Talor Battle Q&A: 'The run we made there was so fun and memorable'
Somehow, believe it or not, it’s been six-plus years since Talor Battle suited up in a Penn State uniform.
One of the program’s greatest players ever, the point guard left school averaging 16.5 points, including 20.1 as a senior, 4.7 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.1 steals.
The three-time All-Big Ten honoree led the Nittany Lions to the 2011 Big Ten tourney final and the 2011 NCAA tourney, the program’s first since 2001.
Battle just finished his sixth season overseas, spending this past year with Atomerőmű SE in Hungary.
BTN.com recently caught up with Battle for an email Q&A.
BTN.com: You’ve played several seasons overseas, for a handful of teams, so what’s been your favorite stop?
TB: I’d have to either say Tel Aviv or Bonn, Germany. Completely different but both beautiful nonetheless.
BTN.com: A point guard yourself, what’s it like watching Tony Carr?
TB: First time I saw him over the summer, I said he can special. He has the size of an NBA point guard and he plays at his own pace. If he can consistently knock down the jumper, I think that’s where he will end up.
BTN.com: How great can he be? Better than you?
TB: Better than me? Now what kind of competitor would I be if I said yes? lol I’m rooting for him big time. We are way different, anyway. Let’s say he will be special when it’s all said and done. But I would have and will give him buckets!
BTN.com: You didn’t play for Pat Chambers, but what’s your impression of him?
TB: Our relationship has grown a lot more the past couple of years. He’s a great guy considering he never coached me. After my shoulder injury, he reached out to me wishing me well and a speedy recovery, and he didn’t have to. Just shows you his character. As a coach, I think he is much like me in the way I play – so fiery and passionate about Penn State basketball. I also think he is a great recruiter and has some talent there to make some noise in the B1G!
BTN.com: Hate to do this, but how often do you have nightmares about that Temple buzzer-beater in the NCAA tourney?
TB: That was miserable because it went from so high the previous possession to the lowest of lows. I still watch it from time to time wondering what if. But I mean everything happens for a reason. (Jeff) Brooks went down and Timmy (Frazier) played great defense, and the guy made a lucky shot. Hat’s off to him.
BTN.com: On the topic of the 2010-11 season, what is your best memory from the historic campaign?
TB: Honestly, it was the Big Ten tournament, without a doubt. The run we made there was so fun and memorable, because no one expected us to get there when the tournament started. And had it not been the No. 1 team (Ohio State) in the country ahead of us for the title, I think we win. We were hot, rolling along; it’s just not an easy task to take down No. 1.
BTN.com: Should Penn State consider making Rec Hall its home arena?
TB: That’s a good question. I never got to play there unfortunately, and I always wanted to. Pat has done a great job of implementing that back into Penn State basketball and the history it has. I know it would fill up every night if we did as to where it’s tough to fill the BJC. But the BJC was good to me over four years, so I love that place!
BTN.com: You’re listed at 6-0, but you rebound like a forward. How do you do it?
TB: 6 foot is generous, thank you lol. But no, I don’t know, I’ve always been the smallest guy on the court but believed I had the biggest heart. Therefore, since I was a young kid, I’ve rebounded the basketball, for one, to prove to myself that I could among larger guys. And more importantly I always want to help the team, and if I rebound we can get out on the break faster. But more so I’d say it has a lot to do with “Hey, little guys can rebound, too.”
BTN.com: Growing up, who did you pattern your game after?
TB: Honestly, no one. But my favorite player to watch as a kid was Hollis Price of Oklahoma. Just felt like he was a little guy who hit big shots. Loved him.
BTN.com: Are all the 3-pointers these days hurting the game?
TB: It’s fun, but it’s just like anything in life. In time things change, so either you change with it and work individually on your game or the next man will.
Favorite Big Ten rival to face off against: Michigan State’s Kalin Lucas
Penn State will return to the NCAA tourney in…: 2017-18 season
Favorite Penn State teammate: Steve Kirkpatrick
Best player you faced in Big Ten: Ohio State’s Evan Turner. (He’s one of my best friends and will be in my wedding next summer. Not saying that’s why he was a nightmare for us to stop. But he could never guard me. Tried but couldn’t lol.)
Top Big Ten student section: Boiler up! Hated those guys lol.