Isaiah Taylor Will Return for Junior Season

Point guard led team in scoring, assists, steals and minutes last year.

Shaka Smart and his Longhorns basketball program got some welcoming news on Saturday night when it was announced via a school press release that Isaiah Taylor would return for his junior season.

Taylor led the team in scoring (13.1 ppg), assists (4.6 apg), steals (23) and minutes (31.5 mpg) while earning All-Big 12 Third Team honors as a sophomore.

“I will be coming back to work on my game and be a part of the new era of Texas Basketball,” Taylor said in a statement. “When it all came down to it, I didn’t want to leave my teammates and not be a part of something I feel can be special. Coach Smart says he needs me here to be the floor leader. I love our team, and I love The University of Texas.”

HornsDigest's Chip Brown reported earlier this week that Smart had one of several long conversations with the sophomore point guard on Tuesday night, and that Taylor was leaning toward returning to school instead of entering the NBA Draft.

Brown reported last week that Smart told Taylor Texas was going to be "playing fast" next season and that no one was better at playing fast than Taylor.

Smart's persistence apparently paid off.

“Really excited about the opportunity to coach Isaiah next season,” head coach Shaka Smart said. “We’ve had the chance to work out on the court several times over the past few weeks, and his commitment to improvement has been terrific. We are looking forward to Isaiah being a tremendous leader for our team!”

Taylor played and started in 24 games last year (missed 10 games with a left wrist injury) and reached double figures in scoring 17 times. He converted 85-of-101 (.842) free throws, added 3.2 rebounds per contest and posted a 110-to-63 (1.75-to-1) assist-to-turnover ratio on the season.

This means that Texas will return 12 of its 16roster players from last season's team, which will also get a huge boost down low with Maryland transfer Shaquille Cleare as well as two sharpshooters in 2015 signees Eric Davis and Kerwin Roach.

Smart might not be done with his 2015 class either.

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