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#KU50: 39 Tyshawn Taylor

39 days until Kansas basketball!

Brooklyn Nets v Houston Rockets Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

For the most part, I was 100 percent objective about this list. One guy I couldn't be objective about, however, is this guy. Tyshawn Taylor came from Hoboken, New Jersey, and picked Kansas after originally committing to Marquette. He was immediately a starter, and shot an impressive 56 percent on twos as a freshman. He struggled a bit turning the ball over, but it was easy to see how a versatile guard who could get into the lane at will, defend multiple positions, and shoot fairly well from deep would turn into an All-conference performer.

All-conference undershot him, however, as Taylor ended his career as an All-American. His 1,580 points rank 16th all time in KU history, and no one in the history of the Big 12 conference has played more games than Tyshawn Taylor. He also is 9th in assists per game in Big 12 history. He struggled a bit with his turnovers throughout his career, but anyone who can shoot 51.8 percent on twos, 37 percent on threes, and 70.8 percent from the line belongs on any program's top 50 list.

More than just the numbers, though, Tyshawn was KU through and through. He tore his meniscus in 2011, had surgery, and was back the same week. He also took on any defensive assignment Bill Self asked of him, from defending Big 12 leading scorer Lacedarius Dunn to smaller point guards. Even though he and Self had their run ins, Tyshawn and Self remain close, and it's not hard to see why given the type of player he was.

My favorite Tyshawn moment, of course, came in 2012 during the final Border War, when he made the game tying and game winning free throws in overtime to beat Missouri. That possession was Tyshawn in a nutshell: grabbing the ball and going full court at full speed, and maybe not making the smartest play, but making a play that only someone as fast and as athletic as he was could make, and a play that only someone who refused to lose would make.

One small blemish, though: he shouldn’t have dunked.


40. Darrell Arthur

41. Devonte Graham

42. Jerod Haase

43. Kenny Gregory

44. Wayne Selden

45. Otto Schnellbacher

46. Ryan Robertson

47. Xavier Henry

48. Mark Turgeon

49. Paul Mokeski

50. Charlie T. Black