Taylor talks Louisville commitment

Louisville got on the board in 2011 with a pair of commitments over the weekend from Indianapolis (IN) Lawrence North teammates Ryan Taylor and Michael Chandler. Taylor, an athletic 6'6, 205-pound forward, talks about his decision to commit early to the Cardinals.

"I chose Louisville because Coach Pitino is to me one of the best coaches in college basketball and he knows what it takes to get you to the next level," Ryan Taylor said. "After I get done with college I think I have a future in the NBA and he's probably the best coach to prepare me for the next level."

Taylor, a starting forward for Lawrence North, was one of several recruits in attendance Sunday at Freedom Hall to watch Louisville's 74-71 win over Kentucky. It was a big time environment – one that Taylor wanted to experience in college.

"It played into my decision a lot because I like the big environment and crowds," Taylor said. "I like the atmosphere, the people and I like their attitude."

After the game, Taylor and 6-foot-11 Michael Chandler discussed the situation and decided to commit early to Rick Pitino's Louisville program.

"I told (Michael Chandler) that I might commit after the game and he told me he was thinking about committing," Taylor said. "When they won it inspired me to commit. I told Evan (Daniels) from (Scout.com) that I was going to commit back in the locker room and after I did Mike told him he committed. Then we went in and told Coach Pitino and he was happy."

What was Pitino's reaction to Taylor and Chandler's decisions?

"He said it couldn't be a better night than tonight because he got two big-time recruits committed to Louisville," Pitino said. "He said he usually doesn't drink champagne but tonight he's going to pop a bottle."

Louisville already had a pair of commitments from Lawrence North players – 6'9 Stephan Van Treese and 6'7 Justin Martin. Now, Taylor and Chandler give Louisville four committed prospects from the Indiana high school powerhouse.

"I guess we just want to stay together," said Taylor. "It'll be good because we play with each other in high school and we have the type of chemistry that can win us a national championship."

Though Louisville offered Taylor earlier this fall, the Cardinals turned up the heat on Taylor after his strong recent performance at the T-Mobile Invitational in Muncie, Indiana against strong competition, including No. 1 2009 prospect Derrick Favors.

"They offered me earlier in the season and lately I've been staying in contact with them," Taylor said. "My team went to Louisville to watch them practice and I met Coach Pitino and said he liked how I play. Recently we played at the T-Mobile Invitational and Coach Pitino saw me play in the championship game and he said they like how I play and I fit their style.

"I liked Louisville before and today I committed," Taylor added.

While Taylor plays the ‘four' at Lawrence North, Louisville thinks his future will be on the wing in college.

"They probably see me playing combo guard," said Taylor. "I need to work on my ball handling but they like how I leave it all out on the court. I just go out there to win every game."

Now Taylor and the rest of UofL's Indy contingent will go to work on Indianapolis Pike standout Marques Teague, the No. 2 point guard prospect in the Class of 2011. Teague also visited Louisville on Sunday.

"He was happy for us," Taylor said. "His dad said after we committed that Marques would be down here with us. That made me even happier because that would give us a point guard (Teague), a forward (Taylor), a shooting guard (Justin Martin) and a big man in Mike (Chandler). So that may be a national championship."

Taylor chose Louisville over Indiana, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Purdue and Ohio State.

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