Big weekend for Tyshawn Taylor. He officially graduated from college. He saw some old teammates. He spent the weekend back in Kansas.
Of course, there have been a lot of big weekends for Taylor during the last month. Ask Taylor what he’s been up to since April 2, the day Kansas lost to Kentucky in the NCAA title game, and the smile begins to form.
“I’ve been up to everything,” Taylor says.
Taylor says he spent a few weeks searching for an agent, before settling on Jeff Schwartz of Excel Sports Management (Excel also represents former Jayhawks Nick Collison, Mario Chalmers and Cole Aldrich). He made a stop in Long Island for some workouts. And now he’s settled in Houston, working with former NBA guard John Lucas II, the father of former Oklahoma State star John Lucas III.
“I went out there last summer and I loved it,” Taylor said. “I got better. My game improved a lot, so I went back out there.”
On Friday night, Taylor was at Bishop Miege in Roeland Park to take part in a local KU Barnstorming tour event. Fellow seniors Conner Teahan and Jordan Juenemann were also present, as were former Jayhawks Stephen Vinson, Christian Moody and Sean Pearson.
For now, Taylor says, he’s preparing for individual workouts with NBA teams. The first goal: Get back into shape after taking 20 days off following the championship game.
“I think when you’re in a workout and you’re just doing one-on-one drills,” Taylor said, “I think you just gotta kind of be sharp. You gotta have your ballhandling right. You gotta make shots, because most of them are going to be open — and you gotta be in good shape.”
Other than that, Taylor is simply waiting. According to DraftExpress.com, he's the 27th best prospect in the draft. He does think his game might translate nicely into the NBA — if he can find the right fit. But he also says he understands the reality of his draft prospects. He’s hopeful he can work himself firmly into the back half of the first round, but
“I’m hoping to just get drafted, honestly,” Taylor said.
Here’s one thing of which he is certain. No matter how the draft shakes out, he’s pretty sure which rookie will be earning hardware next May.
“I’ll put in my vote for Rookie of the Year right now,” Taylor said. “Thomas Robinson.”