APSU Men’s Basketball star Terry Taylor named 2021 OVC Male Athlete of the Year

Austin Peay State University men's basketball start Terry Taylor has been named the 2020-21 Ohio Valley Conference Male Student-Athlete of the Year. (APSU Sports Information)

APSU Men's BasketballBrentwood, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU)men’s basketball standout Terry Taylor has been named the 2020-21 Ohio Valley Conference Male Student-Athlete of the Year.

Austin Peay State University men's basketball start Terry Taylor has been named the 2020-21 Ohio Valley Conference Male Student-Athlete of the Year. (APSU Sports Information)

The honor cements Taylor’s place as one of the greatest, not only in Austin Peay State University history but also in OVC history.

He’s the third APSU Gov to earn OVC Male Athlete of the Year honors, joining Bubba Wells (1996-97) and Trenton Hassell (2001) and the 21st men’s basketball player in league history to earn the honor, including future NBA talents Ja Morant (2019), Evan Bradds (Belmont), Cameron Payne (2015), Isaiah Canaan (2012), Kenneth Faried (2011), Carlos Rogers (1994), Popeye Jones (1991-92) and Jeff Martin (1988-89), along with both Hassell and Wells.

The OVC presents the Male Student-Athlete of the Year annually to the student-athlete who is deemed the top player in the league regardless of sport played each year. The award is voted on by the conference’s athletics directors and sports information directors.

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’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 the history of NCAA Division I basketball, Taylor is one of only 120 players to reach that milestone.

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 legend Otis Howard and future NBA players Canaan, Faried, Rogers, Popeye Jones and Western Kentucky’s Jim McDaniels—just to illustrate the list of legends Taylor has 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).

 


 

Taylor’s senior season saw him finish among the nation’s top-10 in scoring (eighth), rebounding (seventh), field goal attempts (438, eighth), field goals made (228, fourth), total points (584, seventh), and total rebounds (301, third). He also led all of Division I with 20 double-doubles and 5.15 offensive rebounds per game.

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. He’s the all-time leader in scoring (2,507 points), field goals made (967), and field goals attempted (1,804). He also finished among the program’s top-10 in rebounding, free-throws made, free-throws attempted, blocked shots and three-pointers attempted.

As these honors encompass his final season in an Austin Peay uniform, it’s fitting to include the highlights from yet another exemplary campaign.

They include:

  • In the season’s second game against East Tennessee State (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 State University’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 an APSU 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.

Earlier this offseason, he was named both National Association of Basketball Coaches and United States Basketball Writers Association All-District honors, his fourth straight from the NABC and second in a row from the USBWA. He also earned a second-straight Lou Henson All-American honor from CollegeInsider.com and is now training for his professional career.