This is going to be quite a week in coverage for Mount Vernon. My colleague Dan DeFrancesco featured his college notebook on former Knight Taylor Palmer, who has become a fixture for No. 18 West Virginia, shining as the team’s “Sixth Man” this year. Palmer, a senior, is even passing her wisdom down to freshman and fellow Mount Vernon alum, Lubirdia Gordon. For those who didn’t see the schedule post, I’ll be covering Mount Vernon at Scarsdale later tonight, so the Knights should see plenty of print in LoHud to start the week. Here’s Dan’s notebook on Palmer, with an additional note about Rye Country Day alum Carolyn Binder, who happens to be a Scarsdale resident:
By Dan DeFrancesco
When Taylor Palmer first arrived at West Virginia University in the fall of 2010 the amount of farms around Morgantown was one of the first things she noticed.
Cows weren’t exactly commonplace back home in Mount Vernon.
“There is kind of a farm life out here, which I was not used to,” Palmer said.
More than three years later Palmer, who is a senior on the Mountaineers’ women’s basketball team, has come to value the change of pace.
“I actually really enjoy my time out here and the environment,” Palmer said. “I really do appreciate what West Virginia has brought into my life.”
One place Palmer felt very comfortable from the start was on the basketball court. The 5-foot-9 guard has played in all but three games in her four seasons.
Entering Saturday’s game at Texas, West Virginia (17-2) was ranked 18th in the country in the Associated Press poll, its first appearance in the poll since Dec. 17, 2012.
“Every year has been special in its own way, but this year, so far, has been, better than my last three years as far as how far we can probably go,” Palmer said.
Palmer has been effective off the bench for West Virginia, averaging 11.4 points and 3.1 rebounds. She is also 28 points shy of 1,000 for her career.
The biggest difference between this team and West Virginia squads Palmer has played on in the past is the maturity and experience of the five seniors.
“I think the fact that we know a lot more just helps the team aspect,” Palmer said. “We know how to fight through tough games.”
Palmer has also passed on what she’s learned to her former high school teammate Lubirdia Gordon, a freshman on the team.
“I try to help her out as much as I can,” said Palmer, who was named academic All-Big 12 second team last season. “I just try to be there for her because I know it gets tough being a freshman and being away from home.”
Additional achievements: Columbia’s Carolyn Binder (Rye Country Day, Scarsdale) was named the Ivy League’s rookie of the week in women’s basketball.
Photo credit: West Virginia athletics
(Editor’s note: The updated AP Poll will be released sometime on Monday. West Virginia lost to unranked Texas on Saturday, so it will likely fall in the ranks. Palmer scored five points in the loss and is now 23 points shy of 1,000 for her career.)