SOR Recruiting Update: Taran Buie

Labor Day weekend was a busy one for Taran Buie. The talented junior guard from Albany was up at Syracuse for their Elite Camp on Friday and Saturday, and then travelled down to Rutgers for an unofficial visit on Monday. SOR spoke with Taran afterward, and also his high school coach Rich Hurley.

It's a pretty safe bet that no school recruiting Taran Buie covets him more than Syracuse and Rutgers. Judging from the way things went when he visited them two weekends ago, both schools seem to be in very good shape with Buie, and will be there to the end in his recruiting process. It's a process he admits he's nowhere close to concluding.

"I'm still completely open", he said. "There is no clear favorite. I'm hoping to narrow it down". That sounds like a potentially formidable task, as in addition to Rutgers and Syracuse, Buie has offers from Texas Tech, Xavier, Louisville, St John's, Penn St, and every ACC school except Duke and North Carolina.

With one more year of high school left after this one that list is only likely to get bigger, and Buie said that "a bunch of SEC schools are starting to get involved. I won't be making a decision anytime soon".

About his time spent up in the Carrier Dome at the Orangemen's Elite Camp, Buie said that "Coach Boeheim just got back from the Olympics, and he was telling me how mature the NBA guys are and how they act. He was telling me how much he wants me there. The Syracuse guys were telling me about the school, and I know Paul Harris, and he called me afterward to talk to me".

When asked about the rest of the staff, he replied "I love Coach Hopkins. He's my man".

As for his time spent at Rutgers, he said that "It was good. I enjoyed myself. I love the facilities there, the people, and the players seem like they're a family. Also, as in the case with his relationships with the Orangemen's staff, Buie also seem to have an especially strong bond with a Scarlet Knights assistant coach. "I like Coach Carter a lot", he said.

The relationships he has with the coaching staffs at each school will indeed be paramount, as Buie said that "these are the people you'll be spending the next four years with". The chance for immediate playing time will also factor into the decision, and it appears as if Buie is leaving no stone unturned in analyzing things, stating that "I want to see who's there, who's leaving, and who I'll be coming in with".

His high school coach Rich Hurley feels that whoever is coming in with him will be coming in with a heck of a player. "The thing that separates Taran", Hurley said, "is his mid-range game, his ability to stop and shoot the 12-15 foot jump shot. You don't see that as much these days. Guys are either close to the basket or firing away from long range, but to see someone stop and shoot off the dribble like that, you just don't see that very often".

Hurley said that Buie continues to improve: "He's stronger. His confidence, as a result of the competition he's faced in tournaments, is sky-high. His jump shot is improved, he's added about three feet to it, his release is a lot quicker, and his jumping ability has improved".

"He's a great kid and a good student", he went on, noting that Buie has a 3.2 GPA. "He's a winner who'll be a great addition to any program", he said, pointing out that Buie has already won two sectional championships, and played in two state championships, winning one and being named MVP. Coach Hurley also confirmed that Buie had a good time at Rutgers, stating: "Taran and I had a good time. The atmosphere was great. He liked the players. He spoke briefly with Coach Hill". (Coach Hurley could not comment as well on his trip to Syracuse, as Taran was accompanied by his AAU coach for that one).

""We'll come back and watch them work out", he went on. "We saw the passion that Coach Hill has. We'll give every school a fair shake. We're looking forward to the process. In the end, Taran is going to go where he's most comfortable."

"Rutgers has done a great job of recruiting him", he said, but then added "But so have 8 or 9 other schools".

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