Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Tyshawn Taylor exhibits growth potential

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor laughs between teammates Thomas Robinson, front, and Jeff Withey after it was brought to his attention by a media member that he is yet to make a three-pointer in the NCAA tournament when playing in a dome, Saturday, March 24, 2012 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor laughs between teammates Thomas Robinson, front, and Jeff Withey after it was brought to his attention by a media member that he is yet to make a three-pointer in the NCAA tournament when playing in a dome, Saturday, March 24, 2012 at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis.


To get to know Tyshawn Taylor, even at big-time college basketball player/reporter distance, is to love him. Unbridled enthusiasm for playing the game, such a people person, so funny.

Former teammates know him 100 times better and want the best for him.

Will Taylor make it in the NBA?

“I’m sure of it,” said Norfolk State forward A.J. Rogers, a teammate at St. Anthony High in Jersey City, N.J. “There’s no doubt in my mind. Whatever he’s got to do — if he’s got to grow five inches to come to the league — he’s going to do it.”

Taylor has growth potential as a basketball player, but enough that a team will select him in the first round of Thursday night’s NBA draft? Probably not. Then again, nothing’s more overrated than how early a player gets drafted, nothing more underrated than how a player fits with the team that selects him.

Jim Clibanoff of Clib Hoops, a scouting service to which many NBA teams subscribe, doesn’t have any emotions invested in Taylor. He brings objectivity to his breakdown. He projects Taylor to go somewhere from 40th to 60th in the draft.

“Not by any means is it a given that he’ll have a long shelf life in the NBA,” Clibanoff said. “If he has a long NBA career, it wouldn’t surprise me, and if he doesn’t, it wouldn’t surprise me.”

How long will it take to make a a judgment with more conviction?

“If he cashes NBA checks for two years and doesn’t become a producer in that time, then he’s probably overseas,” Clibanoff predicted.

The scout said he always had Taylor listed as a point guard and not one that excited him much.

“This year he finally breaks out, not really as a distributor, but as a scorer,” Clibanoff said. “His senior year kind of confirms him as a two guard. If you’re not so turned on by having to have a guard who’s a prototype and you can throw him on the court and put good players around him, he could help that team. He’ll need to define his identity and refine his game at the NBA level. That’s what the second round is for.”

His identity, the scout said, will have to be as a guard who takes pride in playing outstanding defense against point guards and shooting guards. Clibanoff offered Armon Johnson as a comparable. Johnson was taken out of Nevada with the 34th pick in 2010 by the Portland Trail Blazers, has gone back and forth between the NBA and the D-League and now is the property of the Brooklyn Nets.

“If all goes well, try Keyon Dooling,” Clibanoff wrote in his draft guide, citing the former Missouri guard who has averaged seven points per game in 11 seasons with six different franchises.

Dooling has earned roughly $35 million, not bad work if you can get it. Taylor’s best shot at getting it lies in becoming a focused, non-stop defensive pest from Day 1.


Nathan Anderson 8 years, 3 months ago

Take a cue from Keith Langford and realize that being a pro basketball player doesn't begin and end in the NBA. Tyshawn could make even more money overseas, and see the world. Not a bad consolation prize.

ku1otaku 8 years, 3 months ago

I really think too many people have underestimated Tyshawn Taylor.

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

I think a lot of people realize his basketball skills and potential. It's keeping his head on straight that will determine how successful he will be.

jhox 8 years, 3 months ago

I agree. Frankly, I see him as maybe a poor man's Russell Westbrook. I believe he will do well in the NBA if he's given a fair opportunity.

RJ King 8 years, 3 months ago

Probably the same reason that some posters rejoice, and some complain. It's like they just are what they are.

yovoy 8 years, 3 months ago

I was one of TT's biggest detractors during his first 3 years; I take that back his first 2.5 years here. I complained mostly about his inconsistency. He got that ironed out pretty well the last 1.5 years he was here. I watched lots of other point guards this year, and TT is up there with most any of them - IMO.

He is one of those players that really has a chance to be a better pro than he was in college. My biggest fear is that he won't be given that chance. There are bigger names in front of him at BOTH guard positions, but there aren't very many of those names that are "battle tested" as he is. As far as the draft goes, I'm only interested to find out where HE goes.

I do like the sentiment on the board that the NBA isn't the end-all, be-all for 'professional' basketball. I agree, and I believe that Ty's path to the NBA might have to be a little curvier than it honestly need be. Also, some of this talk might be to talk his stock down, so that a team with need AND that sees something in him can "steal" him.

april28 8 years, 3 months ago

The scout is wrong. He's going late in the 1st. Possibly to the Thunder. This prediction is based upon my extensive knowledge of watching NBA finals games if a Jayhawk is on the team.

Mike Hart 8 years, 3 months ago

He stinks. Too inconsistent and turnover prone as a PG and too erratic a shooter for a 2 guard. He has a long pattern of having difficulty in staying focused. He was truly one of the most frustrating up and down players to watch while at KU. Athleticism is there, just think he lacks too much on the mental / focus side.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 3 months ago

So, how do you really feel about him? Don't make us read between the lines. Commit to your opinion man! (haha)

SaltLakeHawk 8 years, 3 months ago

lol thanks for the chuckle.

You're an idiot.

RJ King 8 years, 3 months ago

Based strictly on his on-court decision making, I also wondered at first if Tyshawn might be short a few brain cells. However, after hearing him speak again and again, and watching his play unfold, I have another theory. I think that he just tries/tried too hard and was in the process of taking it down a notch to find that sweet spot where effort and control meets with production.

I'd much rather have a player who has to reign in their energy and athleticism, than try to set fire to a damp log.

Brak 8 years, 3 months ago

Great analysis coming from the guy who said, "Anyone who says fire Turner Gill is an idiot and is being totally unfair."

Plus you realize you also just described Russell Westbrook but he sucks and will probably be playing in Europe in a couple years right.

SaltLakeHawk 8 years, 3 months ago

"[Armon Johnson] is the property of the Brooklyn Nets."

I pretty much never promote political correctness, but isn't it in poor taste to call someone the "property" of a team? There are horrible connotations with that word.

RJ King 8 years, 3 months ago

It's a legitimate business term, used in contractual discussions in most professional sports. It's not that far removed from the concept of "intellectual property" if that helps make it more palatable.

Martin Rosenblum 8 years, 3 months ago

I think Tyshawn has always been "associated" to another player regarding his tenure at KU. He was Sherron's backup. Then, he was TRob's half of the guard/center combo. He was rarely making a name solely by or for himself. True, teamwork is a factor and should always be more goal-worthy than an individual's performance. But, I never felt that Tyshawn would have been an interchangeable part of just any team on his own merit. Maybe, I just don't see him in a leadership role, which is necessary at his position. Survival in the NBA is not based on potential or tendancies. It's based on individual contribution and fulfillment at an assigned role. I'm not sure what a team would see as Tyshawn's role as a non-starter. .

Brianna Zaleski 8 years, 3 months ago

Right now, espn has him going to the Warriors with the last pick of the 1st round. Hard not to be tempted with his size.

oldrocker 8 years, 3 months ago

Sports Illustrated has TRob #2 and TT #30.

Danny Hernandez 8 years, 3 months ago

Shocking if he doesn't go in the first round!

Andrew Moore 8 years, 3 months ago

If eric bledsoe can make it than so can Tyshawn Taylor. That is all.

KGphoto 8 years, 3 months ago

Da Bulls. They want him. They need him.

Dirk Medema 8 years, 3 months ago

Tt would be the second time Da Bulls drafted a Jayhawk undersized combo guard to fill in for their injured franchise PG. (Kirk)

Jeff Coffman 8 years, 3 months ago

The most disappointing thing in this article is that a KU player was compared to a MU player.

That right there should tell you the scout doesn't know what he is talking about.

sekjayhawkfan 8 years, 3 months ago

On another (but related) topic --- I've been waiting to read about T-Rob's plans for Thursday night and who he has invited to accompany him to the NBA Draft. I read the "anticipated" top 15 draft prospects were to be notified Monday night if they were invited to "the room" so I've been expecting to provide an article on T-Rob's guests and also where TT will be watching and who he'll have watching with him. One article I read focused on Jared Sullinger NOT receiving an invite and his father saying they were planning a draft party for him at a restaurant instead. Can anyone provide any details on T-Rob or TT plans?

Marcia Parsons 8 years, 3 months ago

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