Position: Point Guard
Weight: 165 pounds
Schools Considering: Santa Clara (committed then decommitted), Boise State, Colorado
Man, there are a lot of undersized, talented point guard in the class of 2011. And while electric guards who can stroke the rock seem to be a dime a dozen this year, T.J Taylor sets himself apart as the best of the undersized bunch.
Taylor has incredibly high basketball I.Q. Most guys in high school are extremely talented and athletically gifted but have no real plan of what to do when out on the court. Not Taylor. He always seems to have a specific plan in his head on each play. He is great at adjusting to what the defense is giving him as the game goes along and discovering the weaknesses of the guy who is guarding them, and slowly exploiting them as the game progresses.
Taylor might be one of the strongest guys pound for pound on the west coast. He packs as much strength as you can into that 5'10 frame and uses his strength to bully guards on both sides of the ball and to absorb contact when finishing at the hole.
Taylor is one of the best passers in the state. He always has his head up and has the rare ability to see a play developing before it happens. He is great at finding cutters to the basket and can really weave the ball through tight spots. He makes very good entry passes to his big men and feeds them in stride coming off of pick and rolls.
T.J is best in transition where he loves to push the pace. He almost literally throws the ball in front of him then catches up to it and can break off a crossover before anybody can steal it from him. He can pull up in transition but does a great job of usually hitting the open man with a crisp pass or drawing his man into the air and dishing it off to a trailer.
Taylor is a very pure shooter who needs to work on his consistency from deep. He does a good job of getting space when he shoots to give him cleaner looks. He has incredible handles and uses a crossover and a stutter step among a variety of moves to freeze his defender. Once he has his defender stuck, he moves very fluidly from his dribble into his jump shot which has a quick, high release. He is good from the free throw line and does a good job of drawing contact to get there.
The next level? Taylor had committed to Santa Clara but de-committed in the winter of 2010. Santa Clara is still on Taylor's list of potential schools but he has opened his options and has recently been getting lots of interest from soon to be Pac-12 school Colorado.
Taylor has the talent to play high level D-1 and be a major factor at the next level. He has great guard skills and is a fiery competitor. All the schools giving Taylor sincere interest are schools that haven't tasted NCAA tournament play recently but adding a guy like Taylor could help those schools end their playoff drought. You win games with guys like T.J Taylor.
Cali High Grade: 91
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