Today's player is still a bit of a mystery. It was said during his recruitment that he was possibly a five-star prospect if not for injuries that hampered his high school career. Those injuries returned last year, as he played in the first five games and against Arkansas State before shutting it down and officially redshirting the rest of the season. That makes him the rare freshman with modest college experience.
Jacquil Taylor - Fr. (RS)
Cambridge, MA (Beaver Country Day School)
6'10", 240 pounds
2015-16 Projection: Reserve at Power Forward/Center
As if Purdue did not have enough size with Caleb Swanigan, A.J. Hammons, and Isaac Haas. With a full season from Taylor the Boilers have a player that will primarily play the 4, but he can play the 5 if Hammons and Haas both get in foul trouble. Since he has already used his redshirt year Taylor is in more of a position to play this year as needed, thus making the situation for Basil Smotherman more flexible.
We did at least get a glimpse at what he can do last season. In the season opener against Samford Taylor was 3 of 4 from the field and 1 of 2 from the line for 7 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 blocks. He later had five points in the blowout of Grambling State. Those two games represent 25 of 42 minutes of college basketball experience.
What makes Taylor interesting as a power forward is that he can spread the floor. Obviously it is a very, very small sample size against inferior competition, but he actually hit a three-pointer against Grambling (he is 1 of 4 in his career) and he showed some defensive ability near the basket with four blocks. He also grabbed 12 rebounds while committing only one personal foul.
If he stays healthy (which is a big if considering his history) he could provide some key depth for Purdue. If he really can be consistent with his outside shot while still being able to bang inside and rebound he brings a versatile skillset Purdue has not seen at the 4 in some time. Let's just see what happens with him.