After narrowing his list of Iowa State, Memphis, St. John’s, Virginia Tech, and Florida State down to two schools, Shawn Taggart ended his recruitment after visits to his top two schools. The 6-foot-8, 215-pound combo forward from Richmond, Va., and prepping at Mt. Zion (N.C.) Academy has chosen Iowa State over Memphis.
“I just feel like Iowa State gives me the best opportunity of achieving my ultimate goal, which is the NBA,” said Taggart, the No. 48 ranked player in the Rivals150. “There are no guarantees that I will start as a freshman, but all of their big men are fives and they need a versatile player with size who can go inside and outside. I should be able to start as a sophomore.”
Taggart, who is a long, aggressive player and unafraid to mix it up inside, has the athleticism and skill base to be a terrific small forward. He certainly, however, needs to refine his skills with the ball and improve his range before he is ready to be a small forward at the next level. Already a very good power forward, he will be even better at that position as he gets stronger.
“Shawn has the skill level of a three/four prospect with size,” said Mt. Zion head coach Antonio Fozard. “He can block shots and rebound, and right now his jump shot is getting where it needs to be. For us, he will mainly play the four, but at Iowa State he will develop into a three.”
Coach Fozard also noted the impressive recruiting job of Iowa State head coach Wayne Morgan and his staff.
“All five of Shawn’s schools played an important role in his recruitment, and he played close attention to all of them,” said Coach Fozard. “But the great recruiting job of Wayne Morgan and his staff was the biggest factor in Shawn’s decision. He also really like the campus and having Tasheed [Carr] there made it a more comfortable decision.
“He considered Memphis hard, and actually, Coach Calipari was up here for a few hours the other day. I just think Shawn felt more comfortable at Iowa State. I think he made a good choice.”
Now that his recruitment is behind him, Taggart can focus on his development academically and as a basketball player.
“Now shawn can focus on his academics,” said Coach Fozard. “He is doing well academically and gaining confidence. He is going to qualify. He is working on getting that test score, and his GPA is 2.9.
“He is also spending a lot of time in the weight room, and he is getting stronger. He is also running his three or four miles and getting off 500 jumpers a day.”