When it comes to future NBA players on the Kansas Jayhawks roster, it of course starts with Thomas Robinson, the go-to-guy and likely top 5 pick in June.
But there are two guys you saw in the national title game last night who have professional potential too: point guard Tyshawn Taylor and Center Jeff Withey. Both have had their pluses and minuses highlighted and magnified on the national stage this March.
The senior Taylor is a true point guard, which will serve him well in this year’s draft because there really aren’t many to compete with; many good ones anyway. His defense has always been solid, but his offense hasn’t come along until this year- when he increased his scoring average to 16 ppg.
His offensive struggles in the postseason have been well-documented. Aside from his 22 point outburst in the Elite 8, he’s been off. He also entered the national title game 0-20 from three-point land in the NCAA Tournament.
“Three pointers? I think I’m definitely due, man. I think the basketball gods are with me tomorrow. I got to make one,” he told the media before the big game.
“I can’t leave like this (smiling). No, I mean, it’s not that big of a deal, man. I think the shots I take are good looks and they feel good coming off. If I get open, I’m going to shoot it confidently. If it goes in, that’s good. If not, we’ve shown we can win without me making threes.”
In summation, he could become a great distributor, but not a phenomenal scorer on the next level.
Withey will get drafted just because he’s tall. And big. But he likely won’t come out until 2013. He’s known for blocking shots more than his offense, but he did a good job on Anthony Davis, the future #1 NBA draft in the national title game to a 1-10 shooting performance. But he didn’t keep Davis off the boards as he grabbed 16 of them.
In the Final Four versus Ohio State, Withey made some gaffes in the final seconds, traveling on offense, and then throwing a loose ball on defense right into Buckeyes hands. Withey also shot just 2-9 in the national title game.
Bill Self talked about his abilities as a shot-blocker:
“The thing about it is, guys like Anthony and guys like Jeff cover up mistakes. Like last night, we actually did an unbelievable job on the defensive glass, and Jared got six offensive rebounds, which doesn’t look good. But several of those were off of Jeff’s blocks.
But certainly having a guy that can erase mistakes is the biggest part of it. Because you can kind of gamble, Ty or Elijah, Travis can gamble on the perimeter sometimes and know that they’re forcing them into a situation that could lead to a run?out for us. That’s a big advantage,” Self said.
Go here for our
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.