Duquesne forward Kellon Taylor will not play basketball for the Dukes for the rest of the 2018-19 season, head coach Keith Dambrot said on Tuesday.
Taylor, who has played wide receiver for the Duquesne football team and power forward for the Dukes basketball team, will focus on football going forward and will not play in any more games, but will remain with the basketball team as a practice player.
“Kellon made a personal business decision that he just wanted to practice just to stay sharp for football and put all his eggs into football, which is fine with us,” Dambrot said after practice on Tuesday. “He’s been an integral part of our team. It’s good to have him around. … It’s a good deal for him — it keeps him in shape — and it’s a good deal for us, because the guys like having him around.”
In his time as a two-sport athlete at Duquesne, Taylor has not joined the basketball team until football season has completed, and with the Dukes making it to the second round of the FCS playoffs this season, that didn’t happen until Dec. 9.
Taylor has not played in any of the Dukes’ last three games. In seven games this season, he averaged 7.9 minutes, 0.9 point and 1.4 rebounds per game.
In some ways, Dambrot said, not having Taylor available will simply his rotation going forward and make it easier for him to find playing time for his three freshman forwards.
“It takes a little pressure off me, because Kellon is a good player,” Dambrot said. “So when he’s there, it confuses me. This way, I play [Gavin] Bizeau, I play Austin Rotroff, I play Amari [Kelly] and we live with the results.”
Even after the transfer of guard Mike Lewis II, the Dukes had been using a 12-man rotation. They’ll now be down to the 11 available scholarship players (freshman Dylan Swingle is redshirting). By NCAA rule, Taylor did not count against the basketball team’s scholarship limit, but did and will continue to count for football.