Get to know Travis Taylor

21 Oct

You don't know much about Travis Taylor of Xavier? Join the club. (PHOTO: NY Post)

By Justin Young
National Hoops Report

I hate to admit it but Jeff Goodman may be onto something here.

Travis Taylor of Xavier is a real sleeper. Goodman is calling it. I suppose I’m endorsing it.

I bet you didn’t know Taylor averaged 17.8 points and 7.6 rebounds a game as a sophomore at Monmouth. I bet you didn’t know he was a highly sought after transfer behind closed doors. I bet you didn’t know that he’d be the starting power forward for Xavier, a top 20 team this year, this time last year.

None of really did. Let’s be totally honest here.

Goodman of CBSSports.com writes:

“(Taylor) didn’t start playing organized basketball until his junior year of high school. Taylor had a bunch of Division 2 offers before Monmouth came in late.

I’d be surprised if Taylor doesn’t start at power forward from Day One for Mack. His game is awkward, but he’s a big-time athlete who possesses a relentless work ethic on the court.

“I’m a gnat around the rim,” Taylor said of his game. “I just never stop.”

“He’s going to make a real impact,” said Xavier star guard Tu Holloway. “He brings a warrior mentality – which is something we need.”

“Since I’ve been here, we haven’t had anyone like him up front,” added Mark Lyons, Holloway’s backcourt mate.”

Okay, I’m listening.

Xavier never backs down from a good non-league game. Vanderbilt, Purdue, Butler, Cincy, Oral Roberts, Gonzaga, Long Beach State and the rest of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic field (Clemson, Kansas State, Southern Illinois and UTEP) will pose a challenge.

Taylor is a necessary cog in the Musketeer attack. Heck, a stage like that could propel Taylor’s name up the charts and into the national conversation.

Chris Mack isn’t holding back on what he is expecting from the Monmouth transfer either.

“I expect Travis to be an immediate contributor like many of our transfer students in the past,” Mack says on Taylor’s Xavier profile. “He’s versatile, can score around the basket and has a great feel for the game despite his limited playing career. Certainly, his best days are ahead of him.”

His best days could be a month away.

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