The NBA Draft Blog Scouting Report heads back to the SEC to take a look at one of the best seniors in the country, Vanderbilt’s Jeffrey Taylor. Taylor has been a solid scoring option for 4 years now for the Commodores, while also becoming a standout on the defensive end. A solid all-around player, he is ready for the NBA, but how high can he go? Let’s take a look at Jeffrey Taylor:
Jeffrey Taylor, Vanderbilt – Senior
Guard/Forward - 6'7, 225
17.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.9 apg, 53.4% FG, 66.4% FT, 47.4% 3FG
Perimeter Shooting- Taylor has become a very reliable mid-range and long-range shooter. He gets himself square to the basket, uses his legs well to get lift, a high and quick release, and good arc on his shot. He has the ability to hit his shot off the catch, can use his dribble well to create space when guarded well, and uses screens well to get his shot off. He needs to do a better job moving without the ball and coming off of screens tighter to give him more space to get a good look at the basket.
Ballhandling/Hands/Penetration- Taylor is decent ballhandler, uses both hands effectively and keeps his dribble well. He could do a better job adding variations to his handle, a good change-of-pace or crossover would make him more effective at the next level. He has good hands, handles passes well and does a good job pulling in difficult passes. While Taylor isn’t very quick, he uses his body well to get past the defender and into the lane. When he gets into the lane, he does a very good job going strong at the basket, but also has the awareness to recognize the help defenders and pull up for a jumper. He handles contact well at the rim and finds ways to get his shot off when he gets hit. While he has a decent first step and uses ball fakes well to get the defender off-balance, he could improve the speed of his move to the lane.
Rebounding/Passing- Taylor has good size and a solid body and he uses both well to hit the offensive glass. He has good instincts for missed shots and hustles well after long rebounds. When he grabs offensive rebounds around the basket, he is very good at getting a quick 2nd shot off, or drawing a foul. Taylor is a decent passer, nothing flashy, just moving the ball around the offense. He could do a better job seeing the floor well, and noticing cutters to the basket.
Free Throw Shooting - Taylor could be a much better free throw shooter. He has good form, but he has a tendency to rush his shot when he gets to the line. He does a good job drawing fouls and gets to the line a good amount of times most games. He just needs to make the most of those shots.
Perimeter Defense- Taylor is a strong perimeter defender, with the ability to guard multiple positions. He positions himself well, stays low in front of the ball, and has very good lateral movement for his size. When he is on the ball, he stays active, sees the court around him and recognizes his man’s strengths and weaknesses. He doesn’t gamble much, but is solidly focused on keeping his man out of the lane. Off the ball, he does a good job positioning himself to stay on his man and be able to help. Taylor needs to do a better job recognizing screens and making the right choice to go through, over or under. He also needs to close on shooters better on the perimeter.
Rebounding- Taylor is a good rebounder for his position, but there is room to improve. He is fundamentally sound – boxes out well, goes strong after the ball and gets a good handle on it before clearing it out. He needs to watch that he gets a body on someone when he is defending out on the perimeter and not let his man get easily into the rebound mix.
Taylor is a great wing option in transition. He runs the floor well and his ability to hit from the perimeter spaces the defenders out. When he gets the ball he can knock down the open jumper or take the ball strong to the basket. He does a good job getting back on defense, especially rotating back when a long jumper goes up.
Summary & Intangibles
Athleticism - High
BB IQ – High
Taylor has bounced back from what seemed to be a very lackluster junior season and has turned into the player everyone thought he would be his first 2 seasons. He has become a reliable offensive option, can hit his jumper from most spots on the court and can take the ball strong to the basket. Defensively, he has remained a very good on-ball defender, and with some minor tweaks, he can be a solid defender at the NBA level. His game is suited for many offensive systems and he should be attractive to many NBA teams come June. Right now, he should solidly be in the mid-first round (15-23), more likely to be gone by the 20th pick. He has the ability to get playing time almost immediately off the bench for many NBA teams.
Next, I will head out to the Midwest and take a look at another senior leader – Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor. Remember, leave any comments below, follow me on Twitter - @NBADraftBlog, or feel free to email me at the link up top.