HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - It must have been the adrenaline, the excitement of playing in something resembling an organized basketball game for the first time in two seasons.
Whatever the reason, Marshall forward Ryan Taylor suffered an instant shock to his basketball system Monday night. Not an electric one, mind you, and not a serious one.
"I was tired until the first media timeout," Taylor said after the Thundering Herd's 94-60 exhibition win over Concord.
After getting his second wind, Taylor - who sat out the entire 2012-13 season as an academic non-qualifier - fared quite nicely. The stat line showed 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and 10 rebounds, including four on the offensive end. Two of those offensive boards were turned into putback baskets.
That was accomplished in 21 minutes. Sure, the opposition was a young Division II team, but Herd fans can expect more such double-doubles out of the 6-foot-5, 225-pound native of Indianapolis. The next could come Nov. 8, when Marshall opens the season for real against South Carolina State at home.
Taylor took his first breather a minute before that first media timeout and came back just before the under-12-minute break. After that timeout, he got going with his first defensive rebound, his first layup and first tip-in.
While he was generally unspectacular, Taylor showed he can drive hard to the basket, drawing fouls on three such occasions. (Alas, he missed two tries to finish a three-point play.)
The "oohs" and "aahs" from the Cam Henderson Center crowd came from plays such as:
When Taylor wasn't taking the ball into the lane, he was taking it all in.