The Great American Shootout, which featured over 300 AAU teams and some of the best players in nation, was held in Dallas last month. The competition drew over 400 college scouts including SMU's Ulric Maligi, who was blown away by The Village School (TX) point guard Isaiah Taylor.
"Coach Maligi saw me play against the Dallas Mustangs, and I had a really good game. I think he was just impressed that I had a big game there," Taylor said. "A lot of coaches really started getting interested from there and called me that night. Coach Maligi told me I picked up an offer, and I felt good."
Taylor and Maligi's relationship has been blossoming since the two first started communicating over a year ago. Taylor stays in close contact with his SMU recruiter and said he would enjoy playing for him.
"Coach Maligi actually recruited me when he was at Houston before he moved to SMU. I think he's a really good guy," Taylor said. "I talk to him on a regular basis. We also text and stuff like that. He seems like a pretty cool dude."
With an offer in hand and strong sell by Maligi, Taylor is definitely interested in SMU. But the three-star prospect moved from California to Texas just last year and admits that he is not extremely familiar with the Mustangs. However, he is certainly aware of their new head coach.
"Coach Larry Brown is at SMU now, and he's brining in a lot of good recruits. I'm excited about that, but I really don't know much else about SMU," Taylor said, "I can't really talk a whole lot about it, but playing for a Hall of Fame coach like Larry Brown would be great.
"A lot of kids would love to go to SMU to get the exposure from Larry Brown. With Larry Brown, you have a great chance at making it to the next level whether it be overseas or in the NBA."
Taylor also has offers from George Mason, Lehigh and San Jose State and has been receiving strong interest from quite a few major programs. Taylor lists SMU in his top five and will be making an official visit this fall. He also plans to see Nebraska, Oklahoma State and possibly Penn State.
The 6-foot-2, 165-pound ball handler is known for his ability to penetrate and give defenses headaches with his quickness and speed. Taylor knows if he were to choose SMU, Brown could help sharpen his skills.
"I would be great to learn from one of the best, Taylor said. "He's coached Allen Iverson, who is one of the best point and slashing guards. It would just be great to work for him. I wouldn't mind going to SMU at all."
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