Ivy 60 for 60: Brian Taylor

Brian Taylor '73 averaged 24.3 points and 6.0 rebounds in 51 contests for the Tigers.
Brian Taylor ’73 averaged 24.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game in 51 contests for the Tigers. (Princeton Alumni Weekly)

Following our countdown of the top 10 moments in each Ivy school’s men’s basketball history this summer, Ivy Hoops Online is delighted to continue celebrating the 60th anniversary of modern Ivy League basketball by honoring the top 60 players in Ivy hoops history (in no particular order). We’re further delighted to have Paul Hutter, author of The Golden Age of Ivy League Basketball: From Bill Bradley to Penn’s Final Four, 1964-1979, into the site’s fold to contribute recollections, along with several other staff writers, of the greatest players in the history of a great league. 

Brian Taylor, Princeton ’73: 6′ 2″ Brian Taylor was a McDonald’s-level high school All-American who not only went on to star at Princeton, but also establish himself as an outstanding professional. At Princeton, he was a two-time All-American before going to the ABA’s New York Nets after his junior year. He averaged 23.5 points per game as a sophomore and 25 points per game as a junior as the Tigers achieved a No. 14 national ranking..During this pre-ABA/NBA merger period, he was the subject of an intense bidding war between the Nets and the Seattle SuperSonics (now the Oklahoma City Thunder, somewhat fitting as his game was very Russell Westbrook-esque). He was the 1973 ABA Rookie of the Year as Julius Erving’s teammate as well as a two-time ABA All-Star on a three-time championship team.

After the ABA/NBA merger in 1976, he continued his outstanding career with Kansas City Kings, Denver Nuggets before finishing his 10-year professional journey with the San Diego Clippers. He was voted to the NBA All-Defensive team while concomitantly becoming one of the league’s top three-point shooters after the ABA “novelty” was adopted in 1979. Of course, this “novelty” now dominates the NBA game as the center position has been relegated to a pick-and-roll rim protector. Brian was one of the top five players in Ivy League history along with Geoff Petrie, Bill Bradley, Rudy LaRusso and Jim McMillian. and he distinguished himself as a coach and nonprofit executive following his NBA career.

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