Taylor King has been a committed player before. But that was before he played a high school basketball game and had a chance to be really recruited as well as evaluating all of his options. Now the 6-foot-7, 215-pound small forward from Mater Dei High School in California is taking his time. He's narrowed it down to six schools and has one more visit to make before seeing all of them up close and personal.
King, the No. 39 ranked player in the class of 2007, did the unthinkable two years ago. He verbally committed to UCLA before ever playing a high school game. King was the big name on the summer circuit in 2003. He shined at the ABCD camp. The kid who grew up in the plush hills of SoCal was hanging with the tough wings from Philly, New York and Chicago. He was trading punch for punch. Life was good for the 16-year-old.
Then the realization set in that he may have made too early of a decision. With a couple of years of high school basketball under his belt, King decided to open it back up this summer. He wanted to be like those tough Philly, New York and Chicago kids. He wanted to be recruited.
Fast forward to now. King has narrowed his options down to Duke, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Syracuse, USC and Villanova. Why this half dozen?
"I didn't want to wait and have a lot of schools recruiting me that I know I didn't want to go to. I didn't want to waste their time," King said. "With these schools, they are all good for my game that I play and they all have good coaches. It's going to be a hard decision. I've been through this before so I want to take my time and enjoy it. I want to make sure I love it where I go. I need to get a good feel for the coach."
King, a sharp-shooter from deep and a very underrated rebounder and interior player, is doing his research. He's visited all of the schools on his list expect Gonzaga. King spent last weekend at Duke's Blue-White game at Cameron Indoor.
"It went very, very well. I liked it a lot," King said. "Coach K is great. The whole Duke family was great. The game was really awesome. Everything was all good. I got a good vibe from everyone there."
The vibe began at a dinner with Coach K, King said. From there, it was all about the experience of Duke. He met the academic advisors, toured the campus and interacted with the players.
"Coach K is really genuine and he doesn't mess around. He gets right to the point and wants you to understand what he's talking about," King said. "He told me where they see me fitting in and we talked a lot about the academic side of things."
King said he's trying to make it to Spokane to see Gonzaga and visit with Mark Few before his season starts. King said he's not in a big rush to decide but knows the visits will help him when he does decide it's time, again, to make his college pick.
Talk to the junior and you sense he's ready for the upcoming team. Playing for a reality young Mater Dei squad, King is looking forward to working with his talented teammates.
He's joined by recent Arizona commitment Alex Jacobsen, a 7-foot-1 center. King also said he's excited about the potential of Travis and David Wear, 6-foot-8 twins, and 6-foot-7 forward Andy Brown.