B.J. Taylor came to UCF from Boone High School in Orlando, and quickly established himself as a UCF lifer. From his first game as a Knight - a 14-point, 9-rebound effort against Stetson - to his last - 15 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists vs. Duke - his leadership, classic college point guard skill set, and sheer determination made him a fan favorite and future UCF Hall of Famer.
Taylor was an immediate impact player for UCF as a freshman, earning all-rookie team honors in The American, but then had to sit out all of what would have been his sophomore year with a broken foot in 2015-16.
He came back much improved physically, bulking up to prepare for running Johnny Dawkins’ offense, which he did to great effect in leading UCF to the NIT Final Four as a redshirt sophomore.
The injury bug bit him again in 2017-18, as Taylor missed half of UCF’s games that year with a broken thumb. Even so, he helped UCF to a rather astounding 9-9 conference record, given UCF’s injury circumstances that year.
Set the stage for his senior season, where he finally played a whole season alongside Tacko Fall and Aubrey Dawkins, and led UCF in scoring for a fourth time, and nearly muscled UCF past #1 Duke to the Sweet Sixteen.
But as we know, college point guards who drive, draw fouls, shoot threes and defend are a dime a dozen. What can B.J. do to set himself apart from the crowd?
Taylor’s ability to use his borderline-reckless physicality to create his shot, and then the step-back three late flashed his range. But more importantly, he showed a willingness to put the team on his back when they needed a big game in a big spot.
25 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists in 39 minutes vs. Memphis in 2019
If there’s a classic B.J. Taylor performance, it was this game in 2019 against Memphis that displayed Big Shot Barry at his most refined. Although he was only 5/11 from the field, he hit 3/6 from deep and 12/14 at the line.
But that’s only part of the story. After Memphis cut as 12-point UCF lead down to one with two minutes left, Taylor found Aubrey Dawkins for a critical three, and then spent the rest of the evening drawing fouls and icing the game at the line to the tune of 5/6 in the last 65 seconds.
27 points, 10/19 FG (3/7 3FG), 2 rebounds, 3 assists vs. Memphis in 2017
B.J. was one of those guys who was just always there, but his greatest flash of brilliance as both a leader and a scorer came against then-#15 Cincinnati back in 2017, as he led the Knights to a key victory at home:
Per 40 Minutes
Like we said earlier, B.J. was a special college basketball player for UCF. But in NBA terms, he’s a dime a dozen: A 6-2, 195-pound point guard who can hit threes, defend fairly well, and makes his living by going to the basket.
Best-Case Pro Comparison
Taylor is two inches taller than Ferrell, but the comparison is pretty spot-on. Ferrell went undrafted, but latched on with Brooklyn, who sent him to the G-League for a couple of years. He then landed with Dallas in the middle of their rebuild, played 82 games mostly off the bench in his first full year there, and turned that into a free agent contract with Sacramento as a backup point guard.