Southern Illinois’ guard depth has taken a hit for the time being after it was reported that Diamond Taylor has been suspended from the team indefinitely, the program announced on Monday.
Taylor, a junior guard, was charged with driving under the influence early Saturday morning, according to the release.
“I’m extremely disappointed in Diamond,” head coach Barry Hinson said. “We’re in the business of educating student-athletes and teaching them how to conduct themselves on and off court, and this is a significant setback.”
Hinson added in the statement that how Taylor responds to this situation “will determine his status going forward.”
The Salukis had plans to redshirt three other players, according to the release, so this Taylor business obviously doesn’t help.
Taylor averaged 4.3 points per game in 2011-12. By all accounts, he was their most reliable reserve, playing in 27 games and making nine starts last season. He transferred into the program from Wisconsin in the middle of the 2009-10 season.
The Salukis return a bulk of their guard play from last season’s 8-23 team, including seniors Jeff Early (19 starts, 8.6 points per game), Kendal Brown-Surles (16 starts, 8.0 ppg, 61 assists) and T.J. Lindsay (17 starts, 7.1 ppg). That being said, the 6-4 Taylor was no doubt going to contend for a starting spot either at the point or 2-guard spot.
Taylor’s fate will be determined down the road, but for a team that managed just eight wins last season, every last body — especially those with experience — will be needed to compete against the likes of Creighton, Illinois State and Missouri State in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Photo credit: Alan Rogers/The Southern Illinoisan