SOR speaks with Taran Buie

With three scholarships to give out over the next two years, the class of 2010 is one that RU and its fans are eyeing with much interest. Combo guard Taran Buie is one of the headliners of that class, a player extremely high on Rutgers' wish list. SOR caught up with the gifted Albany, NY native to discuss his recruitment, and to see where Rutgers stands with the rising junior.

Taran Buie is just 16 years old. He told me that he stands nearly 6'2", and may very well reach 6'5" before he's done growing (he said his father's 6'8" and a half). Never having seen him play, one could only surmise from his offers that he's a player with high Div -1 interest.

I read off the offer list I was aware of to him: "Louisville, Maryland, Georgia Tech, Xavier, Penn St, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Wake Forest, St John's, Rutgers, Notre Dame, and Syracuse".

"Is that it? Any others?". He paused for a moment. "Providence, Seton Hall, Pitt, Miami … did I say Virginia Tech?" "Yeah, I got them", I said. He paused again: "All the ACC schools except NC State, Duke, and Carolina".

Taran Buie said all this quite matter-of-factly, with no trace of arrogance or boastfulness. (He struck me as one of the most down-to-earth and grounded young men I've ever spoken to.) He said he has no favorite at all right now, and that "come the winter I will probably try to narrow the list down to 10 to 8 schools".

As for Rutgers, Taran is being recruited by Assistant Coach Craig Carter. "He's a good guy", said Taran. "I've known him since he was at Siena, when he was recruiting my brother. I know him real well".

However, Taran said that Coach Carter is not the only Rutgers coach he's been in contact with: "Coach Hill and I have spoken a few times, and he's been up to see a few of my games", he said. Taran said he would like to visit Rutgers in August or September. "I definitely want to come down and see what the school is like".

Right now Taran indicated that he is more comfortable as a shooting guard, having played that position all his life, but he said he envisions himself playing more of the point in the future. "My high school coach (Rich Hurley), said he may try to have me play it a bit more, and that's what I may have to play more of in college."

It's no surprise then that Taran said that controlling the team (and the tempo) and setting his teammates up are the areas that he'd like to improve at. Conversely, attacking the basket and knocking down the mid-range jumper are the facets of his game that he feels are his strengths.

Since Taran has offers from up and down the entire Eastern seaboard, will distance be a factor when it comes to picking a school? "No", he said, assuring me that it won't be. What will matter are the usual factors: relationship with the coaches and teammates, and how they feel he'll fit in. He also mentioned, as most kids do nowadays, how "they can help prepare me for the next level".

He also said that immediate playing time most likely would be a factor: "While I know I may have to wait my turn", he said, "if I can come in and know I'll play right away, it would be a factor".

One other thing that Rutgers fans may want to keep in mind is this: As you know by now, Taran Buie is from Albany, and plays for Bishop Maginn HS. What many may not know is that his AAU team is the Albany City Rocks. Playing on that squad with him is a young man all Rutgers basketball fans who follow recruiting know of - a young man by the name of Tobias Harris.

"So do you and Tobias talk about the possibility of playing at Rutgers together", he was asked. "Oh, we definitely talk about it", he said, then adding: "Who knows what will happen down the road?"

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