It's enough to say that many Pitt fans expected a little more out of then-freshman Dante Taylor last year. When the school landed its first McDonald's High School All-American in 20 years, large expectations followed. He did nothing to quiet those expectations with a 13-point debut, shooting 5-for-7 from the field against a veteran Wofford team in only 19 minutes of play. After putting up modest numbers in most of Pitt's remaining non-conference games, though, Taylor saw his minutes significantly decrease in Big East play.
Taylor's final 2009-10 stats?
4.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, .6 blocks, and .1 assists per game.
Not exactly eye-opening numbers. Taylor, like most freshmen, was a bit overmatched at times -- he was slow on defense and hesitant on offense.
Still, there were some positives during the season. He occasionally showed flashes of greatness, getting into double figures in points or rebounds in seven games. Perhaps his best effort came on the road against highly ranked Syracuse. He collected 10 points and eight rebounds on 3-of-4 shooting in only 23 minutes, adding a steal and a block, energizing Pitt and helping the Panthers to pull out the best win of the season in a hostile environment. He also shot 58 percent from the field on the season, good for second on the team (behind starting center Gary McGhee) among players with at least 100 minutes.
All indications point to Taylor having a better season in 2010-11. In his first two games in the Greentree Summer League, he's racked up 40 points and 20 rebounds, good for a 20/10 average. His Pitt teammates have also been seeing signs of improvement: