Monday, June 21, 2010

Taylor King Gone From Villanova

Big news for Villanova as Taylor King has been booted off the team for good. The official word is that he broke "team rules", with no further description, but the rumors seem to be that it's related to his drug and alcohol issues, which were the cause of a suspension he had this past season.

Villanova was a team that had all sorts of off-the-court issues in 2009-10, and while it's impossible to know which of the internet stories are true, there's no question that Villanova went from being the best team in the Big East to a mediocre squad that went out meekly in both the Big East tournament and the NCAA Tournament because of whatever happened off the court.

Taylor King is certainly a talent, and his loss hurts Villanova on paper. Villanova did not have a lot of offense from its forwards in 2009-10, and King really helped to stretch the floor. Scottie Reynolds, Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes were the three offensive playmakers, and they had a whole lot more room to work in when King was there. With Reynolds graduating, Fisher and Stokes will be the focal point of the offense in 2010-11, and the loss of King will allow opposing teams to pack the paint more.

That all said, Villanova has a ton of young talent that is 6'6" or taller. Mouphtau Yarou played very well in extended bench minutes in 2010-11, while Isaiah Armwood was a very big piece of Villanova's 2009 recruiting class that will be expected to provide more as a sophomore. Yarou is a center, while Armwood is a swing player. Meanwhile, Markus Kennedy and Jayvaughn Pinkston are Villanova's two best 2010 recruits. Kennedy is a pure post player, while Pinkston is more of a swing player.

Villanova has a ton of other talent coming back. Maalik Wayns will provide backcourt depth, Antonio Pena is an outstanding post player, and Maurice Sutton will add post depth.

So while Taylor King's three point shooting gives him a unique set of skills that none of the other Villanova players have, there's no question that Villanova still has Top 25 talent without him. And there's also no question that the team needed to do at least a little bit of house cleaning to not have another season where the team is less than the sum of the parts. Is Taylor King the player that needed to go? I don't know, I'm not in their locker room. But it's possible.

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