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Tayshaun Prince Player Profile

  • Bulls Draft Central 2002
    Tayshaun Prince Tayshaun Prince was a teammate of Tyson Chandler's in high school and says he wouldn't mind being reunited with him in Chicago.

    After nearly leaving Kentucky after his junior season for the NBA, Tayshaun Prince ultimately decided to return for his senior year, citing his desire to graduate. As a senior, he led the Wildcats in scoring (17.5 ppg) and rebounding (6.3 rpg) and finished his career with 1,775 points, ranking seventh on UK's all-time scoring list. In addition to receiving his degree in sociology, Prince was named first-team All-SEC, second-team All-America by the NABC and third-team All-America by the AP as a senior; all honors he also earned as a junior. He was the 2001 SEC Player of the Year and was named UK's most valuable player in his final two seasons.

    The 6-9, 215-pound Prince was at the Berto Center on Wednesday for a private workout with the Bulls. After the session, he visited with Bulls.com to discuss his workout and playing with Tyson Chandler for a year in high school:

    How did your workout go? Have you had any others yet?

    Tayshaun Prince:
    "It went pretty good. I had one [Tuesday] in New York so I just wanted to come here and get some good reps in and it turned out OK. I've had six workouts so far and all of them have gone pretty well. I think the first one that I had in Phoenix, I shot the ball decent. After the first workout I've gotten kind of comfortable and since then I've done pretty well in all of them."

    What did your four years at Kentucky mean to you? How did it help you from a basketball and personal standpoint?

    "It meant a lot. Obviously [going to school] is going to help you out in the future. I think the most important thing is [recognizing] that college is the most important time of your life. I gained a couple years of maturity and was able to experience so many things. I think that overall my four years helped me out a lot. Each and every year I was able to make some progress. It helped me out for my future. As a freshman, you need to come in and get acclimated, not only to your surroundings on the court, but off the court as well. That was a struggle at first but then my sophomore year and I started to get more playing time and things came around. My junior year was a very big year, as was my senior year. Each and every year the best thing to do is to make progress and work hard in the summer. Once you do that, your game is going to improve."

    As an upper classman at Dominguez High School in Compton, you played with a freshman named Tyson Chandler. What can you tell us about that and your playing experience at Dominguez? (Editor's note: Named to the 1998 McDonald's All-American team, Prince led Dominguez to a 96-9 (91.4%) record in his three seasons.)

    "Obviously, he was young, only 14 years old, but you saw the potential. Then, he was 6-11 and our starting center. The thing that he did very well for us back at that time was block shots. I think that he averaged five or six a game. At the time there were five or six seniors on the team and he really couldn’t use his offensive skills since we had a lot of scorers from that veteran class. Once those guys left he became more and more of an offensive basketball player. But we used him a lot for defense and he did a great job of offensive and defensive rebounding and scoring under the basket. Most importantly, he did a great job blocking shots."

    Tayshaun Prince Prince ended his career at UK as the school's seventh leading scorer of all-time.
    (UK Photo)
    Who have you talked to for advice over the last few weeks? What are they telling you?

    "I really try not to listen to too many things when people tell you where you're going to go. You hear a lot from people about what position you'll play and that type of thing, what you have to work on and improve on… obviously you can always improve on every aspect of your game. At the same time you can't go by what people say because once draft day comes, things can switch up. I'm just trying to work hard in the time that I have now."

    What are your strengths as a player and which ones will you rely most on in the NBA?

    "Just being 6-9, being able to handle the basketball and put it on the floor and take it full court. I'm going to use the versatility that I have and those will be the most important strengths of my game."

    Are there any players who you've modeled your game after or who you can compare yourself to?

    "I don't really model myself after anybody. But a lot of people say that I have a Scottie Pippen-type basketball game."

    What do you know about the current Bulls team? Do you think you'd be a good fit here?

    "The Bulls have a very good future and they have a lot of young and talented players. Jalen Rose was just getting acclimated to the team and he hasn't even been here a year yet. If I were to come here I'd just contribute to the young talent as much as I could. Once these players play together for some time and have a few years of experience, they're going to be great."

    Have you spent much time in Chicago? What's your impression of the city?

    "I haven't spent much time here today but I've been here a lot over the years, playing in the Great Eight (college basketball games held at the United Center) and visiting some of my friends who stay out here. On occasions, when I've had time off I would come to Chicago. It's a big city that's great and nice, too. I just haven't had much time to see it on this trip."

    - Adam Fluck, Bulls.com

    1998-99 37 11 82 198 .414 21 32 .656 142 45 25 21 214 5.8
    1999-00 32 32 153 362 .423 74 105 .705 192 58 27 41 426 13.3
    2000-01 34 34 207 418 .495 97 115 .843 221 99 24 37 575 16.9
    2001-02 32 32 206 441 .467 83 118 .703 202 52 34 43 560 17.5
    TOTALS 135 109 648 1419 .457 275 370 .743 757 254 110 142 1775 13.1
    Three-point field goals: 1998-99, 29-for-101 (.287); 1999-00, 46-for-150 (.307); 2000-01, 64-for-179 (.358); 2001-02, 65-for-191 (.340). Totals, 204-for-621 (.329).