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June 16, 2009University of Central Florida guard Jermaine Taylor was the third-leading scorer in the nation last season. Though he didn't play in a "major" conference, many believe Taylor has good chance to be selected in the first round of this year's NBA draft. This is the latest edition of a draft diary that will run periodically as he readies to begin his pro career.
The NBA season just ended, but the league's incoming rookies are entering their busiest time of the year.
UCF guard Jermaine Taylor is participating in a flurry of workouts in the days leading up to the NBA draft. He participated in workouts at New Orleans, Memphis, New Jersey and Philadelphia last week, and he has six more workouts scheduled before returning home for the draft.
The hectic travel schedule is somewhat reminiscent of Taylor's typical itinerary during his senior year at UCF.
"It's kind of easier than in basketball season," he said. "During the season, when we traveled, we'd have to take big bags and wear shirts, ties, suits and all that. Now I still dress up, but I'm not in a shirt and tie. I can be comfortable on the plane, and I don't have to carry those big bags. I have two small bags. I travel light, and it's easier."
The busy schedule doesn't give Taylor much of an opportunity to get a feel for the cities where he might be spending his next few years.
"I'm in for a day and I'm back out again."
Taylor has grown accustomed to the typical workout routine, though the New Jersey workout was different from most. Instead of working out specifically for the Nets, Taylor performed in front of officials from about two dozen organizations.
"I heard a lot of the teams talking about me from the New Jersey workout. There were 23 teams there, and they said I did really well out there. All the other workouts were the same as usual. I think I did pretty well."
Now that the draft is less than two weeks away, Taylor doesn't have to wait long for the potential culmination of his lifelong dream. Taylor said it hasn't sunk in quite yet that he's about to become a pro basketball player.
"I don't think it will sink in until probably a day before the draft. I think about it all the time. My life's about to change come June 25. It's going to change a lot. But I don't think it's hit me just yet."
Taylor wants to get selected in the first round, but most mock drafts have him going early in the second round.
"I really don't pay attention to the mock drafts and all that. It's really not up to them. It's just their predictions. What it comes down to is the teams and whether they like you. I don't pay too much attention to the mock drafts. But it lets you know that you've come a long way from the bottom of the second round [where he ranked in some early mock drafts]. Now they rank me at the top of the second round, and some of them have me in the first round. It lets me know the hard work is paying off."
Taylor probably won't be in Madison Square Garden for the draft festivities. He plans instead to watch the proceedings from his hometown of Tavares, Fla., which is about an hour northwest of Orlando, where UCF is located.
"Most likely I'll stay in Florida and have something small with my family and friends back home. Then after the draft, I'll head back to Orlando and do something with my friends and teammates back there."
Steve Megargee is a national writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.