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T.J. Taylor, who won third-team junior college All-America honors last season for Paris Junior College, will take his talents this fall to the University of North Texas at Denton.
He announced Tuesday on his Twitter account that he will be play basketball for the Eagles.
“I Terrance Taylor will be taking my talents to the University Of North Texas for my last 3 years of college basketball,” Taylor wrote.
About 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, he added on Facebook: “North Texas Mean Green … Triple Blessed. Thank you Lord.”
The 6-4 Taylor, who played high school basketball in Denison and was the MVP of the 2010 Texas High School Coaches All-Star Game, played with PJC last season after transferring from Oklahoma University.
Even before his first game for Paris, he signed a letter-of-intent to play at Marquette, which is in Milwaukee, Wis. Taylor enrolled at the school this summer, but was granted a release and left the school in July.
Tony Benford, who recruited Taylor for Marquette, is the new head basketball coach at North Texas, and he convinced Taylor to follow him to Denton. Taylor will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Taylor averaged 14.1 points and 2.9 assists a game last season while leading them to the regular-season title of Region 14, a conference of 14 junior colleges in the eastern half of the state.
“There is no question that if T.J. plays up to his potential, he can help them,” said Mike Kunstadt, the publisher of TexasHoops.com, a website that covers high school basketball and recruiting in the state.
“He has the ability to do it. He’s a tremendous athlete, can hit the outside shot, the mid-range shot and get to the rim. He has a very versatile game with shooting from the outside and getting to the rim. When you put that together with being a great athlete, it makes him pretty tough to guard.”
Out of high school, Taylor was ranked as the 78th overall prospect in the class of 2010 by ESPN, while Rivals.com rated him 104th.
TexasHoops.com listed Taylor as the seventh-best player in the state after his standout high school career.
Taylor scored a school-record 2,630 points for Denison and was a three-time all-state selection.
UNT returns its top seven scorers from a team that lost to Western Kentucky in the Sun Belt tournament final, where the Mean Green made its third straight appearance.
Tony Mitchell, a 6-9 sophomore forward, was named the Sun Belt Conference Freshman of the Year last season and is expected to declare for the NBA draft after the upcoming season.
Taylor is just one of the key players UNT will add to the core group featuring Mitchell that helped make the latest of those title game appearances possible.
Taylor could give North Texas another option at the shooting guard spot, and help improve the Mean Green’s outside shooting. UNT ranked 11th out of 12 teams in the Sun Belt Conference last season in 3-point shooting at 32.1 percent.
Taylor shot 33.1 percent from beyond the arc at Paris, where he was the Dragons’ leading scorer. He should have a chance to improve his shooting percentage at UNT, where he will not be the focal point of the Mean Green’s offense and could get better looks at the basket.
“T.J. could get in streaks where he would bury the 3,” Kunstadt said. “What made him such a threat was that he could also get to the rim.”