when a true diagnosis can occur, until then enjoy the Speculate-a-tron Jayhawk fans.

onlylookin2score 3 years, 4 months ago

Yup. Revisionist History... and way to much labeling for my tastes..labeling are like walls that are only waiting to be torn down...nothing more.... Taylor has the edge athletically agains virtually everyone he would come up against... Now I believe he will rise to the virtue of mental agility... and what's great is that is that his strong ties with his family, I believe, at this point (with all of his intrepidness behind him, if not at least temporarily) will be a man amongst boys at the postion. Boheim is a great evaluator of talent, as is HCBS.

jaybate 3 years, 4 months ago

Greatness exists in action through a team.

Get better.

Keep getting better.

Get better some more.

While making your teammates better.

Mike Kendall 3 years, 4 months ago

Damn, ralster---love to have you in my corner when the "blank" hits the fan. You go girl, urr, should I say, guy!"

onlylookin2score 3 years, 4 months ago

sorry... I meant "labels are like walls...."

yovoy 3 years, 4 months ago

Sherron was TT's biggest problem on the court when SC was here, and Ty was his own biggest prob whenever. If you were to ask anyone that I've watched a KU game with since TT has been here, they will tell you that I'm harden on him than I am anyone else. If they watched with me last season, they will tell you that I was more impressed with him (and T-Rob) than I was anyone else. Sure, The Twins were easy to watch, but TT played some very, very complete games last year, esp mid-to-late season. He did lots of things that don't really show up in the book. In short, he finally did his job. I expect that he will do it next season, and I expect that he'll do it better. The time has always been 'now' for Tyshawn, he just didn't show it.

David Hodges 3 years, 4 months ago

+1 I felt like I was the only one who saw this. Think about Taylor's numbers when he drives to the paint last year... Which he did on numerous occasions. With a broken hand he would hit about half of his floaters which many fans scream and rant about. But if you remember who is crashing the boards--a missed shot last year was almost guaranteed to find its way back into the hoop at least 50% of the time. With that in mind, as Self surely understood puts Taylor's floaters going in the basket about 75% of the time ( counting Morris squared and T-Robs put-backs) which is why Taylor always has the go ahead from Coach. Just because a floater doesn't go all the way down does not mean that it did not cause the desired affect--a collapsed defense and two more points on the board... most of the time. Taylor is a beast and the best guard in the Big12 next year. Rock Chalk!

waywardJay 3 years, 4 months ago

Mostly agree. And he did it hurt from like the 5th game.... with a rather Large Freshman on one shoulder and a rather Critical fan base on the other. Fitting that the two most impressive players will be back with a supporting cast. I do Disagree on one hand though...As his job was to defer to Sherron the first two years because SHerron lacked the upward status to effective troll the two.

KansasComet 3 years, 4 months ago

Three headed monster this upcoming season. Johnson, Robinson, and McLemore. Taylor will be a great facilitator.

Jayhawklegacy 3 years, 4 months ago

My favorite game of last season is when we beat texas in the b12 tourney!! TT was coming off that suspension and man did he ever!! He was doing things in that game that nobody expected. That game really showed me what type of player he can be and if he can do that for stretches his senior season it will be crazy!! He was making texas defenders run in circles and got to the basket whenever he wanted to!! On top of all that was the best defender in the game. So TT we all know you have the ability, now put it all together you're last year and put yourself in the 1st round 2012.

Jayhawklegacy 3 years, 4 months ago

T-Rob had a pretty good season when he was able to play, same with Elijah!! They had a few jaw dropping highlights that really showed off their athletic ability!! Don't forget about Releford that also has that athletic ability to really breakout this season!! Experience is everything this coming season and we have it!! Athletic ability is important and we have it! Coaching staff is just as important as the previous two!!! This will be a down season for the Jayhawks?? We have the ingredients we need, we have players we need, we have the doubters we need to fuel these kids. Now all we need is for the season to hurry up and start!!!

jaybate 3 years, 4 months ago

"A Primer in Converting Tom's Desires into Action"

Tom Keegan is writing for clicks, and stating things negatively is one way to get clicks. Negativity properly expressed can force others to type and click "post comment" out of anger, frustration, fear, panic, resentment, even despair.

But there is another way to get clicks.

"This coming season will be more about the faces returning than the fresh ones."

(On this team, veterans will carry and deliver the mail, while the freshmen learn to sort it.)

"Stop me if you’ve heard me predict this before..."

(And each year, it seems, a senior must carry one of the biggest parcels.)

"...but I really believe Tyshawn Taylor will have the sort of senior season that will make everyone forget he often teased with talent and disappointed with immaturity."

(Tyshawn Taylor, who has been so good from the beginning that Post Master General Bill Self has let him grow up on his routes, rather than in the back room of the post office as most new mailmen must, is this year's senior finally ready to deliver the most important basketball package of all--the ball-- through rain, wind, sleet, or snow.)

"Nobody’s more important to a college basketball team than a point guard."

(Every position is vital in basketball, because it is a team sport. As at the post office, everyone must do their job, or the package gets "lost in the mail." But in basketball point guards are the mail men. They decide en route, amidst the unforeseen, who gets their mail, where, and when.)

"Taylor, more than anybody else, will be the one pounding the basketball off the massive center-court Jayhawk when the team races at the blurry pace it’s likely to play. Despite his erratic history, that’s a good thing."

(Taylor, more than any other teammate, will be the "when it absolutely, positively has to get there' guy.

Fortunately, learning on the job to run a walk-it up offense last season hardened and prepared Taylor for this seasons likely "deliveries at the speed of light" offense.)

jaybate 3 years, 4 months ago

"Taylor has played more college basketball minutes (2,736) than every other returning Kansas player combined (2,393). The break-down: Thomas Robinson (718), Elijah Johnson (645), Travis Releford (527), Conner Teahan (218), Jeff Withey (207), Jordan Juenemann (56), Niko Roberts (22).

"Young, eligible to compete for Kansas this coming season, has played 2,012 minutes of college basketball, all in two seasons for Loyola-Marymount. Justin Wesley, also available this year, played 227 minutes in one year at Lamar.

Taylor showed his talent early in his KU career. Before playing a single Big 12 game, he already had scored 17 points in 36 minutes of an 89-81, overtime loss to Syracuse in the Sprint Center, prompting Orange coach Jim Boeheim to say, “Wow, Taylor’s a good player.”

Taylor's largesse of talent made him a starting mail carrier from the beginning, Because of that talent, Post Master Self has each year tasked him with harder route: defend and go baseline impact two, as a frosh; wing glue two and part time point, as a soph; full time walk-it-up point, as a junior; and, now, all-speed delivery specialist, as a senior.)

"And at times, a frustrating one. But Taylor’s smart enough to know that as the leader of such an inexperienced team, growing pains must be reserved for others."

(Taylor is smart and experienced.)

“It’s my last year. I feel every game will mean a little more to me,” Taylor said after playing in a recent Bill Self Camp scrimmage. “I can’t get it back. I’m definitely excited about it and ready for it.”

(jaybate note: this quote can stand, but I dislike "I can't get it back." Coach Self, please redirect Tyshawn to think and say instead, "I'm going to keep getting better at KU till the final buzzer in April.")

Words don’t resonate unless backed up by actions and Taylor brought a different attention to detail, a better zest for the game, when he returned from a late-season, two-game suspension pinned on him by Self.

(Words resonate, when actions back them. Taylor's superb bounce-back from his Post Master's warranted discipline late last season have given this mail carrier's comments the ring of truth ever since.)

jaybate 3 years, 4 months ago

"In 27 pre-suspension games, Taylor averaged 8.8 points, shot .429 overall and .361 on three-pointers. His numbers in nine games after returning: 10.6, .550, .456. He also played better defense."

(jaybate note: this statement stands as is.)

"The team revolves around Taylor at the point and Robinson in the post, so in some ways it calls to mind the 2008-2009 squad that for the first time centered around Sherron Collins at the point and Cole Aldrich in the post. Those Jayhawks, with big help from the freshman class featuring the Morris twins and Taylor, exceeded expectations by going 14-2 in the Big 12 and taking a lead into the final minutes of a Sweet 16 game against title-game-bound Michigan State."

(Taylor and inside-mail-route-stuffer Thomas Robinson are two cornerstones in this season's postal service, just as there were two cornerstones--Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich--back in the winter and spring of 2008-2009. That previous postal service delivered 14 wins against 2 losses in the B12, 26 Ws overall, and a Sweet 16 chaser.)

“I’ve been on a rebuilding team for three years, I guess, and we’ve been No. 1 in the country the past two years,” Taylor said."

(jaybate note: the quote stands unchanged.)

"He knows what it takes to win."

(He has always known what it takes to "reload" the bag and deliver. This year is his turn to deliver the biggest parcel of his career. It is addressed:

2012 NCCA Men's D1 Champion 2012 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, Final Four Louisiana Superdome 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive New Orleans, LA 70112-1255New Orleans, Louisiana)


"You can't stop at every dog that barks or you'll never get the mail delivered."....Phog Allen

"At your best when you need your best." --John R. Wooden

"Many athletes have tremendous God-given gifts, but they don't focus on the development of those gifts. Who are these individuals? You've never heard of them-- and you never will. It's true in sports and it's true everywhere in life. Hard work is the difference. Very hard work."....John Wooden

Mike Kendall 3 years, 4 months ago

Good article, Tom!!!!

Tyshawn is one of those players (btw, HCBS and Jayhawk Nation felt this way at times) that one would curse him for making a bonehead play and then, one would praise him for an outstanding play.

@ Jayhawklegacy----I agree with you in regard to that Texas game in the B12 Tourney. TT had a "beast" of a game. Anyway he could bottle that up and take the cork out for the 2011-12 season? Taylor has to make things happen---this is his Senior season. Take no prisoners, TT. Rock Chalk!

nuleafjhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

“I’ve been on a rebuilding team for three years, I guess, and we’ve been No. 1 in the country the past two years,” Taylor said.

Man, I love KU.

100 3 years, 4 months ago

Indeed... The last two years we've been number 1 more than any team in college basketball.

And three years ago we were supposed to finish last in D1 basketball, yet we won a loaded Big 12 regular season, won the Big 12 tournament, & in the end we were one Sherron Collin defensive stand from the Elite 8....

And let us not forget.... 4 years ago we won the whole damn chalupa.

I love next year's team already. They're working their tails off right now in summer scrimmages. Can't wait to see how Self uses these pieces.... In the end & hopefully a lot sooner, these players have to rise up as a TEAM.

BCRavenJHawkfan 3 years, 4 months ago

"Taylor, more than anybody else, will be the one pounding the basketball off the massive center-court Jayhawk when the team races at the blurry pace it’s likely to play."

Will they really play at a blurry pace? I've heard this before only to end up watching plodding, methodical muscle ball.

Ben Kane 3 years, 4 months ago

I was begging for high tempo all last year. I thought with our depth we would run other teams out. never happened though and I think it's just not Self's style. He knows more about it than me so I will cede to his judgement on the issue. But I don't expect to see any up tempo strategies any time in the near future.

Geekinout 3 years, 4 months ago

Me too, but Self is a defensive minded coach rather than putting up high numbers.

KGphoto 3 years, 4 months ago

I think last year the half-court game was successful because of the unbelievable midrange game the twins provided. We won't be able to replicate that consistency this year, so the pace is going to change whether we like it or not.

Personally I feel an exciting year coming. If TT and EJ can tune up their laser sights on the long passes, it could be a REALLY exciting season. EJ is just climbing out of his skin to turn it up a few notches.

In my lifetime, we've never had this much athletic ability in the starting 5, and I'm not even really counting the new guys who I haven't seen play, so it could be 7 or 8 with Traylor, Young and Ben. But I do know we have 5 running, leaping gazelles that will be taking the court for tip-off next year, and it's gonna be hard for CS to rein that in.

justinryman 3 years, 4 months ago

I think he gets "it" now, that this is his last year and he can't get it back.

Everyone matures at different rates and I think TT has finally gotten there, can't wait to see all of his hard work pay off this next season.

Jayhawk For Life

KUFan90 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree BC. I've given up on hoping for "blurry pace" and pressing defense. We'll see what we've seen for the last serveral years. Half court sets, get back on D.

It's obviously working, so that's great. But I've given up on expectations or being excited that "this team will finally be the team that will play fast".

If it didn't happen last year with our depth and athleticism, it's not going to happen.

nuleafjhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Don't get too caught up in the whole break-neck pace thing. While it's fun for us fans to watch, " fast " does not always equate to "good". Sometimes it just means more turnovers.

hawksince51 3 years, 4 months ago

Agree--this team will lack the experience to play fast without high turnovers. Early on I expect a lot of juggling of starters with a lot of bench minutes. That will require more of the typical Self style ball. That is not a bad thing.

justinryman 3 years, 4 months ago

Just look at MU and their 40 minutes of...well whatever they played for 40 minutes, park ball I guess. They didn't win big games, got burned for easy dunks, relied too much on getting fast break points and couldn't run a 1/2 court set unless it was right out of a TO.

I think you have to be able to press, and able to run, BUT the moment has to be right when you do it. Most kids know how to get out and run, thats the easy part of the game. But floor spacing and good passes are very key.

Running a full court press takes a lot of maturity and smarts. Gotta know when you can go for a steal and know when you have to stay home so they don't get the easy ones.

Scatterhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

81.2 points per game is plenty fast. A bucket a minute is pretty damned good, especially with a 35 second shot clock.

kushaw 3 years, 4 months ago

Larry Drew III can understand this concept.

Theutus 3 years, 4 months ago

There is a huge difference between MU's out of control run for no reason offense, and converting on fast breaks and capitalizing on opportunities...

Last year, KU botched more fast breaks than it converted... It was ugly. How many times did we have 3 on 1 etc and manage to turn the ball over or miss a bunny...

If we could capitalize on Robinsons excellent outlet ability and score on the FB opportunities we get, i'd be happy with that.

hawksince51 3 years, 4 months ago

I hope that TT can finally show some consistency and make the solid contribution to the team that RusRob did his senior year. But, they are two very different players. RR was more of a ball handler, playmaker, solid on D type of PG. I do not expect TT to match RR's skills in those areas but I expect him to approve in all of them. TT is a far more effective driver and scorer than RR but needs to be a more consistent finisher to have a great year. Next season will certainly be interesting and, for a change, the team will not be burdened with extremely high expectations.

jayhawktalk 3 years, 4 months ago

Is there such a thing as a KU basketball team not burdened with extremely high expectations?

...I try telling myself that next year's team will lose some games and may not be a deep tournament team, but then my mind goes straight back to wondering how we get to the Final Four. I cannot even lie to myself and say that I do not expect great things from this team. The good news, if some of the veterans play like they are capable, I'm not even sure that my high expectations are unjustified.

hawksince51 3 years, 4 months ago

They will not be highly ranked nationally and will probably be picked 3rd or 4th in the conference. It will not be the best year to have to play all the South teams twice. But it is true that most KU fans will expect better. And, if you come up with the answer on how to get to the Final Four in 2012 I'm sure Self would love to know--LOL.

Sally Presson 3 years, 4 months ago

I can't wait til basketball and I'm tired of hearing about who we didn't get, who we did get is outstanding and my goodness who is coming back is even better!!! I think TT is going to be great this year, however, I hope the good TT shows up at every game. There is no room for the bad TT to show himself. It was good to see the twins at the draft and so proud of them. Give it your all Hawks and you'll be there too.

Rock Chalk

Mark Lindrud 3 years, 4 months ago

With TT I will believe it when I see it. It is his senior year and at this point it is now or never. He needs to use his strengths to lead this team. He is a distributor first, sometimes makes bonehead plays, has defensive lapses and is a poor shooter.

On the bright side, he is a great driver, can have great passes, can pick-pocket anyone when he is on his game and did have surgery on his shooting hand that may help his shooting.

All that said now it is time to see if TT is ready to put all of that potential together finally, especially if he wants to be seen as an NBA prospect.

KU_Phogified 3 years, 4 months ago

Seems we begin each year with the hopeful outlook that Tyshawn will somehow merge his maturity with his talent and realize his true potential as a basketball player. It's now or never, so maybe that helps.

I'm skeptical, not because I am not a TT fan, but because TT is the ultimate tweener. As a point-guard, TT has at best, marginal handles and decision-making skills. As a 2-guard, he can't shoot it well enough to stretch the defense, and I keep hoping that one of these years before he leaves, he will master the art of driving without running people over.

In football recruiting, the term "athlete" was developed to label those kids with athletic talent, yet, no set position, and of course since there are dozens of ways to get a kid that fits that description on the field in that particular sport, "athlete" is an asset.

Basketball ... not so much, especially when your height dictates you play the perimeter.
I'm not hating on Tyshawn. I just acknowledge that since he's been here, he's constantly battled himself, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and a large part of that is due to his having no true skill-set for a determined position on the basketball court.

Russ Rob ... that's not fair, that is truly apples and oranges. Rock Chalk.

kushaw 3 years, 4 months ago

Let's be honest here. Tyshawn's future is at stake and he has one year to prove himself. Much like Sherron Collins career although completely different paths, TT has had 3 different roles he has had to adjust to in his first 3 years as a Jayhawk.

As a couple of posters above stated, it's now or never for TT. Unlike Russell Robinson, this is and will be TT's Jayhawk team in 2012. The Jayhawks will sink or swim with TT. Is that fair? Is that too much pressure? Not really considering there aren't many expectations for this 2012 Jayhawk team. IMO, it's the perfect setup for TT, EJ, and T-Rob to fly under the radar and thrive for the NBA GM's. Pressure? What pressure? This is the perfect opportunity for TT to prove what he's got without having to look over his shoulder. I hope he takes advantage of this opportunity.

kushaw 3 years, 4 months ago

For once, I am excited for one season not to hear about the Jayhawks "Depth". Give the rock to EJ, TT, Releford, and T-Rob and let the rest follow or try to keep up.

justinryman 3 years, 4 months ago

I am with you on this one. There are a lot of teams that go 6 deep and they are really good teams. Butler wasn't deep the past 2 years and look where consistency got them.

Sometimes I think with a lot of depth you lose rhythm within the game. Sure it's nice to have a deep bench when it comes to foul trouble, but if you play defense the correct way, then you don't have to worry about it.

RockChalk26 3 years, 4 months ago

+1

Depth = lack of experience for key players

100 3 years, 4 months ago

Nice thought kushaw.

If the leaders heads are really wrapped around TEAM, I get the feeling Jeff Withey & TRobb are playing one on one at the practice facility 18 hours a day with special rules:

  1. It's twenty one.

  2. All 2 point scores must be made on shots inside 5 feet (duck tape, oh the glories of duck tape). Shots between 5 feet & the three point line count as 1 point.

  3. Three point scores are legal but only two are allowed per game (total so whoever gets 'em first gets 'em).

  4. Only Four total 3 point shot attempts are allowed per contest (total, so whoever gets 'em, gets 'em). Increase the pressure brother Jayhawks!

  5. Up to three free throws per basket made. A miss & the other player gets an automatic point & should get an easy rebound. Player must take it back unless it's some British airmail.

  6. Players bust back to 11 at 22. At 13 if the free throw is missed the player reverts back to zero.

  7. Five consecutive inside scores without a miss equals an automatic win, regardless of score.

  8. Best of 7. Loser runs steps for an hour. Winner runs the steps with him for 59 minutes, stops & claps for his losing teammate the last minute.

  9. Take a 15 minute break. Eat. Drink. Stretch. Repeat. And repeat.... And repeat.....

This summer..... If Withey can win even 30% of this specialized version of twenty one games against the potential NCAA player of the year....

Look out next year!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Kendall 3 years, 4 months ago

Shaw---I am with you when you say, "It is a perfect setup for TT, EJ and T-Rob to fly under the radar". If fact, I was eating out for dinner one night and said those last four words to a friend of mine. "Fly under the radar." I believe the Jayhawks will fly under the radar but the potential is there for a deep run in the Tourney. Rock Chalk!

Dirk Andrews 3 years, 4 months ago

TT has incredible speed and can get to the hole great. If he can finish around the rim better he'll be GREAT. Like a Nolan Smith type player

Jack Wilson 3 years, 4 months ago

Warning: Any critical comments of TT usually bring out a few folks that vehemently come to TT's defense. I have noted that the extreme defenders of TT really don't understand/appreciate the unique role of a point guard, mistaking some of the positives in his play for good point guard play, and thus mistaking criticisms as attacks. Sometimes they set the bar too low. Again, the "extreme" defenders of TT, not the mild apologists. Let's try to be objective as best we can.

Here's what we do know about TT, as objective as I can be on this topic:

  1. He is wildly erratic -- inconsistent in performance.
  2. He looks to shoot before looking to pass.
  3. He does not understand the role of a point guard.
  4. He is many times out of control with the ball.
  5. He has an inordinate number of charges.
  6. He makes turnovers at the most inopportune time.
  7. He is a poor finisher at the rim.
  8. He is a poor mid-range shooter.
  9. He is a poor three point shooter.
  10. He is not a leader.
  11. He is many times out of control with the ball.
  12. He is a good passer when that is his objective
  13. He is a solid defender.
  14. He always seems to be hustling and giving effort.
  15. He is crazy athletic, is quick, can jump, and is explosive.
  16. He is a generally reliable ball handler.
  17. His good days can be spectacular.
  18. He isn't a complainer.
  19. He seems like a positive, supportive player on the court.
  20. He is a good free throw shooter.

I have suggested before one easy solution that will take his game to the next level. Heading into 2011-12, I hope he'll consider it. It is the cure for nearly all ills. It is all mental.

If Taylor would simply approach each game with the attitude that his first and only objective is to create scoring opportunities for his teammates, he would instantly become a first round NBA pick, and make KU much, much better. If he would value his assist column on the stat sheet more than the points column, he'd be on the right track.

What we've seen from Taylor is a guy who gets too caught up in trying to score. This leads to two multiple negatives .. charges, turnovers, and missed shots at the rim. Teams understand he rarely dishes on a drive. They do look at tape. He has more times than I can count driven not to the hoop, but to the short corner, and gotten caught .. either throwing up slop, throwing the ball away, or committing a charge. This all comes from his mindset. Think about how many times you have seen him drive and leave one at the rim for a jam; or off the drive, bounce pass to a big across the lane ... very, very rare.

Jack Wilson 3 years, 4 months ago

(cont) If you look at his negatives, all except the poor mid range and three point shooting are significantly addressed by a change in mindset by TT. And work can improve those areas.

This guy has demonstrated an ability to be spectacular. We need consistency, and we need a creator at the point guard spot. And he might be surprised how much he'll score by accident with a change in mindset. It is amazing how many open layups a point guard can get when the defenders fear the pass more than defending the shot. And it amazing how much better a team can be with a point guard that creates for his teammates ... that being the point guard's priority ... as opposed to a point guard that forces shots and attempts to be "the man."

Just my take.

Theutus 3 years, 4 months ago

As usual, my thoughts are pretty much the same as yours HEM. This marks the third year we've heard about how TT has grown up in the off-season and will be an all-star for us... We all know how that's turned out each year (turnovers, suspensions, excuses).

I hope TT finally did catch a wakeup call (he played well the last few games of the season), and that he puts his head on straight permanently... That being said, i won't be holding my breath.

Ben Kliewer 3 years, 4 months ago

Didn't somebody write this exact same article last year?

Kenny Terry 3 years, 4 months ago

Tyshawn will have a great season his last go around is his time to shine and T-rob will be a beast for us. The two together will step up and be the leaders

Robert Lofthouse 3 years, 4 months ago

Ty will be fun to watch this year; he will embrace the opportunities, mature and make some blunders, but this will arguably be his team -- along with another 30+ win season, multiple trophies and a deep tourney run, the Jayhawk hopeful should be rockin' into the early 2nd quarter next year with TRob anchoring the team! I'm looking for Elijah and Travis to have breakout years! Another exciting season coming up! But the first test will be a talented kentucky bunch in November. Talent+team wins over talent alone.

nuleafjhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree that this should be a very good year for Tyshawn. I think he realizes that he has got a great opportunity in front of him to finally silence his critics, and I think he may just do that. I hope he uses this season as a shining example of what can happen if you stay around for four years at Kansas and grow as a player and a man.

martyks 3 years, 4 months ago

I just don't see TT taking us anywhere. I'm sorry. I hope I'm wrong. I just don't see anything but inconsistency.

Mark Lindrud 3 years, 4 months ago

I have no expectations of TT to be honest. He has been highly inconsistent and honestly has shown little leadership skills. I hope he gets IT this year and grows up as a person. If that happens then he could be the leader we have wanted for awhile. I am having the wait and see approach.

kushaw 3 years, 4 months ago

100: You bring up a good point about Withey! Seriously, look at the last two National Champions and see if you can see a common theme with Duke's and UConn's big men. Zoubek could score ocassionally, but was mostly a defensive threat down low and did an excellent job on the pick and roll. Same can be said about Oriaki (Sp?) for UConn even though he was a little more raw, he stuffed the middle of the paint.

If all KU gets out of Withey is a few ally oops for a 5 or 6 point average and he can stuff the middle and average anywhere from 8-10 rebounds a game then that is a win/win for KU IMO. If Tharpe can produce in the manner that Napier did for UConn off the bench than I'll be a happy man. I'm not even expecting much out of McLemore, but if he can show glimpse's of a Keith Langford freshman year or show flashes of what Lamb did at UConn coming off the bench than I'll be even more ecstatic.

100 3 years, 4 months ago

Great point kushaw.

I get the feeling, injury free, Withey is working extremely hard at his game. Nice to have Pollard & sometimes Cole to work with along with Trobb & others.

I'm actually excited to see how much Wesley has improved by the start of next season.

I just get the feeling it's a bunch of big guys just posting & working on 3 footers & occassional 15 footers all summer long & turning/developing into a group much more like the 2010 Duke group you spoke of.

This is always the best part of being a Kansas fan...

Development!

jaybate 3 years, 4 months ago

Jeff is a natural garbage scorer, not a power scorer, but just some one who gets the ball and can get it in.

But Jeff has some D1 basics to establish, before he can even start to establish his fundamentals, much less develop his game.

First, on offense, Jeff has to prove he can consistently get to the lower block and hold the back-to-the-basket spot that he takes. So far, he has never proven he can do that on a regular basis. A post man who cannot even set up on the lower block is doomed.

Second, defensively, Jeff has to prove that he can take and hold a crowding position on a low post man.

Third, defensively, he has to prove that he can keep a big in front of him out on the high post.

Fourth, he has to prove that he can do the first three without getting 3 fouls in 5 minutes.

Fifth, he has to prove he can remember the plays on offense. Too often, he has not merely looked unable to hold his own physically, but mentally, too.

We take these basics for granted in most bigs, because most of themmaster them over the course of practicing against three bigs for 2 and a half years that subsequently became first round draft choices.

That Jeff has not show competence at the five basics above gives one pause.

Yes, the Duke and UConn centers struggled for quite some time before becoming competent D1 centers capable of staying on the floor against Top Ten teams.

But in Jeff's case, we are not talking about Jeff looking rough. We are talking about him not being able to stay on the floor even in a very limited backup roles.

Can he make this transition to a contributing member of the regular rotation--not to being a star--just to being a guy who can keep his man in front of him on defense, stay on the low block for 5 seconds, and hold down his fouls so he can play two 5 minute blocks each half, for a total of 20 mpg.

If Jeff, with Danny's and Bill's help, can develop Jeff's game to this point, it will be one of the great big man transformations in quite some time.

Jeff just does have a long way to come.

Yes.

Kenny Nall 3 years, 4 months ago

Is it me or does anyone else think this incoming class could be great?

Jeeveshawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Taylor will have a great breakthrough this year. He will be a great scorer for KU, but when and if he runs the PG position (i could see Elija playing 1 and Tyshawn 2). He also is an underrated floor runner and he is a good passer and can penetrate the lane well.

TexasHawk44 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh Mighty Jaybate, we are so humbled to be gathered around your all-knowing brain. We worship your wisdom and intellect.

I try to keep silent, but your bellowing and beating of your frail little chest screams out insecure underachieving wanna-be. You are the biggest blow-hard that this board has ever see. The fact that you have a following here with so many mindless chimps, only further reminds me of how watered-down our society is. Sad to see that a KU diploma has produced such mindless zombies.

You sir, remind me of the title of an old Dave Matthews song, "Proudest Monkey". You are definitely the proudest monkey in your little neck of the jungle. There is enough B.S. flowing from every orifice of your body to make the Kaw River run brown.

Do everyone here a favor and use next month's aluminum can money to buy an extra carton of Virginia Slims and forgo paying your internet bill. Please...from my lips to God's ears, I pray...

I now await you and your monkey clan to start flinging your verbal feces...Bang your cymbals, Proudest Monkey...

REHawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Generally speaking, Taylor possesses the potential to be a top 40 pick in the 2012 NBA draft. During his sophomore campaign, he was listed as a mid to late 2nd round pick on some of the mock draft boards, before his various peccadillos brought him to anonymity during last season's draft. He is fully aware that millions of dollars and huge opportunities hinge upon his focused play this season. His size and speed relate well to professional play. Determination, focus and team play will be deciding factors. Can he co-exist with the rising stardom of Elijah Johnson?

bennybob 3 years, 4 months ago

fool me once shame on you....... but you can't get fooled again.

thank you mr. bush

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