Ty Taylor making the most of his time back on the court
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Ty Taylor is finally getting his chance to play for the UNCW Seahawks after transferring from Wichita State. But even though he is finally eligible, he had to adjust to a new staff after the coach that recruited him left.
“I obviously came out here for that coach, so I was pretty hurt. But with sitting out last year, I got a lot tougher. So I felt that I’m good enough, I can transition well and I can adapt.”
Being able to adapt and adjust is something all great athletes have to do in order to continue to grow. At such a young stage in a career, it’s a big ask. This is especially true when dealing with a coaching change on top of it all.
“Obviously we have to adapt coming from that staff to this staff. Last year was a lot of freelance and this year is a little bit more structured. I think I’ve adapted pretty well. I think I fit in pretty well.”
The way Taylor fits in is by landing a starting role and a becoming contributor on a team that needed playmakers when the year began. He feels that he can now make an impact when his number is called, something he wasn’t able to do last season.
“Just watching, it was tougher in the tougher games because I thought I could go out there and contribute. The wins by 30 didn’t really affect me much but it was all tough. It just gave me a new perspective on basketball.”
The new perspective has allowed him to not take the season for granted and work through the struggles that may occur. To go along with his new mindset, he has a new set of skills thanks to Coach McGrath and the new staff. Even though Taylor wasn’t recruited by Coach, he still shares a connection with the fellow midwestern native.
“He’s about an hour and a half from where I’m from and we bonded over the Chiefs, Royals and other sports stuff. So we’re very familiar with where we come from. I heard about him even before he got on campus and I was pretty excited. Since he’s been here it’s been nothing but great things. My game has gotten a lot better since he’s gotten here.”
In the early stages of the season, you can see 21 get more and more comfortable in taking on a bigger role.<Nats> The team has many players that helps the team in one aspect or another. To be a great player, you need to help on both sides of the ball and that’s how Taylor believes he can contribute this season.
“I contribute really well on the offensive end by making plays for myself and teammates. I think I’ll have a really good defensive year, that’s something that I’m trying to lock in on, my defense this year.”
Coach McGrath saw that work being put in and decided to put Taylor’s work to the test in the game against Campbell. The Seahawks faced off against Chris Clemons, one of the top scorers in the nation at that time. Coming into the game against UNCW, Clemons was averaging more than 33 points a game. McGrath set Taylor against Clemons and the top scorer was held to only three second half points.
The sound of shots going off the rim thanks to Taylor’s defense was music to the ears of Seahawk fans but that’s not the only music that Taylor is used to making.
“I love music. I don’t even get out of bed until I start playing music. I can play three instruments. I play alto-sax, a little piano and a little trumpet. I’m not going to say I come from a music family but my parents always had music playing growing up at my house. A lot of R&B, hip-hop, and a lot of jazz. It probably comes from there.”
A team that has been hearing the sweet sounds of victory as of late has been Taylor’s former school, the Wichita State Shockers. They are a mid-major school making some noise at the highest level. Something that, with time and hard work, Taylor says can be the same way in the Port City.
“I used to say last year that UNCW was what Wichita State was five or six years ago. Keatts left so much talent and I believe in this coaching staff to bring in more talent. We’re definitely on the right track on and off.”