Justin Taylor is one of the best guard prospects in the 2022 recruiting cycle. He has schools across the country pursuing, and has an important month ahead with multiple visits scheduled. We caught up with Taylor to get the latest on where things stand.
Q: How did things go at the CP3 Memorial Day Classic this weekend?
Justin Taylor: "Team wise, we didn't play as well as we would've liked to. We lost some games by two or three, so definitely some games we should have won. We also didn't have all of our guys so that hurt. We weren't that healthy. Individually, I think I played well. I had to be even more aggressive because we were missing some guys. I shot the ball well, my impact on the game was both defensively and scoring the ball. I think I was able to show a lot about my game, scoring at all three levels. That part was good, but team wise I wish we would've won more. Now we're off the whole month of June until Peach Jam (mid July), so we have a lot of time to get better until then."
Q: Any changes to your visit schedule in June?
Taylor: "The officials are Syracuse, UNC and Indiana. VT (Virginia Tech) will be an unofficial. Those are the ones I have right now. I could add some more, but those are the set ones right now. I could possibly do one to UVA. Villanova's been interested so we'll see. UConn previously offered, they kinda talked about it. Those are the three ones I might add to it, but I'm not sure at this point."
Q: How are things with Syracuse?
Taylor: "Still how it's been for the past year, since last summer. Coach G-Mac has been in constant contact. We've built a super strong relationship. I think going down there for the visit will be huge. Actually seeing him and the players and the campus in person for the first time, that will be huge. Them coming to see me in person too because everything has been virtual or online. So I know they're excited to see me in person in June or July. Things getting back to normal will be huge for Syracuse and the other schools. Syracuse, definitely, I've been a super huge priority for them."
Q: 2021 forward Benny Williams has been recruiting you to Syracuse. How has that been?
Taylor: "The connection kind of built last summer because we would do workouts with (Team) Takeover because we didn't have tournaments. So we would workout together a lot. That kind of formed it. We started talking after that especially after that Syracuse offer. Then we started talking a little bit more and then this year, he's going to host me around for the official visit because we're friends. But just him showing me around will be a lot of fun. He's definitely been recruiting me, talking about how special we could be playing together. Definitely something that looks like it would be exciting, so I'm excited to get down there and visit with him."
Q: UNC and Indiana had staff changes. How are things developing with those two schools?
Taylor: "With UNC, that was a shock when coach (Roy) Williams retired but coach (Hubert) Davis has been great with the recruiting process. Coach (Jeff) Lebo is my head recruiter. I'm excited to get down there for the visit with them. Just get a better understanding of what they're about. Obviously UNC basketball has a rich history so I'm excited to get down there. Indiana, coach (Kenya) Hunter has been my lead recruiter since last summer when coach (Archie) Miller was still there. Coach (Mike) Woodson's there now. I did a Zoom call with him not too long ago. Obviously with coach Woodson's basketball history coaching with the Knicks and everything, that's huge with him coaching at the level I want to get to. Coach Hunter has been recruiting me for a while now, so we've built a good relationship."
Q: How does the UConn offer impact your recruitment?
Taylor: "We'll see where it go. They previously offered so I think they'll probably start ramping it up soon. I'll see if I'll take a visit there or not. Obviously it impacts the recruitment because I'm going to consider each school, the offers. We'll see where it goes because I'm not sure if I'll take a visit there or not. The relationship I've built with them so far has been positive."
Q: Previously, you said you could decide after the visits in late June or early July. Has that changed at all?
Taylor: "I could see myself doing that, but with the live period and Peach Jam, might alter it just a little bit. As far as playing in that huge live period and then making a decision after that. Just because a lot can happen within that timeframe. The visits will be huge because that will help me narrow things down. But I think seeing where I'm at with the live period and possibly making a decision after that would be smart. I know it's kind of vague, but I think that's where I'm at right now."