Men’s basketball finishes strong in non-conference play

Jeril Taylor said he spent most of his break thinking.

“I didn’t play ball that much I was just sitting in the house with my son thinking of ways I could be more effective on offense and defense,” the junior guard said. “After a week of thinking, not being active, it finally paid off.”

The men’s basketball team ended its non-conference play with a 102- 67 win over Purdue University North Central with a push from five double-figure scorers.

Taylor led the team with 24 points and 10 rebounds, also ending up with six assists and six steals.

“(Taylor) came back really aggressive after the break,” junior guard Bobo Drummond said. “He actually talked about it a lot, that he wanted to come back and be aggressive.”

Drummond said the team is proud of the way Taylor took care of the ball even while playing with a more aggressive style.

Taylor ended the game with three turnovers, an area Drummond said Taylor and the team focus on.

“He was trying to make the right plays,” Drummond said. “We really think he’s improving.”

Despite Drummond seeing improvement, Taylor said he knows he can do better.

“I’m making a few passes to some players I know I shouldn’t be making,” the junior guard said. “I can stop doing that too and cut down my turnover limit.”

Head coach Rodney Watson said one area he stresses to Taylor is simple passes.

Watson said during the game Taylor made “two really smart and really dumb passes” to sophomore center Davis Carter.

“Jeril understands this. If you’ve got a 7 footer you’ve got get him the ball,” Watson said.

Watson said the problem came because Carter simply wasn’t ready for the pass.

“(Carter) wasn’t expecting it,” Watson said. “He was open and he didn’t look for it, but Jeril’s instincts are ‘Oh, we’ve got a big man right in the middle.'”

Watson said it will take time before Carter is ready for those passes and from that perspective Taylor is a little ahead of the game.

Taylor said limiting his turnovers is a process he is still working on, but he is confident it will continue to improve.

“I can go a few games with no turnovers,” he said. “I know I can.”

Drummond was one of the other four players in double figures ending the game with 10 points and 10 assists.

Freshman guard Alex Stein ended with 19 points, senior forward Shane Senior had 13 and freshman forward Jacob Norman had 11.

“I was just coming out tonight looking for my teammates,” Drummond said. “I figured my shot would eventually come and fall.”

Drummond scored one point in the first half, but came out after halftime and hit two consecutive three-point shots.

“10 assists, no turnovers,” head coach Rodney Watson said. “I don’t care who you’re playing when you do that in a college basketball game…that is a big night.”

Watson said Drummond is really the best shooter the team has, but tonight it was about him getting the ball to other players.

“I just continued to look for the guys with the hot hands,” Drummond said. “I think my teammates fed off my unselfishness and they decided to make the extra pass and look out for guys themselves.”