Early Recruiting Interest for Soph PG Taylor

Early Recruiting Interest for Soph PG Taylor

Sophomore Stevie Taylor kills them with speed. The diminutive 5'9", 145 pound point guard from Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio (near Columbus) is as quick at they come. Despite his size, Taylor has the tools to be a star point guard at the NCAA Division I level. Taylor's 5'11" wingspan is longer than his body. His vertical leap goes to 29 inches.

Sophomore Stevie Taylor kills them with speed. The diminutive 5'9", 145 pound point guard from Lincoln High School in Gahanna, Ohio (near Columbus) is as quick at they come. Despite his size, Taylor has the tools to be a star point guard at the NCAA Division I level. Taylor's 5'11" wingspan is longer than his body. His vertical leap goes to 29 inches.

Taylor compares his style of play to NBA star Chris Paul. Taylor said, "I do a lot of the things he does and work on the things he does." Taylor describes his game as follows: "I'm more of a speed and quick point guard. I use that to get by defenders."

Although a good shooter from behind the arc (won the three point shooting contest at the Elite 75 Prep Camp and recently made 6 treys in a high school game), Taylor said that is not his signature shot. "I shoot the 3 pretty well, but my best shot is the midrange pull-up."

Taylor does admit to having a few weaknesses that he wants to improve. These include defense and being an overall team leader on the floor. "I need to put more effort into defense," Taylor said. "And be able to run the team. That is what a point guard really does."

Already this season he is averaging 20.1 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 steals, and 2 rebounds per game. His game high this year for 6-1 Lincoln High was 34.

What is important to Taylor is a league title, not stats. Taylor told RedHawk Insider, "I want to win the league, the OOC (Ohio Capital Conference) and make a strong run in the (state) tourney."

Last year as a freshman at Lincoln, which is a large Division I school, Taylor averaged 12.2 points, 3.5 assists, 2.5 steals, and 3 rebounds. He scored 21 points in one game last year as a 9th grader. He also earned All-Central District Honorable Mention and All-OOC second team.

This past summer playing AAU ball for the Ohio Basketball Club (OBC), Taylor helped lead OBC to the championships at prestigious tournaments including the Bob Gibbons Tournament of Champions in North Carolina, The Adidas Take 5 Classic in Cincinnati, and the Pittsburgh Jam Fest. His per game averages over the summer were 15 points, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 2 rebounds. In the summer of 2007, he helped OBC win the AAU National Championship. Taylor plans to run with OBC next summer as well.

Taylor has earned many national accolades for his play. Dave Telep ranks Taylor as one of the Top 50 players in the Class of 2011 (3 stars). Multiple publications have Taylor as one of the Top 25 players nationally in the class. At the Clay Dade's Fab Frosh All-American Camp, he was ranked the #1 point guard and #3 player overall. Taylor was featured in the November, 2006 issue of Slam Magazine as "Baby Baller of the Month." Taylor was also MVP of the Memorial Graziano Barila Tournament in Varese, Italy.

Stevie Taylor comes from a strong basketball family. His older brother Rob Taylor, Jr. currently plays as a freshman point guard for NAIA Division II Mt. Vernon Nazarene University in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Stevie says his brother is getting good minutes already and will be a team leader next year.

Taylor currently has a 2.5 G.P.A. and has not taken any of the college entrance tests at this point. He is undecided on what he would like to major in when he gets to college.

Taylor has a long list of schools showing interest in him. That list includes Miami(OH), Akron, Arizona, Ball State, Baylor, Bowling Green, Butler, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Clemson, Colorado, Dayton, Detroit, Duquesne, Eastern Kentucky, Elon, Evansville, Florida, Florida Atlantic, Georgetown, Howard, Illinois, James Madison, Kansas, Kentucky, LSU, Marshall, Marquette, Maryland, Memphis, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Ohio University, Oklahoma, Penn State, Richmond, St. Joseph's, Stanford, Tennessee, UCLA, USC, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, West Virginia, William and Mary, Wisconsin, Wright State, and Xavier.

Coaches from West Virginia, Dayton, Ohio U., Cincinnati, Ohio State, Georgetown, and Akron have visited Taylor's high school.

At this early stage, Taylor already has three offers: Akron, Ohio U., and James Madison. Akron actually offer Taylor as a freshman, something unheard of for schools that are not from a BCS conference. Taylor explained, "Akron offered me before I even played a high school basketball game."

Stevie's father, Rob Taylor, Sr., told RedHawk Insider that the high major schools are waiting to see his son's play over the summer in AAU ball and summer camps before extending an offer.

Stevie Taylor has already taken many visits so far. He said, "I have taken unofficial visits to Virginia Tech, Cincinnati, Ohio State, West Virginia, Tennessee, Akron, Ohio U., Dayton, St. Joseph's, James Madison, and Marshall." He has plans to visit Ohio U. again and take in the Bobcats game against Kent State on Sunday, January 11, 2009.

Taylor and his family want interest from the local Mid-American Conference schools. Rob Taylor, Sr. said, "We hoped he would get interest from all MAC schools."

Stevie Taylor states he is wide open at this point, but does have a slight lean towards "Ohio, St. Joe's, Virginia Tech, James Madison, Akron, and Xavier." He will not make a decision anytime soon.

Taylor also wants to get to know the Miami RedHawk basketball program better. Taylor said, "I know a lot about Miami. One of my friends (2009 signee Orlando Williams) is going to Miami and has good things to say about Miami. I am interested in getting to know the coaches and players better." Williams and Taylor's older brother (Rob, Jr.) played together on OBC. Also, Williams' father Orlando Williams, Sr. (OBC head coach) and Taylor's father (Rob, Sr.) are good friends.

Taylor said the school he picks will have the following criteria: 1) an up and down style of play the runs ball screens and allows the players to have the freedom to run in transition, 2) a good fit overall for Taylor, 3) a coach that is both a good person but also has the "desire, burn, and passion to win," and 4) a good academic tradition.

On a personal level, Taylor described himself as a "good person who treats people the way people should be treated." Taylor looks up to, admires, and is influenced by his father and older brother.

Stay tuned to RedHawk Insider as we will continue to follow Taylor's sophomore season and recruitment.

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