Saint Joseph’s Taylor Funk plays during an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
LOGAN – Time to build for the 2022-23 season for Utah State men’s basketball. On Friday Ryan Odom announced the signing of Taylor Funk, a 6’8″ forward from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and a graduate transfer from Saint Joseph’s. Funk spent five years in the Atlantic 10 and comes to Logan, Utah for his final year of eligibility.
“We are thrilled with the addition of Taylor Funk into our program,” Odom said in a USU release. “He is the perfect fit for Utah State and our style of play. He is excited to get to work with his teammates.”
Taylor appeared in 120 games for the Hawks with 100 starts totaling 1,439 career points, averaging 12.0 points per game. For his career, Funk shot 42% from the field, 35% (277-of-785) from the arc, and 81% from the free throw line. In the 2021-22 season, Funk scored in double figures in 18 games, including a career-high 29 points against Georgetown.
Matt Gifford, who covers Saint Joseph’s men’s basketball for Hawk Hill Hardwood joined The Full Court Press on 106.9 The FAN to share what he knows about Funk. Gifford said Taylor will not be coming to Logan just to play a minimal role, that he will be vying for a starting job – and many think that Taylor will be taking Brandon Horvath’s spot. Gifford does believe that Taylor will score, but not from him creating his own shot.
“He’s not going to shot fake from 3, then drive to the hoop,” Gifford explained. “Laterally, his quickness is not his strength, and his ball skills are not his strength. He won’t be blowing by people.”
Taylor finished among the top-20 of the Atlantic 10 in scoring, averaging 13.2 points per game this past season. In all, Funk has scored in double figures in 65 games at St. Joseph’s, including 11 games with 20 or more points. Funk has finished second in the Atlantic 10 each of the last two years in 3-point field goal makes, averaging 2.6 per game as a junior and 2.7 as a senior.
“He’s a really good free throw shooter,” said Gifford. “I will say Taylor is a streaky shooter, but when he’s on – this guy could go 6-8 from 3, if Coach Odom gives him that kind of freedom.”
On the glass, Funk totaled 670 rebounds for the Hawks, averaging 5.6 per game over the course of his career. Last season, Funk ranked among the top 15 in the A-10, pulling down 6.6 rebounds per game. Funk logged 10 or more rebounds in four games a season ago, recording double-doubles in three of the four games. In all, Funk tallied 10 or more rebounds in eight career games.
“I know that people will see him as a stretch 4 but I would not ever attempt to put the label on him that he is soft,” Gifford added. “He will go and fight for rebounds.”
The Saint Joseph Hawks last season struggled, finishing 11-19 overall, 5-13 in conference play. Gifford said it’s a really good conference, even in a down year.
“This was a down year for the A-10, but it was still a year that saw Saint Joseph’s beat Richmond 83-56, and Richmond went to the NCAA Tournament and beat Iowa. It’s a good conference; there are years where they are a two or three bid league.”
Funk is one of two official signees for the Aggies for the 2022-23 season, joining former Sky View High School standout Mason Falslev, who will be returning from a two-year mission in Brazil.