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WATCH Tai Wynyard Play Basketball and Do The Haka

@FIBA3x3

@FIBA3x3

@FIBA3x3

The FIBA 18U World 3×3 Championships are underway in Kazakhstan and Tai Wynyard has led his team to two early wins.  In games to 21 that go by 1s and 2s, Wynyard scored 20 points, just under half of his team’s 42.

First thing’s first: The Haka is the coolest, most intimidating pregame ceremony any nation has ever produced.  The traditional Maori war cry is how the New Zealanders begin each game.

For those who have asked, “When are we gonna see Tai?” Now is your chance vs. the Philippines.

A few observations on his game.

  • One basic fundamental that’s harder than you think, he does a good job of keeping the ball high, away from smaller defenders.
  • His footwork and body positioning are exceptional.  I don’t have a good frame of reference from last year, but it’s good enough to score and bang on the inside in the SEC.  Reverse pivots and reposts are fundamentally sound, but it’s easy to do this against smaller defenders.
  • The fast-twitch muscles need some work.  He’s not a bad leaper, but a slow leaper, taking a hair too long to get off the floor.
  • His jump shot is better than we thought.  We saw the clip of him warming up from behind the three-point line, but knocking one down during the game is a different story.  He stepped-back and showed off fundamental form early in the game.

He plays again tomorrow morning at 7:15 a.m. vs. Turkey and in a 9:30 a.m. rematch vs. Spain.  If you go to this website you might be able to watch live.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

12 Comments for WATCH Tai Wynyard Play Basketball and Do The Haka



  1. DelrayCat
    12:30 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    The opposition is clearly overmatched in this game, but he has great moves for a big guy. He seems more skilled than Humphries in many ways, but not as big. If Tai can knock down threes like that, and really improve his conditioning and quickness, he could have a nice role on this UK team for years to come. He is stronger than Willis, but not quite the shooter….but appears somewhat similar overall.



  2. bosshogg24
    12:49 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    Tai still looks out of shape, I can’t understand that after being at UK for six months. He was bending over with his hands on knees and looks like he too himself out of the game!



    • louisvillelaw22
      2:31 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

      Bear in mind 3 on 3 is a different kind of game. You don’t have time the way they are playing to stand around even for just a second, there are barely any stoppages, etc. It’s pretty hard.



  3. Kyblue34
    12:58 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    I know the competition is pretty weak, but he looks good enough to me to get some minutes next season if needed. His offense and post moves are better than anything Lee has ever shown.



  4. deltasig41
    1:11 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    He’s a foot taller than any of the competition in this video. He should be able to score at will. He obviously has good skills, but needs to really work on his body. Leave this 3 on 3 stuff behind, and get back to Lexington asap.



  5. A_Blue_Wildcat
    1:35 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    Really hard to determine how good he is considering the talent level of this competition but two things stand out to me, he has pretty good footwork and he looks out of shape. Hard to believe he could be out of shape after how much Kenny Payne and Cal pushed him to get him in better shape, but him being out of shape might cost him potential playing time next season.



  6. UKALLDAY1
    1:58 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    This is NOT real basketball! This isn’t even real 3 on 3, LOSERS OUTS? I can’t believe they even let him do this, it’s pointless. Those kids are little, the tallest one was like 6’2” MAX. He is getting tired out there to easy other than that I can’t even judge much off this. I do know we are going to need him up front.



  7. fauxbobknight
    2:38 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    wouldn’t we be laughing Wynyard and any of his supporters out of the room if he was a UofL or Duke recruit whose only highlights come from Half-court, outdoor 3v3 games against inferior competition?



  8. Smyrna_Cat
    3:01 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    I think some of you are being a bit too critical … and some are just being a-holes.

    One reason you don’t see many big guys in 3×3 is that it is set up for smaller players who can hit the three. I am impressed with Tai’s outside shooting, but even more than that I am impressed with his footwork, positioning, and his strength inside. For example, compare him to the other big guy on there team. Tai doesn’t miss inside, has good hands, and plays good position ball. I think he has some serious skills and he is definitely getting better.

    Too many on here dis him because he didn’t get playing time last year. In reality, he got here mid-season, wasn’t in top basketball shape, and had to make a transition to top level college basketball. Being here has to have been very helpful for him. He is a big, strong, mobile guy who likes to bang. I think he will help us this year. Wait and see.



  9. terwilliger
    3:42 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    Didn’t Cal basically come out and say a couple weeks ago that Wynyard is not ready to contribute for us this season?



  10. brothermichigan
    5:15 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    That white kid’s Haka is pretty sad (coming from another white kid who did a REALLY sad Haka one time when he visited Kiwi-land.)



  11. UKALLDAY1
    6:12 pm June 2, 2016 Permalink

    Did you watch that second game vs Spain? He almost cost them the game and was winded EARLY AGAIN! This time there was a lot of terrible shot attempts, turnovers, bad defense and bad fouls (even a few offensive) in a half court game against non SEC/BIG 5 conference players. He is not ready to contribute this coming season. Not the way he just looked out there in the second game.