Of the five freshmen this season I probably know the least about Jacquil Taylor. I at least got to see P.J. Thompson play in person. Dakota Mathias was committed for so long we learned a ton about him. Vince Edwards and Isaac Haas were highly recruited by other schools, so we heard a ton about them as well. With Taylor, things were a little different
Jacquil Taylor - Fr.
Brookline, MA (Beaver Country Day)
6'9", 215 pounds
2014-15 Projection: reserve at power forward
We all heard about Taylor as a potential diamond in the rough. One recruiting service said he could have been a five star if not for a lisfranc fracture injury during a key evaluation period. That caused a lot of schools to back off, but Coach Painter went out and found him, hoping he would be a surprise. In fact, he was the Best Kept Secret:
At least physically, it looks like he could replace what we lost when Jay Simpson's career ended far too early. By now, Simpson was supposed to be a solid contributor at the four alongside A.J. Hammons, but his heart condition said his basketball career was over. Taylor is probably more of a natural four, but is he a stretch four? Robbie Hummel was excellent in the college game because he had the ability to play inside and out with his three-point shooting prowess. Can Taylor do that?
Last season he averaged 14.1 points and 10.8 rebounds as one of the top players in Massachusetts. This year he figures to be the only true four that Purdue has on the roster. Sure, we can go small and have Basil Smotherman or Rapheal Davis at the four, but Taylor can make a name for himself if he can play the four, keep the Haas/Hammons duo in the middle, and in general be the Robin to their Batman as a Run/Rebound/Defend guy.