On the heels of one of his most disappointing performaces in a Xaverian uniform, Pittsburgh commit Chris Taft redeemed himself in a big way on Wednesday night, collecting 22 points while helping his team trounce All Hallows, 61-39, in a CHSAA quarterfinal match-up.
Taft had been held up by Subway problems for Xaverian's seeding round championship match-up with Christ the King previously. Arriving late for that contest, the 6'10'' PF/C was held to only six points as CK pulled away.
Last night, however, against a scrappy if undersized All Hallows team, Taft got his due. Despite being double-teamed for most of the night, the Coney Island native played a major part in his team's victory.
While the CHSAA playoffs are the order of the moment, Taft has been working on his game, and his strength, in preparation for the Big East.
"The two things I'm really working on are my jumpshot and my strength," said Taft. "I can do everything else; I can jump well for my size, block shots, play "D", and score. But I have to work on my strength."
Xaverian coach Jack Alesi was pleased with Taft's performance after a lackluster effort against Christ the King.
"What you saw the other night was the exception," said Alesi. "Chris is the leader of our team, and our hardest working player in practice right now. He's the consummate team player."
Taft added that he has been hitting the weights hard and refining his game. He is confident that he will make an impact in the Big East.
"The coaching staff told me that if I work hard, I will have a chance to start," said Taft. "I feel that I'm going to start because I'm going to continue to work hard."
Pressed on Pitt's incoming recruiting class, Taft offered his thoughts succinctly.
"Watch out for Pittsburgh next year," Taft said.