Thursday, March 15, 2012

Taylor-made: Senior Tyshawn Taylor worked hard for trey success

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pulls up for a three over Iowa State guard Chris Allen during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 at Hilton Coliseum.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor pulls up for a three over Iowa State guard Chris Allen during the first half on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 at Hilton Coliseum.


— Set, square, rise, release, follow through.

That, in a nutshell, is a list of the key components of the perfect jumpshot.

Kansas University senior Tyshawn Taylor possesses a few of them, but rarely does a jumper from the right hand of the dynamic guard from Hoboken, N.J., deliver the kind of shot that KU fans grew to love from current and former sharp-shooters such as Tyrel Reed, Xavier Henry and Conner Teahan.

Doesn’t matter. During KU’s 27-6 season, Taylor’s long-range shots have gone in more often than ever before. And that’s saying something for a four-year starter who has hoisted more than 300 three-pointers during his college career.

In helping lead Kansas to its eighth straight Big 12 title and a No. 2 seed in this week’s NCAA Tournament, Taylor shot .435 from behind the three-point line, tops on the team among those with more than 20 attempts, and, by far, the best of his career. His 57 makes also led the team and were just five fewer than the number of threes he made during his first three seasons at KU combined.

“I’m just getting more opportunities to let it fly, man,” Taylor said. “And they’re going in for me. That’s really it.”

Throughout the years, the athletic combo guard has dedicated plenty of time to his jumper. Capable of getting to the rim on just about every possession, Taylor said he realized improving his range would make him even more dangerous off the dribble.

“I think it’s just kind of one of those slow processes,” said Taylor of the evolution of his outside shot. “I’ve been working on my shot for a long time, and it’s continually gotten better over the years. I never felt like I was a bad shooter. I felt like I was a shooter that maybe didn’t have too much confidence in his shot, but I’ve got the most confidence in the world right now, and if I feel like I’m open, I’m gonna shoot it.”

Taylor’s consistency has provided a huge lift to a team that entered the season lacking depth and proven three-point shooting. Senior Conner Teahan (47-for-132, .356) and junior Elijah Johnson (56-for-174, .322) opened the season as KU’s most well known long-range bombers, but both had played few meaningful minutes, making Taylor’s ability to rain threes critical.

“So critical,” said senior walk-on Jordan Juenemann, who guards Taylor every day in practice. “Especially with his game because, as we all know, he can take it off the bounce and get to the rack. He really elevates on his three and can get it off over somebody — off the dribble or off the catch. And that’s been a very good addition to our team.”

Taylor said he fully expected Teahan and Johnson to carry the load behind the three-point line.

“If you would’ve asked me, I would’ve definitely told you that they would’ve been our best (three-point) shooters, percentage-wise, makes, whatever,” Taylor said.

But he hasn’t minded adding the long-range jumper to his own arsenal, something that, no doubt, will increase his value when his college career is finished.

Asked to describe Taylor’s jumpshot, both Juenemann and Teahan had a little fun playing the role usually executed by KU’s resident shot doctor, assistant coach Joe Dooley.

“He’s got a great shot, just how he elevates,” Juenemann said. “He does lean back a little bit, but he’s got a high release and his elbow above the eye. He does kind of have a little kick in his leg, too. You’ll see him kick that leg out when he lands, but it’s a nice shot.”

Added Teahan: “He might have an unorthodox kind of release, but, at the same time, he was always money.”

As for his own evaluation of his jumper, Taylor called it “a work in progress.”

“I don’t think it’s ugly,” he said with a laugh. “I’ve seen worse. I’ve definitely seen worse.”


Scott MacWilliams 8 years, 5 months ago

Alright, TT, just keep on working your magic, step by step. We're confident in your ability to keep growing and going every day, and it's been great this season.

Your game has exploded like we always knew it could, so just let it flow and it will all be good. Go out there and have FUN!!!

Rock Chalk, Jayhawks!!! Go KU!!

jayhawker_97 8 years, 5 months ago

Drexler shot funny, too. i could care less about the jumper, if it goes in, why bother? it's a luxury to have a consistent 3 pointer now. great work, TT! great work!!

Joe Baker 8 years, 5 months ago

If it ain't broke, don't fix it... Leave the guy alone. For cryin' out loud leave him alone and let him shoot what's comfortable.

Rock Chalk TT

actorman 8 years, 5 months ago

As they say, "it all looks like a line drive in the box score." The results are what counts.

This is Tyshawn's chance to really shine, and if he can stay focused I could easily see him being MVP of the Final Four. What a way that would be to end his KU career.

Kye Clark 8 years, 5 months ago

For sure. I will continue to give you props for being the first to lead the Tyshawn bandwagon.

KULA 8 years, 5 months ago

Thanks. Btw, I was there for Withey too. You may have to change your avatar before he's through, lol.

KansasComet 8 years, 5 months ago

Confidence is what we need and Tyshawn Taylor has plenty of it. Survive and advance!

katiekelley 8 years, 5 months ago

I believe that TR has a better 3 point average.

Pam McCormick 8 years, 5 months ago

It says of players shooting 20 or more, don't think T-Rob qualifies.

RJ King 8 years, 5 months ago

Very brief and often cryptic posts from KKelly suggest possible word subsidy on behalf of JayBate.

bbeckum 8 years, 5 months ago

Go back up and check out the photo at the top of this article. The poor kid trying to guard TT is glued to the floor. He's not even gonna be in TT's periph vision. And the expression on his face looks like his ankles turned into jello from that burst of pure speed and power TT just laid on him.

RockChalk26 8 years, 5 months ago

I hate these type of articles right before the tournament. I can see the next headline, "Taylor Goes 0 for the Century from Behind the Arc"

dgaskill 8 years, 5 months ago

And if We could defend the 3 pt shot...... We left the Baylor sharpshooter WIDE OPEN several times. Maybe just a little less swarming the guy with the ball way on the other side of the court leaving your man WIDE OPEN. Stealing the ball is cool , but sometimes a bad Idea ! I am not singling out any one player, but we do it a lot !

WichitaRaider 8 years, 5 months ago

We're always looking for the big steal to run the court. However, against a great shooting team (i.e. Baylor) it's far more important to not get caught leaving your man alone behind the 3 stripe. We have a great blueprint for defending 90% of the teams we face, but some changeup against a really good shooting team should be implemented sooner like more use of a zone. Love Bill Self, but I'm just armchairing here! ;)

jaybate 8 years, 5 months ago

Someone needs to interview Joe Dooley after the season.

How does Tyshawn become a 42% trey shooter, while EJ and Conner crash to the 30s (or as either HEM, or ict, or both have suggested, neither ever had games stats supporting their 40% trey shooter reps)?

EJ and Conner have always had reps of awesome trey shooters in practice.

What is going on with these two? Injuries? fouled up mechanics? I have argued all season long, based on their practice reputations, and their superb mechanics, that they were streaky shooters that would average out at 40%. But this has not happened.

So: we have to ask what happened, Joe?

And how does Travis Releford go from a much improved stroke last year, to a decent stroke early this year, to what appears to be the most torturous form imaginable late this season? Is it the injuries?

And how the heck can KU be 26-7 with starters EJ shooting 32% and Travis shooting low 30s? And our 6ht man at 36%? Its increasingly amazing that teams guard them at all outside. Its like other teams figure that since KU has had lots of 40% guns on the perimeter the last few seasons, that Self would find some this season, too.

Has Self done a smoke and mirrors thing with the opposing coaches? Has he been talking about what good shooters EJ and Conner are, about how he isn't worried, about how they will come out of their slumps, so they keep guarding his hapless outside shooters? Has Self been pulling an Eisenhower and created a fake army of three point shooters? Are EJ and Conner really just inflatable three point shooting dolls like Eisenhower's inflatable Sherman tanks he kept at a fake base in Northern England to fool the Germans into thinking there was yet another army up north to think about?

Only one man--Tyshawn--is consistently stretching defenses by shooting 40%+ and he is often being asked to drive to the iron.

No wonder Thomas and Jeff often find it crowded inside.

If they re not inflatables, then EJ and Conner are going to have to find the range in the Madness, becauseTyshawn seems due for a slump some time over the next three weeks. He hasn't had one all season. He's been not only high percentage from trey all season, but incredibly timely too.

When Quantum T's slump comes, EJ and Conner have to man up. They have to. It is one and out now.

They won a conference title.

They made it to the Madness.

They are officially not kids anymore.

Rock Chalk!

Vernon Riggs 8 years, 5 months ago

I know that there is a good chance losing Coach Dooley this year. If Wichita State loses Gregg Marshall to South Carolina my fear is that they will knock on Coach Danny Manning's door. I want the best for Coach Manning but I am not ready for him to be a Shocker.

KULA 8 years, 5 months ago

How does Tyshawn become a 42% shooter? His broken hand heals. He always had a good stroke. Conner & EJ? HEM & ict were right. Being able to do in a game (not practice) is all that matters. Huge difference between game and practice.

jaybate 8 years, 5 months ago

TT never shot 40% with a good for two seasons.


KULA 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh, are you talking about his sophomore season when Bill told him not to shoot--we have plenty of scorers--your job is to distribute. This after his freshman year when he was the third option and third leading scorer at 9+/game (even though he only shot 36% from 3 as a freshman--whatta bum!) Which only led to his confusion about his role on the team...

Show me a freshman who shoots 40% from 3 and I'll show you a 1-and-done.


Jeffery Barrett 8 years, 5 months ago

Dangit!!! I just admitted I read one of jaybate's posts!!!

ParisHawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Off topic, I just got on the ESPN page that asks to rank the #1 through #3 seeds.

I single-handedly pushed Missouri from 3d to 4th place :-))

It's going to be harder to push them down to 5th, where KU is now.

Your turns !

KansasComet 8 years, 5 months ago

Our guards need to take shots as if they are trying to make shots. Sometimes it appears that they are just happy to hit rim. They cannot be satisfied with a "please don't let it be an airball" mentality. The ball needs to be shot with a "kick your heart out mentality".

Elijah Johnson has a unique skill set. He can shoot, pass, rebound, and dunk at a high level. His problem this year is like Tyshawn's in years past. It is not his team, so he must play the role that he is assigned to play this year, and that is to play shooting guard.

In past interviews Elijah has stated that he is a point guard. Being a highly rated point guard, the game does not feel quite right, when you are not running the show. If Elijah can embrace the role of shooting guard, then we can go far.

Conner Teahan, as much as I like him, the bright lights appear to be too big for him. I want him to prove me wrong and just light it up, but I just don't see it. I don't believe he scored the last two games. This is not said with malice or any hate. The games where he mostly excelled were in Allen Field House and usually we were up comfortably. There were a few games when he hit some good shots, but for the most part, the brighter the lights, the more he seemed to disappear. I would love to see him actually look for his shot and take his shot. He can shoot, he just needs to let it fly with confidence and may the other team pay. At this point in the season, when it is one and done, teams have studied film and they know who to go after. Conner, must be a threat to shoot the ball, if not we look like we are playing 4 on 5 out there, and that will not take us far.

Travis just needs to get back to his old slash and dash self. He is capable of going for 20 on any given night. Getting loose balls and put backs is something he does as well as anyone in the country.

As far as Tyshawn, this is his team and it is time to get it done. Distribute the ball and put the team in the best position to score, and I believe we can go far.

This group is a team and not a bunch of individuals, which is what I have really enjoyed about watching Kanas Basketball this year. This team has come a long way and hopefully this team will go really far in the tournament.

jaybate 8 years, 5 months ago

Its funny, but to me, outside of TT and TRob, CT is the only other guy who comes up big for big games. Travis and EJ only drop numbers on lesser teams. Conner had his biggest game in the biggest game of the season so far--MU. Without Conner coming up giant for 37 minutes against MU, this team has no title and is a 3-4 seed.

KansasComet 8 years, 5 months ago

The Missouri game was in Lawrence, and that is the point that I am making. We all know what this young man is capable of in home games. I think he had a good game, but I would not say he had a giant game. Disagree with you on Travis and Elijah. I think they have had very good games against great competition.

FoCoCoHawk 8 years, 5 months ago

I could be wrong but I do believe Conner was 6 for 6 for threeballs against Mizzou. this year. For that alone, I'll buy him lunch if I ever see him in a truckstop.

AsadZ 8 years, 5 months ago

From what I recall he went 4-4 against Missouri. That was one of his best games as he played very sound D down the stretch

jayhawkintexas 8 years, 5 months ago

Xavier could shoot the 3 ball??? Fooled me, I guess.

KPOP 8 years, 5 months ago

falling in love with the three will lead to a bad ending for KU this year. we have to play to our strengths which is pounding it inside. we are just to inconsistent from the outside. Having said that, if we can get a good look from 3 by penetrating and dishing then thats a whole different kind of shot. When its all working its a thing of beauty, when its not, not so much.

WichitaRaider 8 years, 5 months ago

Couldn't agree with you more KPOP. This team is built to feed our post beasts. Since we don't have a truly consistent 3 point shooter, our guards should be passing the ball more (with added attention to smart, not careless feeds) to free up a decent shot. The bigs need to be the first target, however, when they kick it back out, the kick needs to be more like a 10 foot range, not the 3 stripe to have a better success rate. All starts with great passing and realistic shot selection.

WichitaRaider 8 years, 5 months ago

Would really like to see coach Self hire an assistant to just work on shot mechanics. Seems to me that our streaky shooting has been the detriment of our team for a few years now. Granted, the shallow bench has caused our players to be on the court for so much time in a game, that tired legs may have something to do with it, but from what I've noticed, the jerky shooting motion displayed by our guards with the exception of TT will continue to be a thorn in our paw. Not saying that I could ever do any better, but I see that some continued attention to good mechanics will pay off great dividends for us as we continue. Seems we have the defensive tools to stay with any team in the country...just need to shore up offensive production. RCJGKU!

Tony Bandle 8 years, 5 months ago

Hinrich begot Miles, Miles begot Chalmers, Chalmers begot Collins, Collins begot Taylor and Taylor will begot Johnson.

We will be talking about Elijah in these same glowing terms next year at this time as he will make the 2012-2013 team his own as each of the gentlemen did before him in their last year.

"We're gonna be good....real, real good!!"

[Please excuse the very loose translational use of "begot" in the above email...but I was feeling biblical today!!]

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

I hope we go "Old Testament" on Detroit tomorrow Brother Oakville. Amen.

Joe Baker 8 years, 5 months ago

Well crap- Davidson just crapped my bracket. Last time I support them.

katiekelley 8 years, 5 months ago

Just because they whipped KU doesn't mean they can knock off a top BE team, LOL!

nuleafjhawk 8 years, 5 months ago

By the look of your avatar, you must be pretty adept at making that formation with your lips.

mikehawk 8 years, 5 months ago

Why are we asking Tyshawn to analyze his shot the day before a pressure game? Leave him alone. This is no time to be "thinking about your shot." thinking right now. Shooting and thinking about shot mechanics is for the off season. The only thing to think about now is "taking the shot" when it is there. Let'm play. Go play and have fun. Let us Nervous Nellie fans analyze, criticize and fret. Heck, I can't even watch the games live during the NCAA. I have to go to a movie or a walk while it records. We win...I watch. We lose, life goes on. I really need a life and a therapist this time of year. The game is more than 24 hours away and I'm a nervous wreck.

FoCoCoHawk 8 years, 5 months ago

"My name is John and I'm a Hawkaholic..."

I'm with you brother.

KULA 8 years, 5 months ago

Good question. This year's tournament will tell the tale...

jaybate 8 years, 5 months ago

Will Nebraska ever win another title in football?.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.