Ex-Blue Devil King can only watch

David Cassilo

When Taylor King graduated high school, he dreamed of being on the court when Duke made a run in late March. Tonight, he will be on that court, but he won’t be playing, and he won’t be a Blue Devil either.

King chose to go to Duke following a very successful high school career. He played at Mater Dei High School in California, where he posted the third most career points of any player in the state. During his senior season, he was selected as a member of the McDonalds’ All-American team.

There have been a lot of changes for King since he began his college career. The most significant of which is that he transferred from Duke to Villanova after his freshman season.

In his only season with Duke, he averaged just 9.7 minutes per game and 5.5 points per game. Playing so little, King worried about what his role would be with Duke in the future and decided he would be better off continuing his college career elsewhere. After much debate, he settled on Villanova to do just that.

Switching schools required King to sit out for an entire season. It was a situation that King sometimes struggled to deal with.

“Its been the hardest year of my life,” King said. “It’s another road, another saga.”

Although it has been rough at times, King has been able to get through sitting out for the team’s first 35 games this season, but tonight, when Villanova faces his former team, King may find it more difficult than ever.

“It’s tough,” King said. “I want to be out there a lot. I want to be out there very badly.”

Although he can’t play, King has tried to help his team in any way possible. Lately, some players and coaches have been asking him for a little advice about his former team. King has gladly supplied a full scouting report to any one who asks.

Sophomore guard Corey Stokes is one Wildcat who has been able to learn a lot about Duke from King’s time with the Blue Devils.

“They play aggressive defense,” Stokes said. “Everybody is aggressive on offense. They run the floor well. Off turnovers, they like to shoot 3s.”

Despite doing all he can to help Villanova prepare, when the game begins he is nothing more than a fan. It may not be the ideal situation for King, but he is dealing with it the best that he can.

“It’s kind of frustrating, but it’s going to be fun watching my old team versus my team,” he said.

He may not technically be a part of the game, but a win for his new team may make this entire season of sitting on the bench feel worth it.