Junior to Watch: Chris Taft

Chris Taft has grown up as a Duke fan, so it's no surprise who has the early lead for his services.

"Right now it's Duke, but anything can happen," said the Xaverian High (N.Y.) junior.

The 6-9, 220-pound Taft, who has worked on putting some weight on since the summer, also has North Carolina, Kentucky, Arizona, Syracuse and Villanova on his preliminary list of schools.

Taft is an extremely athletic forward who has a similar body-type and game to that of Tim Thomas. He will probably play the small forward spot at the next level, unless he continues to gain weight at a rapid pace.

Taft averaged 18 points, 10 boards and five blocks last season at Xaverian, but will need to work on his footwork and strength before he gets to college.

Taft is a good student, with a 77 average, and is looking for a school that will offer him more than just basketball.

"My main priority is how much I like it," he said. "Is it going to be a school I want to stay at? I don't want to be there for just basketball. I want a good education, too."

Taft said he has no timetable to make his decision, but he doesn't appear far along in the process.

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