Linsly’s Marshall Taylor To Play Hoops At Centre College
WHEELING — Linsly was one of the pleasant surprises of the Ohio Valley boys’ basketball season.
First-year coach Dave Wojcik guided the Cadets to a sparkling 17-8 record and a berth in the OVAC Wheeling Hospital 3A Basketball Tournament. Marshall Taylor was one of the key reasons for the Cadet success.
The 6-foot-3 senior blossomed into one of the premier players in the Ohio Valley. The sweet-shooting swingman averaged 19.1 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.3 steals a game.
The multi-talented player is now poised to take his many hoop skills to the next level. Taylor, after sorting through a host of options, has chosen to continue his academic and basketball careers at Centre College, located in Danville, Ky., just 30 miles from Lexington. It is a private liberal arts college with an enrollment of approximately 1,400 students.
“I made a lot of college visits. For some reason, when I went to Centre it felt right. It felt like home. It’s a place I want to spend the next four years,” Taylor said. “They have a successful basketball program and the academics are really good. I am still undecided on a major but I may go to law school.”
Taylor’s impressive high school career is something he was unsure of when he entered the Leatherwood-based campus.
“I am very grateful to what the Linsly basketball program has given me over the four years. Coming out of the eighth grade, I really wasn’t a confident kid and I really wasn’t good enough to play on my eighth grade team. The Linsly program welcomed me and provided me with a lot of confidence. They instilled in me that if I worked I could be a college basketball player. I am very thankful of my coaches and teammates supporting me this season. Obviously, Coach Wojcik’s expectations were extremely high. I don’t know if anyone else felt that way. I had a lot of fun in my final year and the team had a lot of success. It turned out great. I also want to thank my parents, grandparents and teammates. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Taylor holds Wojcik, a former D-I head college coach, in high regard.
“Coach Wojcik is intense and very passionate. He is a great coach,” Taylor said. “He really cares about his players. He really wants to make you the best basketball player and best person possible. I am very appreciative to him for all he did for me.”
Although they were together for just one season, Taylor earned the respect of Wojcik.
“Marshall had one of the best seasons a player could imagine. We asked a lot of him on both ends of the court. He usually guarded the best player, and we asked him to score for us as well,” Wojcik said. “He had a terrific four-year career at Linsly, capping it off by scoring 42 points in his final high school game. It was a pleasure to have coached him for the one year and wished I could have had him for another year, but he’s going to move on and have a successful college career. Marshall is a perfect example of why I have coached all these years, to get kids to reach their fullest potential and have an opportunity to play collegiately after high school.”
Centre College is coached by Greg Mason. He took over the Colonial helm in the 1999-2000 season. He has amassed an impressive 387-149 record with 10 Southern Athletic Association Tournament titles and six regular-season crowns. His teams have earned seven NCAA D-III Tournament berths. His Colonials were 24-5 this winter.
“We are very excited about Marshall’s commitment to Centre. We believe he has a great future in our program,” Mason said. “He is a tall shooter who can score in many ways. He is able to run sophisticated offenses. Coach Wojcik prepared him well for that. We love Marshall’s length and his all-around game.
“We lose four starters and about 75 percent of our offense. We have been special the last two years and won the conference 11 of the last 12 years.
There will be an opportunity for Marshall to help us next year.”
Taylor was a first-team all-OVAC and all-Valley honoree. He was chosen to play in the OVAC Sam Mumley Basketball Classic.
In addition to being a basketball standout, Taylor has been involved with a myriad of Linsly activities, including being a starter on the Cadet baseball and golf teams.
His impressive Cadet resume also includes: Senior Class president, Linsly Prefect, National Honor Society, Assistant Chair of Academic Committee, Stifel Award winner, 2019 Tim Ash Award recipient and WTRF Athlete of Week. The Drug Free America Club member is also big on volunteerism, doing so with the following organizations — Special Olympics, Miracle Field and Wheeling Soup Kitchen
He is the son of Jim and Dr. Heather Taylor of Wheeling.