Blogs > The Full-Court Press

Welcome back to the Trentonian's Full-Court Press blog. Yes, we're still alive, and with the 2015-16 season rapidly approaching, it's time to fire up the old blog for another season. Check back here throughout the year for updates on all things Rider and Princeton, including coverage of both the MAAC and Ivy League. Feel free to drop me a line on twitter @kj_franko ( or email

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Rider's Jimmie Taylor working his way out of funk

Jimmie Taylor trying to break out of slump. Photo by Jackie Schear

JERSEY CITY — Jimmie Taylor got a text message from Rider coach Kevin Baggett in the morning telling him if he didn’t take at lest 10 shots in that night’s game at Saint Peter’s he was going to be mad.

Baggett has been trying to snap Taylor, a talented freshman guard, out of this midseason funk he’s been in.

Since a hot start that turned heads and made Taylor a frontrunner for Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year, the Floridian has mimicked the weather outside — cold.

He scored a career-high 24 points in a win over Niagara Jan. 2, but has only reached double figures in three of the last eight games.

Baggett referred to it as the “freshmen wall”, something he said is common for first-year players who are being asked to log more minutes with greater responsibility than ever before.

Taylor is a perfect case study.

He was thrust into a starting role from Day 1 because of a preseason injury to Zedric Sadler and has logged 29.4 minutes per game. Opponents have film on him by this point and can dissect strengths and weaknesses (Manhattan trapped him when he crossed halfcourt, forcing him into a season-high five turnovers in a season-low 21 minutes).

“There were a lot of things that I was losing focus on because there were things I just didn’t know,” Taylor said. “That’s when I hit the wall.”

That’s why Baggett sent the text message. He needs Taylor to play with confidence.

In Friday’s 71-53 victory over Saint Peter’s, Taylor took the ball to the basket on the Broncs’ first offensive possession. He didn’t make the shot, but it was that aggressiveness early in the game Baggett wanted to see.

“I just want him having a mentality to still be aggressive,” the second-year coach said. “He got out in transition early when we got some rebounds. We were able to get some stops so therefore he set the tone by being aggressive the first play I was happy to see it and he needs to continue to do that.”

Taylor did meet his quota for shots attempts, finishing 5 of 10 from the field and with 12 points.

“I think he’s mentally tough,” senior guard Anthony Myles said. “Baggs gets on him a lot and he just stays in the game. He’s learning. We expects some mistakes, but he’s overcoming them and he’s starting to produce.”

Myles and fellow senior Danny Stewart are the go-to guys, but if Taylor can re-establish himself as a third option that will make Rider more dangerous down the stretch.

The Broncs (11-9, 7-4) have won two straight and have a pair of home games next week against league bottom-feeders Fairfield and Marist. They are two games behind leaders Canisius and Iona.

“Our sense of urgency has to be a lot higher,” Taylor said. “We have to buckle down because now we’re coming down to the last games. We want to win the MAAC. We can’t slip away (and) lose focus. We have to stay in tune with what’s going on.”

Taylor showed signs Friday that he is breaking out of this slump.

“They’ve been preaching to me all this week to be aggressive and be on the attack,” said Taylor, who is still averaging 10.8 points per game. “We watched film so they can show me when and when not to attack.”

Although there could also be a simpler explanation.

Like a sharp new hair cut?

“That’s what the coaches said,” Taylor joked. “They said you got a new hair cut so they were expecting a new me out of it.”


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home