Bama Hoops Hype

2016-17 Player Report Cards: Jimmie Taylor

Joe Habshey -

With the college basketball off-season approaching, we wanted to look back at the Crimson Tide’s season. We will be breaking down each individual player on the Alabama men’s basketball team and grading his performance for the 2016-17 season. Next up is Jimmie Taylor.

Jimmie Taylor was a staple in the Crimson Tide rotation through his first three seasons at Alabama and his fourth was no different.  The Greensboro, Alabama native who checks in at 6’10” and 248 lbs was the paint protector for a defense that ranked inside the top twenty in defensive efficiency this season. 

Taylor started for the Tide averaged 18.2 minutes per game while posting a respectable 1.4 blocks per game, tied for 1st on the team with Donta Hall.  His around-the-rim style of play led him to take only 123 shots all season which he converted at an admirable 57% clip.  Taylor maintained his status as a paint protector and rim-rattler who could energize the sometimes sleepy tide offense with his powerful dunks.  He played within his role on the offense and on an impressive defense he was able to establish himself as a presence down low that could alter an opponent’s shot or erase it entirely.  In arguably his best game of the season against conference foe Vanderbilt, Taylor posted 10 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks. 

But with the good also came the bad.

Some aspects of Taylor’s game were frustrating and a case could be argued that he took a small step back instead of one forward.  His rebounds per game decreased from 4.7 his junior year to 3.7 and his blocks per game also took a slight dip down to 1.4 from 1.7.  Part of this was his three-minute decrease in playing time (down to 18.2) but that doesn’t explain the alarmingly low rate at which he rebounded.  Taylor averaged a mere 3.7 rebounds a game (good for only sixth on the team), or one every 4.9 minutes of play- not exactly the kind of production you would like out of your starting senior at center. 

His free throw shooting was less than stellar hitting only 49.2% of his chances from the charity stripe.  Though Taylor never averaged more than 5 rebounds per game or shot over 50% from the free throw line, one hoped he would put it all together in his senior season on a surging tide squad. 

He never quite could put a well-rounded performance in.  Aside from the Vanderbilt game, When Taylor scored seven points or more he averaged only 2.5 rebounds.  In the games he grabbed five or more rebounds he managed only 4.3 points on average.  Down the stretch in March Taylor seemed to disappear as well.  His numbers all decreased and in six games he posted numbers of 17.8 minutes per game averaging 3.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, .67 assists and 1.1 blocks. 

Clearly Taylor was not the reason that the Tide ultimately underachieved in some respect toward the end of the season, but his play toward the end can’t be overlooked.  To see his rebounds per game dip by nearly 20% and then continue to decrease at the end of the season was slightly discouraging.  Taylor has been essential to the tide in his first three years and was again this season, but he clearly took a step back as sophomore Donta Hall took a step forward. 

However, he did a good job of playing within the offense and shooting mostly dunks and layups while doing what he could to protect the paint for the Tide like he had in the past.  While he didn’t increase his numbers or sustain them like one would have hoped, he did offer the Tide a veteran presence to help take pressure off of all the young talent while teaching them by example in the process.  It wasn’t always pretty but Taylor played hard for the Tide and his effort and energy were infectious at times this season. 

Final Grade: C

Evan McPhillips covers Alabama Men's Basketball for Bama Hoops Hype.  You can follow him on Twitter, via @emcphil
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