Clarksville, TN – Tuesday, March 16th, 2021, was another in a long list of days that saw Terry Taylor lauded by some of the brightest minds in college basketball.
Tuesday morning, Taylor earned his fourth career National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District honor, marking him as the first player in program history to earn four straight first-team honors from the coaches association.
A short time later, Taylor earned his second straight United States Basketball Writers Association All-District honor; he’s the only player in program history to earn honors from the nation’s writers association, and now he’s done so twice as a Gov.
Taylor’s case as one of the greatest players in league history has continued to gain steam over the course of his career, culminating in a senior campaign that saw him shatter Austin Peay State University’s career scoring record and become just the fifth player in Ohio Valley Conference history to score 2,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds in his career.
In earning back-to-back OVC Player of the Year nods, Taylor became just the 15th player in league history to earn multiple nods as the league’s most outstanding player, joining a list of luminaries including Austin Peay State University legend Otis Howard and future NBA players in Murray State’s Isaiah Canaan, Morehead State’s Kenneth Faried, Tennessee State’s Carlos Rogers, Murray State’s Popeye Jones, and Western Kentucky’s Jim McDaniels—just to illustrate the list of legends Taylor just joined.
Taylor also was named first-team All-OVC for the fourth straight season—he’s only the third player in league history to earn that accolade four times, joining Eastern Kentucky’s Nick Mayo and Western Kentucky’s Ralph Crosthwaite, who did so roughly 60 years apart.
Taylor reasserted his dominance on the league in 2020-21. He led the league in scoring (21.6 ppg) and rebounding (11.1 rpg) for the second straight season, while also posting top-10 finishes in offensive rebounds (5.1 orpg, first), minutes played (37.0 mpg, first), defensive rebounds (6.0 drpg, tied for second), free-throw percentage (79.4 percent, third) and blocked shots (0.9 bpg, ninth).
Ahead of the NCAA Tournament beginning later this week, Taylor is among the nation’s top-10 in scoring (eighth), rebounding (seventh), field goal attempts (438, fifth), field goals made (228, third), total points (584, fifth) and total rebounds (301, second). He also leads all of Division I with 20 double-doubles and 5.15 offensive rebounds per game.
Two players during the 2020-21 season averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds per night across all of Division I—one was Loyola Maryland’s Santi Aldama and the other is Taylor, for the second year in a row. Taylor, Aldama, and The Citadel’s Hayden Brown are the only Division I players leading their respective leagues in scoring and rebounding.
After being among the nation’s top-15 in scoring and rebounding a year ago, he now ranks among the season’s top-10 in both categories; should those numbers hold, he would be the first player since at least the turn of the century to rank in the top-15 in both categories in back-to-back seasons.
There is of course the small matter of what Taylor has done this season to shape his narrative as one of the greatest players in school history. Already he’s the all-time leader in scoring (2,507 points), field goals made (967) and field goals attempted (1,804). He’s also among the program’s top-10 in rebounding, free-throws made, free-throws attempted, blocked shots and three-pointers attempted.
Among peers, Taylor has few: he’s the nation’s active career leader in field goals made, rebounds (1,248), consecutive starts (127) and double-doubles (62). In all, he can be considered nothing less than one of the 10 or so best upperclassmen in Division I this season by a statistical perspective, ranking among the top-10 in eight categories.
As these honors encompass his final season in an Austin Peay uniform, it’s fitting to include the highlights from yet another exemplary campaign.
- In the season’s second game against ETSU, he posted 25 points and 16 boards, including 10 on the offensive glass.
- Thirty points and 13 rebounds in his final appearance at Murray State, leading not only to OVC Player of the Week honors by CollegeSportsMadness.com Mid-Major Player of the Week and CollegeInsider.com Lute Olson National Player of the Week as well.
- League single-game season-highs in scoring (38 points) and rebounding (17) at Eastern Illinois, with a banked-in game-winning three at the final buzzer to secure a Governor win.
- On the same night he set Austin Peay’s career scoring record, he put up 30 points and 14 rebounds at Eastern Kentucky while also equaling a season-high with four assists. This performance came in the same week he became the third player in league history to earn United States Basketball Writers Association National Player of the Week honors.
- In back-to-back games against Southeast Missouri, Taylor averaged 30.5 points, 15.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 1.0 steals and 2.0 assists while hitting 52.6 percent (20-for-38) from the floor and 78.3 percent (18-for-23) at the free-throw line.
- In his final appearance as a Gov, posted 19 points and 16 rebounds to go out in a blaze of glory against Eastern Kentucky in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
- A fourth straight 500-point season, the first player in program history to achieve such a feat.
Taylor earned or shared five OVC Player of the Week honors over his final season; he ended his career with 17 OVC Player of the Week honors, two more than any other player in OVC history.
USBWA District IV encompasses programs from the states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida; Taylor was one of two players not from an SEC or ACC school to make this year’s All-District IV team, joining Western Kentucky’s Charles Bassey.
The USBWA will release its 2020-21 Men’s All-America team Wednesday, March 17th. From the 15 All-Americans, finalists for the Oscar Robertson Trophy (National Player of the Year) will be announced. In addition, finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Award (National Freshman Player of the Year) and the Henry Iba Award (National Coach of the Year) will be unveiled on Wednesday.
The Henry Iba Award will be announced on Friday, followed by the Wayman Tisdale Award next Tuesday, March 23rd. Finally, the 2021 Oscar Robertson Trophy will be announced in Indianapolis at the Final Four on Friday, April 2nd.