Tyshawn Taylor is finally accepting his role as a senior leader. He is playing smarter and turning the ball over less and when the team is struggling to score, Tyshawn takes matters into his own hands and finds a way to score. Tyshawn is averaging over 23 points per game over the last four games. It all started on an upset Saturday a few weeks ago. A day that saw #3 North Carolina, a preseason favorite to win it all, lose by over 30 points to an unranked Florida St. team. #2 Kentucky barely got by a tough Tennessee team. Other upsets included #7 Michigan State, #13 Michigan and #18 Kansas State all losing to unranked teams.
KU had a huge game looming against then undefeated Baylor and had a home game, which they never lose home games, against Iowa State. KU found themselves chasing Iowa State on the scoreboard until late in the second half when Tyshawn Taylor decided to take over the game. Tyshawn took over the game, getting to the basket at will and shooting 3’s as well as pulling up for jumpers. Iowa State couldn’t stop him and everything Tyshawn was putting up was going in. It wasn’t a good night for KU overall, but without Tyshawn scoring a career high 28 points (majority of which came in the second half) they would have found themselves in the same boat as UNC, MSU, Michigan and KSU.
Taylor followed that game up by tying his career high 28 points against Baylor as KU took sole possession of first place in the Big 12. Taylor has also had more assist than turnovers in every game since the conference opener, which turnovers have been the knock on him his whole career. Across the country, when people think of KU and their surprise season they are having the credit goes to Thomas Robinson. Which can’t be argued, as he is the leader for national player of the year and averages a double double. But if you talk to most KU fans, the surprise year Kansas basketball is having (especially in Big 12 play) has to do in large part to Tyshawn Taylor playing better. His scoring has gone up and his turnovers have gone down. In order for Kansas to win their 8th straight Big 12 title, they need Thomas Robinson to keep playing at his high level but even more important is to have Tyshawn continuing his success. When Tyshawn is playing at the level he has been at, teams can’t double and triple team Robinson like they want to.
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