Scouting Jacquil Taylor

Here is a detailed scouting report of what Purdue fans should expect from signee Jacquil Taylor.

Background: Not a ton has been seen out of Jacquil Taylor. A signee with Purdue, Taylor was injured all summer and didn't compete on the AAU circuit, but now he is back healthy and playing. At the Hoop Dreams Mag Prep Showcase Taylor showed why he was an intriguing prospect before the injury and why the Boilermakers offered him when they did.

On Offense: Right now Taylor doesn't have a defined low post game. Despite standing close to 6-foot-9 and 210 pounds, Taylor is someone who isn't comfortable playing on the block. He prefers to post and catch the ball in the mid-range facing the rim or he scores off of dump off passes and offensive rebounds.

One of the reasons that Taylor isn't too comfortable around the block area is because he definitely needs to add strength. He isn't frail per se, but his lower body could definitely use a lot of weight and he doesn't play low enough when fighting for position, and that allows smaller defenders or stronger ones to push him off the block.

Now one thing that Taylor proved he could do was hit the mid-range jumper. He faced up a few times, and while he wasn't 100 percent shooting, he did hit a few from about the 12-18 foot range, and each time the shot looked like it had a chance to go in.

Still probably the ways that Taylor is going to score the most is by running the floor and finishing in transition or getting an offensive rebound. Taylor runs the floor very well, and that collapses the defense and if a guard misses a shot he usually is in a good place to get an offensive board.

Despite not being a great offensive rebounder, he does have length and good hands, and will finish in tight spaces. Also when running the floor he showed he can catch and finish in one motion, and that makes him somebody that has a defined strength which is something many young big guys don't have.

On Defense: This is somewhere that Taylor shows some potential, though he needs a lot of work currently.

Too often right now Taylor can get "put in jail" by an offensive player. By that I mean he gets pushed under the rim too easy which negates his length and leaping ability. When that happens the offensive player scores, and usually does so by getting into his body and creating space.

That said, the biggest reason for Taylor's struggles on the defensive end are due to strength. However that is also the easiest thing to correct once a player gets to college because of the very disciplined strength and conditioning programs that every school has now, and Purdue is no exception in that regard.

The other area on defense where Taylor struggles is moving his feet laterally. Right now in ball screen situations Taylor really struggles. He doesn't move his feet well in that way, despite being able to run the floor well. With so much of an emphasis on ball screens in the college game, it is a major concern and something Taylor will have to pay particular attention to.

All of that said, Taylor has long arms, will rebound on defense, and has legit size. So the hope is as soon as he adds strength that he will be ready to contribute and block some shots while also improving as a rebounder.

Overall Impression: Taylor is very likely to be slotted as a three-star player. He is someone who has a lot of potential, but the same time has a long way to go before he likely to get to that upside. Patience is going to be needed with Taylor, as not only has he missed a year of hoops, but also he is a bit of a project. Still with a lack of size available it is a gamble that you can understand from Purdue.

Now it is on Purdue and Taylor to identify what needs improvement and coming up with a specific plan. Ideally he would probably redshirt, though nothing is set in stone in that regard.

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