Evan Taylor (196-G-1996, college: Nebraska) is a 26 year old 196cm guard from Cincinnati, Ohio that completed his third professional season and first in Germany with the Nuernberg Falcons BC (Germany-ProA) averaging 10.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.2%. He played his first two professional seasons with Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (NBA G League). He began his basketball career at Paul VI HS. He played his freshman year at Samford University (NCAA) avergaing 6.4ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 40.3%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 62.1%. He then played a season at Odessa College (JUCO) averaging 7.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 36.3%, 3PT: 16.4%, FT: 69.9%. He then played two seasons at the University of Nebraska (NCAA) playing a total of 64 games and averaging 5.2ppg, 2.9rpg, 1.2apg, FGP: 44.6%, 3PT: 24.0%, FT: 73.0% and as a senior averaged 6.4ppg, 3.4rpg, 2.2apg, FGP: 42.3%, 3PT: 44.4%, FT: 71.6%. He spoke to germanhoops.comabout basketball.
Thanks Evan for talking to germanhoops.com. Where are you at the moment and how are you enjoying your off season?
My off-season has been going pretty well so far. Took some time to let my body and mind rest but recently have started back working out. I am mostly in the south between Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida
You just completed your third professional season and first overseas in Germany with the Nurnberg Falcons. How tough was it sitting out a season as Covid was at it’s peak? How did you keep the faith for the game you love?
After sitting out while COVID was at its peak, it was definitely tough because I didn’t have a job but I just told myself that everyday I had an opportunity to improve my game. I would take full advantage of it and control what I could. I stayed in the gym as much as I could during covid.
You had a solid first season with the Falcons averaging 10.3ppg, 2.9rpg, 4.0apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 46.2%, 3PT: 33.3%, FT: 80.2%. You made a smooth transition from the G-League to the Pro A. What still was the biggest adjustment that you had to make?
I think the biggest adjustment was playing full-point guard after so long of not. Point guard has been my natural position my entire life but I haven’t really played much of it. So it was an adjustment but I am very grateful and happy I was able to return to my natural position.
It was an exciting season, but you just missed the playoffs at the end. Despite not reaching the playoffs what positives did you take from the season?
There were a lot of positives from the season, I really liked being in Germany. Nuremberg is a great city and the people treated me well. I loved my teammates and I can honestly say I had a great experience on and off the court.
The club had no problem scoring, but had problems defending. Why do you feel didn’t the team find an identity on defense?
Defense is hard, for any team on any level. I just think we never all got on the same page consistently. But we showed some moments of being capable.
What kind of an experience was it being teammates with AJ Davis? Did you have some conversations about the G-League and his dad Antonio that balled in the NBA?
AJ Davis is great player and I would say an even better person. I’m grateful we were teammates I feel like we learned a lot from each other. He’s a good friend and I know the relationship will continue to grow. Yes we played against each other in college. So a lot of talks about that and our pro careers.
What kind of an experience was it being teammates with German veteran Roland Nyama who played at Stony Brook (NCAA). Was he a guy that showed you the ropes at the start?
Roland Nyama was also a great teammate. Someone with a lot of good experience and he pushes people to be better.
You’re a 196cm guard. If you had to compare your game to an NBA player who would best fit the description?
An NBA player I would compare myself to would be maybe a Marcus Smart or Dejounte Murray. A big physical guard who plays both sides of the ball and can play-make.
You’re a guy that can fill the stat sheet but want do you feel is your biggest strength on the court?
My biggest strength on the court is definitely my ability to play make with the ball in my hands and defend at a high level.
How do you feel did your game grow in your first season overseas coming from the G-League?
My game has grown in a lot of ways from the the G League to now, I think offensively I’ve developed more ways off the dribble to get my spots as well as improving my physicality on both ends.
You had many great games with the Falcons. But was your 23 points in the big 83-80 win over Bremerhaven your most memorable?
24 points at Bremerhaven was definitely a great game but personally my favorite was our win at Leverkusen on the road. Personally my favorite game my favorite performance.
On what areas of your game are you working on most this summer so you can continue to move up the basketball ladder?
This summer I am focused on getting my body into the best shape I can. Early in the season I tore my quad and missed some games so looking forward to having time to really strengthen my body. As well as becoming a more consistent shooter from everywhere.
You played your first two professional seasons with the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (NBA G League). You played only 25 games. What kind of an experience was this? It isn’t a cake walk to get a G-League job. What was your most positive moment you had?
It is definitely not a cake walk to get a G League job, I was extremely blessed and grateful. The best memory from the G League would be honestly just seeing myself improve each day based on working on my game. I also really liked the teammates I had in my two years.
Often you see players that are there only to fill roster spots. Did you get that idea or did you truly believe that you could fight for more minutes with good games and good practices?
I always believed I was good enough to fight for minutes and play but understood that I had to wait my turn and just focus on getting better.
There was a stretch where you had some good games with Memphis, Iowa and Sioux Falls. Was that some of the best days there seeing you could contribute when you had minutes?
Yes playing well in those games was a big moment in my basketball career. Big for my confidence.
You were teammates with Anthony Bennet a former NBA #1 pick who never made it in the NBA. How was he as a teammate. Did his story help you understand that sticking in the NBA isn’t easy?
Anthony Bennett was really someone that I learned a lot from. He was open to me and he was someone I’ve had good conversations with. A really good player but I enjoyed becoming friends with him.
You began your NCAA career at Samford averaging 6.4ppg, 3.3rpg, 1.2apg, 1.1spg, FGP: 40.3%, 3PT: 34.1%, FT: 62.1%. I guess you won’t forget the games against Chattanooga? You had their number that season?
I used to look forward to playing against Chattanooga. They were the big dogs and I wanted to always play my best in the big games.
After a solid season in the NCAA you took a few steps back and played with Odessa College (JUCO) aveaging 7.1ppg, 2.5rpg, 2.5apg, FGP: 36.3%, 3PT: 16.4%, FT: 69.9%. Why did you take such a step at that time in your career?
It was never really the plan to go JUCO but often times you just have to trust God and where life takes you. I wanted to get to a power 5 school or higher than what I was getting. JUCO became the best option. Maybe the best decision I’ve made to go JUCO.
Every guy that I have interviewed that played JUCO all have said it was very hard but an experience that they would do all over again? How was it for?
JUCO is definitely a different experience but for me it was necessary. I grew so much mentally after that year and season. Looking back, I had a great time, sometimes I miss it. Met some great people there.
You didn’t dominate JUCO, but then played at very good basketball school Nebraska (NCAA). How vital was playing there for your basketball development?
Going to Odessa definitely prepared me well to play at Nebraska in the Big10.
In your junior year you had two solid games in tough narrow loses against Michigan where you battled Derrick Walton who later weas your teammate in the G-League and reached the NBA and Ohio State. What memories do you have of those games?
Playing against Michigan is always fun obviously because of the history of the program. Junior year we didn’t beat them so it was tough.
What memories do you have of Tai Webster who I covered him in Germany as a rookie and he has reached the highest levels in Europe? I always thought he had game for the NBA. How do you see it?
Tai Webster was someone who I enjoyed being teammates with. We grew to become good friends. He’s a good player and I learned some things from him.
How did head coach Tim Miles groom and prepare you best for a professional basketball career?
Tim Miles I will forever be grateful for because he gave me an opportunity. We still have a good relationship but he taught me how to enjoy any situation and to always smile.
Who won a one on one in practice you or Jason Palmer?
Me, I’m winning in 1v1
Who was the toughest player that you battled in the NCAA that reached the NBA?
Please name your 5 best teammates of all-time?
Jamel Artis Jonathon Motley Isaiah Roby Josh Reaves Devin Davis
Please list your personal NBA Mount Rushmore of past or present heads?
My favorite players right now Lebron Luka Joel Embiid Giannis Jokic
What is your personal opinion of the neverending debate of who is the greatest of all-time Jordan or Lebron?
All time I would take Jordan.
Did you see the sequel to the classic Coming To America? Should they have left it alone?
Never saw the sequel to Coming to America, heard it wasn’t that good.
Thanks Evan for the chat.