If you include Jeff Withey - the capable 7 footer who would be a lynchpin in a lesser program, yet who barely gets off the bench for the Jayhawks - then Kansas are 11 deep. They are particularly deep in the backcourt, so much so that Elijah Johnson - a high quality guard with very good defense, jumpshooting, size, athleticism and open court play who is probably better than both Selby and Releford - struggled to find minutes until Tyshawn Taylor was suspended. Taylor himself is worryingly inconsistent for a junior; athleticism and defensive potential aside, he still hasn't developed a great perimeter jumpshot, combines the occasional good floor game with a series of unforced turnovers in other games, and mingles in elite finishing ability with the a bewildering knack for missing layups. Taylor has had ample opportunity to make the lead guard spot unequivocally his this season, yet he hasn't done so. He can change that with a strong tournament showing, yet basketball IQ is not easy to learn in a week.
With so much depth, though, the Jayhawks can offset any bad night by Taylor, or the nightly struggles of any guard they have. Kansas may lack that one true high quality star guard that seems somewhat of a pre-requisite to be a true national title contender, but they have plenty of talent, plenty of options and plenty of depth. On any given night, they can find someone in the backcourt who will play well enough to plug the gaps. And on every given night, the Morrises will produce.
Like Shengelia, Taylor was assigned multiple times to the Springfield Armor, and averaged 24.6 points and 7.5 assists per game down there. He also played in 38 NBA games. In those 38 NBA games, however, he had more turnovers than assists. Garbage time (which most of it was) is no great indicator of ability, yet the trend continued in Taylor's games with the Armor; those 7.5 assists per game came along with four turnovers. As ever, then, Taylor showed he isn't an effective half court point guard for more than mere stretches. And if he isn't a half court point guard, what is he?
Brooklyn - Tyshawn Taylor: Looking similarly overmatched in his NBA run thus far this season, save for only a couple of individual plays, Taylor has posted 18 points, 8 assists, 12 turnovers and 30% shooting in his only two D-League games of the season. If he's not a half court creator, shooter or defender, what is he to be?
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.