Buie Mixes Business With Pleasure

While in town to see his older brother play, prized recruit soaks in the Penn State hoop program. The Nittany Lion remain among the junior's top five.

Four-star junior guard Taran Buie of Albany, N.Y., visited Penn State over the weekend. He was in town in part to see older brother Talor Battle and the Nittany Lion basketball team open its season against William & Mary Friday night.

Buie drove in with his mom and sisters Friday to surprise Talor.

“We told him that we were going to watch the game on TV, but we surprised him and made the trip down there,” Buie said. “It was a short visit because I had to be back for practice. We got down there for the game and left Saturday morning.”

The visit wasn't all for family, however, as Buie is also considering Penn State for college in two years.

“I went into the locker room after the game to talk with the coaches and players,” Buie said. “I already knew them pretty well, but it was good to see everyone again. I spent a few days down there this summer living with Talor and hanging out with all of the guys and that was great.”

The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder has been offered by schools from all over the country, including Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Notre Dame, Louisville, Texas and Penn State.

Many have wondered how serious Buie is about the Nittany Lions.

“Obviously I am seriously interested in Penn State, they are in my top five,” Buie said. “My top five right now is Penn State, Maryland, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and Texas.”

What does he like about PSU other than the fact that he has a family connection?

“I see Penn State as a program on the rise,” Buie said. “They just need a couple players to turn things around. I think they should have a pretty good year based on what I saw on Friday. They also have great new facilities and a beautiful campus and everything.”

The prospect of helping to build a program appeals to Buie.

“I want to go make my own thing,” he said. “I don't want to go to a school like UConn and be the next Ben Gordon or Texas and be the next D.J. Augustin. I want to go somewhere so that someone can be the next me.”

Buie is also hearing a lot about Penn State from his older brother, even though he would only play with Battle for one year.

“Playing with Talor for one year would be a great thing,” Buie said. “It is definitely a factor, but it can't be the only factor. If I don't have a great year as a freshman then Talor is gone and I would still need to be successful if I want to go on to play in the NBA. But I only played with Talor for one year in high school and that was great so I have to consider it. He really wants me to come to Penn State. He is always sneaking little comments in here and there about coming there, but he isn't pressuring me. He wants me to go wherever I want to go.”

Since he can't sign until next November, Buie is in no rush to make a decision. In fact, recruiting may work its way to the backburner now that the 2008-09 season is here.

“Right now, I have my top five and I want to go see all of those schools and then move on from there,” he added. “I have been to Maryland, Notre Dame and Penn State already. Now I just have to set up visits to Texas and Georgia Tech. But I have to focus on my season right now. I will visit Penn State for a few games this year, though, I know that.”

Buie averaged 17.8 points, 6.8 steals, 5.5 assists and 6.0 rebounds last year for Bishop Maginn High. He is a well-rounded player who believes his approach to the game is a primary strength.

“I hate to lose, so wherever I go, I want to win,” Buie said. “I hate losing, but even more I hate to see the look on the other team's face when we lose. We won the state championship last year, so that was a great feeling.”

Then he couldn't resist taking a good-natured jab at his older brother.

“We lost [the state title] my freshman year,” he said, laughing. “My brother likes to shoot too much.”

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