Tai Wynyard and his New Zealand team were unable to repeat as champions in the FIBA 3X3 U18 Tournament, but for the second year in a row, he was one of the best players at the event.
FIBA put together a highlight reel for Wynyard and Kentucky Wildcats basketball fans should be fairly excited by what they see here. With a little bit of caution which I will explain after the video.
Tai showcases good skills around the rim and has a great drop-step move that he routinely finishes with a dunk. He also has a nice spin move and moves better with the ball in his hands that I had anticipated. He is a bruiser in the post that fights for rebounds, position, and has the ability to rise and block shots.
His outside game was not featured in the video, but from what I saw from watching a few of his games he has the skills to step out and hit a mid-range jumper from time to time.
But before we get too excited about this, take into account the level of competition he faced. Most of the time he was going up against players that were smaller and weaker. His strength and low-post ability will face greater challenges when he returns to Kentucky to face Bam Adebayo and Isaac Humphries.
I am more positive about Wynyard that I was after his first season at Kentucky. I think he will provide a solid body off the bench with the potential to play meaningful minutes.
If either Tai or Humphries can turn into a productive player for John Calipari to compliment Bam, then this team can be as good as or better than Duke.