Fresno Pacific star John Taylor declares for NBA draft



By Anthony Galaviz - The Fresno Bee

For Fresno Pacific basketball star John Taylor, the time is right for the NBA draft.

The junior All-American guard from Chicago was among 77 players who have declared themselves early entry candidates for the draft on June 27 in New York.

Taylor is still filing his official paperwork with the league office, said agent Brian Brundage, who added it may be a long shot for his client -- a bit small by NBA standards at 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds -- to get drafted.

"He needs to put on 15 to 20 pounds of muscle weight because he has a small body frame that he's had all of his life. We need to beef him up into an NBA body," Brundage said Wednesday. "I know this isn't an easy task and he's going to get discounted by scouts because of his weight.

"Coming out of Fresno, it's a great place, great school and great program but it's not a D-I school and not well-known, and that's the uphill battle we're prepared to climb."

THE FRESNO BEE - Fresno Pacific basketball standout John Taylor has declared to enter the NBA draft.

Brundage said he hopes Taylor can start that process at the draft combine May 15-19 in Chicago.

At Fresno Pacific this past season, Taylor led the Sunbirds to a 21-9 record and finished the season leading the country in scoring at the National Christian College Athletic Association level with a school-record 27.5 points per game. Taylor also set school season records in points (825), field goals made (263) and free throws made (216). He scored 40 or more points three times and scored 50 in the first round of the NCCAA Tournament to break the Pacific West Conference record.

"I had a great career at Fresno Pacific," Taylor said in a news release. "And now I feel like improving my game and taking it to the next level is what's best for me. I want to learn more about the game and I think the professionals before me can help me become one of the best players in basketball. I feel like I've accomplished all I can on the court at the college level. I will eventually come back to graduate, but as of now I'm ready for that next step."

Taylor could become the first Sunbirds player to play in the NBA if drafted. Former Fresno Pacific All-American guard James Lewis was drafted in the minor-league NBA Development League teams in 2010 and 2011, but is no longer in the league.
"It's good for him," Fresno Pacific coach Chris Wright said of Taylor. "He's worked extremely hard and has a chance to possibly go and make a lot of money, whether it's at the highest level or overseas. We're going to support him."

Wright said a few scouts watched the Sunbirds play this past season and feels confident his former player will find a role with a pro team somewhere.

"He scores," Wright said. "I think some people will be interested in him. Not too many players score 28 points per game at any level."


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