Wondering how Taylor King, who transferred to Villanova from Duke after last season, feels about Thursday's Sweet 16 matchup? I caught up with King Tuesday night for a story in Thursday's print edition, and here's an excerpt of the conversation, in anticipation of Thursday's short feature.
What have you been up to in the last year?
The stipulation of transferring, unfortunately, is that I'm not allowed to play this year, and then I can't travel with the team, and I can't stay with the team at any hotel or anything like that. I've been pretty much working out all the time. I work out almost every day, a couple of hours every day, and then I go to class. The good part about the "sitout year" is I can get my academics in line for next year.
Even though you can't travel with the team, was there any way you weren't going to Boston for this one?
No. To be honest with you, no. As soon as I found out we were playing Duke, I made reservations. I knew that I couldn't travel with the team and I needed to find my own way up there, so I got a ride. Unfortunately, it's a long ride, but I'm willing to drive that long to see this game.
Did you eyeball this matchup as soon as the bracket came out?
It was in my mind. It should have been in everybody's mind who was in the situation I'm in. The main thing was, I wanted to make sure we got there, that we had good games against American and then either UCLA or VCU, and fortunately, we had a good game against UCLA. And to be honest with you, yeah, I was rooting for Duke against Texas. I wanted to play Duke. I wanted to have that opportunity. Unfortunately, I'm not playing, but it's still fun for me. It's still crazy this is all happening.
Some people like to say you'll be the secret weapon for Villanova, but it seems to me that the coaches are going to know just as much as you do, right?
Exactly. Like, you're going to be the secret weapon? I'm not. I'm obviously not. The coaches watch film, they do the research, they watch them all year. If they need my help, yeah, I'll give it to them.
How do the two teams match-up, in your opinion?
We are pretty similar. We both buckle down, play very good halfcourt defense. Each team has extreme talent—extreme talent—and to be honest with you, this game will probably be the best game in the Tournament. That's a great thing to be a part of.
Can Coach K match Jay Wright's dapper style?
Oh man, I don't want to hate on Coach K, but Coach Wright's my man. That man can dress, trust me.
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