Being the longest tenured player on the Ohio Bobcats, senior point guard Stevie Taylor has seen a lot happen to him over the last three years. He has been to the NCAA Tournament, played in multiple MAC Tournament games and has even hit a game-winning shot against Kent State his sophomore year at The Convo.
He has also been able to play with some of the best players in Ohio men’s basketball history, including: D.J. Cooper, Nick Kellogg and Walter Offutt. By playing with these guys, Taylor has been able to take parts of their game and place it into his own game.
“I’ve taken a lot (from those three players) and I’ve molded myself into those three players, to have a good product out there for me,” Taylor said.
Taylor was also able to learn a lot from his predecessor at point guard in Cooper.
After sitting behind Cooper for two years, Taylor finally got his chance to be the starting point guard when Cooper graduated two years ago. Taylor started off the season on a high note, playing well in the first few months. But, in early February, a foot injury would linger for the rest of the season, causing his playing his time – as well as his overall game – to go down during the heat of the season.
Plenty happened in the offseason for Taylor and the Bobcats. After last year, Ohio changed coaches for the third time in four years. This led to Taylor having to learn a new scheme on both ends of the floor for the third time. But because he is the senior point guard, he wants to make sure can understand the system first, so he can help teach the younger guys on the team.
“With me being the senior, I can catch on to things really fast, so my job is to help the younger guys and show them what’s going on (offense),” he said.
After battling injuries during the end of last year, Taylor was in a walking boot for a toe injury for a few weeks in the summer. Coming into to this season, Taylor said this was the healthiest he had been since high school and wanted to maintain his health for the upcoming season.
“I’ve taken strides in the way I take care of my body, in terms of weightlifting, cold tubs and stretching,” Taylor said. “I’m doing what I can, and (Coach Saul Phillips) is trying to do what he can to keep me healthy all year.”
As one of three seniors on this year’s team, Taylor is trying to help the younger guys on the team improve their games on the court, as well as helping them off the court.
“It starts with me, Bean (Willis) and (Maurice Ndour),” he said. “It’s our job to lead these guys on the court and off.”
As for him, Taylor wants to be a part of Ohio history and end the season with a MAC title, as well as just enjoying his final season as a Bobcat basketball player.
“This is my last year,” Taylor said. “I’m trying to soak it all up.”