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"Up Close" with Ray Taylor

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Sophomore point guard Ray Taylor guard has yet to see the court this season, but it shouldn't be long before he does.

Last season Taylor played in every game for Florida Atlantic en route to an 11th overall national ranking in assists, and being named Third Team All Sun Belt.

He also led the Owls in assists (5.9 pg) and is already ranked in the program's top 10 despite having three more seasons to play.

Taylor was second only to Greg Gantt (15.6 ppg) in scoring with a 14.2 ppg average.

Coach Mike Jarvis has set some high expectations for his super quick point, which Taylor is in agreement with.

"Become more like Steve Nash", said Jarvis. "Try to lead the country in assists and be a great, great on and off the ball defender."

Taylor is up for both challenges and says he is working on forcing shots and plays less this year as well.

"He tells me, but you see it on film, and film doesn't lie", Taylor said. "And he isn't the first coach to tell me that."

A conversationalist at heart, he says he can engage on whatever level is presented but prefers to delve below the surface.

"I'm a deep person, any conversation I can take it.  I have a tendency of going really deep. I'm very articulate. Would say I am very mature at this stage of my life right now."

Taylor recently sat down with us for "Up Close".

Fast Break

What is your Favorite Book?

"The Bible"

What is your Favorite Movie?

"The Book of Eli"

Who is your current off the court role model?

"My mother because she was always there and her strength is amazing. Always made the best out of bad situations without complaining about it. She taught me how to deal with adversity."

How long have you been playing basketball?

"Sixteen years (since four)."

What are you most proud of?

"Where I'm from, a lot of people don't make it past high school...I'm in college working on a degree. And I'm a man of God. At this age there's not that many people confident enough to say 'God and Religion'."

What is your major?

"Criminal justice, because growing up you see a lot of your friends get in trouble for lack of knowledge. So, I figured I could come to school...and possibly go to law school and learn the system that we live in."

What is your Faith?

"Christian."

Set Plays

Other than FAU, what schools did you consider?

"South Florida, Tennessee Tech, and UAB."

What aspect of your game do you feel is your strength?

"I play with so much passion...like a spark plug, I inspire my team with a lot of energy."

What aspect of your game do you feel is your weakness?

"Decision making and defense. I have a tendency to try and do a little too much instead of making the easy play."

Open Run

Besides basketball, what brought you to FAU?

"The location and the networking opportunities, because there are a lot of successful people that retire and move to Boca. And I know that's going to be some of the people coming to the games who I can meet afterwards and maybe get some internships."

What do you want FAU fans to know about you personally?

"I would just say that basketball is my number one, after God of course.  I like to play pool, and beat Andre (Mattison) all the time.  I had a dog four years ago, but he died.  Because of the pain that it caused me, i won't have another one for a while.

What are your goals for the upcoming season?

"I'm trying to get 3.0 honors again, and I'm trying to lead me team to a lot of wins an get FAU's name really buzzing."

Coming Up

Our next player enjoyed a trip to Italy.

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