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Taylor making best of trip West

Former Williamsport and HCC player now a leader at Cal Poly

December 16, 2011|By TIM KOELBLE | koelble@herald-mail.com
  • Will Taylor is averaging 9.4 points and 6 rebounds per game for Cal Poly this season.
Matt Brown/Cal Poly Media Relations

As they say, “Go West, young man,” and that’s what Williamsport graduate Will Taylor did more than two years ago.

Now, Taylor is a starter for the Cal Poly at San Luis Obispo University men’s basketball team and looking forward to his future on and off the basketball floor.

A fifth-year senior, the 6-foot-7, 230-pound Taylor is third for Cal Poly in scoring, averaging 9.4 points per game, and is first in rebounding with 6 a game. He is shooting 53 percent from the floor and 88 percent from the foul line in Cal Poly’s 5-3 start to the season that includes a victory over Southern California.

“This is a whole different world,” Taylor said of San Luis Obispo. “We are like the NBA team of the town. We are looked at like role models and always under the microscope.”

To retrace, Taylor spent two years at Hagerstown Community College before a teammate, Amaurys Fermin, who had already transferred to Cal Poly, suggested Taylor look into doing the same — coming to a school that was rebuilding and needed interior players with size.

Taylor made the move, played in 2009-10 and then sat out last year as a senior to concentrate on academics, where he has been studying social science.

When Taylor made the return to the basketball floor, he also came back about 40 pounds lighter and now competes at around 225 pounds.

“When I first came out here, I thought it was kind of a crapshoot,” said Taylor. “I wasn’t sure of things and I was overweight.”

Taylor had what he called an audition performance in front of head coach Joe Callero when he first visited Cal Poly.

“I love the school and the area,” said Taylor. “Last year I just had to get back in shape and take care of school.”

Cal Poly competes in the Big West Conference and the biggest of wins this season was against USC in a low-scoring 42-38 affair.

“We like to match up defensively and make games ugly,” said Taylor.

When his academic requirements are completed, Taylor would like to continue in criminal justice and join the CIA, either out West or abroad.

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