Consistent Battle

The thought that Penn State’s Talor Battle could fly under the radar this year doesn’t seem to make much sense, considering what he’s been doing in Happy Valley.  Blame the under appreciation on his teams 6-7 conference record, or Jimmer Fredette, who graduated the same year as Talor, is up for Player of the Year in all of college basketball.  Either way, Battle’s historic season isn’t being put on the pedestal it should be.  What kind of history is Albany’s Talor Battle making?  All kinds.  Lets start at the ‘starts’.  For 121 straight games, Battle has heard his name called out in the starting lineup.  That’s an all-time record at Penn State University.  For 121 games Battle hasn’t got into trouble, been suspended, or injured enough to miss a game.  As far as on-court performance, Battle has been just as consistent.  Currently, Taylor is second in the Big 10 in scoring with 20 points per game.  How impressive is averaging 20 a night in the Big 10?  To put it in perspective, the last time a Penn State player averaged that many points in a game was…10 years ago?   20 years?  Try 48 years ago.  48!  He’s not having scoring outburst against Toledo or Delaware State (No offense), Battle is getting over on Virginia Tech, Michigan, Ohio State, Purdue, Indiana and the list goes on.  This summer will be 6 years since I sat on a bus with Taylor headed to the Empire State Games.  About 10 of our teammates were talking about who was recruiting them, and where they were leaning toward.  We go around the circle and it gets to Talor and he says he’s getting looked at by Louisville, Virginia Tech, and Penn State.  He said, (and I’m paraphrasing) “I can’t play in the Big 10, all those guards are so strong and physical.  Look at me (pointing to his skinny arms), I gotta go where a guy my size can fit in.”  Well, he choose Penn State and fit in fine, lol.  And ‘fitting in fine’ is a backhanded compliment.  Consider this (focus in):  TALOR BATTLE WILL BE THE FIRST PLAYER IN BIG 10 HISTORY TO RECORD 2,000 POINTS, 500 ASSISTS AND 500 REBOUNDS.  Just so I know we’re on the same page, it’s worth mentioning that the Big 10 is the oldest conference in Division I athletics and has participated in basketball since 1904, and Talor is the first player EVER to accomplish that feat!  Battle is also the only Big 10 player in the last decade (joining Alando Tucker from 2007 at Wisconsin) to drop 2,000 points.  Hell, he’s only the 22nd player to do it in the entire history of the league!  (Believe it or not, his 2,000 point came 4 years to the day since he scored his 2 G’s at Bishop Maginn High School)  I’d be lying if I said I saw all of this coming.  I was a Junior at Scotia-Glenville when my head coach said he went to a game the night before and saw a freshman for Catholic Central that was “a division I player now.”  I can remember one of my best buddies who was our senior captain and best player (who was getting recruited in his own right) contort his face, and pessimistically say ‘really?’  My coach repeated, “right now”.  Whether he was at that moment or not is irrelevant.  The point is that folks from the Capital Region of New York have long-expected big things from Battle, but nobody (“And The Rock means nobody!”), could have anticipated success of this magnitude.  I should have known though.  Even when he was 15, his instincts and athleticism were phenomenal.  We were doing full court warm-ups in the first or second tryout for the Empire Games, and I’m standing next to this little pip-squeek who turns to my buddy from Schenectady and says, “Yo Led, I won’t bang this?”  My thought was, “are you kidding?”  The kid was literally like 5’9.  Sure enough, he picks his dribble with one hand scoop, leaps off one leg, and crams it home.  I was blown away. But Talor has made a habit of blowing me away.  Four summers later we were both on the court at the Empire Games in Binghamton when Talor jab stepped, one dribbled from the 3-point line and dunked over the head of 7-foot center Jeff Foot (Who you may remember from Cornell when they made their tourny run last year) for an and-1.  Besides his game winner in the NIT a few years back, Talor calls that play the best of his entire career.  I’m not sure if he’ll be drafted in the second round by a NBA team or ever find his way back on to your television, but as the light of his senior season tunnel now becomes visible, enjoy him.  I promise he won’t let you down.  He’s consistently started, scored, assisted, rebounded and most of all, he’s over achieved. 

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17 Responses to Consistent Battle

  1. PLAYAHATA%$%^ says:

    Tiki Mayben is more of an NBA player than Fredette or Battle

    • Anonymous says:

      Tiki is and always will be a punk and it’s his own fault that he will never be in the NBA. Fredette and battle always were hard working, good attitudes and team players and that’s why they have had better careers. End of story

  2. Bobby Barry says:

    I agree that the big 10 is better than Jimmers conference. But do you not think that the analysts take that into play? Now I may be just spit ballin here…But i just feel they have been doing this for a lot longer than you have been causually watching sports, and they may know a little bit more about how to rank a player than you do (Not directed towards you Zach, just at the people claiming talor is WAY better than Jimmer). I agree that Talor has uncanny athleticism, and incredible heart and desire, but Jimmer is unreal, bottom line. With a near 50% career fg percentage and 40% from beyond the arc…not to shabby…Neither is leading the nation in scoring. But thats just me. Both Jimmer and Talor are unbelievable to watch what they can do, and Talor is one of easiest people to play with that I have experienced. Both gifted for sure, and Talor definitly does deserve more press, but it is unfair to dicredit Jimmer for his accomplishments. And by the way, Jimmer played against players like Rajon Rondo, Steph Curry etc etc. over the summer…thats pretty good competition if you ask me. But I too am no analyst, so what do I know…

    • Michael S says:

      good comment i think it should come in play a little but i dont think you put talor in the big ten adn see that big a jump in numbers. jimmer can just flat out shoot the rock that wouldnt change no matter what conference he played in.

  3. Nate says:

    Great post, Zach. I had no idea he was putting up these kind of numbers. One thing that is worth mentioning is that while 20 points a game doesn’t jump out at you, Talor is playing in the Big Ten, where they slow everything down, and focus on defense. Games in the Big Ten are consistently low scoring. In a more offensive conference like the Big 12 or ACC, 20 points a game is probably a quarter of your team’s points, but in the Big 10 it’s close to a third.

    With all that being said, what really matters are wins, and that’s probably why he’s not getting more press. Penn St is barely above .500. Maybe they can sneak into the tournament and make some noise. If he has a good game or two in the tournament we’ll start hearing his name a lot more.

  4. Bus Cheecks says:

    yo aint gotta be from alb to think talor is better than jimmer…talor does his thing on the top level big 10 jimmer plays wack ppl and talor still better

  5. JB says:

    This is crazy how have we not heard more about this guy with that stellar of a career? Is there talk of him going in the draft?

    • Brian Lindsay says:

      I got the Big 10 Network right at his freshman year to be able to catch all his games and i’ve heard announcers talk about how scouts are interested in him especially impressed with his endurance (he basically has played the entire game all 4 years in college) and the way he was able to lead his team in rebounds at his size. He actually led his team last yr in points/rebounds/assist and steals last season. I think him being 5’11 still will go against him but with all he has been able to do in his career I hope someone gives him a chance

  6. Bobby Barry says:

    I would like to point out that I roomed with Talor during the Empire games and he said the NIGHT BEFORE…”Yo Bobby, I am gonna bang it on that tall (expletive)tomorrow” I naturally laughed it off because the thought of calling an And1 dunk is crazy, let alone 5’11 vs 7’0 haha…After he did it, he looked over at me and chuckled haha then hit his free throw. Wow!

  7. Evan Lane says:

    Wow great post. This guy really needs more press. I was on the floor for that dunk in the empires against Jeff Foot it was absurd. I was spotting up thinking he was gonna dish it then i saw his eyes and i knew he was going up to crank it on him. Number 1 top ten play if he did it in the season. Hands down. Also in the those games Taylor showed up at halftime against the Long Island team made up of all D1 future pros. He dropped 25 and only played in the second half.

    But i also distinctly remember The author of this site, Mr. Zach Bye, making almost the identical jab-step, one dribble and dunk in those games. It was super ridiculous as much so as Taylor’s. He had a few nice bangers in those games and dropped 20 himself against that stacked long island team. Good times.

  8. Michael S says:

    CRAZY STUFF posted on this one, wow i did not know Talor was doing it like THAT. How is this guy getting no press nationally? The ONLY Player to ever do that in the big ten is outrageous. it was really great to see some anecdotal stories about the kid too, to kind of get a sense of how he was leading up to Penn STate. it’s time that Battle got some love.

  9. Kyle says:

    finally u show some love to Battle, if u look at whos he’s been playing against for the last 4 seasons everyone would consider him better than Jimmer, he doesnt score the way Jimmer does but he does more against better competition

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