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    Post Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Keeler: Unlikely messenger aims to soothe coach | DesMoinesRegister.com | The Des Moines Register

    Ames, Ia. - The second surprise phone call of Greg McDermott's Hell Week came Tuesday night. It was Mike Taylor.

    "I just called him to tell him that ... I appreciated the person that he was trying to be for me off the court," Taylor said of McDermott, the Iowa State men's basketball coach who'd kicked him off the squad a summer ago. "I know he was down when I left. So I just gave him a call to see how he was doing - because I know he's probably going through similar emotions (now) that Wesley (Johnson is leaving). I told him that everything happens for a reason. Everything's going to work out."

    Eventually. Right now, McDermott is taking grief from Cyclone fans after Johnson - Iowa State's top returning scorer - told reporters that his old coach was the reason he was transferring from Ames. That there was a disconnect between the two, a bridge forever burned.

    Taylor noted that he'd been there, too. Only to realize later that McDermott had been in the right all along.

    "At the time, when (the dismissal) happened, I thought it was not fair ... because I really wanted to be there," said Taylor, who led the Cyclones in points (16.0 per game) and turnovers (5.4) in the 2006-07 season, but was dismissed last July after missing summer school classes. "He really cared about me at the time. He knew I was going through some family issues - my mother was sick and my best friend had just died in a car accident. He knew I was going through a lot of mental issues that made it half the battle for me.

    "But our agreement was that I attend every class, and when I fell short of that, he was hurt, because I'd given him my word."

    McDermott sounded hurt Wednesday, too, when he bared his soul at Hilton Coliseum before dozens of reporters, Iowa State athletic department staffers, and the returning Cyclone players. He wondered aloud if Johnson had a problem with his style of critiquing - McDermott can be as subtle as a sledgehammer when it comes to his opinion, and makes no apologies for it - and took his words too personally.

    Taylor said he was as stunned as anyone to hear of Johnson's departure. The two had remained in contact, and while he knew Johnson was frustrated with his bum left ankle, the Texas native gave Taylor no indication that he was thinking of leaving the Cyclones. Not so much as a hint.

    Maybe Johnson is just really good at keeping secrets. Or maybe someone else, a third party, is pushing the buttons for him. Regardless, Taylor says it's foolish to point fingers at McDermott.

    "You've got to give it time," he said. "Nothing works overnight. I believe in him. I believe they're going to get everything together."

    Taylor, whose tenure in Ames was marred by a series of off-the-court hijinks, might seem an unlikely source of comfort. But he says he forgave McDermott a long time ago. Moreover, he thinks getting the boot from Iowa State might have turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to him.

    Taylor averaged 14.5 points this past season for the NBA Development League's Idaho franchise. He's gotten invites to work out with a handful of NBA teams in lieu of next month's draft. He has his act together, personally and professionally.

    "I see now what (McDermott) was getting me ready for, now that I've had a year of playing professional ball and understanding what it is to be a professional," Taylor said. "I didn't understand it at the time because I was worried about my situation that I had in front of me. He used to try and get me to think about tomorrow.

    "I just wanted him to know that if he needs me for anything, to talk to any player, if he needed for me to help him have better relationships ... that he can count on me."

    Maybe a year from now, after enough water has passed under enough bridges, Johnson will be saying the same things about McDermott. Although you wonder.



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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Just read that article as well. I played for a tough coach in college and all of the players seemed to not like him during their career, but almost every alum says they see what he was doing to prepare them for life after college in the end. It takes a few years to see the light, especially when you are a star player and feel like you know all...



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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Good to hear all that from Mike Taylor. He really sounds like he has his act together now.



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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Quote Originally Posted by ahaselhu View Post
    Good to hear all that from Mike Taylor. He really sounds like he has his act together now.
    Mac did say that he was better off now because he was dismissed...



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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Unexpected is simply not strong enough to describe this story. That phone call must have been a cherished bit of relief for Mac.



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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Wow, that is a powerful endorsement, IMO. Mike Taylor is a guy that has every reason to drag ISU and Coach through the mud, but instead, says the great things he says about GMac. That is a golden reference, folks.


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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    That is a nice read...don't like the very last line though...seems like a dig at either GMac or Wes? Could have done without it...



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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Quote Originally Posted by CyinCo View Post
    Wow, that is a powerful endorsement, IMO. Mike Taylor is a guy that has every reason to drag ISU and Coach through the mud, but instead, says the great things he says about GMac. That is a golden reference, folks.
    I'll echo that.



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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Quote Originally Posted by cyfanatic View Post
    That is a nice read...don't like the very last line though...seems like a dig at either GMac or Wes? Could have done without it...
    I think you are reading to much into it...but after all the crap lately I understand.


    As far as depth goes though, the combination of White, Woodbury, Olaseni, Basabe, and Uthoff is much better than Niang, Ejim, Edozie, Gibson. Not because of the top 2, but because of the next 2 or 3. -DeanVogs

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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Quote Originally Posted by CyinCo View Post
    Wow, that is a powerful endorsement, IMO. Mike Taylor is a guy that has every reason to drag ISU and Coach through the mud, but instead, says the great things he says about GMac. That is a golden reference, folks.
    McDermott probably told Taylor to lie to make McDermott look better. There is a conspiracy around here somewhere...just ask cyclonenum1.

    But seriously, its great to hear Taylor is doing well. I hope he gets drafted.



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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Quote Originally Posted by CyinCo View Post
    Wow, that is a powerful endorsement, IMO. Mike Taylor is a guy that has every reason to drag ISU and Coach through the mud, but instead, says the great things he says about GMac. That is a golden reference, folks.
    I first thought you were being sarcastic, but this reminds of Tinsley saying he wouldn't be the player he was if it wasn't for LE being so tough on him.

    I remember Amber saying how Mike was a great guy, but "he just didn't get it", perhaps he gets it now, sounds like Mac thinks so.


    Last edited by Landshark; 05-22-2008 at 08:54 AM.
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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Quote Originally Posted by Landshark View Post
    He could've trashed Mac? Jeez, what do you want, perhaps he has grown-up. Amber said once that Mike was a great guy, he "just didn't get it". Maybe he gets it now.
    I don't think you understand what I wrote...I'm complimenting MT; not criticizing.


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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    Good job MT.



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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    He really sounds like a guy that's growing up


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    Re: Mike Taylor speaks out regarding Greg McDermott

    It's nice that he came to defend GMAC, but more importantly to me is that Mike seems to be doing really well. Maybe he's gotten his crap together. I'm rooting for him as well.....I hope he gets drafted.



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