Tyshawn Taylor Would Take Duke's Parker No. 1 Overall, Not Kansas' Andrew Wiggins | Zagsblog
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Wednesday / May 22.
  • Tyshawn Taylor Would Take Duke’s Parker No. 1 Overall, Not Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins

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    By JOSH NEWMAN
    Special to ZAGSBLOG

    NEW YORK – Admittedly, Tyshawn Taylor has not had a ton of time to watch his Alma mater, Kansas, or much other college basketball, but the former Jayhawks star is paying attention to the freshman sensations who have taken the game by storm this season.

    Taylor knows very well that there’s a good chance one of these freshmen, whether it be Kansas’ Andrew Wiggins, Kentucky’s Julius Randle or Duke’s Jabari Parker, could be the first name out of soon-to-be NBA Commissioner Adam Silver‘s mouth at the NBA Draft. If Taylor had the first pick, he knows who he would choose and it’s not the Kansas guy, Wiggins.

    “If I had the No. 1 pick, I think I would take Jabari just for the simple fact that he can score the ball and his skill level is unbelievable at the age he is and the level he’s at right now,” Taylor told SNY.tv before his Nets took on the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday evening at Barclays Center. “I think you could put Jabari Parker on any team and he’s going to be effective. He’s a scorer and every team needs those.”

    “Now, are you going to pick a kid who’s 19 and ask him to be ‘the guy’ right away? I think he could find his way on any team because of his skill level.”

    That’s not to say Taylor doesn’t thing highly of Wiggins, it’s in fact the exact opposite, but the one-time St. Anthony High School standout is on to something as Parker has been outstanding. The 6-foot-8 small forward out of Chicago is averaging 22.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game as he sets to lead the Blue Devils into Madison Square Garden on Thursday evening against New Jersey native Kyle Anderson and UCLA.

    Wiggins, Randle and Parker are currently slotted as the top three picks according to the latest DraftExpress mock draft.

    Wiggins, the presumed No. 1 pick in the 2014 NB A Draft for the better part of the last two years, has also played well. He is averaging 15.9 points and 5.9 rebounds for the 18th-ranked Jayhawks, who are currently 7-3 with all three losses coming in the last five games.

    “I think his numbers, his numbers are what they should be,” Taylor said. “With the team not doing so good, maybe that’s taking away from some of the hype. I think he’s doing fine, I think he’s heading in the right direction. I’ve talked to some of those guys and they tell me he’s a good dude to be around, a good teammate and he works hard. He’s handling things pretty well, he just has to be a little bit better.”

    Of course, there is at least one wild card when it comes to choosing which freshman may be worthy of the No. 1 pick.

    Kansas freshman 7-footer Joel Embiid, who only began playing basketball at the age of 16, has entered the conversation as a potential top-2 pick after several string outings early this season.

    When Taylor visited Kansas over the summer, Jayhawks head coach Bill Self told him that if he could get two years out of Embiid, the Cameroon native would end up being the best big he ever coached. At this point, Embiid sticking around Lawrence beyond this spring seems unlikely.

    “Coach Self ain’t gonna keep him around if he’s projected 1 or 2, I really doubt that,” Taylor said of Embiid, who DraftExpress currently has slotted at No. 4. “For him to playing for such a short period of time, his skill level and IQ are really high. The sky is definitely the limit for that kid.”

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