Baylor's Taurean Prince Proving More He's More Than Viral Moment

There seems to be one question that everyone wants to ask Baylor forward Taurean Prince: What happened with that Yale press conference?

After his Bears fell in an upset to No. 12 seed Yale in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Prince gave a deadpanned answer to a reporter's question about rebounding, which soon went viral. 

Naturally, with Prince taking part in the Sixers' pre-draft workout on Friday, he was asked how often he hears from teams about that post-game interview in March.

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"It comes up a lot,” he said. “I just say [to teams] it was a response I would give to a normal friend, so I just took as such."

Prince knows his sarcastic response is following him around, but he's also proving that he's more than one 20-second clip after a stinging defeat. 

The Baylor senior was the centerpiece of a Baylor squad that won 22 games in 2015-16. He had a strong junior year at just 20 years old, but he chose to come back to get his degree, all the while putting up career-highs in points, rebounds and assists as a senior.

"I was going to stay regardless," Prince said when asked about staying all four years at Baylor. "I have a little brother, little sister, mom, dad obviously that wanted me to graduate college from the beginning, so that was my goal."

With a degree under his belt, Prince now has the chance to pursue a career in the NBA. He has been linked to many teams in the mid-to-late first round, including the Sixers, and would be a capable wing to join their rotation. 

The Baylor grad has already worked out with the San Antonio Spurs, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and Chicago Bulls. He's also set to work out with the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday. All but the Spurs on that list have mid-round picks, so Prince may be off the board when the Sixers pick at No. 24 and 26. 

What has Prince in the first round on many draft boards is his versatility, something he said he wanted to show the Sixers on Friday. At 6-8 with a nearly 7-0 wingspan, Prince can guard multiple positions and may be particularly adept at switching on screens, a major plus in today’s style of pro ball. The comparable NBA players he mentioned were DeMarre Carroll and Jae Crowder, two players who certainly fit that mold of small forwards with strong versatility. 

In the Sixers’ workout, Prince was teamed with Columbia guard Maodo Lo and Saint Joseph's forward Isaiah Miles. At the end, the Sixers gave his team a chance to formulate a play to try and tie up the squad of Wichita State guard Fred VanVleet, Clemson small forward Jaron Blossomgame and San Diego State forward Winston Shepard.

"They gave us some whiteboards," Prince said. "We were down by three I think with three seconds to go so just putting our minds to the test and seeing what we came up with. We came up short, but we had a good play drawn up. Just good defense by the other team."

Prince and his teammates are certainly well versed in five-on-five basketball, but drawing up plays for three-on-three?

"No not at all,” he said. “But it's something we have to adapt to, so it's the type of stuff they're going to throw at you. You have to ready for anything they throw your way."

A little music came on shortly after the three-on-three while the six players went through a few final drills. While most of the players seemingly ignored it, Prince began bobbing his head, letting the music add a bounce to his step as he attempted three-pointers.

"I love music, first of all, and I love dancing," he said when asked how the music made this workout different. "When you put the love of basketball and that together, it kind of just gets me in the mood. Like you said, not every workout is like that, but I was just enjoying myself, enjoying the atmosphere and enjoying everyone I was on the floor with."

With the way Prince was having fun on the court Friday, he seems well past March's viral moment. Now he has one more month of enjoying himself and showcasing himself for teams before his learns his future on draft night.

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