In this candid moment, Phillips apologized. Taphorn was intent on playing for Carmody, and the system that best fits his game. The three-star small forward from Pekin (Ill.) was disappointed in the decision, and Phillips understood.
"He (said) he had the utmost respect for coach but that the program needed a change," Taphorn said.
But at the end of the day, unlike Jaren Sina, Taphorn chose to remain committed to Northwestern. He's "still with" his letter of intent. Although he plans to meet the future coaching staff before finalizing his plans, this marks an extremely positive sign for NU's future.
As for Sina, the future is less clear. The three-star guard from Gill St. Bernard's (NJ) officially reopened his recruitment today. Taphorn, who speaks with Sina regularly, has noticed their frequency of communication decreasing in the past couple of days.
"I haven't talked to him for a while, actually," Taphorn said of Sina. It seems more and more likely that despite their closeness, the two will follow independent paths to arrive at final decisions.
This is not to take away from the importance of Taphorn's still steady commitment. After concluding his successful high school career, Taphorn looks to bulk up before arriving in Evanston. With increased size, the terrific shooter could play the 4-spot and fill that need for NU.
Taphorn did not suggest any particular names for Carmody's replacement, but stressed the importance of winning attitude. "(I want) someone who cares for his players not only on the court, but off the court," he said. "Northwestern isn't just an ordinary way. It's superb in every way."
And despite this setback, Taphorn will almost certainly be around to watch this program rebuild.