"TJ wanted to be closer to home and get some games under his belt before taking the next step with his career," said Chuck Taylor, Paris' head coach, "He came here and fit right in. He has worked very hard to get his body back into shape, and has really worked to get that mental edge back. Right now he is a 6'4 220 pound bull. He is an explosive player who can play multiple positions. He is a lefty, a solid shooter and playmaker, and he really works hard to get his teammates involved."
Having recruited him out of high school, Marquette was an immediate player when Taylor opened up his recruitment according to his coach. "The relationship was already there, and Coaches Williams and Benford came in and re-established themselves with TJ. They picked up right where they left off, and for them it seemed easy."
Going through the recruiting process is never easy for any player, but having to go through it twice? "I felt like Quasi Moto with all of the weight on my shoulders," Said Taylor, "it is such a relief to know where I am headed."
Marquette has had their share of players from Buzz Williams' home state of Texas, but Taylor has not met any of the Golden Eagles from Texas, but in the same vein as MU's Jimmy Butler, Taylor committed without ever visiting the Milwaukee campus. "I haven't visited yet, but I have a great feel for them. Coach Buzz is not all about basketball, he is more concerned about what kind of person you are and academics. We haven't really even spoken about basketball. I also have a strong relationship with Coach Benford. He has always been real with me, he has never lied to me. The worst thing you can do is lie to a player, and in the recruiting process, that happens pretty often. Coach Benford has always been honest with me, he tells it like it is."
Taylor already has the work ethic needed to take his game to the Big East, and knows where he needs to focus to be ready for one of the best conferences in the country when he arrives in 2012. "I will be playing multiple positions, but I see myself playing point guard. I am a pass first point guard. I need to focus on my ball handling, my conditioning and getting stronger to take it to the next level."
Taylor says that what type of person you are is more important to Marquette Coach Buzz Williams than how good of a basketball player you are, so what type of a person is TJ Taylor? "I'm pretty laid back, but once you get to know me I will really open up. I am one of the nicest people you will ever meet. When it comes to my family, friends and teammates, I am a man of my word and I will stick with you through anything. I will always be there and I will always have your back." Those are some pretty strong words, and are right in line for a player who is to join a team whose battle cry this year has been "Grind Together, Shine Together".
It looks as if Buzz Williams has found another perfect piece to his puzzle.