Texas point guard Isaiah Taylor has decided to return for his junior season. He announced the decision on Instagram and Twitter on Saturday night.
Glad to be a Longhorn ! Feels good. Looking to get this new era started. Love the guys on the team.… https://t.co/2FRs9ALpdJ
— Isaiah Taylor (@Zay_Ctmd11) April 26, 2015
“Glad to be a Longhorn!” Taylor said in the full statement on his Instagram account. “Feels good. Looking to get this new era started. Love the guys on the team. Spending another year with my teammates and coaching staff is a great feeling.”
The 6-foot-1 point guard averaged 13.1 points and 4.6 assists per game this season in 24 games for Texas, but his season was interrupted after breaking his wrist on a hard foul from Iowa’s Gabriel Olaseni in the 2K Classic. Following the injury, Texas’ season came off the rails and never really got back together, even when Taylor returned.
Taylor could have been a second round pick this year if he would have gone pro, but he’ll now spend another season in Austin under first-year Texas coach Shaka Smart, whose system will accentuate Taylor’s quickness and athleticism quite well. Smart will appreciate the point guard’s toughness, and his quickness will play well in an uptempo setting.
His return should set Texas up for a return to the NCAA Tournament in Smart’s first season at the helm, as he’ll be surrounded by senior forwards Cameron Ridley, Connor Lammert and Prince Ibeh, as well as returning guards Javan Felix and Kendal Yancy. The Longhorns also have a pair of incoming four-star guards next year in Eric Davis and Kerwin Roach.
To become a better NBA prospect for next season, Taylor needs to work on improving his overall efficiency, as he’s shot under 40 percent from the field in his two seasons combined with the Longhorns, including a 28 percent mark from behind the 3-point line. If he can improve his jump shot or his ability to finish around the rim (where he only shot 52 percent), it would really open up the rest of his game and make him an elite offensive player in the Big 12.