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Friday, February 17, 2012

Self raves about Tyshawn Taylor’s big-time Big 12 play

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pulls up for a jumper over Kansas State defenders Rodney McGruder and Angel Rodriguez during the second half on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 at Bramlage Coliseum.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pulls up for a jumper over Kansas State defenders Rodney McGruder and Angel Rodriguez during the second half on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012 at Bramlage Coliseum.

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Tyshawn Taylor’s play of late has thrown him into the discussion at the very least for Big 12 Player of the Year honors.

“Have we ever had a player since I’ve been here that’s played better over a six-week period that’s a guard than what Tyshawn has? Tell me,” KU coach Bill Self said at Thursday’s weekly news conference in Allen Fieldhouse.

“Sherron (Collins) didn’t have a stretch like this; Mario (Chalmers) didn’t have a stretch like this, because they played on teams where they could defer. This team he can’t defer. He’s been pretty solid for us.”

Taylor, in fact, is the Big 12’s second leading scorer through 13 games.

He’s averaged 18.5 points per game, which puts him behind Texas’ J’Covan Brown (20.2 ppg) and ahead of teammate Thomas Robinson (17.8). Missouri’s Marcus Denmon (17.2), Kansas State’s Rodney McGruder (16.3) and Texas A&M’s Elston Turner (16.2) are all over the 16.0 ppg mark.

Taylor — he ranks fifth in assists at 5.0 per game (eighth in assist/turnover ratio) and is tied for fourth in steals at 1.54 per game — of course, doesn’t figure to beat out the 6-10 Robinson in player-of- the-year voting, considering Robinson averages a double-double with 11.8 rebounds a game in 13 league contests.

Still, to be mentioned as a possibility ... not a bad accomplishment for the Jayhawks’ senior playmaker.

“I think Thomas is Big 12 Player of the Year,” Self said. “I think you could make a case for Ty and make a case for Denmon (Marcus, Missouri guard). To me, I think those three have distanced themselves from the other really good players to have a chance for Big 12 Player of the Year.

“A guy that has a chance to be National Player of the Year probably would be the safer bet to be conference player of the year,” Self added of Robinson, who averages 17.8 points (third in league) and a league-leading 12.0 rebounds in all games played. Taylor is fifth in scoring in all games played (16.9) and fifth in assists (5.12).

Self was asked how Taylor’s skill set compares to other point guards he’s coached.

“I’d say he’s unique because I’m not sure I’ve ever coached anybody that tall, that long and that fast,” Self said. “He doesn’t think the game like Deron (Williams, Illinois) or Aaron (Miles, KU). He doesn’t have the energy that Dee (Brown, Illinois) had. He doesn’t have the ability to make the shots consistently like Sherron (Collins) had, but none of them had the speed he has or the courage to get in there and make plays.”

Taylor has hit 47.9 percent of his floor shots and 43.1 percent of his threes, but just 65.8 percent of his free throws — 59.7 percent in league action.

“I don’t worry about free throws. I never have. I worry about turnovers,” Self said. “We can practice that (free-throw shooting). He has to have some courage, faith, confidence he can make ‘em. Ty is one of those guys who is never going to be an 85 percent shooter. That’s not who he is. He should be a guy that makes them when it counts because he’s a winner.”

Self said he “loves” coaching the senior.

“I like kids with personality, but when you have kids with personality and that are stubborn and strong-willed, it creates confrontation. I would rather have a guy have a confrontation with me than have a guy that’s soft and backs away,” Self said. “He is my kind of guy. I don’t know if I could enjoy coaching a kid more than I have enjoyed coaching him the last couple of months. I think he knows I’m enjoying coaching him, which is probably more than he’s known for a period of time since he’s been here.

“Look at the things that have gotten him in trouble: Tweeting and Facebook. When you talk about guys who have had bad experiences in college, they’re not really talking about those types of things. Those are things that maybe go unnoticed if you play at a place that isn’t as high profile as a place like this, but he brings it on himself. He gets in his own way a lot. He has certainly matured and corrected that many times over this past year.”

The bottom line ... “He’s had a great career. There have only been three or four other players that have ever put up the numbers he has from his position at our school,” Self said. “Of course, he’s also started for four years, so it’s easy to put up numbers when you start for four years. He’s been inconsistent, but for the most part terrific.”

Academic All-Big 12: KU seniors Jordan Juenemann and Conner Teahan were named to the Academic All-Big 12 team Thursday. Juenemann made the 11-player first team; Teahan the second team. KU leads the Big 12 with 48 all-time Academic All-Big 12 selections; Texas is second with 37. First-teamers have maintained a 3.20 or better GPA while the second team selections hold a 3.00 to 3.19 GPA.

Rest: Self gave the Jayhawks two days off following Monday night’s win at Kansas State.

“The batteries are recharged, and everybody’s feeling good,” Self said. “There’s no excuses. We gave ‘em two days off. We’ll practice hard today and tomorrow, and we’ll be ready to play (vs. Texas Tech at 7 p.m., Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse).”

Confident in Withey: Self said 7-footer Jeff Withey is the tallest player he’s sent to the line to shoot technical foul shots.

“We had a guy at Illinois who was 7-3, Nick Smith, and a great free-throw shooter but we also had Deron and Dee and Luther (Head) so he never got a chance to shoot them.”

League race: The Jayhawks are fully aware they are tied with Missouri for first place in the league at 11-2.

“In our room we have a board that we update the standings every day. We take great pride in looking at that stuff,” Self said. “Now, we don’t talk about ‘this team has them left.’ All you do is play it one game or one week at a time.”

Comments

Rick Arnoldy 2 years, 2 months ago

Love him as a physical player. Question him as a decision maker. Use your head as well as your physical talents. Don't forget they go hand-in-hand if you want to be considerd great at KU standards.

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Steve Brown 2 years, 2 months ago

Taylor is the man!

wouldn't have it any other way, he is the stud, gives it all on the court, we are blessed to have the results of his 4 year investment in training, practice, experience, ability.

Cash it in, we have TT with the ball.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Ty, before January I thought I'd never say this, but today I definitely want the ball in your hands, right down to the final gasp of any close contest. Always, I'm hoping that you can glean 8 minutes of rest and relief (sorry, jaybate) to accompany 32 minutes of superconcentration and focus. But if you have to grind out 38 minutes, so be it. Best of all possible good fortune throughout these remaining five league contests. To be remembered as a starter on 4 consecutive conference title teams...WOW!

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machinegun 2 years, 2 months ago

LMAO-Angry Football Guy you don't want the ball in Tyshawn's hands? Giving you the benefit of the doubt, maybe--just maybe--you missed Frank Martin's desperation timeouts trying the stop the "Kansas Juggernaut" as he took control of the game.

I am tired of the critics, I am tired of the naysayers, I am tired of Stat Guy who spends most of his time counting Tyshawn's turnovers and missed free throws. Stat Guy then overlooks the most important stat--number of victories. I am really tired of Angry Football Guy because he spends most of his time trying to tear down Tyshawn for obvious reasons. It's not Tyshawn's fault that we ended up with a preacher who was more concerned about avoiding profanity than he was concerned about avoiding some of the most embarrassing losses in Kansas Football History. To all of you whiners--time to quit your complaining!

Tyshawn--we are behind you all the way! Just take it one game at a time!

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Another thing we sometimes forget along the way: Tyshawn, at times, is reported to have been distracted by family dilemmas...instances wherein he has served as the man of his family, dealing with mother/sister situations which many college players never have to face, esp. at times when their team leadership is called into fulltime focus and concentration. I think that Bill Self, who knows much more than any of us about the trials and tribulations of his current team leader, is cognizant of how far TT has come during his tenure in Lawrence. I submit that all of us should be very respectful and appreciative of the giant strides Tyshawn has made, in this season alone. If his focus and production remain steady or on the upward swing, his former bench cohorts are bound to ride along with him to an 8th consecutive league title and an opportunity to shine on the world stage of amateur hoops, come late March. The current and near future pride and jubilation of the Jayhawk Nation lies very much in his hands and control. It has been, indeed, a wild 4-year ride; and he now fits the mold of a Johnny Come Lately superstar. But SuperStar he is right now and throughout this league season. Right up there among the best point guards who have ever played a senior season in the grand historical mystique of The Phog.

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KansasComet 2 years, 2 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor is the point guard of my beloved Kansas Jayhawks. I believe in Tyshawn Taylor. I can't say I have spent enough time with him to call him an "emotional train wreck". I doubt the person making that comment has ever met Tyshawn. That's pretty harsh for an entertaining game of basketball? Fans that pick on this young man, seem to only motivate him more. He has done an excellent job that last six weeks of "shutting them up"! Keep balling, Tyshawn, we are behind you 100%!

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Slick50 2 years, 2 months ago

8th in a 10 team league in assist/turnover ratio.

TT has never been clutch. It's embarrassing to watch people comment about Sherron in the same sentence as TT.

HCBS is massaging the ego of young Mr. Taylor, because he has to. The kid is an emotional trainwreck.

TT makes the incredible play, and not 30 seconds later makes a play worse than any you'd see in a pick-up game at the Y.

If the game is nearing the end, and we need a big play, I hope the ball sure as hell isn't in TT's hands.

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Jackalope7 2 years, 2 months ago

ESPN has a nice little story about the High School Tyshawn came from. There's a clip with Tyshawn in it for about 5 seconds. Makes you kinda understand where he came from. Keep on improving Tyshawn. You've already proved me wrong this year. RCJH.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 2 months ago

(cont.) With all this in mind, you will never get a true "apples-to-apples" comparison, and thus all conclusions are subject to interpretation. Here's what we know regarding Tyshawn: his team this year needs him to score. He is doing that with great effectiveness. This team needs a reliable trey-gun. He is knocking them down from beyond the arc with great efficiency. This team needs him to play a lot of minutes. He is doing that. This team has a small margin for error. On occasion, Tyshawn is more prone to error than we would all like, and more than we can at times afford. In the end I think the best answer is what Self said - he is unique. He seems to be the right player for this team, and any other comparison is simply personal opinion. For myself, while I like all of the guys whose names are mentioned, I am more a fan of the Aaron Miles style point guard. The distributor. The floor general. Setting up his teammates in position to score. Again, this is just as a general premise as to if I was building a team what I like in a PG. Now would I take Miles over Tyshawn to run this team? Probably not.

One last thing to consider: the final chapter in the book of Tyshawn has not yet been written. Will he rise to the challenge in a tournament game and hit a big shot down the stretch? Will he dribble into 3 defenders and get called for charge in the elite 8 with less than 2 minutes left? I have my doubts & concerns, but as Jayhawk fans we should all get behind him and cheer for him during the last leg of his KU career.

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Kye Clark 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm putting out an APB on all level-headed, rationale thinking basketball fans regarding the issue of Tyshawn Taylor and his place among KU's point guard ranks. Tyshawn haters need not apply. Tyshawn apologists need not apply. I've seen very few objective comments regarding this issue, and too many extremist positions. Regarding the haters - Tyshawn will never be able to elevate his performance to the level that he has enough good will banked with this group to get them off his 11 turnover performance against Duke, his numerous suspensions, etc. They are but pieces of the whole that, while worthy of consideration in any Tyshawn legacy discussion, do not tell the whole story. As to the apologists - the ones with revisionist versions of history regarding both Tyshawn's accomplishments and former players' shortcomings, they are incapable of looking beyond the now. As I said to chuckberry, sometimes we as fans tend to use hyperbole when describing whatever current group of players are in front of us. Self does this too. This is also misleading when trying to get an idea of just how good Tyshawn really is in the grand scheme of things.

Attempting to look at things objectively, we must first attempt to define the parameters of the debate. When comparing Tyshawn to former KU point guard greats, are we evaluating Tyshawn on his whole career? The last two years that he has actually been the starting PG once Sherron left? This season? The past six weeks? It is a tricky situation, because it might not be fair to judge Tyshawn during his first two years when he wasn't playing the point - the first year as an impact 2 guard, his sophomore year as more of a glue 2-guard with some of the PG responsibilities coming his way. However, if we do that, how do we judge the rest? While not a PG for much of his career, I have seen many comparisons of Mario Chalmers during his freshman year attempting to run the point to Tyshawn during his bouts of being turnover-prone. If we're going to give Tyshawn a pass on different times of his career, it's not really in the spirit of the debate to compare a freshman Mario Chalmers to a junior or senior Tyshawn Taylor. Sherron's career was not that of a 4-year starter. Hinrich ran the point before moving to the 2. Miles & Vaughn are really the only players in recent memory who started all four years at the point and whose roles never much changed. Speaking of roles, it is important to understand the needs of the team and how each player fills those needs. Aaron Miles was never relied upon to be a big-time scorer. RussRob showed ability early before Self decided he was better suited as a glue PG amidst players he felt were more capable scorers.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

doubled96, thanks for the research and post re T-Rob's numbers vs. top ranked opponents. Would be interesting to see how Anthony Davis's numbers look vs. Kentucky's ranked opponents. I certainly hope that T-Rob finishes strong to win the POY award. What a deserving intense effort he has put into his game in the past 13 months.

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Steve Brown 2 years, 2 months ago

never was much as SC fan, not sure why.

I'll take TT on my five vs. your five. Your pick......

Oh, you take SC & Mario nice choice.

I'll take Darnell and TRob for my power forwards.

Oh, you got Danny from '88 nice and Ronnie Kellogg for the outside trey.

Okay, I got Stallworth and Valentine, JoJo coming off the bench to close you out.

Your bench has Pierce and Gooden, fine I got Kirk and Nick, we could go on and on, point is Taylor has game and has it for this season, right now. RCJH

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Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey..once again off topic but what's the deal with Dr Naismith's Rules? Has anybody heard any plans or proposals?

Come on LJW, throw us a bone!!

I am totally thrilled that we have them, but down deep, I feel they do belong in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. After all, those two pieces of paper put everybody in there!!!

At the very least, the Hall should get a damn good replica.

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machinegun 2 years, 2 months ago

Tyshawn has proven time and time again that he possesses the heart of a champion! When we were getting beaten down (repeat-beaten down) by Kentucky, Tyshawn was the one who continued to take it to them in the second half. When he suffered a torn meniscus and a sprained MCL, Tyshawn was the one who demanded that surgery be postponed so that he could help the team beat Long Beach State and Ohio State.

Tyshawn was the one who immediately came back from knee surgery to play 30+ minutes against Davidson. Unbelievable dedication to the team! Simien-like warrior! I won't go into the details of Tyshawn's numerous successes leading the team during the conference season as these are well documented. Tyshawn did not lose the Missouri game!

What does Stat Guy have to say about it? Coach Self has it wrong. Tyshawn misses too many free throws. Tyshawn makes too many turnovers. Tyshawn charges too much. Tyshawn is trying to be too much like Sherron. Stat Guy thinks Tyshawn lost the Missouri game.

What does Angry Football Guy have to say about it? Coach Self has it wrong. Angry Football Guy is still mad at Tyshawn as if Tyshawn is at fault for the 3 dismal seasons in a row since the "ruckus". Angry Football Guy thinks that Tyshawn needs to sit on the bench while somebody else, anybody else, leads the team. Angry Football Guy thinks Tyshawn lost the Missouri game.

Did you happen to watch the K-State game on Monday? Did you see those plays that Tyshawn made down the stretch? Tyshawn Taylor is one of the greatest players in the history of KU basketball! I wouldn't trade him for 10 Marcus Denmon's!

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RockyMountainHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

I wonder if coach Self feels bad about his comment about Tyshawn making plays where it "looks like he's never been coached." I know he was kind of joking, but I think it might have hurt Tyshawn's stock a bit. I like that he's doing everything he can to build him back up!

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William Blake 2 years, 2 months ago

Never drop a 10-count on TT. He may get knocked down sometimes, but the one thing you can count on with TT is he won't nap on the canvas.

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Jackster 2 years, 2 months ago

Or buy them from a cop maybe?

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Jackster 2 years, 2 months ago

I'd like to catch a KU game live with my son. We have not been to a game yet this year. The Texas Tech tickets are very pricey on line. Does anyone know if I'd be better off trying to buy them from a scalper outside of Allen or should I bite the bullet and buy them online? Thanks!

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joeloveshawks 2 years, 2 months ago

Can someone post these draft boards that have TT and Jeff in the first round? I am not being a jerk, I just want to see them and can't find them listed that high anywhere.

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Steve Gantz 2 years, 2 months ago

Last week a headline Withey wins national player of the week. Tyshawn Taylor in the running for Big 12 POY. A year ago I'd have bet my house that we'd never see headlines like that. It's made for a very fun KU season.

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kugrampy 2 years, 2 months ago

Dude wants a shot at the NBA and knows his time is swiftly running out to draw attention.

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IrishCharlie 2 years, 2 months ago

All this Self promoting ego inflation contributes to March Meltdown, believe it!

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dewclw 2 years, 2 months ago

RE: TYSHAWN TAYLOR, I was negative on Ty Taylor in most conversations the past 3 years. I always thought he had the talent but he just didn't care enough to win. I have changed that mindset big time now. I would take Tyshawn over any other point guard in the entire nation right now when the game is on the line. Now I just wish that Elijah Johnson would work allot harder and adopt that same type of play. FOCUS Elijah, this could be a great year for the team if he and Releford would pick it up a bit like Withey has. Rock Chalk.

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PVJayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Ralster:

This is for your eyes only. Anyone who is not Ralster should stop reading Now.

I feel it is encumbent on me to explain something about Jaybate. Jaybate was born with an IQ that far exceeded any other in history. Jaybate's first nanny, however, (yes, Jaybate had a nanny and not just one, but a succession of them, for the young J presented such formidable challenges that none were up to the task for long).

As I was saying, Jaybate's first nanny was, unfortunately, much addicted to spirituous liquors and the consequence of her prodigious consumption of such was an expected and profound impairment of her motor skills. Because of that, she repeatedly dropped young J, sometimes on his head. This not only partly explains his appearance and behavioral problems, but more importantly, the severe drop in his intelligence to a mere Einsteinian level, leaving him smarter than any ten of us put together, but nothing compared to what he was.

He is, therefore, and in a very real sense, a Retarded Genius and as such deserves our most heartfelt sympathy and our most profound respect and admiration.

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AirCapJay 2 years, 2 months ago

For all of TT's speed, he sure charges a lot. I think the scouting report on TT is - if you see drive to the basket, just stand there and you will draw a charge from him. Name someone else in the league that charges as much.

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AsadZ 2 years, 2 months ago

“Have we ever had a player since I’ve been here that’s played better over a six-week period that’s a guard than what Tyshawn has? Tell me,”

I just watched HCBS Press Conf videos. Its really heartning to hear about his feelings on Taylor. And when you think about it he is absolutely right.

I was criticizing TT earlier in the year but he has shut me up by his play on the floor.

That's a great compliment.

Rock Chalk Taylor

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Ben Kane 2 years, 2 months ago

"KU leads the Big 12 with 48 all-time Academic All-Big 12 selections"

---AWESOME!!!---

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Ben Kane 2 years, 2 months ago

I would take TT over Sherron every day. I love Sherron and without his steal and 3 Chalmers never would have had a chance. But, TT is better in almost every way. Sherron was a master at what i call the short guy layup spin, but TT is quicker to the hole and has a much higher ability to contort and create a shot that wasn't there. Sherron was more bull-like going to bucket.

As others above have already noted, his big12 play has been unbelievable this season and he has quieted all of his critics, not with his mouth but with his play, as it should be.

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DocB 2 years, 2 months ago

I was just looking at ESPN's power rankings released yesterday. Against the other nine teams in the top 10, KU has played seven games. I wonder if any other team has played such a tough schedule. I didn't see any team among the rest of the 25 that we have played though. The results of those 7 games: Lost badly to UK on neutral court, lost in last minute away to MU, lost in last minute on neutral court to Duke, beat Ohio St. at home, beat Georgetown on neutral court, and beat Baylor both home and away. This is pretty impressive considering this is a "down year" for KU.

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KansasComet 2 years, 2 months ago

Senior Night is going to be emotional for Tyshawn Taylor, and for us fans.

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REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm more than a little bit amazed at TT's focus and concentration in league play this semester. Whatever personal demons haunted him the past two and a half seasons seemed to have been ushered away to allow the hoops world to view the super talented basketball player whom he really is. Finally, he is on track to lead this squad to glory...and to place himself into position for positive end of season recognition for conference, perhaps national honors and awards. Even when his play and offcourt peccadillos frustrated and confounded the coaching staff and Jayhawk Nation the most, there was always an undelying belief in the kid, a sense that if he could maintain focus, he could go down as one of the best ever to don a Jayhawk singlet. My best wishes are with him for March, April and June rewards and recognition. I hope to catch glimpses of his terrific talent for the next decade.

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dynamitehawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Something tells me Sherron is going for 45 in Turkey next time he plays. :)

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Michael Pannacciulli 2 years, 2 months ago

It's gotta be rewarding for Self to see TT end his career like this...he was suspect...rumors mor than once swirled if he would leave KU. I am glad he's turned all the negatives into positives. Well done TT - finish out strong.

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nuleafjhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

“I don’t worry about free throws. I never have. I worry about turnovers,” Self said. “We can practice that (free-throw shooting)."

In case you don't know - I love Bill Self - think he's the best coach in America (or anywhere else) and have for some time now. But, he really should worry about free throws. It has bitten us in the hind quarters more than once.

Or maybe it's an individual thing. Jeff Withey seems to have worked himself from a bad free throw shooter into an outstanding one.

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Brianna Zaleski 2 years, 2 months ago

I've said this before and I'll say it again, if I were putting together a team today, I would take the Sr. year version on TT over just about anyone. We've had guys before that could get into the lane at will. We've had guys who defend as well and shoot as well our better, but we have not had anyone that can do all that AND have TT's size. You can't coach size and length. I'm telling you, this kid is going to get a legitimate chance in the NBA. We probably couldn't have said that before this year began. How crazy is it that we might just have 2 AA's on this team?

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jhox 2 years, 2 months ago

Tyshawn has been great since the start of conference season. I'd hate to think where this team would be without him (probably .500 or so, if that.) He's done away with nearly all of his mistakes, and has been the best point guard in the country since early January. He's harnessed his speed, and is now controlling it. He gets in the paint at will, and makes good decisions with it once he gets in there (something he didn't do in the pre-conference season.) He's playing like Kirk Hinrich, other than his free throws. I never would have thought I'd be saying that about Tyshawn 6 weeks ago but he's earned the right to be compared with Hinrich for his conference season performance.

Sherron was a tough and fearless kid, but he wasn't 6'4" with long arms, and he was a defensive liability.Tyshawn plays 35+ minutes a game and still gets after it defensively. Mario didn't have Tyshawn's speed and athleticism. Russell Robinson maybe had that kind of speed, but he didn't handle or shoot the ball as well as Tyshawn. I completely agree with Self's appraisal that he's been the best performer, during conference season, of any point guard he's coached here. I think you have to go back to HInrich and Darnell Valentine to find point guards at KU who have had this kind of conference season. I'm glad he's on my team. I fear we're going to find out just how valuable he was, when we have to play next season without him.

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EverRisingHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Tyshawn Taylor has joined a truly elite group of players who can shoulder a massive load for their teams when they are called to do so. I love watching a guy who can score at will and who plays with an undeniable swagger. His net positive FAAAAR outweighs the negatives that so many people have been harping on for too long - gotta give credit where credit is due.

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Priest Fontaine 2 years, 2 months ago

whoa, is that a playgirl mag with Ostertag on the cover? That's fearless...

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SaltLakeHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

“He doesn’t think the game like Deron (Williams, Illinois) or Aaron (Miles, KU). He doesn’t have the energy that Dee (Brown, Illinois) had. He doesn’t have the ability to make the shots consistently like Sherron (Collins) had, but none of them had the speed he has or the courage to get in there and make plays.”

Respectfully disagree, coach. Taylor is an absolute warrior, but Sherron was as fearless and courageous as anyone who ever put on a Kansas jersey.

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