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Tai Wynyard’s game is developing with the help of Bam Adebayo in practice

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

UK Athletics

To start the year, many considered Tai Wynyard to be an afterthought on this team to produce any real minutes. After starting out the year coming in with the group of walk-ons, those expectations seemed to remain true.

As of late, however, Wynyard has been getting some playing time for the Wildcats, and making the most of his opportunities as a valuable power guy off the bench.

Against Mississippi State, Wynyard managed just one point and one rebound in five minutes of action, but felt encouraged by his play.

“I just took my opportunity and did the best I could with it,” Wynyard said. “It was a lot of fun to be able to play because I haven’t been playing much this season. It was good to get out there and have a little bit of playing time. It was a lot of fun.”

As far as individual progress, the 6-11 center out of New Zealand feels that competitive play in practice has allowed his game to grow.

Wynyard said, “My game has taken a huge leap. I’ve been playing a lot better since I’ve been here, obviously, playing against players like Bam (Adebayo) and Isaac (Humphries). Going up against players like that in practice every day has given me strength.” 

Bam Adebayo has been a big part of building Wynyard’s strength in practice, as he has been his main sparring partner down low. According to Tai, the match-ups are exciting to watch in practice.

“If you came and watched it gets crazy. It gets heated in there a little bit. We’re going at each other and fighting each other, so it’s a lot of fun. Me and Bam just going at it, you should see it. Just being able to play defense against him all the time and him playing defense against me. Both of us are getting so much better just by having that physicality.”

If he continues to impress coaches in practice and find success in his limited opportunities in the games, Wynyard believes he will be able to push for minutes as Adebayo’s backup.

“It gives me a bit of confidence. I’ve just got to fight for that spot and show what I can do in practice. I just want to make the most of every opportunity that I get.”

Wynyard hasn’t been a world-beater this season, but he’s certainly shown flashes of potential to excite fans going forward.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

4 Comments for Tai Wynyard’s game is developing with the help of Bam Adebayo in practice

  1. az1006
    9:52 pm January 20, 2017 Permalink

    I know we have had a very limited sample of Tai, but from what I’ve seen he would, at worst, give us the same as what Humphries has. I have no problem at all if Cal gives him a real shot at minutes.

    I always wonder what guys aren’t doing to earn minutes in practice, and it seems as though his time is coming.

  2. Aar
    10:01 pm January 20, 2017 Permalink

    I like to see Wynyard getting minutes. Love his pick setting and energy.

    I gotta say, though, that I thought we would be seeing more of Sacha Killeya-Jones by now. I really like his scoring game but suppose he’s really foul prone on defense and needs to transform that aspect of his game to earn playing time.

  3. Luether
    10:07 pm January 20, 2017 Permalink

    Keep working Tai. Your time will come…

  4. henderblue
    9:56 am January 21, 2017 Permalink

    Like to see some more Tai.