Basketball Recruiting - Justin Taylor an intriguing wing with plenty of programs pursuing
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Justin Taylor an intriguing wing with plenty of programs pursuing

Justin Taylor
Justin Taylor (Photo courtesy of St. Anne's-Belfield)

Justin Taylor came in at No. 69 in the recent 2022 Rivals150 update, and Taylor has had a steady dose of offers coming him his way.

“I currently have 16 offers," Taylor said. "But I would say I am in communication with Virginia, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Indiana, Marquette and Georgetown the most right now.”

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2021 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2022 Rankings: Rivals150 | Team | Position

2023 Rankings: Top 30

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IN HIS OWN WORDS 

Marquette: “I talk regularly with (assistant) coach (Dwayne) Killings. I actually had a Zoom call with him not too long ago. They tell me about how their guards have a lot of freedom, and they let them go to score the ball.”

Georgetown: “I am being recruited mainly by coach (Patrick) Ewing, and then (assistant) coach (Clinton) Crouch. Coach Ewing’s resume kind of speaks for itself, you know a Hall of Famer. I can also really tell he is a player’s coach.”

Virginia Tech: “I talk to coach (Mike) Young and (assistant) coach (Kevin) Giltner pretty consistently. I can see how I can fit in that style. They have a lot of guys run off screens, shooting 3s. Their pace is good. I think I could fit pretty well in that program.”

Indiana: “I talk with coach (Archie) Miller, and also (assistant) coach (Kenya) Hunter, who came over from UConn. I think I could fit well into their program. They have a 3-guard system, so I would definitely get time there. They’re trying to rebuild their program back to where it was and they see me as a central figure in that.”

Syracuse: “I talk to coach (Jim) Boeheim and coach GMac (assistant coach Gerry McNamara), GMac pretty consistently. We really just talk about anything, life, basketball. I talked with coach Boeheim on the phone a couple of times. Their guards have a lot of freedom to shoot the ball. They think I would fit really well in their system.”

Virginia: “I’ve been in Charlottesville my whole life, that is my hometown. So, it was big getting that one. They have a long history of guards who are similar to me. They’re playing style is a little slower than some of the other schools I am being recruited by, but I do think I could fit well into their program based on the past players they have had, similar to me.”

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MORE ON TAYLOR'S RECRUITMENT 

There are a couple of other schools involved with Taylor who he could possibly see making a move in the future.

UNC is a big one," Taylor said. "I talk with them pretty consistently. Purdue, Michigan and Northwestern, also.”

As for a timeframe, Taylor has an idea of when he would like to narrow things down and ultimately make his decision.

“I think I could see myself narrowing down my list this spring, maybe after I play a couple of sessions on the EYBL," he said. "And then I hope to make a final decision by mid-summer, late summer, sometime around then.”

Taylor also has an idea of what he is looking for at the next level and what really means a lot to him in this process.

“I want to have a great relationship with all the coaches on the staff, not them just being my basketball coaches, but also having a great relationship with them off the court, too," he said. "Playing style is huge for me, being able to be an impact right away and able to fit into the playing style.”

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TAYLOR READY FOR A SEASON 

This past week, Taylor's high school, St Anne’s-Belfield, announced it will be playing a shortened season.

“It was great news waking up to the fact that we will actually have a season," he said. "Right when I woke up, I saw that ... the school emailed us. So honestly, any opportunity to play now is a blessing. We have been practicing for a while now, so I think that we will be ready and just excited.”

His team will be playing a seven-to-10 game schedule, Taylor has set goals for the shortened season.

“The season is going to be shorter, but our goal is just to play as a team," he said. "Personally, I want to be able to be that leader for the team this year now that I am an upperclassman. So yeah, just lead. We have a lot a pieces who can contribute, so playing as a team … and winning, a lot.”

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TAYLOR'S GAME 

“I would say I am a versatile scorer," Taylor said. "I can shoot the ball, that is probably my best attribute, but I can score on all three levels. I have been working on my defense a lot, so my defense has improved. I think I can guard the one through four at this level. I have heard my game compared to Devin Booker and Tyler Herro, guys like that.”

“Justin is the epitome of a gym rat," said St Anne’s-Belfield head coach Damin Altizer. "He puts in the hours and his game and body continue to develop because of it. It’s exciting to think of where he can be in three to four years.”

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RIVALS' REACTION 

Taylor is a shot-making wing with good size. There is a lot of value in that type of player right now. Things begin with his jump shot, but he has done a great job developing the ability to play off his jump shot, with attacking closeouts and making reads. Taylor is good in catch-and-shoot situations as well as creating space off the bounce. Standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing in at 210 pounds, Taylor has great size. He is a high IQ player on both ends of the floor and has sneaky athleticism.