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Texas PG Isaiah Taylor discusses decision to return

A quick rapport with head coach Shaka Smart and a desire to make a deep NCAA Tournament run helped keep the team's leader in Austin.

Isaiah Taylor discussing his decision on Sunday
Isaiah Taylor discussing his decision on Sunday
via @TexasMBB

Why did Texas Longhorns point guard Isaiah Taylor decide to return for his junior season instead of taking his chances in the NBA Draft?

The team's leader in scoring and assists from last season shared his thoughts during a media availability on Sunday, saying that his relationship with new head coach Shaka Smart played a role:

The rather bleak NBA prospects for Taylor also played a role because no matter what people around him were telling him or what Smart told him, his draft evaluation was not good enough to take the risk of leaving school:

However, the case of former Longhorn Cory Joseph gave evidence that even going late in the first round can work out for a player if the right situation comes along. And, according to former Statesman writer Mark Rosner, at least one NBA playoff team believes that Taylor could play for them right now.

Where Joseph has been able to to blend in as the ultimate glue guy for the San Antonio Spurs, Taylor would have to make his living on penetration and setting up three-point shooters on a team with a number of long-range threats and the need for a back-up point guard with elite quickness.

But Taylor also came back because he feels like he has unfinished business in Austin after two quick exits from the NCAA Tournament:

A tough Big 12 Conference that will once again feature Player of the Year Buddy Hield after his decision to return to the Oklahoma Sooners won't make landing a high seed particularly easy. Still, assuming that the Longhorns can land top-100 small forward Tevin Mack, keeping Taylor truly assures Texas of the potential to completely maximize the 2015-16 team's upside.