Exclusive: Taylor Feeds Off of Emotion

Mike Taylor is currently averaging 16.4 PPG this season, but that's not what stands out the most about this junior on the court. Taylor's emotional play is what is quickly making him one of the more popular players on the Cyclone basketball team. Find out what Taylor had to say about the young season in this exclusive CN interview.

CN: People really seem to love the emotion that you show on the basketball court. Talk a little bit about what makes you so emotional out there. Does that fuel you as a player?


Taylor: Yeah, I mean it's just the love for the game. I love to play basketball. I've been doing it all my life. It's a passion that I have. I just show a lot of emotion. Coach McDermott tells me sometimes that it's my biggest strength and also it's my biggest weakness. I'm working on being on an even keel with it but sometimes it's just the flow of the game.


CN: When you guys talk about that, does he actually want you to work on anything specifically involving that or are you two under the agreement that whatever happens happens?


Taylor: He doesn't bring it up that much. We don't make it too much of a big deal but he knows that it's not going to hurt anything. I'm a very emotional player. With every possession, my heart is in it so when you play the game like that, you're bound to show a lot of emotion.


CN: Do you even realize it when you're out on the court or are you just having too much fun?


Taylor: No, I really don't even realize it but that's just my style of play.


CN: The Minnesota game was kind of your coming out party in the world of college basketball. What did you feel like after that second half when you led your team back to get a big win on the road?


Taylor: The win was the most important thing of the whole night. I didn't want to lose so I just did whatever it was going to take.


CN: You followed it up against Norfolk State when you hit six 3-pointers in the first half, when you're in a zone like that, do you even think about the game or are you just out there playing?


Taylor: They are the shots that you always practice all of the time. That's how I was. I felt like I was back in the gym shooting on the gun. I was in the flow. My team knew it and coach new it. It was all in the flow of the game.


CN: What were your expectations like when you came to Iowa State and do you feel like Ames has lived up to them?


Taylor: I'm living it up to all of the expectations and liking it a lot. It humbled me a lot because I had to sit out the next two exhibition games. I really appreciate Coach McDermott's decision on that. Even though I don't thank him as much as I should, I appreciate him for doing so. It humbled me a lot. Just playing in front of a crowd like I do, in Hilton, that's big time with Cyclone Alley and everything. I just have so much of an appreciation of the fans and the city and everything. I couldn't ask for much more.


CN: Are you living your dream right now?


Taylor: Yeah, yeah. I've dreamed about playing division one for my whole life.

CN: The majority of your teammates, as well as yourself are brand new to Iowa State. You guys haven't had an opportunity to develop chemistry over years alike a lot of teams do. How is that going and how hard has that been for your team in such a short amount of time?


Taylor: We are trying to find out identity still but everything is going along really well. We've got good chemistry. We just need to stay focused. Everybody has got the same goal. We all want to go out there and win, from the coaching staff to the 12th player on the team. Everybody has got the same goal. Our chemistry is good. We're going to keep getting better as we learn from every mistake.


CN: How much do you feel this team has improved from right now to where you were at the first game of the season?


Taylor: We have improved a lot. We've still got a long ways to go defensively. We're improving individually, now we've got to get the team concept. Our offense is clicking more and more, the more we get to know each other. Everything is slowly but surely getting in line for where we will be come conference time.



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