Shawn Taggart ready to exceed expectations

Big things are expected for Shawn Taggart and he expects even bigger things for himself.

Taggart was one of the top big men in the class of 2005; he can block shots, rebound and score in a variety of ways around the basket. At Mt. Zion Academy, he averaged 20.2 points, 10.3 rebounds and four blocks as a senior, helping Mt. Zion to a prep school championship.


His junior year at Mt. Zion, Taggart teamed with current Cyclone Tasheed Carr to form one of the best two-man games and lead Mt. Zion to a 30-1 record. While in North Carolina the duo roomed together and inevitably Carr was part of the reason why Taggart ended up in Ames.


"I knew when I talked to him he was going to be like a big brother to me," Taggart said. "He is part of the reason I came here. He's a good player and he looks for the big men.


"He told me I'm going to love when I come up here and the coaches are real nice."


Taggart choose Iowa State over Memphis, Virginia Tech, Florida State and St. John's, along with Carr the combination of the coaching staff and players made Taggart feel right at home.


"Yeah that's my homie," Taggart said of ISU head coach Wayne Morgan. "I love him like my daddy."


With the graduation of post-players Jared Homan and Damion Staple, there's a chance for Taggart to jump in right away and contribute, but that does that mean he's feeling more pressure?


"No, not really," he said. "We're all like a team, like a family. I love [my teammates]. They're like my brothers, they show me a lot of love and I show the love back; I can't wait for the season."


This summer Cyclone fans got a sneak peak at Taggart's ability at the Capital City League. The 6-foot-10, 225 pounder scored 43 points in his teams championship game.


"The competition was good and all but it doesn't compare to the Big 12," Taggart said. "I know I've got to build on that and continue to get better and better."


Taggart suggested he's been working on his defense, trying to get stronger and learning the plays.


"I think the Big 12 is going to be real good this year," he said. "We've got to play real hard."

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