Mott’s Steve Schmidt and John Taylor share national awards

Posted: April 26, 2012 by Jared Field in JUCO

When John Taylor was announced as the National Player of the Year on Thursday, it probably surprised some people outside Michigan (and Danville, Illinois). Taylor was not selected by the NJCAA as its player of the week even one time during the season, confounding many basketball fans in Flint.

How could a player of this caliber go unrecognized for a full season? We’ll never know.

None of that matters, however, now that Taylor is officially the fourth National Player of the Year award winner at Mott.

From the NJCAA:

Earning Division II Player of the Year honors was Mott sophomore guard John Taylor. The Chicago-native led the Bears to a 35-1 national championship season in 2011-12. Defeating Community College of Rhode Island 70-60 in the title game, the Bears received a game-high 23 points and six assists from Taylor. On the season, Taylor ranked seventh in the nation in scoring with 24.9 points per game and led Mott with 4.1 assists per game. For his efforts, Taylor was named Tournament MVP and was a first team All-America selection.

Taylor joins former Bears Jay Youngblood, Kevin Tiggs and Jeremie Simmons in the NPOY club at Mott, all players coached by Steve Schmidt who, not surprisingly, won his fourth National Coach of the Year award.

Taylor’s short career at Mott has left so many wanting more. He’s about as creative (and unconventional) a basketball player as I’ve seen. He’s the best ballhandler I’ve ever seen at the JUCO level and, in a certain way, he presents the same conundrum as Tiggs did for some recruiters a few years back. Where do you play him at the next level?

The best answer goes something like this: Just play him; he’s really good.

In many cases “stars” aren’t fun to coach or to play with. Taylor certainly wasn’t one of these and Mott fans have another national title as evidence of the fact.

  1. Congratulations J. T. on your National Player of the Year Award…you deserve it!!! Mott Bears had an outstanding season that ended just as it should be…National Champions!

  2. Freddie McCoy says:

    The school have to timely nominated the player to NJCAA for that week with their stats, Jared. You have to ask Mott A.D which I think is Schmidt himself, if he did. He might have too much on the plate week after week submitted timely. I have receive a e-mail from NJCAA in February on how to nominated a player for the week on the time about Nate Duhon when he won it that month. Taylor dominated through out the season in his game and Mott won majority of their games with no problem and big point margin, really no last second comeback game. Duhon won it because he had his hand of two comeback victories in last seconds where they was down by 20pts against Glen Oaks and Muskegon in both games which Duhon’s overall stats that week was better than Taylor. Mott’s season was very impressive, one superstar, one unsung player and bunch of great role players, a winning combination

  3. WEH says:

    Any word on where he is considering playing next season? I am out of the Mott loop though, so for all I know this was a ridiculous question and he decided months ago.

  4. Mike Helms says:

    Yea Jared no offesne to John at all, but when Jeremie Simmons was killing it the same way Taylor was we head about his recruitment every week, I haven’t heard anything about Taylor.

    Are his grades going to be a problem? Will he have to go D2?

  5. Dre says:

    Jared I know you have a tendency to hype up every “current” Mott Bear, but let’s be honest here, Jeremie Simmons had the sickest,tightest handle that ever came through Ballinger Field house and it’s not even close.

    John can handle the ball, yes there’s no denying that, but Jeremie could hit you with mutiple moves in an instant and have room for more if need be, he was a real wizard when it came to ballhandling,

    Now John does take more risk in real games than Jeremie did, Jeremie was more about making the simple plays and only jumping in his trick bag when necessary while John is more flash and thrill from opening tap until the buzzer sounds.

    But Jeremie’s handle in an open gym setting was marvelous and I know not too many Mott fans probably got to see what some of us saw in an open gym setting while Jeremie was there but you did Jared and you can’t deny Jeremies handle was nothing short of breathtaking at times, Jeremie used to literally have defenders on SKATES in open gyms.

    Jeremie’s handle is more superior than John’s and I don’t think it’s really that close.

    • Jared Field says:

      I didn’t said he was a better all-around player than Jeremie because I don’t believe that he is. Ballhandling is the one skill that I’d give the nod to JT over Jeremie, and even that is close. Both are excellent ballhandlers. I’ve just never seen a player at the JUCO level with the ball on a string quite like JT. And trust me, I had a tendency to cringe when I watched him dribble through and around triple teams, but you just couldn’t take it from him. And yes, there’s no doubt he’s way more flashy than Jeremie. That is one of the many things I loved about Jeremie’s game.

      I think if you’ve watched both players go through Mott’s ballhandling drills, you would never say it’s not close.

  6. Dre says:

    I don’t know Jared, i can’t agree with you on that one, your pretty accurate on your assessment when it comes to these things, but I think Jeremie has the best handle I’ve ever seen on a Mott player.

    And no I don’t believe JT is a better player, Jeremie is the best to come thru Mott it’s just too bad he didn’t pick a different school(Ohio State) he could be playing pro somewhere.

    • Jared Field says:

      This the best I can do: I think JT is a better pure scorer/slasher. I think Simmons is the better all-around guard.

      • Freddie McCoy says:

        Jeremie sure didn’t translate that style of play to Ohio St but I give him credit by sticking at Ohio St because they was having a lot of problems with their guards that year, Anthony Crater transfer from Ohio St in mid season and third -string guard P.J Hill was getting more play time than Jeremie and Aaron Craft was handed starting P.G as soon as he hit campus. I am sorry I like Tiggs’s style of play better because he was scorer with a decent outside shot and could score inside as well, great rebounder and good defensive player and had great college career at East Tennessee St, Tiggs’s energy level was amazing

      • Jared Field says:

        Tiggs is my favorite Mott player, no doubt. Great player and an even greater guy.

  7. Dre says:

    Jared how can you call John a better scorer?

    Yes he averaged 3 points more, but Jeremie shot better from the field,3pt,and free throw.

    I don’t think Taylor has anything over Simmons to be honest! Lol just my take!

    The only thing Taylor has over Jeremie is quickness.

    • Jared Field says:

      Jeremie was, without doubt, a better shooter. I’ve already said he was a better all-around guard, but Taylor gets the edge as a pure scorer. Compare their sophomore seasons and Mott. Taylor went to the foul line twice as much because he was next to impossible to guard. He averaged 25 points per game, more than any of the four National Players of the Year and averaged 29 points per game in the national tournament. I don’t believe any of the others can say that, either. Does that mean he’s a better player than Jeremie or Kevin Tiggs? Absolutely not.

  8. Dre says:

    Jeremie had a pretty stacked team his sophomore year and still managed 22 per game, with Thomas Kennedy,Deandre Nealy,Lamarr Drake,Al Pegues, and Jacquez Williams(Latter part of the season).

    I think he could have easily averaged more had his team not been stacked.

    This years team was good, but they aren’t better than the 07-08 team.

    I may be wrong and if I am let me know,but I think if Jeremie played with this years team he could have averaged the same if not more points.

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