At the beginning of each new year, Phenom Hoops works to assemble a series of articles centered around unsigned senior prospects. Last season, over one hundred players from North Carolina went on to play at the Division I, II, III or NAIA levels, and that number looks likely to continue increasing with the current senior class. Typically, we take a closer look at guys who are overlooked and underrated, and today’s edition will highlight Gavion Taylor of Western Alamance and Carolina Knights.
The ability to maximize one’s role on the basketball court is an essential and often translatable skill. Unfortunately, various college coaches naturally see this situation with a negative connotation—whether they realize it or not. Someone like Taylor should receive praise for being a major part of a team’s success without requiring a ton of touches. He’s a rugged defender with quickness, positioning, and anticipation instincts, which allows him to force turnovers at a pretty consistent rate. Taylor can be a floor general and focus on setting up others or slide off-ball and making his scoring presence felt. He’s arguably too productive to be considered a glue-guy but still does a strong amount of everything on the floor while getting his teammates involved as much as possible.
We’ve seen Taylor in various different settings, including at our high school team camp in June, where we stated: “Taylor is one of the most intriguing prospects on the team and could have a breakout year for this Western Alamance squad. Taylor is a fairly complete player that can break down the defense with his crafty ball-handling for easy scores. He can also shoot from the three-point line with range and accuracy. Taylor can also cause havoc on the defensive end with his length, speed and strength.”
Taylor has remained one of the most productive two-way players on this roster, posting nightly averages of 12.5 PPG, 6 RPG, 5 APG, and 2 SPG while making his presence felt on both sides of the ball. He’s also made noticeable strides within his game over the last few years, which allows him to effortlessly operate with or without the ball in his hands. Academically, Taylor is one of the top performers on Western Alamance’s roster, sporting a 3.5 GPA and 1100 SAT. He hit two game-winners against cross-town rival Eastern Alamance, was an All-Tourney selection at the Holiday Hoopla, awarded a Mid State 2A/3A All-Conference selection, and named to Times-News Second Team All-Region. There is definitely a place for Taylor at the next level, which should have college coaches enticed over the coming months.