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Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Cardinal Couple -- Taylor tops in MOP for Cards early start


- You said it.  Asia selected MOP for 1/3rd of the year.

We recently ran a poll here at CARDINAL COUPLE asking our readers who they thought was the women's basketball teams MOP (Most Outstanding Player) for the first 1/3rd of the season. Asia Taylor, the talented and funny redshirt senior from Columbus, OH won in a landslide...collecting 70% of your votes.

No, Sonja did not rig the voting.

It is a good pick. A Tayy has played in all 11 Cardinal contest this season...averaging 19.0 minutes a game. She's averaging 10.3 points a game...third best on the squad...and shooting at a .521 clip. She's been to the charity stripe more than any other Cardinal and has done well there...making 37 of 46 attempts ( .804). Her 72 rebounds is tied for first on the squad...47 have come on the defensive end, which leads the team.

Taylor is one of five Cards who hasn't attempted a three yet this year. Shawnta Dyer, Cortnee Walton and (surprisingly) Bria Smith join her there as active players who haven't tested their trifecta luck. Once Starr Breedlove gets cleared to play, we feel she'll leave that "0-fer" list pretty quickly.

For #31, it's been a long time coming. A highly heralded recruit out of high school, Taylor sustained a leg injury in February of her senior year. She was averaging 29 points a game when she went down.

The injury took a long time in fully healing. Taylor played in 31 games her freshman year at UofL but did not become a starter until February. That season is one some Cardinal fans would like to forget...Taylor finished the year with 4.3 points a game and 2.6 rebounds.

2010-11 placed Asia in 31 games...starting 16 of them. She had her first career double-double against Gonzaga and finished the season with 3.9 points and 3.3 grabs.

As a junior, Asia drew the start in 20 of the 32 games she participated in. Two more double-doubles for her...against St. John's and DePaul. She led the squad in offensive rebounds and ended 2012 with 5.6 points and 4.8 grabs.

That summer put her back on the shelf with a hip injury and she was redshirted for the 2012-13 season. Watching the Cards march to the final game of the NCAA Tournament from the bench was tough for her at times...her competitive nature and spirit drive her to wanting to be on the court contesting every shot and grabbing all missed shots...but the knowledge and wisdom she gained by watching and observing has paid huge dividends for her and the UofL WBB squad this season.

Don't expect her to replace Nita Slaughter as the Cards next long range bomber (her career stats from the deep are not eye-popping at 6 for 30)...but whether Walz chooses to play her as a power forward or wing, you can expect that Taylor will put 110% into what she does.

In a basketball career that has provided both ups and downs, it looks like A-Tayy is approaching the top of the Ferris wheel and enjoying every minute of the ride. 

Taylor has been a personal favorite of Cardinal Couple's managing editor and co-owner Sonja since her senior year in high school and a huge favorite of her teammates because of her great sense of humor and positive attitude. It bodes well for this 2013-14 team that A Tayy is back to play and doing OK.



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