Chris Taft was not able to help his team upend Rice High School yesterday. But Taft was the main reason why Xaverian had managed to advance this far in the NYCHSAA playoffs. Taft spearheaded Xaverian's attack in a
comfortable 66-49 win over nationally-ranked St.
Raymond's last night at the CHSAA quarterfinals at
Iona College last week. Taft had his way with the Ravens inside,
tallying 23 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
Taft's size and agility are hard to combat in the
post. The 6-9, 225-pounder is excellent at sealing his
man, equipped with a bulky frame and good strength.
Taft was very active around the rim last night,
snatching scores of rebounds for dunks and stickbacks,
but also displayed a burgeoning post repertoire and
the ability to step out to around the foul line and
Early on in the recruiting process, Taft, only a
junior, is being bombarded with mail, having collected
"five or six shoe-boxes full" by his count. St.
John's, Syracuse, Louisville, Kentucky, Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina, Michigan St., Pitt,
Villanova and Rutgers are just a few who expressed interest.
Villanova head coach Jay Wright and Georgia Tech head
coach Paul Hewitt were on hand to see Xaverian play
Molloy two weeks ago, while a member of Villanova's
staff was on hand for the Brooklyn-Queens seeding
round last week, as Xaverian took on Christ the King.
Last night, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and Seton
Hall head coach Louis Orr were in attendance.
recruiting Rice big man Shagari Alleyne and point
guard Jason Wingate, but may have also been there to
check out Taft, while Boeheim was seen talking with
Xaverian coach Jack Elisi after the game.
Taft is averaging 21 points and 12 rebounds for
Xaverian, who has to be considered one of the
favorites for the Catholic League city title after
their convincing win over St. Raymond's. The native of
Coney Island carries a 79 GPA in the classroom and
will take the SAT for the first time in May.
Taft played this summer with the Brooklyn Bridge
AAU program along with Lincoln High School point guard