Orange Fizz


Do Not Boo Justin Taylor Again

Photo Courtesy of SU Athletics

This is really disappointing. Yes, Justin Taylor has struggled offensively lately. Yes, Quadir Copeland has been in the closing lineup over him. Yes, what Taylor prides his game on- shooting- simply hasn’t been there for him, especially in ACC play. But booing him is about the worst thing anybody could do, especially if it’s coming from the student section.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that Taylor doesn’t have a ton of confidence right now. The sophomore forward caught a pass in the corner against North Carolina the other night and had a relatively open look. But rather than fire a three, Taylor opted to pump fake and create off the dribble before dishing it off. That’s a shot that he used to take without hesitation, last year and toward the start of the season. The conversation about mental health when it comes to athletics, especially at the collegiate level, is one that has grown over the past few years, but still isn’t talked about a whole lot. Booing him is only going to detract from his confidence more.

Even if his shooting stroke isn’t where you’d expect it to be, why boo him when he’s still giving 110% and then some on the floor? Taylor set a career-high in steals against Clemson last weekend and has still been a relatively strong presence on the glass all things considered. The rebound numbers may not be where they were toward the start of the season, but let’s be honest. Taylor is a shooting guard in a small forward’s body. If he’s still hustling, being a presence on defense, and crashing the glass to the best of his ability, how can you get mad? Worse, how can you boo him?

There have been plenty of calls for Taylor to take a seat at the start of the game and put Copeland in ahead of him. To that, why mess with what’s been working? Taylor has started all 25 games this season, and Syracuse is 16-9. The Orange haven’t had a better record at this point in the season in over five years. Additionally, you know what’s going to happen if Copeland takes Taylor’s spot in the starting lineup? The aforementioned confidence is going to take an even bigger hit. If Taylor is going to find his shooting stroke again, taking him out of the starting lineup will not help.

We see the athlete side of these players all the time, but let’s never forget that they’re humans too. Please, for his sake and the rest of the team’s, do not boo Justin Taylor, or any other Syracuse player for that matter, in the starting lineup introductions again.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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