The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update


December 20, 2012

Anderson's Taylor ready for Hinkle homecoming

ANDERSON, Ind. — Troy Taylor’s last meeting with Kellen Dunham was memorable.

It was the 2009 sectional final at New Castle, and Dunham’s Pendleton Heights Arabians were rallying late in the third quarter against Taylor’s Anderson Indians.

The rally was brought to a sudden stop at the end of the period when Taylor launched what appeared to be a prayer from the opposite free-throw line and sank a 3-pointer to keep Anderson in front.

The Indians rolled in the fourth quarter, won 73-50 and followed up with two more victories to claim their first sectional title in six years.

On Saturday, Taylor — a senior guard at Evansville — and Dunham — a freshman guard at Butler — meet again.

This time around it’s at Indianapolis’ Hinkle Fieldhouse, and Taylor’s Purple Aces are the underdogs. The 19th-ranked Bulldogs upset then-No. 1 Indiana 88-86 in overtime last week at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, again raising their national profile.

But Evansville (7-4) has won the last two meetings between the state rivals — 80-77 in overtime last year at home and 71-68 in overtime at Hinkle Fieldhouse in 2010.

“Every year we’ve played them it’s a battle,” Taylor said. “I think we match up very well with them.”

Like Butler (8-2), the Aces think defense first.

The contest promises to be a methodical chess match between two highly disciplined teams. And Taylor could be one of the most unpredictable pieces on the board.

“He’s a really good player,” Dunham said. “He’s unique in that he crashes the boards pretty hard for a guard. He’s definitely a big part of our gameplan.”

After averaging 4.9 rebounds per game last year as a junior, the 6-foot Taylor leads Evansville with a 6.5 average this season.

He spent the first part of his freshman year begging head coach Marty Simmons to let him crash the glass. It’s something he was known for while winning three Herald Bulletin Player of the Year awards at Anderson, and he felt as though it was a way for him to make an immediate impact on the team.

Once Simmons relented, he agreed. And he’s been coaxing Taylor to hit the boards ever since.

The guard was so successful at it last season that Missouri Valley Conference foes began gameplanning against him.

“I’m the littlest guy on the court, and they’re sending two guys to block me out,” Taylor said. “It was actually pretty funny.”

Taylor’s senior season has flown by. The Butler game is Evansville’s last before beginning conference play, and it holds special meaning for the Anderson native.

He’ll have several friends and family members in attendance, and even his great-grandfather will be able to watch the game on TV. He’ll also get another chance to play at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse.

“I like the atmosphere there,” he said. “We know they always have a great crowd, and I’m excited to be that close to home. It’s going to be crazy playing there.”

Butler is well aware of the danger the Purple Aces present.

Copach Brad Stevens spoke to the team about not allowing a letdown after the emotional high against Indiana. He shared stories of what has happened to other teams after similar upsets and reminded the Bulldogs that Evansville would like nothing better to pull off a surprising win of its own.

“Coach Stevens told us we need to have a good week of practice and not let that happen at Hinkle Fieldhouse,” Dunham said.

Taylor said the Aces let a winnable game slip away in the season opener at Notre Dame, and they don’t want to repeat that mistake on Saturday.

A win would shine some of the national spotlight on Evansville, just as Butler’s upset of IU raised the Bulldogs’ profile last week.

“It opens our eyes to how good they are, beating a team like Indiana,” Taylor said. “But we’ve played a lot of these guys before. We know it’s going to be a game. We know it’s going to be a battle. There’s nothing easy about beating good teams.”

Text Only
  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 4.JPG Colts Quick Hits: Tuesday, July 29

    Notes,news and fun facts from Colts Training Camp at Anderson University on Monday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Colt Anderson - JC 2 Anderson hopes to make name with Colts

    Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky was the first person Colt Anderson saw upon reporting to Anderson University last Wednesday. And he couldn't resist making the obvious connection. "Colt Anderson's a Colt ... in Anderson," Manusky said as a way of greeting the new Indianapolis Colts safety to training camp.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0729 - Chris Rainey - DK Colts release RB Rainey

    Just two days after earning praise for his playmaking ability from head coach Chuck Pagano, running back Chris Rainey was waived by the Indianapolis Colts on Monday morning. The news was broken in a press release around 8:30 a.m. and later confirmed by Pagano during an afternoon session with the media.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0729 - Andrew Luck - JC 1 Luck still learning

    Wind chill estimates put the temperature at 59 degrees Monday morning at Anderson University. During one stretch of his fifth training camp practice of the year, however, it likely felt much colder to Andrew Luck.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Lions star plays in national tourneys Liberty Christian senior Chris Nunn, a three-year starting guard for the Lions and Indiana Class Basketball Junior All-Star, took his talents on the road this summer,competing in back-to-back tournaments with his AAU travel team, Team Progeny.

    July 28, 2014

  • SPT - HB0729 - Colts practice - JC 046a.jpg Colts Camp Update: ESPN's in town

    The first week of practice at Anderson University wrapped up Monday morning with the Indianapolis Colts working out from 9 a.m. to noon.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0728 - Colts Camp - Castonzo 2 - 278 Castonzo comfortable with Colts' changing O-line

    For all the changes along the offensive line the past three seasons, Anthony Castonzo has been the lone constant. He joined a veteran group anchored by center Jeff Saturday in 2011, was part of a remodeled unit in 2012 and became a mainstay at left tackle for all 16 games last year.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0728 - Colts Camp - Allen 1 - 290 Colts' offense adapting to new arsenal

    Third-year tight end Dwayne Allen suffered a season-opening hip injury in Week 1 against the Oakland Raiders, then watched as left guard Donald Thomas, running backs Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw and wide receiver Reggie Wayne also exited the lineup over the next six weeks. It left offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton scrambling to come up with new ways to attack defenses with an ever-changing cast of characters.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - HB0728 - Gordon art Fifth Brickyard for Gordon Indiana racing fans roared their approval of the kid they watched growing up in open wheel cars as Jeff Gordon scored his record fifth Brickyard 400 victory Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dorer scores JEGS win at Anderson Florida driver Steve Dorer has had career moments at Anderson Speedway, and at other times ones he would just like to forget. Dorer recorded the biggest win of his career when he passed Chase Elliott on the final lap in the 2011 Stoops Freightliner Redbud 300. The next year he flipped in Turn 1 during the CRA Super Series event. He scored another highlight Saturday night by winning for the first time with the CRA/JEGS All-Stars Tour event in the Edgewater Woods 100.|ANDERSON — Florida driver Steve Dorer has had career moments at Anderson Speedway, and at other times ones he would just like to forget. Dorer recorded the biggest win of his career when he passed Chase Elliott on the final lap in the 2011 Stoops Fre

    July 27, 2014

Latest Sports Photos

Click here to browse and buy photos from The Herald Bulletin

Latest Racing News