The Times-Register

June 16, 2014

Versatility on court starts now for Taylor

Keller’s Nolan Taylor was a standout sophomore, averaging 16 points per game, but he’s looking to become faster, stronger and more agile for next year.

Nolan Taylor made a sizable entrance onto the Keller basketball scene last season in his sophomore year.

Taylor averaged almost 16 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, but his impact was mostly relegated to the inside game.

With his work plan for the summer, though, Taylor expects to become more versatile and agile.

The loss of summertime sleep is not top on the list for many high schoolers, but Taylor and his brother, Evan, 22, are making it a point to be up and working out at 6 a.m. each morning for their conditioning program.

The goal is building strength and conditioning while also following a stringent nutrition plan. The end result is to expand the junior-to-be’s ability to assist and be more of a mid-range threat, as well as being able to muscle his way down low.

“We spend an hour and a half on our conditioning and working on some strength, too,” Taylor said. “My goal is to play every possession hard. I want to be able to have the stamina to play hard every possession.”

In addition to the rigorous workouts, Taylor said his diet has changed. He has scratched fried foods from his menu.

Already, Taylor has gone from his formidable 6-6, 250-pounds down to 235.

“I’m way faster than last year,” Taylor said early this summer.

He said the focus is not on losing weight, as he said he’s been told he’s a bit undersized.

“I do still have a little baby fat, but I want to build more muscle and get faster,” Taylor said.

Not only is Taylor joining the early-morning exercise crowd, but he’s also a member of the Dallas Mustangs select basketball team.

In his second year on the Mustangs, Taylor is also adding in two practices with the team to his regimen along with the tournament schedule through August.

“I don’t just want to be an interior player,” Taylor said. “I want to work from the outside and I’m also working on some ball-handling. But not as much as on my core strength.”

Taylor noted that Keller head coach, Randall Durant, has told him he’d like to see him improve on his speed and be able to pull through on the block and do more facing up to the basket.

A Taylor who is harder to defend will be a scary proposition for Keller’s opponents.

The Indians will be defending district champs next season and have three returning starters, including Taylor.

“We have a great chance of being three-peat contenders,” Taylor said.

Keller went three rounds deep into the playoffs last season before an overtime loss to Lubbock Coronado.

Before the varsity season starts, though, Taylor said he was also looking forward to the date when he can have phone contact with prospective colleges.

“I don’t want making a (college) decision to interfere with the team,” Taylor said. “I will try to make a decision if it does become a distraction.”

Initially, Taylor said there’s an interest in local schools such as SMU and TCU, but also to schools such as Oklahoma State, Bucknell, Northern Colorado and UC Davis, among others.

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