Kansas coach Bill Self said Thursday that he will start Tyshawn Taylor over Brady Morningstar in the hopes of giving the Jayhawks, who have looked tired to Self in recent weeks, a boost of energy and speed out of the gate.
“This is not a reflection of Brady playing poorly,” Self said. “I just think we gotta get more out of Tyshawn moving forward for us to have a chance to do what we want to do. He’s gotta become one of the premier players on our team. Doing this with him I’m hoping will get him to that point, and I know it’s not going to hurt Brady.”
Taylor, who averages 6.8 points and 3.2 assists per game, has been moved in and out of the starting lineup several times this season. A starter for 33 of 35 games during his freshman year, Taylor has spent year two in Lawrence figuring out his role with a more talented team around him.
Taylor hasn’t played great in the past few weeks, but he has emerged in Self’s mind as a player who has made KU better when he is on the floor.
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“Tyshawn is a guy that can make plays you can’t coach,” Self said. “He’s a difference-maker from a speed standpoint. We really need to focus on getting him playing at the level we know he can play at. I think he’s well on his way to doing that.
“I would say from our vantage point we’ve got his attention, undivided, and I don’t mean that from a negative thing from before. He’s trying really hard. I think that when he hasn’t played as well, it certainly hasn’t been because he’s not totally into it or with us.”