I checked in with a few different people to see where T.J. Taylor, the former Oklahoma/Marquette guard, stands in terms of deciding where to continue his college career.
Shelli Taylor, T.J.’s mother, said that he was not in town and didn’t give me much more than that.
There is a sense from talking to other people close to the situation that Taylor will land somewhere in the next few days, and that UNT makes more sense than anywhere else. Taylor needs and wants to stay close to his home in Denison. UNT fits that need perfectly.
It also doesn’t hurt that new UNT head coach Tony Benford recruited Taylor when he was at Marquette.
I have mentioned this before, but Taylor would be a perfect fit at UNT, which could use another perimeter shooter to go along with Brandan Walton. UNT would like to see Jordan Williams take more of his shots inside the 3-point arc, Chris Jones and P.J. Hardwick are going to be handling the ball a lot and Clarke Overlander might not be quite ready to be on the floor for 20 minutes a game.
Taylor could slide right in and give UNT that extra perimeter threat. He didn’t shoot the ball particularly well from deep at Paris JC last year, but there is a big difference between being a team’s leading scorer from the shooting guard spot and taking a lot of contested 3s off screens and off the bounce and standing there getting good spot-up looks after the ball has been thrown into the post to a guy like Tony Mitchell.
UNT doesn’t have an open scholarship, but that shouldn’t prevent the coaching staff from figuring a way to get Taylor on the roster, whether that involves having him pay his own way for a year or having someone else do the same.
Another factor to remember here is that Taylor was on the Texas AAU circuit at the same time as a lot of guys on UNT’s roster now. These guys know each other and have built up relationships or at least a passing knowledge of each other through the years.
That is how UNT built what is a really good roster the last couple of years in the first place. UNT landed Jordan Williams, the pied piper recruit who helped land Chris Jones, who knew Roger Franklin, who played against Tony Mitchell in high school, who, well, you get the idea.
These guys all know each other and they were all recruited by Benford when he was an assistant coach.
It all makes too much sense, which is about the only factor that gives me pause. How many times in sports does one look at something and think that it just makes too much sense only for it not to happen?
I can think of plenty of times, and not just when it comes to UNT.
I just don’t think this is one of them after taking to a few of the people close to the situation.