The Best Player You've Never Heard Of

Quick trivia question: Who is the Conference USA all-time leading scorer who finished third in the entire nation in scoring last season? Chances are that if you don't follow UCF sports closely, you'd have no idea that the answer is UCF guard Jermaine Taylor, the nation's best kept secret.

Jermaine Taylor has one of the most well-rounded games in the entire country and he will put his talents on display for some lucky NBA team next season. Taylor can simply do everything on the basketball court. The 6'4" guard has a chiseled NBA body which can rise off the ground to the tune of a 39" vertical leap. Taylor has proven that he can score against a wide array of defenses while being the focal point of every opponent. His finely tuned mid-range game is reminiscent of former C-USA star Dwayne Wade, and the more open, one-on-one game of the NBA will only showcase his talents further.

"I think my game stacks up well against the best players in the nation," says Taylor, who routinely faces small-school bias.

Whichever team that decides to write the former UCF star's name on their draft card will likely not have to select in the top five, or even the end of the lottery. Taylor is so much of a secret that many project this supremely talented player to be an end of the first round guy.

"I've been hearing a lot of different stuff," Taylor said when asked about where he thinks he'll be selected. "I've heard second (round) a few times, I've heard late first a few times. I'm just trying to go to my workouts I have and try to play well and move up."

Jermaine Taylor's post-UCF career has been stellar thus far, as he shined against some of the best players in the country while winning MVP honors at the Portsmouth Invitational. Portsmouth featured some fine future NBA talent.

"Wes Matthews, Tyrese Wright, Antonio Anderson, Stefon Jackson, Robert Vaden, a lot of the top players in the country," Taylor told Inside Knights when we asked about the talent he faced up in Portsmouth.

Being a "blue-chip" prospect, Taylor had many offers from many more established basketball programs coming out of high school, but he chose to stay close to his home in nearby Tavares, Florida, and it's a decision that's apparently worked out well for the all-time leading scorer in school history.

"I'm glad I came here," Taylor said. "I love being a Knight and I wouldn't trade it for anything."

Jermaine Taylor was the best player in the history of the UCF basketball program, and his talents and the prospect of him becoming an NBA star undoubtedly helped the Coach Kirk Speraw and the rest of the UCF program to acquire their best recruiting class in recent history which included Marcus Jordan, son of the Michael.

"I'm happy for UCF," Taylor said in a recent interview. "Just for UCF to get a guy like that, it says that the program is on the rise. In a few years, I can see UCF as a big time school, just like Memphis."

Taylor credits his collegiate coach for getting him ready to play at the next level.

"I think he's (Coach Speraw) prepared me a lot for the next level. I think I've always had it, but he's showed me how to use it. Taught me how to take my time, how to come off screens, how to be patient and let the game come to me."

Taylor claims to have no fewer than 12 workouts set up for various NBA teams selecting in the first round, and we asked him what his future employer, whichever team that may be, will be getting when they select the former Knight.

"Someone who's going to go out every day and give 100%. "I'm going to go out and play my game and have fun and play as hard as I can. I'd like to see myself get better through hard work."

To give a brief message to the fans of some lucky NBA team, you may not know much about Jermaine Taylor now, and you'll probably be asking yourself, ‘who?' when your team selects him, but you'll know plenty by the end of next year when Taylor is competing for NBA Rookie of the Year honors.

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