Friday, June 19, 2009

Dante Taylor apparently growing by the day

By Chris Dokish

Even though his game is ideally suited for the power forward position, Dante Taylor may end up as the starting center this season for the Panthers, and he definitely now has the size for the position. I was told by the Pitt staff today that at the U.S. tryouts Taylor checked in at 6'8 1/2" and 251 pounds. If that wasn't impressive enough, he also had a 7'1" wingspan.

Added note: Apparently there has been some confusion as to whether that 251 pounds is good or bad regarding Taylor's conditioning, especially since there was a recent internet report from Draft Express that Taylor did not perform well at the U.S. tryouts. So let me clarify. The ideal weight for Taylor is around 245 so the 251 pounds was not a huge difference. However, Taylor was in poor condition at the tryouts and it showed in his play. To be blunt, it cost him a spot on the team. But the staff is not worried. For players at Taylor's level, there is virtually no offseason and sometimes they don't work as hard as they should to stay in shape twelve months out of the year. That's what happened to Taylor and it cost him. The Pitt staff does not expect it to be an ongoing problem, and certainly don't see him as a Chris Taft-like bad apple, as was mentioned in the Draft Express article. In fact, the staff notes that Taylor has previously kept himself well-conditioned. As one person at Pitt told me, at least it will temporarily quiet the talk of how quickly Taylor will bolt for the NBA.


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