I don’t know all the ins and outs of Tyshawn Taylor’s situation at Kansas. I know the Jayhawks need him on the court to be as good as they can be. I know they haven’t really been able to establish another point guard to do what he does. Tyshawn Taylor can't fly when he's suspended. I know Taylor is wildly inconsistent, immature and that he drives his coach, Bill Self, crazy at times. And I know Taylor was suspended indefinitely today for violating team rules.
I also know this is a big blow to Kansas.
What I don’t know is what Taylor did. I also don’t know the details of Self’s decision or how close he might have come to cutting ties completely with Taylor, who isn’t new to Self’s doghouse. In fact, he knows it so well that he’s thinking of doing a remodeling job.
Taylor is a junior. He should be one of the Jayhawks’ leaders.
But outside of Tyrell Reed and Brady Morningstar, the Jayhawks don’t appear to have any leaders. Perhaps Thomas Robinson, but he’s still coming into his own as a sophomore. And with everything that’s happened in that kid’s life recently, he’s in no position to assume leadership responsibilities for the Jayhawks.
Taylor should be.
The guy angers KU fans, and with reason. He can look like one of the best guards in the country during stretches, then play horribly in others. His decision-making has been all over the place. And what we’re learning is that a player who makes bad decisions off the court probably isn’t trustworthy of making them on the court, either.
What does Kansas do while Taylor is sitting out?
Sophomore Elijah Johnson probably gets more time at the point, but he, too, has been wildly inconsistent. Freshman Josh Selby might play the point some. But guess what? He hasn’t been consistent, either.
I could see Reed and Morningstar in the backcourt together with Robinson and the Morris twins up front at times. It will be interesting to see how Self mixes and matches during this undetermined time without Taylor.
Earlier, Self had to suspend senior Mario Little after he was detained following an on-campus incident with his girlfriend and others. Little has since returned to the team.
Both Morris twins have had issues with their tempers during games, resulting in numerous technical fouls.
This Kansas basketball team is afflicted with an overall lack of maturity that has to be driving Self and his assistant coaches bananas. And for good reason. It’s ridiculous.
Taylor’s focus should be entirely on two things: School and doing the best he can to help Kansas win basketball games. The Jayhawks need to cut the nonsense and play the game.
* I’ll be writing a lot on Missouri Valley Conference basketball in the next couple of weeks, but suffice it to say this hasn’t been a banner basketball season for the Valley.
In Joe Lunardi’s latest “Bracketology,” published today on ESPN.com, he has only Missouri State from the Valley in the NCAA Tournament’s 68-team field. And he has the Bears – who he assumes will win the Valley tournament in St. Louis next week and thus be the only MVC team to qualify for the NCAAs – as a No. 13 seed.
Not good. Not good at all.
It looks to me like the Valley is out of the running for an at-large bid thanks to its underwhelming performance in BracketBuster’s games last weekend. The Shockers, of course, lost at home to a good VCU team. And Missouri State was beaten on the road at Valparaiso and beaten soundly. Creighton, Northern Iowa and Indiana State lost, too, leaving the top half of the Valley in a shambles emotionally.
Of course, Wichita State can still win the Missouri Valley Conference regular season outright by winning its two games this week. Saturday’s noon game at Missouri State is still a big one. There’s still a lot to be said for winning a regular-season conference championship, although the system has unfortunately de-emphasized regular-season titles.
My Facebook Friend
Katie Bishop Grover Katie and her cool hubby, Travis. KBG, as I call her, is a solid chick. And she’d love that term of endearment, by the way. She had me at Bob Gibson – as you’ll read, she’s a devout St. Louis Cardinals fan. Her language can be a bit salty for my tastes, but other than that she’s wonderful and one of the people I would never have met if not for social media. So, social media, thank you. Thanks a lot.
Here’s what Katie had to say about the whole thing:
My name is Katie Grover. I’m a wife, mom, non-profit marketer and die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan.
I’m not totally defined by the roles above, but they pretty much consume my every thought. I love being a mommy to my baby girl Lillian (the prettiest baby on the face of the earth) and I hit the jackpot when I married my husband, Travis. I watch miracles happen every day at Heartspring (www.heartspring.org), where I’m the marketing director, and think if you’re not supporting this amazing organization, you should start doing so…pronto. As for my love of the Cardinals – that’s something I owe completely to my dad. He was born and raised in St. Louis and made Busch Stadium II our second home during the summers. I learned to score a game while watching Ozzie Smith do backflips, Vince Coleman steal bases and Willie McGee just be Wille. Amazing.
I first met Bob officially on Twitter – I do believe my first post to him came in response to a question he posted about what “we” (the Twitterverse) could talk about that day. I was all about naming the reasons why Tony LaRussa should be MLB’s Manager of the Year. It was then (I believe) I swept him off his feet. We’ve lunched on occasion and consoled each other after a pathetic showing by the Cardinals in the post season. I watched as he stood guard by the Albert Pujols autographed bat at the Koyie Hill Make-A-Wish event last year (then almost passed out when I saw what his winning bid was). But that’s how you do it when you’re Bob Lutz.