Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wednesday Where Are They Now?: Taylor Coppenrath, Vermont

Ever wonder what happened to those college stars that couldn't catch on in the NBA? The guys that put up the great numbers or the guys that left early, and were never heard from again? Every Wednesday, we at BIAH will take a look at a former college star that never made it in the NBA, and we will update you on where he is playing or what he is doing. We're guessing the results will surprise you. To request a player, hit us up on twitter @ballinisahabit or via email at

Taylor Coppenrath, Vermont:

Taylor Coppenrath was a late bloomer in high school. The state of Vermont isn't exactly known as a hoops hot bed, and Coppenrath, who would eventually become the state's player of the year, didn't even make the varsity until he was a junior. Coppenrath would end up going to UVm, where he would have a great career.

Coppenrath took a redshirt in his first season at Vermont, meaning he didn't suit up for the Catamounts until the 2001-2002 season. It didn't take long for him to show what kind of player he was going to be, either, averaging 16.6 ppg and 7.0 rpg in his first season en route to earning second team all-America East honors. Vermont would win a share of the conference regular season title in 2002, but the Cats would lose to Maine in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

As a sophomore, Coppenrath would win the first of his three America East player of the year awards. Vermont was not near as successful in the regular season, finishing just 18-11 and 11-5, but the Cats would go on to win the America East Tournament before losing to Arizona in the NCAA Tournament. Coppenrath averaged 19.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg on the year.

Coppenrath's junior year was memorable. He averaged 24.1 ppg and 7.2 rpg en route to his second consecutive POY award. But midway through the season, Coppenrath broke his wrist. He missed a number of games, including the first two rounds of the league tournament, but he would return for the Finals, and in a big way. Coppenrath went for 43 points and 13 boards as the Cats advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where they would get knocked off by eventual national champion UConn.

As a senior, Coppenrath teamed up with point guard TJ Sorrentine to become one of the best inside-outside combos in the country. Coppenrath averaged 25.1 ppg and 8.9 rpg, becoming a finalist for just about every national player of the year award. Vermont would have their most successful season in history, winning 24 games and both the America East regular season and conference tournament titles. They would earn a 13 seed in the big dance, drawing Syracuse in the opening round. The Cats, along with the help of Sorrentine's "parking lot" three, would upset the Orange before eventually succumbing to the Michigan State Spartans.

After graduating from Vermont, Coppenrath went undrafted. He briefly flirted with the idea of playing with Vermont's ABA team before making the move overseas. In his first season abroad, Coppenrath spent the year with the Greek team A.E.K. He would average 10.4 ppg and 5.3 rpg with A.E.K.

After the season, Coppenrath moved onto Italy, where he would suit up with Biella during the 2006-2007 season. Playing alongside former college hoopers Reece Gaines and Taquan Dean, Coppenrath would once again have a relatively mediocre season, averaging just 7.6 ppg and 4.8 rpg. After the year, Coppenrath was once again on the move, heading for Spain.

He's spent the last three seasons in the Spain's LEB Gold league, the Spanish second division. For two seasons, Coppenrath played with Meridiano Alicante, where he would average 10.5 ppg and 4.4 rpg in 2008-2009. Last season, Coppenrath spent the year with Melilla Baloncesto, averaging a European high 12.6 ppg and 5.9 rpg. It was enough to earn him a contract with C.B Murcia, the third LEB Gold team he will play for.

With Murcia, Coppenrath will be suiting up along side Michael Umeh of UNLV, Josh Asselin of Michigan, and Chris Moss of West Virginia.

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