Anderson, Taylor to Join Valpo Basketball Program

Anderson, Taylor to Join Valpo Basketball Program

The Valparaiso University men’s basketball program has announced the additions of Trevor Anderson (Steven Point, Wis. / SPASH [Wisconsin]) and Kevion Taylor (Milwaukee, Wis. / Whitnall [Winona State]), who will join the team as graduate transfers for the 2021-2022 academic and athletic year. Both officially signed with the program on Wednesday, the first day of the spring signing period.

A 6-foot-3 guard, Anderson comes to Valpo after spending the last four years at Wisconsin, where he was part of a team that won the 2019-20 Big Ten regular season championship. He began his collegiate career at Green Bay, where he started the first 20 games of his freshman season in 2016-17. He sat out the 2017-18 campaign before playing three seasons for the Badgers.

“The decision to come to Valpo really came down to Coach Lottich and the relationship that I’ve built with him,” Anderson said. “He seems to have his players’ best interests at heart through and through. Coach Bowen was an important factor as well because when he was at Minnesota Duluth, I had three or four buddies play for him, and he got rave reviews as a coach and as a person. They will have my back for this final year of basketball and in my life moving forward.”

Anderson shot 56.5 percent (13-of-23) from 3-point range during the 2020-21 season and played in 68 games during his three years at Wisconsin despite missing much of the 2018-19 season with an injury. He averaged 9.8 points per game in his one season at Green Bay, when the Phoenix played against Valpo in Horizon League action.

“We coached against Trevor when he had a tremendous freshman year at Green Bay, so we had some familiarity with him,” Lottich said. “He’s excited to come here and take on an important role for us. He wants to get into coaching, so we’re thrilled to have him mentor the young guards that will be on our team this coming season.”  

The former Stevens Point Area Senior High School standout was one of Wisconsin’s most prolific high school players, scoring 2,360 points, which ranked eighth in the history of Wisconsin High School Basketball. Anderson led his team to back-to-back state championships and was named Wisconsin Mr. Basketball and Associated Press Player of the Year as a senior in 2016. He finished with a 100-6 career record.

“The Missouri Valley Conference is a wonderful league and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Anderson said. “The Valley had two teams in the NCAA Tournament this year, so everything I want to accomplish is in front of me. I’m excited to join a talented group of returning players. Coach Lottich spoke a lot about the returning pieces and his excitement for the future of the program. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish.”

Anderson completed his undergraduate degree in communication and will pursue a master’s in sports administration. His father and grandfather coached him in high school, with his father Scott serving as the head coach at SPASH.

“Winning back-to-back state titles while playing for my dad was a surreal experience,” Anderson said. “You dream about winning state with your father as the coach, so seeing that come to fruition was crazy. Another highlight for me was rattling off eight wins in a row to win the Big Ten Championship the year before last. When the final buzzer went off after our last game at Indiana, it was a surreal feeling.”

Off the court, Anderson enjoys visiting coffee shops, traveling and cheering for the Dallas Cowboys. On the court, he’s excited to provide leadership and experience to Valpo’s team this coming season.

“I have a high basketball IQ and have always been around coaches growing up,” Anderson said. “My dad and grandpa taught me the game from a very young age. Having my dad as a mentor throughout my basketball career has helped me see the game from a different perspective. I’m a true point guard and a guy who makes the right decisions and gets others involved. I hope I can contribute to the team as a floor general.”

A 6-foot-5 wing, Taylor spent the last four years at Winona State in Winona, Minn. He burst onto the scene as a rookie in 2017-18, earning the Winona State Male Freshman Athlete of the Year award. He went on to earn second-team all-conference in 2018-19 and first-team all-conference in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

“Valpo was very transparent, honest and trustworthy with me through the recruiting process,” Taylor said. “Coach Lottich was with me from the start as soon as I entered the portal. I made it hard on him because I asked a lot of questions about how I would fit, and he didn’t give up on me and was willing to explain his vision in great detail. Joining Valpo’s program will present me with a new challenge. It felt right, and I’m excited to be a part of Valpo Basketball.”

Taylor averaged 20.5 points per game while playing in all 13 games at Winona State in 2020-21 after knocking down 109 3-pointers as a junior, shattering program and conference records. He finished his Winona State career with 1,632 points, cracking the Top 10 in program history. He started 73 of 74 games over his final three seasons.

“Coach Bowen developed a lot of familiarity with Kevion when he coached against him at Duluth,” Lottich said. “We quickly saw that he’s a knock-down shooter and good scorer. As well-scouted as our league is, you need to be able to put the ball in the basket in a variety of ways. We’re excited about what Kevion brings to the table.”

Taylor is wrapping up his undergraduate degree in communication studies and intends to pursue his master’s in sports administration at Valpo. He was high school teammates with Tyler Herro of the NBA’s Miami Heat and the two remain close friends. Taylor talked with Herro about the decision to transfer, and the Heat standout is excited about Taylor making his way to Valpo.

“Shooting the ball from 3 is probably my greatest strength,” Taylor said. “I can score at all three levels if needed. I work hard and strive to be a good defender. I’m an unselfish player with a desire to win. I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this my whole life. To get the chance to play D1 means a lot to me, and I’m very excited to be a part of Valpo’s program.”

Taylor and Anderson will provide veteran leadership to an incoming class that also includes freshmen Keyondre Young (Del City, Okla. / Del City), Darius DeAveiro (Kanata, Ottawa, Canada / Orangeville Prep), Trey Woodyard (London, Ohio / International Sports Academy) and Cam Palesse (Waukesha, Wis. / Waukesha West).

“Going into the offseason, we knew we would have a lot of good young talent on our team in 2021-22,” Lottich said. “We wanted to add some experience to that group, and we had familiarity with both players. We think both Kevion and Trevor are going to have an immediate impact and play a variety of roles. We’re also thrilled with the maturity level of both young men.”