Taggart Set to Visit Iowa State

This will be a big football weekend in Ames as Iowa State hosts Northern Illinois at Jack Trice Stadium. But it will also be just as huge for Wayne Morgan's basketball program, as it hosts Mount Zion (N.C.) power forward Shawn Taggart on an official visit.

According to AAU coach Tony Squire, Shawn Taggart was en route to Iowa Thursday night to begin his official visit, which will include a stop at the football game on Saturday. Taggart is set to return home on Sunday.

The versatile big man will also get the opportunity to compare visits, as he is coming off a very positive trip to Memphis last weekend. Taggart still has official visits to Virginia Tech, Florida State, and St. John's in the weeks following his stop in Ames.

"This is going to be a great weekend for him," said Taggart's AAU coach Tony Squire. "He will have gone somewhere else and can start seeing what the differences are, how he will fit in as a player on the team, how many minutes he can get, and what the guard situation looks like. You want to be able to play and see that guys will share the ball.

"I do know that he had a fantastic visit at Memphis. They laid it out for him there, with the support at the football games, playing with some of the other players, and hanging out. Memphis has set the tone, that's for sure."

Cyclone head coach Wayne Morgan visited Mount Zion last week to watch Taggart work out, and to show the talented 6-foot-9 forward just how much emphasis is being placed on recruiting him.

"He's getting fonder and fonder of Coach Morgan the more he talks to him," Squire said. "He told me that the visit went real well before he left and went to Memphis."

In addition to the strong relationships Morgan and assistant Darryl Sharp have built, ISU will have freshman guard Tasheed Carr on board to help Taggart feel comfortable. Carr and Taggart were teammates at Mount Zion last season.

"In this business of recruiting, when kids are just getting to know somebody in a couple months and then you have to make a decision, no one else has the trump card like him knowing a Tasheed Carr," Squire said. "I'm not saying that's the only thing, but that helps when you're coming into an unknown. When you've got somebody that you've been playing with and know a little bit, they can fill you in on pretty much all the other stuff."

The Cyclones have one scholarship remaining for the incoming class of 2005-06, and will look to add a big man for that final spot. Taggart has emerged as the top priority for Morgan in filling that void.

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