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.


Ralster Jayhawk 1 year, 9 months ago

I think the last 1.5yrs matured Tyshawn alot. Not to perfection, but alot. He still definitely has potential, as this last season proves he was learning and turned a proverbial "corner" a senior! So he created some buzz about his still-learning "upside".

One of the best pix of Tyshawn ever is from May '12 when he is standing in the group-hug photo at graduation (in cap&gown) with Self & Teahan...Tyshawn looks genuinely happy, as Self looks genuinely proud. Tyshawn has grown-up in many ways right in front of us. Tyshawn + TRob watch party 6/28!!! RCJH, Tyshawn!


William Blake 1 year, 9 months ago

First thing to realize is that NBA scouts are paid to come out with their analysis and if you would research how many times they get it right, they probably wouldn't outperform a coin toss. I don't mean that as a slam against scouts... they have a tough job matching their prejudice against the reality that follows.

TT will increase his chance of success if he continues to work on his game and improve. As he stands now, his success will be greatly influenced by the team(s) he plays for... how well the coaches and players utilize TT's talents (or not) will heavily influence his success. Obviously, he needs to get a chance on the right team at the right time.

Projecting anything beyond that involves too much conjecture and it doesn't feel right to judge a player before he gets his chance on the hardwood. Many great college players fizzle out at the next level while others turn on the gas and do better in the pros than in college. I have a sneaking suspicion that TT will be the later.


sekjayhawkfan 1 year, 9 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?


jhawkrulz 1 year, 9 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.


KGphoto 1 year, 9 months ago

Da Bulls. They want him. They need him.


Andrew Moore 1 year, 9 months ago

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


Danny Hernandez 1 year, 9 months ago

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


KEITHMILES05 1 year, 9 months ago

Shocking if he goes in first round.


Brianna Zaleski 1 year, 9 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.


Martin Rosenblum 1 year, 9 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. .


SaltLakeHawk 1 year, 9 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.


Mike Hart 1 year, 9 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.


april28 1 year, 9 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.


Jay Dogger 1 year, 9 months ago

My advice is next to worthless, but... What I think TT should do is accept whatever role is given to him, including playing the 2 instead of PG. I think he should spend his free time working on his shooting, jump shot, three-point shot and free throw shooting (only .688 last year).

He's got NBA moves slashing to the hoop; he just needs to improve other parts of his game. And that last line was spot-on: play tenacious D.

Rock Chalk Tyshawn Taylor! Whatever team he's on I will be a fan.


yovoy 1 year, 9 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.


ukanjhox 1 year, 9 months ago

Why can't Keegan write like Newell or Tait? I've never read articles that end as abruptly as Keegan's. It's like the concluding paragraphs got cut out.


ku1otaku 1 year, 9 months ago

I really think too many people have underestimated Tyshawn Taylor.


jhawk0097 1 year, 9 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.


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