So I was planning this whole offseason to be full of updates on the saga of Taran Buie’s recruitment. That’s not going to be the case. Taran committed to coach DeChellis, his brother Talor, and the rest of the guys on the team bus after the NIT championship game. He will have a press conference tomorrow.
The timing of his verbal commitment is certainly interesting. Some could say Taran got caught up in the moment of PSU’s NIT celebration and pulled the trigger. I, however, don’t think that’s the case. I primarily believe this because of Maryland’s recruiting actions. Forever, it seemed like Buie’s services were going to come down to Maryland and Penn State. However, Maryland received a commitment on Wednesday from Arizona G Terrell Stoglin (we offered him, too). He’s a solid top 150 prospect, but he’s a plan B guy to a player of Buie’s caliber. Why would Gary Williams offer this kid if he knew Buie was still available? My bet is Taran informed everybody of his decision except PSU beforehand and waited until after the Championship game to give PSU the good news. Maryland fans speculate that this was the case, as well.
A side note, I think Ron-Ron’s commitment is as solid as you get. In today’s recruiting world, de-commitments are an everyday occurrence. However, loyalty clearly runs high in Talor Battle’s family and I just can’t fathom Taran dissing his older bro. I know Talor has tried to emphasize that he wants his bro to go wherever he wants to go, but I don’t think he’d be a big fan of his brother going back on his word.
So just how big is this commitment? About as big as you could possibly imagine. Taran will easily be the highest ranked recruit coming into this men’s basketball program ever. The 4 star recruit is currently ranked 40 in ESPNU’s Super 60 for the class of 2010. He’s also ranked 53rd overall on Rivals and 60th on Scout. Penn State isn’t suppose to land recruits like this. But thanks to the Talor Battle connection, we have.
There will be much more on Taran’s game in the future, but for now, this is where his commitment puts us. We only have one more scholarship for the 2010-2011 roster. First off, look how ridiculously loaded in athleticism that backcourt is. Battle as a senior, Frazier, Buie, Babb, Woodyard, Marshall…there’s some serious potential in that group. However, we can’t afford to use this last scholarship on a guard prospect. Also, with David Jackson, Jeff Brooks, and Billy Oliver along with Woodyard, Babb, and Marshall capable of manning the 3/4 spots, PSU has enough depth there. We simply have to use this last scholarship on the best big man we can land.
Who that will be I haven’t the slightest clue. I know we’re after Dwight Powell, Markus Kennedy, and Ty Armstrong, but I don’t think the interest in mutual, at least definitely not in Kennedy’s case. Will Regan is on Buie’s AAU team, but he still seems like a UM lock and has listed Stanford, Arizona State, Maryland, and Michigan as his top 4. All I know is, I will not settle for another sleeper. I’ve been very lenient towards Ed’s recruiting efforts because quite frankly, I didn’t know how he could get anyone noteworthy to come here to play basketball. He’s had to scour the country to find sleepers who’ve been ignored by big time schools. That shouldn’t be the case any more. This program has top notch facilities and proper support from the athletic department (brand new coaches offices and player’s lounge). We finally have evidence of basketball fan support (36 busses to MSG). There’s also evidence that we can actually have a winning basketball team (school record 27 wins). While we haven’t made the NCAAs yet, we clearly are right on the brink of achieving that goal. Andrew Jones will be a senior when whoever this scholarship belongs to steps onto campus, so there will plenty of playing time available. We actually appeared on national television this season quite a few times, as well. If Lew Preston and Ed DeChellis can’t land a good post prospect with all this program momentum and recruiting ammo, I’ll have doubts whether it will ever happen. They need to get it done.