Moctoberfest Day 29: Johnny Taylor 1st Round NBA Draft Pick

Moctoberfest is a month-long celebration of Chattanooga Mocs men's basketball. It includes historical moments, social media interactions and introduction to UTC's freshmen among the myriad of video tributes and stories.

Day 29 focuses on a very special individual. That is Johnny Taylor, the only first round NBA draft pick in the history of Chattanooga's storied program.

Taylor was a junior college transfer that joined the Mocs in 1995-96. After a lackluster 15-12 season, he keyed one of the memorable Mocs moments that most certainly stands the test of time.

The 6-7 forward, who was a native of Chattanooga and prepped at Howard High School, led the Mocs to a 24-11 record, SoCon South Division Championship, SoCon Tourney Title and the epic Sweet 16 run in the NCAA Tournament.

Taylor helped turn around a season that began with a 5-7 start. After a disappointing loss to Canisius in the Dr Pepper Classic Championship game, UTC won 11 straight games. It closed the season winning seven straight before losing to Providence, 71-65, in the NCAA Sweet 16.

That's highlight reel material for any former Moc, but Taylor took it a step further. He became Chattanooga's first student-athlete to get drafted in the first round of a professional draft. He was the 17th pick of the 1997 NBA Draft going to the Orlando Magic.

Taylor played four seasons in the NBA before going overseas to ply his craft. He was still active last season playing for Al Ahli in Bahrain.

Click the video link for a look into that special night for Johnny.

He is one of 12 SoCon student-athletes to be drafted in the first round in the long history of the league. In the modern era, he is one of three (Taylor, Kevin Martin, WCU, 2004, Stephen Curry, Davidson, 2009).

Chattanooga opens the season Monday, November 12, against Tennessee Temple in McKenzie Arena at 7 p.m. Season tickets for a school-record 18-game home slate are available. Call 266-MOCS (6627), go online here at or stop by the Gate One McKenzie Arena Ticket Office. Single-game tickets are also on sale now. is the official website of the Chattanooga Mocs.  The Mocs can also be followed on their official Facebook page (ChattanoogaMocs), or on Twitter (@GoMocsMBB & @GoMocs).

Find out how to join the UTC Mocs Club and support more than 300 student-athletes by clicking here.

1 - First NCAA DI Game
2 - Walter "Moose" McGary
3 - Stephen McDowell
4 - 1980 Recruiting Class
5 - Gerald Wilkins 4-point Play
6 - Social Media Factoid: UTC's 10 NCAA appearances are the most in the SoCon since joining the league in 1977-78. Leaders: Chattanooga 10, Davidson 7, ETSU 6, Marshall 3, App State 2, Furman 2, Wofford 2, Western Carolina 1, UNCG 1 and College of Charleston 1. Sources: &
7 - LeVert Threats to Keith Nelson Buzzer-Beater
8 - 1st NCAA Tournament Win
9 - Social Media Factoid: Today's Moctoberfest Factoid is in honor of tomorrow's 30 minutes or less ticket promotion. Derrick Kirce holds the UTC record for career 30-point games with 5 in his 2 seasons (1990-91). He scored 1,113 points which is a school record for a two-year player averaging 19.5 points per contest, another all-time leading mark. Chad Copeland (1993-94) is the only Moc with back-to-back 30-pt games. He scored 30 in a home win over Southern Miss on Jan. 2, 1994 and followed with 33 keying a one-point road win three nights later at Furman. Sources: &
10 - Drazen Zlovaric  Makes ESPN Top 10 Plays
11 - TRIVIA GIVEAWAY: Who led the Mocs in scoring in the two 1997 NCAA Tournament wins over Georgia and Illinois? Answer: Willie Young with 39 (24 vs. UGa/15 vs. Illini).
12 - Meet Gee McGhee
13 - Ty Patterson Beats Shot Clock in 2009 SoCon Championship Game
14 - Meet Alex Bran
15 - Meet Eric Robertson
16 - 1985 NIT Quarterfinalists
17 - Deal's Pass to Wilkins in 1985 NIT at Lamar
18 - TRIVIA GIVEAWAY: What Southern Conference opponent have the Mocs played the most in their history? Answer: Samford, 83 games (48-35). Western Carolina is second with 78 followed by Appalachian State (72) and The Citadel (70). The Catamounts are the most frequent SoCon regular season opponent with 64 games with UTC holding a 46-18 record in those league contests.
19 - Dontay Hampton Coast to Coast Game Winner
20 - Social Media Factoid: Today's Moctoberfest Factoid keys on the long list of professional players that Chattanooga has produced over the years. There are currently 16 former Mocs active in professional leagues all over the globe. Click here for a list of NBA Draft Picks and recent UTC players in the pros. Sources: &
21 - Chris Mims Game Winner in 1997 SoCon Championship
22 - Meet Farad Cobb
23 - Remembering the NCAA Sweet 16 Team
24 - Meet Casey Jones
25 - TRIVIA GIVEAWAY: Last season Keegan Bell became the 3rd Moc to record a triple-double in a game with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists at College of Charleston. Name the other two. ANSWER: Tim Brooks & Gary Robb. Robb set the school record with 17 assists vs Southern to go with 13 pts & 10 reb in the 1992 Dr Pepper Classic. Tim Brooks had the 1st with 16 pts, 10 reb & 16 ast at Western Carolina on Feb 1, 1992.
26 - Mindaugas Katelynas Captures NCAA Slam Dunk Championship
27 - 2009 Tourney Run Nets New Fanatic
28 - Championship Tradition
29 - Johnny Taylor Is Selected in the 1st Round of the 1997 NBA Draft
31 - Mocs Top Moments
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