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
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
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
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
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
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
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
CN: Are you living your dream
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
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
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.