After initially deciding to leave the basketball team but stay at the University, Taylor King has announced his intentions to leave Villanova for good and transfer to USC. Rather than speculating on why King has left two different prestigious institutions (Villanova and Mater Dei High School) and Duke on equivocal terms, let’s search deep within the archives of Nova News to take a look back at the highlights of TK’s short stint as a Wildcat.
April 2008 - King announces he will transfer from Duke to Villanova, stating, “It just couldn't be a better fit for me... I asked blunt questions, but I wanted everything they offered. They la
id down their game plan for me and I couldn't resist.”
March 2009 - King was forced to sit out the entire 2008-2009 season after transferring, and he could not travel with the team, but that didn’t stop him from paying his own way to Boston and cheering on his teammates from the stands as they beat his former team, Duke, and then Pitt, to advance to the Final Four.
November 16, 2009 - After his debut against Farliegh Dickinson...
“We knew he could shoot the ball, but King really impressed me with his rebounding (7) and tenacity. He actually reminded me of Dwayne Anderson, which is a pleasant surprise.”
November 17, 2009 - After only his second game with Villanova, I was firmly on the Taylor King bandwagon.
“Taylor King - Plays like a madman... I love it. He grabbed three rebounds in less than a minute after entering the game, then drained a three. He also made the Dwayne Anderson signature dive from behind steal. 14 points and 7 rebounds in the game... you can can see he's already turning into a crowd favorite.”
November 23, 2009 - He was able to laugh it off afterwards since Nova won the game, but this is a nominee for King’s most embarrassing moment as a Wildcat. (There’s more).
“Yes, Taylor King actually did airball a free throw. His 3-point shooting (0-4) was off also, but he brings a lot more to the game than just shooting. He had 9 points, 11 rebounds, 2 steals, an assist, and he could have had a double-double if he made that free throw. He also showed off his hops with a nice one-handed slam.”
December 3, 2009 - King dazzled the Pavilion crowd in a win over Drexel, but had some harsh words for the fans after the game.
“Taylor King had a big game off the bench with 16 points and 5 rebounds. He was feeling it from downtown, hitting 4 threes. He also had another Dwayne-Anderson-signature-dive-from-behind-steal, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Although, he made a curious statement after the game: "I heard the crowd a little bit and I like that. I don't feed off the crowd, though. I hear them but I am only playing for my coaches and teammates." I'd like to think he is playing for his fellow students and the fans as well.”
December 10, 2009 - This might have been King’s best game and proudest moment at Villanova, although it also involved the second nominee for most embarrassing moment.
“Taylor King delivered the dagger to kill the Hawk with a deep 3-pointer at the 1:31 mark, to put Villanova up by seven… Taylor King played his best game as a Wildcat with 20 points and 9 rebounds in his sixth man role. King showed great perseverance in this game. He missed all four of his 3-point attempts in the first half, yet remained confident in his lefty stroke and made all four of his shots from downtown in the second half. King had an embarrassing moment on a break-away when he was rejected by the rim and missed the dunk. However, he returned to the game aggressive, looking to make up for it, and he did.”
January 3, 2010 - My New Year’s prediction for King was slightly off...
“Game Thoughts: King had an average game (6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists), though he continues to impress with his rebounding ability.
New Year's Resolution: To stay patient on offense and let the guards create open shots. He is not as effective at creating his own shot off the dribble.
2010 Prediction: King will score 24 points against Duke in the NCAA Tournament, and two rounds earlier Villanova will beat Miami despite a heroic 37-point outburst from Malcolm Grant.”
January 7, 2010 - DePaul post-game interviews will never be the same now that Jerry Wainwright’s been fired. Here’s what he said about King, “he has range that might start back in Piscataway. He is insane.”
January 10, 2010 - I nominate this for scariest moment of his career.
“Taylor King layed on the floor in pain for several minutes after busting his head and shoulder.”
January 24, 2010 - I guess I’ll have to recast this show…
“Monday 10:00 PM
"Saved by the Bell: The College Years II (The New New Class)"
A reboot of the sequel to the hit series. Featuring Taylor King as California beach bum Zack Morris, Antonio Pena as muscle-bound A.C. Slater, Maurice Sutton as the wacky Screech Powers, and Ed Pinckney as the former sports star who returns to school as an R.A.”
February 9, 2010 - King proved he was more than just a soft outside shooter.
“It was like a game within a game watching Taylor King and ...pause for spell check... Deniz Kilicli battle in the post. King was ice cold shooting the ball (0-6), but he pulled down 8 rebounds and blocked 3 shots.”
February 22, 2010 - This is when the wheels on the Taylor King bandwagon started to fall off…
“Taylor King has failed to score in double figures for 10 straight games. His 3-point shot has been off, which may be the result of tired legs. The 6'6 King has been forced to play out of position at power forward against players much bigger and stronger, yet he has held his own on the boards (5.8 rpg).”
February 25, 2010 - If basketball doesn’t work out for King, I’ve got the Olympic sport for him…
“Taylor King - Snowboard Halfpipe
King is from Huntington Beach, California, so he probably knows how to surf, which will make for an easy transition to the snow. He just needs to grow his hair out to fit in with Shaun White.”
March 9, 2010 - The beginning of the end?
“Taylor King might be out for the rest of the season. That hurts, but luckily Nova has the depth to deal with it.”
March 11, 2010 - He sat out Nova’s Round 1 game in the BET, then…
“13:00 - Taylor King is in! I don't know why he was out, but I'm glad he's back. (Note: King would leave the game after two minutes and never return. So never mind that unfounded excitement.)”
March 18, 2010 - In King’s last hurrah, he helped Nova avoid a first round upset in the NCAA Tournament.
“With a fresh haircut, King rediscovered his lefty stroke to score 10 points off the bench, his first time reaching double digits since early January. However, he only played 15 minutes. Jay Wright made some odd choices with his rotation today. At least King seems to be past whatever personal issues he was battling, which is a good sign.”
King's final per-game stats for the season: 7.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.5 blocks, 0.7 steals, .421 FG%, .364 3P%, .738 FT%.