When T.J. Taylor committed just a little over a month ago, not much was known about him. Hampered by an ankle injury this spring, the standout 6-foot-3 combo guard from Denison hasn't been able to get out on the AAU circuit as much as he'd hoped. Over the weekend, Taylor finally got his chance to make a splash with Team Texas at the Nike Memorial Day Classic in Suwanee, Ga.
A versatile lefty with strength and a mature game, Taylor says that it's easy to play when he knows that his college future is secure.
"It feels a whole lot better," said Taylor of being committed. "I don't have to worry about my phone ringing late at night. I can fall asleep and rest easy knowing that I've committed."
Even though he's committed, Taylor isn't resting easy. He knows that his game is still a mystery to most national analysts and fans and he wants to show that the Sooners early faith in him is justified.
"I really try to go out there and show people what I can do," said Taylor. "But at the same time, it's still a game and I'm really just looking to have fun out there."
While some consider Taylor more of a natural shooting guard, there are others who look at him as a point. According to Taylor, he's equally comfortable at either spot and that's exactly how the Sooners recruited him.
"I can play either just as well," Taylor told Sooners Illustrated. "I can play either the one or the two and coach Capel recruited me to play both."
Had Taylor wanted to hold off a commitment, he would have surely seen more interest from programs all over the country. But, he didn't need that and felt so comfortable with the Oklahoma program that there wasn't any reason to wait.
"Thye've been on me since my freshman year and showed a lot of interest," said Taylor on why he committed early. "I like what coach Capel does so I decided to go ahead and do it. He cares about you a lot as a person and not just a basketball player."
Being committed also allows Taylor to act as a bit of an extra recruiter for Capel and his staff. His biggest target at this point has been highly regarded Team Texas teammate Cameron Clark, a highly regarded 6-foot-6 wing.
"Yeah, I'm working on him," said Taylor of Clark. "I'm always asking him what he's waiting on and why he doesn't just go ahead and pull it?"
Fully healthy and ready for a big summer, Taylor is focused on improving as much as he can before arriving in Norman. He's confident that he's ready to step in and produce, but also understands that there are still areas of his game that need to be addressed.
"My biggest weakness is on the ball defense. I have to work on my footwork and staying on the floor more," said Taylor. "Playing offense, I think that I can slash and shoot the mid range jumper but I'm working to get better from three."