Taylor King Throws Down the Academic GauntletPosted by rtmsf on August 11th, 2010
Jeff Goodman reported today that former-Duke, current-Villanova forward Taylor King is transferring yet again, this time making his way from the cooker known as the East Coast to the balmier weather and lifestyle of Southern California. And when we say Southern California, we mean it literally. King will enroll at USC this fall and, after sitting out a second transfer season in 2010-11, he will be eligible to play his senior year in his home area, a little less than an hour’s drive from where he grew up in Huntington Beach. The 6’6 forward was a key contributor at Villanova last season, averaging 7/5 per game in bench duty, but he’s shown flashes of offensive skill with eight double-figure games in points and a solid three-point stroke (career: 37%).
King has had some family issues and after spending a few weeks at home this summer decided that giving up the 3,000-mile commute back to the Main Line was in his best interests. He considered a couple of local NAIA schools, but ultimately found that sitting out the additional transfer season to play at USC was the best option. However, it was a quote from King buried at the end of Goodman’s report that really caught our eye. When asked about his decision-making process:
King said while he would like to continue his playing career beyond college, academics and connections at USC played a role in his decision. “The education is off the charts at SC. No offense to Duke or Villanova, but they don’t compare.”
All snickering aside, most people reading this site may not be aware that USC is a very strong academic school despite its iconic status relating to babes and football (wonder why they’d ever have that perception?). The latest US News & World Report ranks Southern Cal as the 26th best national university, holding a 24% acceptance rate and SAT scores that it claims are greater than crosstown rival UCLA’s (by and large considered the more academically-minded school). But Duke? A perennially top-10 school by any measure? Villanova? The top Masters University in the Northeast for more than a decade? Questionable.
We figured that the denizens of the two dissed schools would come running to their defense, and it didn’t take long. Villanova fans seemed to find great hilarity in the comment, while the Duke people hardly even gave his comment much consideration due to its absurdity. Of course we realize that King is only trying to justify his decision to himself when he made that comment, but it would be fourteen kinds of awesome if USC managed to find itself in a road game at Duke or Villanova two seasons from now. We’re fairly certain that the lesser-academically-inclined students at those places would find clever ways to make him feel welcome. Hey, we can always hope, right?