Shawn Taggart scored 13 points and
had 5 rebounds against
"I'd say I'm about 75%. I can't wait until my leg feels better and I'll be able to dunk and that kind of stuff," said Taggart.
Taggart's left leg is injured due to a hip injury that has been hindering the standout freshman since the beginning of the season. Thought he's only at 75%, Taggart admits that he feels like a different player now than he did only a week ago.
"I'm feeling way better. My hip was terrible. I couldn't jump, I couldn't do anything. I finally can more. I can score and stuff. That's why I wasn't really trying to score or anything. I was more worried about defense and stuff like that. Now I'm feeling better so I'm going to go out there and play hard," said Taggart.
Taggart has been hindered by the injury during games but it's also been slowing him down in practice.
"My lower back all the way down to my thigh was tight. It was really tight. In practice I had to get stretched out like three or four times," said Taggart.
What's remarkable about Taggart's health is the fact that he's recently felt like a different player on the court. He's been hindered by the injury for so long and with the rest of finals week, Taggart is finally in the first stages of feeling like himself again.
"Four days ago it was terrible. I've been playing hurt with this leg since the beginning of the season. Ever since we started my leg has been messed up. I'm just going to keep playing," said Taggart.
Two weeks ago Wayne Morgan talked
about Taggart's health at his press conference before the
"He knows that I'm not 100%. He tells me to go out there and play as hard as I can for two or three minutes and if I need a blow then he'll take me out. When I get 100% I'm going to go out there and play more and more defense. That's all I'm worried about right now. If we play defense, we win games," said Taggart.
Not only has Taggart been bothered by a hip injury, but the freshman also acquired a nasty stomach virus that caused Taggart to lose around 20 pounds.
"I haven't put any weight on yet. I'm just trying to play strong. I'm going to do what I have to do to get the position," said Taggart.
Taggart continues to stress the
fact that defense is important to him and that he's working to get better all of
the time. Taggart talked to reporters about how the team practices defense and
what happened against
"We work on getting to the position that we're supposed to be at. We make sure that everybody is at the right spot. We didn't do that tonight and that's why they hit some open threes. We were focused on the big man trying to make sure that he didn't get the ball. By the time the ball got out to the wing, we were late. They were really shooting the three," said Taggart.
Taggart is living proof that the transition from high school to college ball is a huge one, and that there's a huge learning curve.
"I thought it was going to be a piece of cake but it's hard to learn what you've got to do on defense. Offense will always come to you if you can score but defense you have to know where your man's at and where your partner's man's at. It's crazy," said Taggart.
Taggart also talked about what grade he would give himself of the first 9 games of his collegiate career.
"I'd give myself a C. I think I can do better. I know I can do better. The coaches know I can do better. I just need to go out there and work hard. I need to do what I've got to do," said Taggart.
The good news for Cyclone fans is that Taggart is feeling better. The bad news is that he's still only playing at 75%.
"At first I was going good. With my sickness I started dropping. The coaches told me not to worry about it and that it would come to me. I just need to keep going hard in practice," said Taggart.
Taggart did say that he had the
most fun of his college career on Saturday against