Indiana star Kyle Taber steps up

Matt Forman

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






In the midst of a nine-game losing streak, it’s been a tough season for Indiana. Prior to the season, only one player on the Hoosiers roster had previous playing experience – Kyle Taber. Taber, former walk-on to the track team, is playing his final year in Bloomington, Ind.

The Daily’s Matt Forman talked with the 6-foot-8 senior at Big Ten Media Day.

Daily Sports: When you think of Northwestern basketball, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Kyle Taber: Kevin Coble. Last year he almost scored 40 on us in Evanston, and he’s a great player.

DS: What do you remember about the NU-Indiana game last year?

KT: Last year it was a real competitive game and it came down to the last possession. We got the big stop that we needed. It was exciting and a pretty packed house. It was good.

DS: Given the departures of key players from a season ago, what goals have you set for this season, both individually and as a team?

KT: Making the team improve every day, coming together as a team, growing as players individually. Just making huge strides every day. We have to maximize every day and everything will take care of itself.

DS: What has the transition been like?

KT: It was tough at first, but I’m getting used to it now. I’m accepting my role and trying to figure out what I need to do to get things going in the right direction and what coach expects of me. It’s getting a lot easier now.

DS: Coach Kelvin Sampson is no longer at Indiana. What kind of environment has coach Tom Crean been building?

KT: It’s been a winning culture. He only brings people around us who will help us win, that’s one of his main focuses. So anybody he brings in front of us to speak to us, or coaches or recruits he brings in, it’s all about winning.

DS: What’s Crean like away from the court?

KT: He’s a pretty cool guy. He’s relaxed … sometimes. He still expects a lot of us off the courts and expects us to do the right things.

DS: Do you still stay in touch with first-round draft picks D.J. White and Eric Gordon from last year’s squad?

KT: I talk to D.J. every once in a while. They were both really good guys; I think that’s why they got drafted as high as they did. Along with their great ability, they were character guys. I keep in contact with D.J. D.J. got every rebound and was a dominant force for us, and Eric drew a lot of fouls and got a lot of easy points for us.

DS: What are you like away from the hardwood?

KT: I’m probably hanging out, playing video games, things of that sort. I play on PS2 and my favorite game is NCAA Football.

DS: What’s your favorite movie and why?

KT: I’m going to go with Happy Gilmore. It’s funny, I used to watch it a lot when I was younger.

DS: What kind of music do you like and who is your favorite artist or band?

KT: I don’t really have any favorite music, artist, band or song. I just listen to whatever, really. But the guys have been listening to a lot of rap so far.

DS: What’s the best part about being a student-athlete at Indiana?

KT: Being a basketball player, it’s great being part of the tradition at Indiana – all of the championships and all of the great players who have played there before.

DS: What do you think about the candy cane colored warm-up pants that Indiana wears?

KT: I enjoy it. I grew up in Indiana so I grew up watching that. It’s just part of the tradition I embrace.

DS: What do you plan to do after graduating in the spring?

KT: Not really for sure right now. I’m leaning towards getting involved in coaching at the collegiate or professional level. After the season, I’ll talk to Coach Crean about it and see what he can do to help me.

DS: The Big Ten has a plethora of great arenas. Which is your favorite and why?

KT: Besides Assembly Hall, I think playing at either Wisconsin (Kohl Center) or Michigan State (Breslin Center) were great. The environment was awesome, student sections and all that.

DS: What are home games like at Assembly Hall?

KT: One time it got so loud a few years ago that I couldn’t even hear the person next to me talk.

matthewforman2007@u.northwestern.edu

Comments