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23 Days to Purdue Basketball: Jacquil Taylor

What to make of the Mystery Big Man?

NCAA Basketball: Howard at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

Jacquil Taylor

6-10, 240 lbs

Big Man

Who is Jacquil Taylor? That’s the question we’ll be asking until about the midway point of the season. Despite spending two years on campus, one redshirted and one playing sparingly, we just don’t know.

Is he a long-armed, twitchy quick, and skinny big man with the capability of spreading the floor with an outside jumper that has looked promising? Is he capable of using that quickness to be a board monster on both sides of the glass, while providing the lateral quickness neither Haas or Swanigan has?

Or is he still a year or two away from being a bona fide big man playing in the B10? Is his shot inconsistent and his frame too slim to hold up to the pounding that all big men take in the midwest? Does he not read the game quickly enough, making his athleticism a moot point?

Maybe the biggest question doesn’t have anything at all to do with Jacquil Taylor. The question might just be, do we really need another big man on our roster? The truth is, Purdue will spend most the year with either Haas or Swanigan playing the five, but you can absolutely count on at least a handful of games where Haas or Biggie get into foul trouble. When this happens, Purdue might have to look towards the Mystery Big Man for some answers. Purdue will stretch Vincent Edwards as far as he can, but Taylor will find himself getting tested early.

How he grades might not make a huge effect in games in March, but it also might be the difference in winning or losing some tight games throughout the season that will affect our conference rank and tournament seeding.

The truth is, we don’t know. I don’t know. You don’t know. He’s got just enough markers in both directions to make you think he could or couldn’t be an effective player for the Boilers this year. The best situation for Purdue is Haas and Swanigan stay on the floor and we don’t have to really find out, but if Taylor does prove worthy of 6 to 9 minutes a game, consider that hitting a small jackpot. Big man depth is our one real concern, and if Taylor fills that for us, we really do have a team without a glaring weakness.