Terps Making Their Move on Dante Taylor

Two of the best basketball prospects in the Washington area reside at National Christian Academy in the form of sophomore guard Will Barton and junior power forward Dante Taylor. Maryland's coaching staff has made it known that the Terps are highly interested in both players, but it was apparent as ever Monday, when head coach Gary Williams spent two hours in the Fort Washington school's gym.

Williams watched both players, who TSR has profiled on several occasions, during workouts, drills and a scrimmage, and spent time chatting with Taylor and NCA head coach Trevor Brown.

"It went good. They like him a lot, they're going to follow him around this summer [on the AAU circuit] and they're going to recruit him hard," Brown said.

Taylor, a 6-foot-9 prospect rated among the top 40 players in the nation in next year's senior class, is also a player of serious interest for UConn, West Virginia, Villanova and Pittsburgh. Never one to tip his hand, Taylor enjoyed the visit according to Brown. Williams also expressed that he'd like to have Taylor in the fold as soon as possible.

"We'll just see how it goes. Dante kind of keeps it inside until he really gets to know somebody … He's not going to commit today, that's for sure. He'll probably commit at the end of the summer," Brown said. "[Williams] showed up, which is great. It's on them. They've just got to recruit the kid. He already told them he likes them and their style of play. The only thing short of that is a commitment. What else is there to say?"

Williams was joined by assistant coach Chuck Driesell, who has seen the 6-4 Barton on several occasions but was impressed by how much he's improved, Brown said. Williams was also quite impressed with Barton, who had an outstanding scrimmage. Taylor, meantime, had an off day by his lofty standards, but that did nothing to dissuade Williams and Driesell, according to Brown; he said both coaches came away liking Taylor's skillset more than ever.

"[Williams] expressed he really wants him at Maryland," Brown said.

The Eagles were set to go through a weightlifting and drill session, but after seeing Maryland's coaches walk through the door, the convinced Brown to let them play a few games. Brown, meantime, enjoyed speaking with Williams and said he welcomes Maryland to recruit any of his players. So even though Maryland basketball is in the formative stages of its relationship with the program, it's safe to say the Terps still carry a plenty weight at NCA.

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