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January 1, 2015 at 10:12 AM

Jahmel Taylor couldn’t crack rotation, leaves Washington

Washington sophomore guard Jahmel Taylor is transferring. (Photo credit: GoHuskies.com)

Washington sophomore guard Jahmel Taylor is transferring. (Photo credit: GoHuskies.com)

Washington sophomore Jahmel Taylor is transferring, coach Lorenzo Romar said Thursday morning.

“His attitude has been great and he’s been great all along,” Romar said. “It’s just that he wants to play. So we talked about it that’s what he’s going to do, he’s going to transfer.”

Taylor is the second player to leave the team this season following freshman Tristan Etienne.

It’s been difficult for Taylor, a 5-11 and 170-pound guard to crack the rotation since he arrived. He was a three-star prospect according to Rivals and Scout while ESPN gave the Pacific Hills (Los Angeles) High standout two stars. Taylor was one of the last players to join UW’s 2013 recruiting class following Nigel Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson.

He appeared in 18 games and averaged 3.7 minutes and 1.3 points last season.

In the offseason, Taylor changed his jersey number from 21 to 33 hoping for a fresh start. However, he did a curious thing last summer and dropped five pounds, which was odd considering he was the smallest person on the roster.

During a lengthy interview in July, Taylor talked about his first-year struggles.

“I would just say it was a learning experience,” he said. “I know coming in people didn’t really know about me and during the games overlooked me. Overall, because of that I didn’t really feel comfortable out there and you could see it on the floor where I really wasn’t effective at all. Couldn’t really contribute to the team as much as I wanted to. I would say now, just feeling more of a leader on the floor. Feeling more comfortable and not really worried about what the other guys think of me. And on defense, just get down and lock up. For me, it’s more of a comfort level.”

Despite being one of the team’s best perimeter shooters, Taylor was unable to crack UW’s six-guard rotation that includes: Andrew Andrews, Mike Anderson, Williams-Goss, Johnson and newcomers Quevyn Winters and Donaven Dorsey.

Taylor played two minutes in the season-opening 77-59 blowout win over South Carolina State. He also played five minutes in the victory over San Jose State on Nov. 27.

It became apparent Taylor’s relationship with the Huskies was amiss when he didn’t play in the 86-38 rout over Grambling State on Dec. 17. He sat out the last eight games.

If he immediately enrolls in a school, Taylor could play the 2015-16 season after sitting out the first 12 or so games. He could also sit out next season and have two full seasons of eligibility.

Before committing to Washington, Taylor had offers from Long Beach State, UC-Santa Barbara and Fresno State. He also received interest from Colorado, USC and Washington State.

Barring a rash of injuries, Taylor’s departure shouldn’t have a big negative impact for Washington. The Huskies are loaded at guards and two of three walk-ons (Dan Kingma and KJ Garrett) have shown promise.

Washington has 10 scholarship players, three fewer than the NCAA limit. Two Huskies (Shawn Kemp Jr. and Anderson) are seniors and will leave after the season due to graduation, which opens up five spots on the roster.

Washington is bringing in a touted 2015 class that includes six players, which means at least one more roster reduction is forthcoming.

 

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