True or false: Tyshawn Taylor is having the worst turnover season of his career

Myth Busters will take a look at a statement, then go deeper into the statistics to try to examine whether that statement is true or false. All statistics courtesy unless otherwise noted.

Statement: Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor is having the worst turnover season of his career.

Let's start with the easiest numbers to go over: turnovers per game.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor comes away with a loose ball as he breaks up the court past Baylor guard Pierre Jackson and teammate Justin Wesley during the first half on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor comes away with a loose ball as he breaks up the court past Baylor guard Pierre Jackson and teammate Justin Wesley during the first half on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. by Nick Krug

This is the statistic most used when fans and analysts look at turnovers, so this would also be the number that most folks would use to evaluate how well Taylor has been taking care of the basketball.

According to StatSheet, Taylor's 4.1 turnovers per game this year are the most in the Big 12 and ninth-most in the nation.

As you can see from the graph above, Taylor also is averaging 1.4 more turnovers per game this year than he did last year.

It seems pretty clear-cut from those numbers that this is, indeed, his worst turnover year.

Or is it that clear?

Sometimes, the problem with statistics is that we don't always pick the best ones for our evaluations — or the ones that give the best information.

For example, the numbers above don't take into account three factors that are important when evaluating Taylor:

• His playing time
• KU's pace
• How involved Taylor is in the offense

Let's take these one at a time.

It's true that Taylor's turnovers per game are up this season, but could that be a product of him playing more minutes?

Here are the percentage of minutes he's played for KU in each of his four seasons:

As we can see, Taylor has significantly increased his minutes from last year. Obviously, the more time he has on the floor, the more chance he has at having additional turnovers.

With this in mind, let's take a look at his turnovers per 40 minutes, which should allow us to take the playing time variable out of the equation.

Taylor's turnovers don't look as bad in this graph as they did in the turnovers per game graph, though it still appears this has been his most turnover-prone year.

Let's look at the other two factors we haven't considered yet: pace and Taylor's involvement in the offense.

Obviously, if KU is squeezing more possessions into Taylor's minutes, then that could affect his numbers this year.

According to, KU is playing at a faster adjusted tempo this year than in years past.

KU having an extra possession per game this year over Taylor's freshman year could have some effect on his turnovers.

The NCAA average for adjusted tempo is 67 possessions, meaning KU has about three more possessions than a typical team. This also will inflate Taylor's turnover numbers if we compare him to players on teams that play at a more standard pace.

We also need to look at how involved Taylor is in the offense if we want to take an accurate look at his turnover numbers.

To do this, we'll take a look at possession percentage, which is also known as usage percentage.

Basically, to see how involved Taylor is in the offense, we need to measure what percentage of KU's possessions he ends, whether it's by making a shot, missing a shot (without KU getting an offensive rebound), giving out an assist or committing a turnover.

The average possession percentage for a player is 20 percent. Here is a look at Taylor's possession percentage in his four years:

After three years of being about an NCAA average offensive contributor, Taylor's usage percentage has skyrocketed this year because of KU's reliance on him to be a playmaker.

This can't be ignored when discussing his turnovers.

All this brings us to a final stat: turnover percentage (also sometimes called turnover rate), which is figured by dividing a player's turnovers by the number of possessions he ends.

According to the Stat geek blog on "Turnover percentage ... attempts to equalize turnovers by taking pace and the number of possessions a team (or player) has into consideration."

So, with this stat, we will take into account the fact that Taylor has an extreme amount of involvement in KU's offense.

Here is Taylor's turnover percentage for his four years at KU:

When we take into account that Taylor is more involved in the offense — while taking out pace and playing time bias — we arrive at a conclusion that is much different than national (and local) perception.

Tyshawn Taylor's turnover percentage this year is actually improved from last year.

Just for fun, I wanted to go ahead and compare Taylor's turnover percentage this year to his career turnover percentage. Here it is:

Though Taylor has been repeatedly criticized this year for being more turnover-prone, we can see above that, in fact, the senior's giveaway numbers are exactly in line with his career numbers.

So, let's get back to our first statement.

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor is having the worst turnover season of his career.

Verdict: False.

When you take into account all the factors — and not just the raw turnover numbers — Taylor actually is having his second-best season turnover-wise.

Can we all get off his back now?



jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago

More graphs equal more audience participation. I've learned this over the years in presentations.

In your case, more graphs equal more clicks.

More clicks equals more boss-happinenss.

More boss happiness equals more raises.


jaybate 2 years, 2 months ago


Now do you see why I was encouraging you to use graphs? :-)


Krohnutz 2 years, 2 months ago

Jesse you should be ashamed for those statistics. I understand you want to support Super T. To be honest, I have accepted what he is, and have come around. But the stats...

Seriously, you just proved that his turnover ratio has, if anything, remained high through all but one year of his college career. You most likely tried to put the fire out with 100LL airplane fuel. Not good.

-For the Critics:

The critics point out that Taylor turns the ball over compared to OTHER players. I don't see itchawk on here saying, "He used to be awesome, now he turns it over." He consistently says that his turnovers are too high as compared to assists for a point guard. At ninth in the nation, and a 5.2/4.1 ratio, he has a valid argument. You proved to us lemons were bitter, unfortunately we wanted to know if oranges were sweet.

To the Super T. supporters and naysayers, can we please stop trying to act like he doesn't turn the ball over a ridiculous amount of times? I've come to terms with it, he is not Aaron Miles, both GOOD and BAD.

He is great off the dribble, he is stellar at getting to the line. I would be curious to know how many point guards average more free throw attempts per game than Super T (if any). Find THAT stat. He gets to the line better than most big men. I respect that.

-For the Supporters:

Here is what Taylor has done this year to improve himself: 1. He has improved his 3pt. shot tremendously, in both performance and selection. 2. I think most of us would agree he takes a smarter look at a ranged shot, and instead drives it to the hoop. 3. His free throw percent has slightly dropped, but he is on pace to shoot more free throws by next game than any ENTIRE previous season. 4. I think he and Self have as good a relationship right now as ever. 5. I think he actually could be considered a "leader" on this team right now by his teammates, not himself.

-To Jessie:

Seriously, stop trying to sell me a '67 convertible Chevelle when it is clearly a '94 Metro.


djhawk75 2 years, 2 months ago

So Taylor is just as turnover prone in his Senior season as he has been throughout the rest of his college career. I still see that as a problem. A big problem.

On the other hand, his performances against Iowa St. and Baylor were undeniably brilliant. I've noticed that Taylor is much more crafty when he drives toward the basket. Sometimes the officials don't give him the proper credit for his creativity in the paint, and they will call a charge against Taylor when the defender actually slid into him. I saw one such call in the first half against Baylor that was so bad it hurt to watch the replay. Overall Taylor is a very good player, and I'm now excited to see how far he can lead this team.


Ralster Jayhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

When stepping back and seeing this headline, and seeing all the posts rehashing this, I have to chuckle. Its so hilarious that all of us are so engaged in trying to fathom Tyshawn Taylor. He's simply captivated & polarized jayhawk people everywhere. Frankly, the media keys off of the local stories and fan buzz.

At this point, all this is 100% laughable. Non-statistical perspectives on Tyshawn would be those of Frank Martin, Fred Hoiberg, Scott Drew, and Thad Matta, and others: "...we wish Tyshawn's turnovers would have made a difference for us...". Mike Krzyzewski of Duke could say Tyshawn helped him, although candidly he must also acknowledge Tyshawn's last 2 "turnovers" actually were Duke players fouling Tyshawn (1: the "charge" to the left of the FT line where Duke guard's feet sliding laterally bigtime...not set!, and 2: Tyshawn gets a knee stuck out on him at the right arc by that Duke forward, but no foul called)...and Coach K also must concede that the 'assist' to the falling out-of-bounds 3 was 100% a no-call travelling violation.

I say all this, because to simply "tag" Tyshawn with those final 2 turnovers is overly simplistic. Sure, its in the record books, supporters of our team, the refs just absolutely "wilted" to coach K with 3 incorrect calls in-a-row. And so it is now recorded 'in stone' that way. But all of us with rewind ability know better.

Itching to play Duke again this we have a score to settle. Some wrongs that need righting...


jaycon11 2 years, 2 months ago

baseball number-crunchers have developed a metric for determining performance in "clutch" situations (see unfortunately, i don't think basketball is so easily catagorized. having said that, i wonder if the perception of tyshawn's growing turnover problem is more a case of turnovers happening at times that kill momentum or a rally and stand out more in folks' minds than a turnover would when the team is up by 20 pts.


Sam Constance 2 years, 2 months ago


Worth noting: all three of those seasons were Junior years. So except for Chalmers, who left after that year, it's obvious that Hinrich and Collins didn't "improve" every year at school, dispelling one of the other comments that I read several times about TT being worthy of criticism because he was a SENIOR!

But I digress...

The reason I go into this diatribe about evaluating a player's entire skill set, rather than parsing out individual metrics is because of how I see TT's game. Part of TT's advantage over his defenders isn't just about his speed/quickness. He's really fast, but more than that, he's unpredictable. A defender can't settle into a specific way of playing TT because, like an improvising jazz musician, he is composing on the fly. Everyone assumes that TOs are mutually exclusive of everything else and that TT can just turn off the TOs while maintaining the positives of his game. I think that's an incredibly reductionist way to view the "playmaker" position.


Sam Constance 2 years, 2 months ago


I would agree that in the "traditional" method of evaluating basketball, 4 TOs per game is "too many". But there are a couple problems with that kind of analysis

1) Jesse has clearly demonstrated that absolute TO numbers are worthless. Without understanding how many TOs he's generating within the context of how much he's touching the ball and being asked to make plays, they are meaningless. Unless people believe that a player who turns the ball over twice per game (only touching the ball four times all game) is "better" than a player who turns the ball over four times per game, but is touching the ball 16-20 times per game. Looking at TT's TO%, it's clear that he is no steel trap with the ball, but his ratio is decent enough to make the laser focus on his TOs from KU fans to be completely ridiculous.

2) It ignores the interconnectivity of the game of basketball. When stats consisted of the things that could be easily cumulatively counted (points, rebounds, assists, turnovers), TOs per game and A/T ratio were the best we could do. But now we have things like TO% and other advanced metrics that are better because they are more illustrative of what's actually occurring than a simple TO tally. We don't need to sit here and argue over whether TT "needs" to cut down on his TOs because you can look at the entire package with things like player efficiency (EFF = pts + reb + ast + blk + stl - missed fg - missed ft - to), which is an "official" NBA stat, that take into account the player's ENTIRE skill set, rather than the stat that makes fans pull out their hair and channel Jack Nicholson from The Shining. Tyshawn, so far this year, has posted an average per game EFF rating of 12.2. To give some perspective on how that rates with prior KU guards (the EFF statistic favors big men slightly, hence comparing him only to other guards), here are the three best single season EFF ratings in the last 20 years of KU basketball:

Kirk Hinrich - 18.8 (Junior season) Mario Chalmers - 16.5 (Junior season) Sherron Collins - 14.8 (Junior season)

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying TT is having one of the best guard seasons in KU history, and the numbers clearly display that he isn't. But they also show that he isn't that far off, and I would argue that the level of criticism he receives is no where close to proportionate with his actual shortcomings.

(to be concluded...)


Sam Constance 2 years, 2 months ago

The summarized content of too many posts on this forum:

"I don't care about them fancy number things. I want to maintain my outrage over TT's turnover problems!"

Nevermind the fact that he has the second best TO rate of his entire time here at KU, behind only his Sophomore year.

As tundrahok pointed out, there are a number of people touting the antiquated idea that Jesse is just manipulating the numbers to tell the story he "wants" to tell, when an intelligent person reading the above article should understand that the three successive analyses get MORE ACCURATE, with respect to how TO's occur within an actual game.

This is not a matter of someone only sharing part of the facts to frame a predetermined point. This is a matter of someone using the most robust and descriptive stats available to see whether a commonly-held perception is ACTUALLY true. If the numbers had shown the perception to be true, then you can bet your last dollar that Jesse's conclusion would have been different.

Really, this forum is no different than almost every single other forum on over the last 3-4 years. There is an entirely too large contingent of KU fans who are overly-critical of Tyshawn Taylor and no amount of data or proof could possibly change their minds. When presented with that exact data, rather than read and digest the information for what it is, they start coming up with all sorts of wild rationalizations for how the numbers can't possibly say what they say. I'm not going to get into the semantics of who is a Tyshawn "hater" and who is an "apologist", because I have a feeling that the number of actual "haters" is in the 1st percentile of KU fans. My issue is with the overly-critical focus on Taylor, even from fans who aren't "haters".

(to be continued...)


Kit Duncan 2 years, 2 months ago

Kendall Marshall is # 2 on the list and, as UNC's point guard, the closest to Tyshawn in caliber of team and schedule as a player at the top of the list.

Tyshawn averages 5.2 assists per game and 16.2 ppg. Kendall Marshall averages 9.6 apg and 5.8 ppg.

I'll give two points per assist as the stat for whether it was a 3 or a 2 is difficult if not impossible to find.

KM 9.6 apg = 19.2 + 5.8 ppg = 25 combined ppg. TT 5.2 apg = 10.4 + 16.2 ppg = 26.6 combined ppg.

Going further, KM's turnover average is 2.8, TT's 4.1 If the opposing team scored on every TO the difference would be 2.6 ppg in favor of KM. With TT's + 1.6 combined ppg it is a difference of 1 ppg in favor of KM.

Going ONE step further... take away the three highest turnover games for both players, KM averages 2.26 turnovers per game while TT drops to 3.1 turnovers per game. Now, KM's 2.26 x 2 = 4.52 ppg to the opposing team while TT's 3.1 x 2 = 6.2 ppg to the opposing team. The difference? 1.68 more points possible by TT's turnovers. BUT, his combined ppg being 1.6 higher means it's a virtual tie between number two in the country and number 52 in the country.

My point here is, you can take any statistics and make them say what you want them to say given enough information.

Tyshawn is an outstanding player and, except for the three games where his turnovers were abnormally high, (KU won 2 and nearly won the third) his turnovers per game would be pretty much in line with the best in the country.

He is OUR point guard and all Jayhawk Nation needs to start rallying around him instead of badmouthing him! As Tyshawn goes, so go the fortunes of this year's team.



KGphoto 2 years, 2 months ago

I think it's more the horribleness of the TOs than the total number.

The ones that make me grab my hair, spin around and walk out of the room red-faced and bug-eyed. The ones that make me squeal some awful noise and return to the room speaking in tongues and looking crazy like Nicholson in The Shining. My wife usually finds something else to do after those. Something on the other side of the house.

Can you graph those turnovers?


Kye Clark 2 years, 2 months ago

"Can we all get off his back now?"

The answer is no. And before I explain, let me first say he has been playing better, we are a better team with him on it, I like him attacking, we don't win the ISU game and probably the Baylor game without him going off, no I never played basketball at a high level, and no I don't know more than HCBS. I'm a Tyshawn fan, so don't lump me in with the "haters", those of the ilk that are "happy to see players go" whenever they graduate, jump to the NBA, exhaust their eligibility, etc.

Now again to the question "can we all get off his back now?" While I appreciate the premise of this article and the illustration of how it might not be as bad as we think, it's the wrong premise if you're wanting people to get off his back. I don't care if his turnovers aren't as bad as the simple turnovers stats would indicate. Is he having the worst turnover season of his career? I don't care. All I care about is that his turnovers are too many. And they are. 4.1 is too many on average. Coach Self would tell you that. Now I can handle 4 turnovers in a game that is fast-paced and he is having a great game. For example, 4 in the Baylor game would be OK.

Here's another thing that is troublesome - his turnovers increase, generally, against better competition. I don't care so much about him having only one turnover against Howard. But consider these numbers: vs Baylor - 5 turnovers (and HEM has actually pointed out it should be 6, that for some inexplicable reason Withey was credited with a turnover that clearly should have been on Tyshawn), vs KSU - 8 turnovers, vs Davidson - 5 turnovers, vs Ohio State - 7 turnovers, vs Duke - 11 turnovers. Too many. And again, Coach Self would agree. Now there are two aberration games, against UK & Georgetown.

The last thing that bothers me is this statement: "the senior's giveaway numbers are exactly in line with his career numbers." The senior. I would have liked to see some improvement on those career numbers, being a 4 year starter.

I'm not posting this as a Tyshawn-bashing comment. I just disagree with the premise as an argument that he shouldn't be criticized for what are clearly too many turnovers, regardless of how the career numbers are juggled.


Nathan Scholl 2 years, 2 months ago

The funniest thing to me about all the Tyshawn haters is the fact that most likely, none of them can play a lick of basketball themselves. You're all probably the type of people that watch the games on TV and act like it's "SO EASY" to play highly competitive collegiate basketball at the best program in the country. Play Tyshawn one on one. Please. You wouldn't score a point. Keep up the good work Tyshawn, you fast, fast guy you. Keep shutting up the haters.


VancouverHawk 2 years, 2 months ago


An interesting analysis, as usual. One thing I'd like to ask you about is possession percentage. You say that it's determined by what percentage of KU's possessions a player ends, "whether it's by making a shot, missing a shot (without KU getting an offensive rebound) or committing a turnover."

That makes me wonder - if a player makes a pass that leads to an assist, instead of a turnover, that players possession percentage will be lower, because making an assist (apparently) doesn't count in one's possession percentage. But that suggests that for a player such as Taylor, he'd actually have a lower possession percentage if more of his turnovers were assists instead, in spite of the fact that he's still be "relied on" exactly the same amount.

So while I think the statistics obviously show that KU is relying on TT more this year, I think that possession percentage is a bit misleading as a measure of this, because it doesn't seem to account for assists (is that right?). Obviously, the "turnover percentage" is a more useful indicator, and there, as many point out, he's been pretty consistent from year to year.


Nick Cole 2 years, 2 months ago

Jesse, can you do an analysis on this:

What percentage of TT's turnovers are due to unforced errors vs. the other team playing good D? Compare this season to seasons past and his overall career. I'm willing to bet he makes unforced TO's at a higher rate this season than ever before. This is the reason so many KU fans have been so frustrated with TT this season. You senior PG should not throw the ball off his own foot at least once per game. Just isn't supposed to happen, especially at KU where the standards are so freaking high.

How about this, compare TT to EJ when each runs the point. I think we can cut down on TT's turnovers by running EJ at the point more often. EJ doesn't pass it to the fans and bounce it off his foot every single game. Just saying.

I love Tyshawn, and we would not be as good w/o him. Any team in America is a better team when they turn it over less, no matter how you spin it. You can add in extra stats to make your point all you want, but bottom line is he still turns it over too much. A Sr. PG on a top 5 team should average less than 2 turnovers per game, bottom line. Run this same statistical analysis and you will likely find that PG's on other teams are still better at taking care of the ball.

I don't know why people love to make so many excuses for TT. Stuff like this gives the kid no incentive to improve. He could read this and be like "See, I'm doin' just fine guys."


Steve Gantz 2 years, 2 months ago

90% of statistics are half wrong 75% of the time.


Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 months ago


There is a subtlety with the turnover that basketball does not catch but baseball does.

When there is errant pitch, it can be assigned as a wild pitch [the pitchers fault] or a passed ball [the catcher's fault].

That differentiation is far more blurred if not applied at all in basketball. If the initiator of the play makes a perfect pass, lob, etc. and the receiving teammate botches it, the turnover still goes to the passer in most cases.

Obviously, violations such as a steal, steps, a walk, double dribble, etc. as an individual act is recorded without question, but it's the two part action that comes into question.


Randy Maxwell 2 years, 2 months ago

Yes and I don't need some cyber metric crap to tell me that


Travis Clementsmith 2 years, 2 months ago

I love all the comments that go along the lines "but, he's supposed to be the point guard!" I have to wonder if they really pay attention to what Bill Self prefers in his system. I mean, its been said over and over but I don't know if it really sinks in with some people:

Self prefers combo guards. Not true point guards or shooting guards. He wants a guard that understands that on every possession understands the ball must go to the post at least once and preferably early in the possession. He likes guys who are able to go get their own play once the offense breaks down.

So, those of you pining for a "traditional point guard" are off base. Yes, there will probably be a guard that brings the ball up most of the time in his system. But, labeling this player a "traditional point guard" is what leads to a lot of frustration. Sure, sometimes we will have a guard that has a lower turnover percentage. But, I bet if you asked Self, he would prefer three guards between 6'3" and 6'7" who can pass well and go get their own shot before he'll say someone who thinks "pass first, take care of the ball".


SCHNBALL 2 years, 2 months ago

Run the same scenario for RussRob and compare the 2.


William Blake 2 years, 2 months ago

"For example, the numbers above don't take into account three factors that are important when evaluating Taylor:

• His playing time • KU's pace • How involved Taylor is in the offense"

There is one additional factor that has been left out. TT is playing around a different group of guys. Gone are the Morris twins, Brady, Tyrel... all these guys had good hands and experience enough to go get the errand passes instead of sitting back and watching defenders swipe balls.

TT is maintaining almost an exact TO rate over what he had in previous years and he is doing it with a team full of new guys and without a developed team chemistry.

This team is not a Top 10 team without TT running the show. Period. I'm not even sure they are Top 20 material without him. He is developing a great chemistry with the new lineup and clearly runs the show now. I wasn't sure if he could lead a team, but he has convinced me he can by what he has done on the court.

Keep burning the nets, TT! Rock Chalk!


Phoggie_Thinking 2 years, 2 months ago

Interesting article, but final statement is inaccurate. You did not prove the "myth" false. You only showed that it was not overwhelming true. He is a FOUR YEAR STARTER.

In this day of early exits that FOUR YEAR thing is proof alone that he is not among the elite guards.

His last couple of games are positive.


Jim Roth 2 years, 2 months ago

The mistrust of statistics expressed by several people is a bit disturbing. Statistics don't say just what you want. They say what they say. As long as they are used with transparency, as Jesse has done, they are useful because you can see exactly how they are derived. The problems can come in how they are interpreted.

He has presented Tyshawn's turnover rate in 3 different ways: TO per game, TO per 40 minutes, and TO per possession. He has made a pretty good argument that the 3rd statistic is the most useful for evaluating the hypothesis that Tyshawn's turnover rate is higher this year than the previous 3 years.

Clearly there are other analyses that could be done. But dismissing Jesse's calculations by stating that stats can be made to say whatever you want to say represents gross misunderstanding of data analysis and its importance. You can't judge somebody's gut feeling, but you can critique their data analysis to look for errors or invalid assumptions. Statements made without data to back them up are merely untested hypotheses.


Tony Bandle 2 years, 2 months ago

The bottom line on a turnover is you lose a chance score but the other team gains a chance to score.

The stat I would like to see is just how many times does our opponent actually score as a result of a TT turnover!! If the opponent doesn't, the turnover becomes the same as a missed shot.

In my mind, his increased scoring this year more than offsets any points gained off of his increased turnovers.

A couple of breakaway dunks on turnovers leave a horrible perception of his ball-handling, but statistically, the actual opponent scoring result may be a wash.

Having just read my post, my conclusion is:

1] Best scenario - No turnovers 2] Next best scenario - If you make a turnover, defend it like hell. 3] Ultimate scenario - Score more points than the other guy!!!!


keeb1211 2 years, 2 months ago

Jesse, one other stat that would be nice is what is the average turnover rate for starting PG's? If the average of the top 25 PG's is in the 2-3 TO's per game then realistically that means that TT's awful 4 per game is at most 2 off. I'd like to think that with his speed and defense he gives KU those additional 2 possessions. Either way, great stuff.


buckleyhawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Question on the exactly was that career TO% calculated? Also, it's going to look a little worse if you are comparing this year to his previous 3 years (leaving out this year as the average is naturally going to gravitate towards this year's number).

Is TT as bad as a lot of us make him out to be? Of course not. And sure he's contributing a lot in the scoring department, which we obviously need. But...

He's supposed to be the point guard!!! Now I put a lot of that on the coaching staff (for not going out and getting another quality PG in 2008/09/10). I can barely handle watching our PG a) averaging over 4 TO's a game, or b) having a 5 to 4 A/T ratio. That's abysmal (at least by Jayhawk standards).

What's worse is the manner in which he turns it over. As previously stated, it's either going way too fast (you would figure by now he has learned going fast in a controlled manner), or even worse, trying to do something that 98% of the people watching the game know for a fact can't be done. You can forgive 1 to 2 of those type of deals once in a while, but when it is 2x a game EVERY game, it gets so old...

Unless he is scoring 20+ a game on good shooting (i.e. he hasn't turned into Kobe -- did anyone catch Chuck Barkley's Kobe "translation" on SNL the other night?).

Either way...I'll have to take the enigma that is TT (pretty much because I have to).


Robert Brock 2 years, 2 months ago

Turnovers happen. What I am concerned with is Tyshawn's decision-making. He is a fourth-year starter; his leadership in this area is key to our success. He is doing well. Keep it up, Ty!


jhawkrulz 2 years, 2 months ago

It would be interesting to see, if you could look at the stats when the team is playing the BCS type schools.
Earlier this year we played two games where I think SweeT-T had 0 and 1 Turnover per game. Than we played Kentucky and they skyrocketed.

Although I would agree almost every point guard plays these types of schedules. I want to know how he is doing against the big schools, not the little ones.

I would agree, that stats are created to say whatever you want them to say. I think this article shows you the workflow of how people will take one stat and keep adjusting it until they see what they want.


cshell 2 years, 2 months ago

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Daniel Kennamore 2 years, 2 months ago

Whether or not his turnover rate is better or worse this year is irrelevant. The number is too darn high no matter which year you are looking at.

Looking at KU's stat page on Kenpom, KU ranks 246 in turnovers. There are only 100 teams in all of division I that turnover the ball more than KU this season. Don't matter how you spin is the biggest and most glaring weakness of this year's team.

Luckily the team, and TT specifically, have played well enough in the past few games to overcome such a high turnover rate...but when T-Rob and TT have a poor offensive showing those turnovers lose games.


FoCoCoHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

It's probably a sign of the Apocalypse that I'm quoting Al Davis, but:

"Just WIN, baby!"


Mike Kendall 2 years, 2 months ago

From the beginning of the season, I, like with a lot of Jayhawk Nation, was concerned about Tyshawn's turnovers. When Jesse's A+ analysis is put before me, I am thinking like Coach Self is thinking. Yeah, his "turnovers can drive coaches nuts, at times," Self said, but "we wouldn't be in the position we're in right now without Tyshawn."

That is why I will not be a TT hater. He is what he is. Chuckberry said it best and it is true---Sometimes he gets going so fast that his handles cannot keep up with his mind and body but that is a price I'm willing to pay."

And HCBS is willing to pay that price, too! Thanks, Jesse---love your analysis.


tortfeasers 2 years, 2 months ago

The fact of the matter is he turns the ball over too often, and that has been true throughout his career. That he is doing it less this year, as Jesse points out, than in year's past, doesn't mean it is acceptable. It just isn't as statistically bad, but our perception of it is magnified by his increased playing time. The problem is that his turnovers are unforced - they are frequently so unnecessary. It is the quality and caliber of his turnovers that are the issue, not just that there are too many. It is the reckless and boneheaded nature of flying into the lane, jumping, and then praying someone will be open. It is the dribbling off his foot or the defender's when he is trying to "break them down" when he just needs to pass the ball. That is why it is so difficult to get on board with TT. Although his issues were still apparent the last few games, he contributed in so many other ways that it was bearable. If he can continue to be more court savvy and show a higher basketball IQ, then we will really have something special. I would love to see it happen!!!


Ben Kane 2 years, 2 months ago

Great read Jesse, keep up the good work.

I think the light has finally switched on for TT. Not that he still won't have turnovers.

he realizes that this is his last year, and for the first time it is his team. While the ball still must go through TRob, this is the first year that he is a primary option. Last year it was give the ball to a twin, and if that failed get the ball to reed or morningstar. the year before was defer to Sherron. Now, it is on him to create when there is nothing else and it has taken this long for him to figure out when to do that.

I much prefer to see him charging into the lane than I did Sherron. TT's first step is quicker, he's more athletic, and much better at creating an altered shot than Sherron who could really only do that layup flick. He has also really improved his 3 point shooting and you can see how much more confident he is with his shot.

Sometimes he gets going so fast that his handles cannot keep up with his mind and body but that is a price I'm willing to pay.


saad007 2 years, 2 months ago

HELP PLEASE: Does anyone know any website that streams KU basketball games? I live overseas and there are no TV channels that stream US sports down here. Last season I used to watch the games online in the "" website, but there are no games on it this year. Thanks in advance! Looking forward to watching our hawks exceed expectations this year;) Rock Chalk Jayhawks!!


Brett Arnberger 2 years, 2 months ago

I don't want people to think I'm bashing Taylor in this post, so all those quick to jump on me just hear me out. I'll have to admit that I've never been a full TT supporter. With all of his off the court antics over the years & his ability to be turnover prone has made it tough to not criticize a guy like that, especially when we've been spoiled with some excellent guards over the years. I can recognize that this team wouldn't be where we are without Taylor this year & feel he has played his best ball the last 2-3 weeks. But what frustrates me with his turnovers is that most of them are just careless. Lazy one handed passes, making a no look cross court pass to the crowd when it's perfectly fine to look to see if a guy is there, etc..... Jesse shed some light on some great statistical data, but what has always bothered me is just the carelessness of some of his TO's. But hey, maybe that's just me...


Jayhawk444 2 years, 2 months ago

I always enjoy Jesse's analyses. Statistics can be a fickle b*tch though. For example, another interpretation of these exact same numbers could be that Tyshawn is one of the most turnover-prone guards in the country and has been this way for three years it's just that we didn't know it until this year because the fact was hidden by his lesser playing time and the team's slower tempo in past years

Also - I agree that playing time and tempo should be considered here, but not necessarily the number of possessions that a player ends. A turnover prevents a guard from getting an assist just as much as it prevents him from getting a shot off.

Bottom line though - I do think we all need to get off Tyshawn's back. The dude is part of our Jayhawk family and he can ball with the best of 'em. And he's going to lead us to whatever greatness this year's team achieves.


Jack Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

The one thing Tyshawn has significantly improved on is his three point shooting. Three point shooting was a major team concern coming in .. it was difficult to see where we'd get the production, other than EJ. This can't be overlooked. He's at appx. 45%. I've pointed out before how Aaron Miles jumped to 50% his senior season after being relatively poor. TT could get to 50%. But if he can just maintain the 45%, that would be terrific.


DCHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Jesse, Great analysis but I think what also frustrates some of us at times is that Taylor has not improved this facet of his game over the past four years. Granted, you have shown that it has not gotten worse but shouldn't a senior be better than a freshman at holding on to the ball. It would be interesting to see how other Jayhawk point guards changed (in regards to this stat) over their four year careers. (i.e. Vaughn, Hinrich, Miles, Robinson, and Collins),


Pork_Ribs 2 years, 2 months ago

How does comparing TT with TT matter?
Bottom line with me... "According to StatSheet, Taylor's 4.1 turnovers per game this year are the most in the Big 12 and ninth-most in the nation."

1 in the Big 12

and if that isn't cause for concern... 9th in the nation.....The Freakin' NATION!!!


Jack Wilson 2 years, 2 months ago

Hmmm .. me likes the eye test. Based on the eye test, nothing's changed.

Here's a link that show the NCAA assist leaders. TT is 52nd. But in there right hand column is the assist to turnover ratio .. his is 1.29. Among the top 100 assist leaders, he is 99th. One player has a worse ratio of 1.27. And we're only talking the top 100 in assists. That is one true measure of a point guard.

One thing that does seem clear is that giving EJ more possessions as the point guard is a good thing. It happened last game. The way Tyshawn is shooting the 3, and his ability to penetrate from the wing, playing the 2 half the time at least wouldn't be a bad thing. Gives him some opportunities to take a deep breath here and there.


REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

In the moment, there appears to be some very special magic underlying the progress of this team, almost epic in its potential to rise toward the pinnacle of collegiate sports fame. If our 3 key bench contributors, and perhaps Naadir and Merv play to the utmost of their potential, and if we can survive the season without serious lasting injury to a starter, the jayhawk Nation is in for a magnificent ride. Already, this team's showing vs. many of the best teams in Div. I ball indicates that the Jayhawks possess the ingredients to shake and bake blue ribbon cuisine. Just imagine. One returning starter and a cast of former bench players, raw recruits and a walk-on possibly advancing to the Final Four.... Bill Self's legacy goes meteoric.


REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

If this squad advances to the national championship game, Nick Krug and Jesse Newell could publish a fantastic photo biography of Thomas Robinson and Tyshawn Taylor, surrounded by their supporting cast of players, coaches, trainers, fieldhouse and fans. That might be a top seller even if we don't advance so far. This season bears the potential for being one of the most memorable in the years of Bill Self's ascendancy to the throne of college hoops.


REHawk 2 years, 2 months ago

Hey, I have been an oft-time hairpulling critic of Tyshawn from the getgo. I have also occasionally heaped praise upon him, esp. this season. Of one thing I am totally certain: No way does this team win a league title or advance beyond the Sweet 16 without him. Love him or loathe him, he is a tough competitor, one of the 3 or 4 most exciting and dynamic players in the Big 12, perhaps (in the final analysis) the nation!


ttoulouse 2 years, 2 months ago

I'd say that all of the statistical analysis boils down to the final graph - the numbers are a wash.

The key with turnovers is how they hurt the team. I could care less if Tyshawn has 15 turnovers throughout the game as long as we are in it at the end and he DOESN'T TURN IT OVER IN CRUNCH TIME.

Earlier this year (see: the Duke game) he was turning it over in crunch time or when we needed him to focus and make plays. Lately he's (admittedly) been more focused and making plays in the big moments instead of turning the ball over.

Again, him losing the ball when we're up by 15 doesn't bother me. It bothers me when we need to score being down by 2 with 30s left and he throws it out of bounds to an assistant coach.

Compare his number to our past 4-year starting point guards and his assist/TO ration sucks eggs. BUT this team needs him, good and bad.


manginorh00lz 2 years, 2 months ago

This is a great article to demonstrate how you can create statistics that say whatever you want them to say.

$100 says Newell went into this with the conclusion already in his mind.


JayHawkFanToo 2 years, 2 months ago

Nice work Jesse! Tyshawn numbers look much better when taken in context.


jayhawker_97 2 years, 2 months ago

here we go again... this is one of those good article bad article.


MinnesotaJay 2 years, 2 months ago

Good thoughts. And, could you maybe even take it another step beyond pace and involvement, and look at turnovers in relation to positive contribution, in other words, look at net contribution, in which case, you'd be looking at bigtime improvement?


Adam Evans 2 years, 2 months ago

I can understand HCBS's frustration, but the only reason for all the criticism this year is because TT is sooo much more in the spotlight than before, and that magnifies all his mistakes. ESPN did an analysis earlier this week, and made a statement that I agree with completely. Despite all of his turnover issues, KU is a .500 team at best and probably 5th in the B12 this year without him. Does he allow other teams extra possessions? Sure. But he is one of, and arguably the, fastest guard to the rim in the country, a terrific defender, and has turned into a better leader at the point than we've had in years. Sherron was great, but Tyshawn is a better leader. It's never the TT show in his mind like it was with sherron. We have all the potential to be a final four team this year. But without TT and TRob carrying us on their backs, we won't make the sweet 16.


Doug Altman 2 years, 2 months ago

Good read, good analysis, good flow. Good gravy.


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