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The Battalion

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The Battalion

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Wade reflects on the season and first-team SEC; Teammates agree

Sophomore+G+Wade+Taylor+%284%29+and+senior+G+Andre+Gordon+%2820%29+celebrate+after+a+game+vs.+Alabama+on+Saturday%2C+March+4%2C+2023.
Photo by Ishika Samant

Sophomore G Wade Taylor (4) and senior G Andre Gordon (20) celebrate after a game vs. Alabama on Saturday, March 4, 2023.

After finishing the 2022-23 regular season, the No. 18 Texas A&M basketball program earned a No. 2 seed in the SEC Tournament, as well as a few awards for a couple of the players on the maroon and white starting lineup.
Sophomore guard Wade Taylor IV and senior guard Tyrece “Boots” Radford earned SEC Honors for their performances in the regular season. The two guards accumulated 556 points this year and averaged 30.9 points per game, the most out of any scoring guard tandem in the conference.
Taylor was unanimously named to the AP All-SEC First Team alongside four other athletes from the conference. Taylor led the team in points, assists and steals per game with 16.3, 4.1 and 1.8, respectively.
“It’s a blessing from above,” Taylor said. “I want to thank my coaches and my teammates, of course, for putting me in the position where I am today. A lot of work went into it. Not being able to make the freshman team last year to making the first team this year is a big accomplishment that I set at the beginning of the year. Fulfilling that goal means a lot.”
In his last eight games, his numbers have been astronomical. The Dallas native has averaged 21.3 points on 43% shooting and has doubled his free throws made per game to 8.5.
Taylor became one of only two players, according to a tweet from OptaSTATS, who has produced the following numbers in a five-game span, following the win over Tennessee on Feb. 21.

  • 100+ points
  • 40+ free throws made
  • 20+ assists
  • 15+ 3-pointers made
  • 10+ steals
  • 45.0% 3-point shooting
  • 90.0% free throw shooting

The only other player to do this was then-Davidson guard Stephen Curry in the 2008-09 season. When Taylor was asked about the statistic, he said that just shows the amount of potential he carries in his game.
“Curry is one of the greatest point guards of all time,” Taylor said. “To see me and him share the same statistics means a lot. That just shows me the sky’s the limit. Just got to continue to work every day and be in a category of my own.”
As for Boots, he finished the regular season second on the team in points per game with 13.3, tied second in rebounds per game with 5.5, second in assists with 2.4 and tied second in steals with 0.9. As a result, he finished on the All-SEC second team for the season.
What he didn’t finish second in, Taylor said, was being a leader and lifting up the spirits of his teammates.
“Boots helps me every day,” Taylor said. “Just his leadership and his will to work every day. Coming into every day with a smile on his face knowing that we have to get better today. I’m so glad that he got the recognition that he deserves.”
Taylor said he and the rest of the team are chasing one more goal by the end of the year.
“To win a National Championship,” Taylor said.
As for the rest of the team, it made sure to show respect where respect was due. Here’s what the rest of the players had to say about their teammates:
Julius Marble
“I feel like they both should’ve been on the first team and Wade should’ve been player of the year. I’m going to be biased like that. That’s the type of teammate I am because what I see them do every single day in practice and for them to translate that into the game, they deserve that.”
Solomon Washington
“I always call them the best backcourt in the SEC. Those guys work hard every day. As a freshman, to come in and see how much work they put in is motivation.”
Hayden Hefner
“Wade’s been doing that since I met him back in high school. Just to see him being able to flourish and being able to get the recognition that he deserves … all the long hours of hard work in the summer when nobody is even talking about us leading up to this moment … it’s just really cool to see a guy like Wade, even a guy like Boots who’s had a long career and is still able to perform and still able to be recognized everywhere he goes is just really incredible.”
Manny Obaseki
“Wade Taylor. No surprise with that. People just didn’t know, they didn’t get it or they didn’t understand. He’s been like this since back in high school. People are just now starting to see it.”
“Boots. He’s been the guy ever since he got to college. I am so happy for him, too.”
“They both deserve it. They both worked so hard. They both changed this program and I am just so happy to be a part of that and see them get to where they are right now.”
Andersson Garcia
“Those two men … I love them. I tell them if you got the ball, don’t worry about passing it to me. You take the shot and I’ll try to get the rebound for you and then you shoot it again. I just have that confidence in both of them.”

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