King Closing In On A Decision?

With rumblings on the recruiting circuit that a decision could be imminent, there was certainly no shortage of media attention focusing on Mater Dei standout wing forward Taylor King in the last 24 hours. Late Thursday night the 6-foot-8 shooter from California spoke with TDD to provide an update on where he is with his decision making process.

"Right now I'm still considering five schools," said Taylor King. "They are Duke, North Carolina, Southern California, Gonzaga, and Villanova. I have offers from all five schools, and I am in the process of trying to decide among them. It's hard because all five are great choices."

With a final group that spans both coasts, King says distance won't be a factor in his decision. Instead he's looking for a combination of things in order to make this commitment stick.

"It doesn't matter if I go to school next door or across the country. I'm going to go where I can fit in and contribute early. Each school sees me in a similar role. At Gonzaga and USC I can go in and pretty much be a go-to-guy early on in my career. Coach Few is telling me I can just like Adam Morrison, which isn't bad at all."

And what about the three power conference programs on his list? Is their approach any different?

"Not really. I mean Coach K told me that I could play for his team right now. This year. Coach sees me as a very versatile player who can create match-up problems. I'm 6-foot-8 and I've got a seven foot wingspan, and Duke can take advantage of that and my skill set."

"With Villanova and North Carolina, they can take advantage of an opponent when they have a mismatch. They are telling me the same thing as far as how I can come in and create a lot of those."

Described by Scout.com's Dave Telep as a "long range marksman with size and confidence on the perimeter", King says he's looking forward to making a splash when he arrives on the scene in the fall of 2007.

"When I get there, wherever that may be, I'm going in with the mindset that I'll contribute to the team as a freshman. I'm going to go in and work hard to be able to do that. I know I need to work on putting the ball on the floor, but I shoot it as well as any guard and I've really improved my rebounding as well."

Averaging 29 points and 15 rebounds for Mater Dei, while shooting 80% from the foul line and 45% from the field this season, King has seen his stock take a definite upward spike in the past few weeks. It all culminated when he poured in 35 points in front of Krzyzewski, Roy Williams, and Jay Wright in Myrtle Beach. That performance earned him his final offer, from Duke.

"Coach K and I talked after that, and I've got a Duke offer. The one thing about Coach K is that he's going to play it straight with you. He's not going to lie or mislead you about anything. He's a very compassionate person. As long as you come in and do what he asks of you, you'll be just fine with him."

Despite juniors being unable to take official visits, King says he'll have a decision sooner than later.

"I've visited everywhere I need to visit for unofficial visits. I'll take an official visit next fall or winter to wherever I'm going. I'm looking forward to getting this done so I can concentrate on improving and basketball in general – not worrying about losing scholarship opportunities with one bad game. It'll be over by the spring, I think."

Once he finally makes his decision public, King says he's going to assume a new role: that of a recruiter.

"There are a lot of players I feel I can play with who are in my class. One of them I really want to play with is Kevin Love. We're really tight. He comes down and spends a few weeks with me every summer. He's a great player who works well with me on the floor. You have to double team him, and that leaves me open on the perimeter. If you focus on me outside, Kevin will pick you apart inside. We'd like to play together in college."

King is rated as a four star prospect by Scout.com and the No. 4 small forward in the country and No. 29 overall prospect.


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