Big East Breakouts: Pittsburgh’s Dante Taylor
A lot of people, myself included, picked the Pittsburgh Panthers to win the Big East last season. Their 5-13 conference record showed that we were very misguided with this team. A #1 seed in the NCAA tournament just a year ago, Pittsburgh fell to the bottom of the Big East, and it’s not looking good for them to climb back up very soon. However, a senior by the name of Dante Taylor wants to prove otherwise.
Taylor has been a force down low in his career at Pitt, despite never really putting up gaudy stats. His averages of 6.3 points and 5.4 rebounds were modest, but with the loss of Ashton Gibbs, the Panthers will need him to step up. A senior like Taylor will take on a new role of leadership and increased production.
A terrific offensive rebounder, Taylor is a pain on the glass. He will work hard and is an efficient scorer down low. Taylor has also improved his post defense and is a solid shot blocker. His offensive game otherwise leaves something to be desired because his post moves are nothing special and he has yet to develop a consistent jump shot. These are areas he will need to improve on if he wants to truly break out.
Taylor was a highly touted prospect out of National Christian Academy, so he stil has the ability to live up to his potential. If nothing more, he’ll be an aggressive rebounder and leader for this team, but they really need him to help out Tray Woodall with the scoring load. The two will be the barometer for just how good or bad the Panthers will be in conference play this coming season.