Former UCF star Jermaine Taylor has been busy criss-crossing the country working out for NBA teams. Despite the hectic schedule, Taylor is upbeat, and it is starting to sink in that he will soon be playing basketball for a living. Get the scoop in the latest edition of his draft diary.[details]
HEADER JERMAINE TAYLOR Shooting Guard University of Central Florida Golden Knights #1 6:03.4-208 Tavares, Florida Tavares High School
OVERVIEW One of the nation's premier shooters, Taylor enjoyed one of the best individual campaigns in UCF history as a senior. He averaged 26.2 points per game and finished third nationally in scoring. In Conference USA play, he averaged 29.1 points, earning league Player of the Year honors in addition to receiving NABC and USBWA All-District accolades.
Taylor ranks third in school history in scoring with 1,979 points, the fourth-best total in Conference USA annals. His 251 3-point field goals set the school career-record, while his 710 total field goals made placed third and his 308 successful free throws rank fourth on Central Florida's all-time record books.
He set the school annual record for scoring, with 812 points as a senior. His 26.2-point average put him fourth on the UCF annual record list while his 138 free throws made ending up finishing third on the single-season chart. His 291 total field goals and 92 3-pointers made were both good for fourth on the Golden Knights' annual record book.
Taylor attended Tavares High School, where the three-sport standout earned Florida Class 3A All-State first-team honors in basketball as a senior. He finished second in the Florida Class 3A Player of the Year voting and was named Class 3A-District VIII Player of the Year, along with garnering Leesburg Daily Commercial Boys Basketball Player of the Year accolades.
The Orlando Sentinel Lake/Sumter Player of the Year and All-Central Florida first-team selection was also named the Sentinel's Athlete of the Year, as he averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds and five assists per game as a senior.
Taylor excelled as a wide receiver on the Tavares football team, finishing his senior season with 481 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He was selected to the Leesburg Daily Commercial 2004 All-Area football team. He finished second in the Florida Class 2A Track and Field Championships in both the triple jump and high jump. The Leesburg Daily Commercial Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year still owns the school high, long and triple jump records.
As a true freshman, Taylor was named to the Conference USA Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll and was one of six Central Florida players to appear in all 29 games. In his first collegiate season, the reserve combo guard averaged 4.3 points in 11.7 minutes per game, hitting on 17 three-pointers. He also averaged 2.2 boards and 5.1 points per game in league play.
Taylor continued to see action coming off the bench in 2006-07. Still, he ranked second on the team and 16th in Conference USA, averaging 12.7 points per game while appearing in all 31 contests (averaged 25.2 minutes). He recorded double-figures in points 19 times and had six 20-point games while leading UCF in scoring 12 times. He ranked fourth in C-USA, shooting 41.4 percent from 3-point range (made 63 treys) and shot 47.4 percent to go with a 3.2 average for rebounds.
Taylor was named to the All-Conference USA second-team as a junior. He made 29 starts and appeared in all 31 games, leading UCF in scoring at 20.8 points per game, which ranked fourth in C-USA and 23rd nationally. He totaled 646 points, which ranks sixth on the school's single-season register and were the most scored by a UCF player at the Division I level until 2008-09.
Taylor paced the Knights in scoring in 23 of the team's 31 games and registered 20-point performances on 20 occasions while averaging 21.4 points in C-USA play. He connected on 79 3-pointers, good for eighth on the school's single-season list and shot 36.7 percent from deep, which ranked 15th in the league and 94th nationally.
In 2008-09, Taylor was an All-American third-team, All-Conference USA first-team pick and added NABC All-District XI and USBWA All-District IV accolades. The conference's Player of the Year set a C-USA single-season record by scoring 466 points and averaging 29.1 points vs. conference opponents. He scored a school-record 812 points during the campaign, as he shot 48.0 percent overall, connecting on 92 three-pointers (37.6 percent) while shooting 81.2 percent at the free-throw line. He also led the team by averaging 5.2 rebounds per game and blocking 24 shots.
2008-09 SEASON All-American third-team selection by The NBA Draft Report...All-Conference USA first-team choice and named the league's Player of the Year...Added USBWA All-District IV and NABC All-District XI first-team honors...Started all 31 games at the two-guard spot, setting the school season-record with 812 points scored, as he ranked third in the nation with an average of 26.2 points per game, the sixth-best season average in UCF annals...His average of 32.2 points per 40 minutes was tops in the nation while his 812 total points ranked fifth in the Division I ranks...Shot 48.0 percent from the floor, as his 291 field goals made (606 attempts) rank fourth on the school season-record chart...His average of 21.4 field goal attempts per game ranked third in the nation...Made 37.6 percent of his 3-point attempts (245 total), as his 92 successful treys rank fourth on the Knights' season-record list...Shot 81.2 percent from the foul line (170 attempts), as his 138 free throws made are good for third on the UCF annual record chart...Grabbed a team-high 161 rebounds (5.2 per game), as he totaled 58 assists (1.9 per game), 87 turnovers (2.8 per game), 39 steals (1.3 per game) and a career-high 24 blocked shots (0.8 per game), leading the team in that category...Set a C-USA single-season record by scoring 466 points and averaging 29.1 points vs. league foes...Scored in double figures in all but the South Dakota State game and had at least 20 points in 24 contests, including ten 30-plus point performances...Recorded two double-double performances.
2007-08 SEASON All-Conference USA second-team selection...Started 29 of 31 games at shooting guard, as he led UCF in scoring at 20.8 points per game, ranking fourth in C-USA and 23rd nationally in points per game...Totaled 646 points, which ranked sixth on the school's season-record list. The 646 points were the most scored by a UCF player at the Division I level...Paced the Knights in scoring in 23 of the team's 31 games and registered 20-point performances on 20 occasions...Averaged 21.4 points in C-USA play...Connected on 79 three-pointers, good for eighth on the school's single-season list...Shot 36.7 percent from deep, which ranked 15th in C-USA and 94th nationally...Made 2.6 treys per contest, the fourth-best mark in the league and logged 1,037 minutes, which ranked third on the school's season register...Averaged 4.7 rebounds (147), good for second on the team...In league games, he averaged 5.1 boards...Shot 79.5 percent at the free-throw line (105 of 132), good for ninth in the conference, and vs. C-USA foes, he shot 82.4 percent at the line...In the last five minutes of games, he shot 89.7 percent at the line.
2006-07 SEASON Ranked second on the team and 16th in Conference USA, averaging 12.7 points per game (395 total), despite appearing in all 31 games as a reserve...Averaged 25.2 minutes per contest and recorded double-figures in points on 19 occasions...Had six 20-point games and led UCF in scoring 12 times...Ranked fourth in C-USA, shooting 41.4 percent from three-point range (63 of 152)...Shot 47.4 percent overall (139 of 293) and averaged 3.2 rebounds (100) per game...Handed out 48 assists (1.5 per game) to go with ten blocked shots, 68 turnovers and 28 steals (0.9 per game).
2005-06 SEASON Conference USA Commissioner's Acadmic Honor Roll honoree...One of six Knights to appear in all 29 games...Averaged 4.3 points (126) in 11.7 minutes per contest...Hit on 17 3-pointers and averaged 2.2 boards a game (63 total)...Averaged 5.1 points in league play...Had 15 assists, 13 steals, 30 turnovers and six blocked shots.
CAREER NOTES In 122 games at Central Florida, Taylor scored 1,979 points, topped only by Bo Clark (2,866 points; 1975-77, 78-80) and Mike Clark (2,085; 1969-73) on the school career-record list...His 1,979 career points placed him fourth in Conference USA annals behind Stefon Jackson of Texas-El Paso (2,430 points; 2006-present), Altron Jackson of South Florida (2,017; 1999-2002) and Steve Logan of Cincinnati (1,985; 1999-2002)...His 646 points scored in 2007-08 rank sixth on the school record list and his 812 points in 2008-09 set the top mark, besting the previous annual record of 806 points by Bo Clark in 1976-77)...His 26.2-point scoring average in 2008-09 rank sixth on the Golden Knights' annual record chart...Made 710 of 1,524 field goals (46.6 percent), ranking behind Bo Clark (1,215 field goals), Jerry Prather (757, 1974-78) and Mike Clark (674) in school history...His 291 field goals made in 2008-09 rank fourth on the UCF season-record list...Holds the school career-record with 251 3-point field goals made and ranks fourth on the season-record chart with 92 treys during the 2008-09 campaign...Placed fourth on the UCF career-record list with 308 successful free throws, topped by Bo Clark (456; 1975-77, 78-80), Ken Leeks (413; 1988-92) and Mike Clark (410; 1969-73)...Ranks third on the UCF single-season record list with 138 free throws made in 2008-09, surpassed by Mike Clark (158 in 1970-71) and Bo Clark (144 in 1976-77)...His 45 points scored vs. Rice in 2009 established a UCF Division I single-game scoring record and rank fourth all-time at the school behind Bo Clark (70 vs. Florida Memorial in 1977, 51 vs. Florida Tech in 1979 and 49 vs. Florida Tech in 1980...It also ranked second in C-USA history...Added 35 points vs. Houston and again vs. Tulsa to go with his 45 vs. Rice, as he became the first player at UCF to record three-consecutive 30-point showings since the program joined the Division I ranks in 1984...Made 14 free throws vs. Sam Houston State in 2009, one shy of the school game-record of fifteen by Bennie Shaw vs. Medger Evers in 1975.
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Tavares (Fla.) High School, playing basketball for head coach Jack Clark...The three-sport standout earned Florida Class 3A All-State first-team honors in basketball as a senior...Finished second in the Florida Class 3A Player of the Year voting and was named Class 3A-District VIII Player of the Year, along with garnering Leesburg Daily Commercial Boys Basketball Player of the Year accolades...The Orlando Sentinel Lake/Sumter Player of the Year and All-Central Florida first-team selection was named the Sentinel's Athlete of the Year, as he averaged 25 points, 11 rebounds and five assists per game as a senior...Also excelled as a wide receiver on the Tavares football team, finishing his senior season with 481 receiving yards and eight touchdowns...Leesburg Daily Commercial 2004 All-Area football team pick...Second in the Florida Class 2A Track and Field Championships in both the triple jump and high jump...The Leesburg Daily Commercial Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year still owns the school high, long and triple jump records.
INJURY REPORT No injuries reported.
PERSONAL Interdisciplinary Studies major, earning Conference USA Commissioners' Academic Honor Roll recognition...Son of Gwendolyn Taylor...Born 12/08/86 in Tavares, Florida.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: One of the strongest two-guards in college, Taylor was recruited by several top universities as a wide receiver in football...Plays with a shoot-first mentality, but is aggressive on the offensive glass as a rebounder and shows decent skills to distribute when he can't create his own shot...Has excellent lateral quickness and athleticism and goes strong to the basket to draw contact...Has an effortless stroke shooting from the perimeter and sets his feet well to get spacing before executing the pull-up jumper...Has the frame to become an excellent rebounder and defender as a wing player at the next level...Even when the opponent flashes double teams in a weak-side rotation, he can drive to the rim easily...Has good lateral quickness and footwork, evident by his ability score when pulling up, coming off screens or spotting up, as he has a strong burst around the basket...Has textbook-perfect body control, keeping his shoulders squared on the way to the rim...Determined to put the ball in coming off screens and has the strength to absorb contact and get to the foul line...Generates a high release and shows very good elevation on his mid-range jumper...Savvy floor player who has a nice array of hesitation moves and head and pump fakes to get the spacing he needs to get off an uncontested shot...Has the initial step to get the ball on the wing and drive hard to the basket to convert the bulk of those chances...Has a smooth stroke with his pull-up jumper and excellent shooting mechanics and range shooting beyond the arc...Effective slasher with an explosive initial step and the balance to slash and weave through traffic on the way to the rim...Type of player that thrives getting the ball in pressure situations (made 89 percent of his chances in the last five minutes of the game as a junior)...Shows good off-ball movement skills and has really improved his ability to contest shots at the perimeter, along with getting good opportunities to disrupt activity in the passing lane.
Negatives: Aggressive splitting traps and double teams, but takes too many contested shots and doesn't consistently find open teammates...Turnover prone and gets sloppy when he has to keep the ball on the floor for too long...Bit undersized for a "2" guard, but compensates with his athleticism and strength...Marginal passer and just an adequate ball handler, which makes him a potential liability at the point unless he proves he can create for others...Dominates the ball on offense and needs to do a better job of keeping his team involved...Has good lateral agility, but seems to lack effort and desire to stay in front of shooters when asked to apply defensive pressure...Lack of effort evident when he is usually a step behind chasing down the ball when fighting through screens...Not much of a threat shooting off the dribble and his left hand is noticeably weaker...Needs to show better focus and awareness of defenses rotating when he has to dribble to set up a play.
Compares To: RODNEY STUCKEY, Detroit -- Like the Pistons' "Mad Bomber" Taylor is really nothing more than an undersized wing trapped in a point guard's body. He has great shooting mechanics and a very strong inside game, but has never been a facilitator, which will limit his minutes to coming off the bench and playing the "2" guard spot. Even though he was constantly double-teamed last season, he still scored at a 26.2-points per game clip. Like Stuckey, he was clearly the top player on his team and one of the headliners in his conference, which could complicate the shift to the NBA game.