Young Willing to Fill Any Role as a Senior

Nov. 9, 2010

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By Doug Richards

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - During UCF's practices, when Taylor Young sees the team's two freshmen receive advice from coaches and teammates, the senior guard cannot help but think about the start of his collegiate career. Back in 2006-07, Young was an enthusiastic but wide-eyed rookie, learning each day about what it takes to be a Division I basketball player.

Five years later, Young is one of the veteran leaders on a UCF squad that will open the season Friday with a 7 p.m. contest against West Florida at the UCF Arena. While the sight of freshmen Jarvis Davis and Isaiah Sykes make the Orlando native think about his own past, he is clearly excited about the Knights' first campaign under new head coach Donnie Jones.

"Watching the freshmen come in, I kind of think about when I was in there shoes," Young said. "I can't believe that (fellow senior) A.J. Tyler and I have been here this long. It is exciting. I am really excited about the year."

During his UCF career, Young has handled a variety of roles for the Knights. He redshirted as a true freshman, working on the scout team in practice against players like Dave Noel, Mike O'Donnell and Jermaine Taylor. He spent his redshirt freshman and sophomore years as a backup point guard, and then last year, started 11 games at the end of the season at shooting guard. In Conference USA play, he averaged 7.3 points.

With a new coaching staff in place, Young is happy to fill any role as he embarks on his senior season. If that means playing shooting guard, or adding depth at point guard, he is content.

"I will do whatever it takes, whatever this team needs me to do. [My position] is not too important right now."

One aspect that is certain for young is his ability to lead. He and Tyler are the lone returning seniors on the squad, and Young is not afraid to guide his teammates both on and off the floor.

"The last couple of years, I have taken a leadership role," he said. "I am going to do whatever I can do to encourage these guys. I will be the leader that I need to be."