Archive for Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Good and bad, Tyshawn Taylor is key to KU

January 4, 2012


Bill Self weekly press conference: Jan. 3, 2012

Kansas head men's basketball coach Bill Self said Kansas State is good at getting to "50-50 balls" and maybe a more balanced team this year without guard Jacob Pullen. Self addressed the media at his weekly press conference Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Battle of the boards: Elijah Johnson, Thomas Robinson set for KSU

Kansas players Thomas Robinson and Elijah Johnson discussed preparing for Wednesday's game against Kansas State after practice Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 at Allen Fieldhouse. Enlarge video

Using your own brain to judge someone who has a different brain type invites trouble. Generally, the best approach lies in challenging yourself to look for something to appreciate about the person who thinks not at all the way you think.

Those who have a buttoned-up brain tend to strive for control and demand order in their worlds, even if it means juggling four things at once. The more scattered, less focused thinker brings more creativity and tends to pay close attention only to that which he finds exciting. When the task is boring, the mind wanders.

Trying to understand what makes the first type tick has been a lifelong challenge. It’s the second type thinkers I empathize with when their uneven focus lands them in trouble, especially when smart people do dumb things.

Tyrel Reed had the first brain type, Tyshawn Taylor the second.

I can’t relate to people who lead with the negative when discussing Taylor’s on-court pros and cons. He’s the second-best player on college basketball’s 14th-ranked team. Without him on the roster, Kansas would have a shaky Selection Sunday, after the TV show, nervously waiting for an NIT bid.

Taylor has frustrated Kansas coach Bill Self at times, but it’s obvious the longer the Hoboken, N.J., native plays for Self, the more fond of him the coach grows.

“He is a pretty scrutinized guy, there’s no question about that, and a lot of that he brings on himself,” Self said. “A lot of that is him being the point guard here with teams that are really good and that kind of stuff.”

It’s more than that, of course.

“He can be frustrating because he can make plays you can’t coach, then he can make plays you wonder if he’s ever been coached,” Self said. “But that’s him. I’m glad we got him.”

Too often, Taylor has played basketball the way so many talented Major League Baseball rookie shortstops have played: A web gem one minute, a botched routine grounder the next.

“I think he’s really talented, and I think he’s getting better,” Self said. “I think he’s made a conscious effort to really tighten his game up in a lot of ways. The last few games he’s played pretty good, but he’s going to turn it over. He’s going to make some mistakes.”

And the coach has learned to live with them because he knows his point guard brings the effort. Taylor, shooting .514 on three-pointers for the season, has 19 assists and six turnovers in KU’s past three games.

“The thing we can’t have him do is become a non-aggressive factor because he’s playing not to screw up,” Self said. “Hey, he’s got to go. He needs to be turned loose. ... The simple plays he can make look difficult and the difficult plays he can make look real easy. I don’t think that’s uncommon. Do guys concentrate more on a guarded three or an uncontested layup?”

In that regard, Taylor’s a caricature of the typical player.

As always, Kansas State will bring the heat defensively tonight. A year ago, Taylor had one turnover in a 24-point home victory, six in a 16-point road loss.

“I’m going to definitely have to take care of the ball to make sure we get a shot every time,” Taylor said.


Larry Evans 6 years, 1 month ago

Sometimes i think he has a physical mental disfunction that he can't control on his own and is not aware of it until he does it.

Jayhawk_4_Life 6 years, 1 month ago

something tells me you've never played basketball, much less point guard.

mae 6 years, 1 month ago

TT is steadily improving. I think he came in after summer ball not thinking about turnovers and the score. He has the complete game when he thinks about it as a job, not just for a fun recreational hobby.

Jayhawk_4_Life 6 years, 1 month ago

that's a really stupid explanation..the last sentence, know nothing about basketball.

Jayhawk_4_Life 6 years, 1 month ago

Tyshawn is great as long as he plays within himself and doesn't force anything. no one seems to credit him for his much improved long range shooting, they'd rather harp on his turnovers. keep it up Ty, you're the key to our season.

Robert Rauktis 6 years, 1 month ago

"Generally, the best approach lies in challenging yourself to look for something to appreciate about the person who thinks not at all the way you think."

Now HOW did you ever get into writing, Tom?

stevieboy 6 years, 1 month ago

The problem with this team is he is the 2nd best player..I think we probably come in 3rd this year..

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