Friday, April 3, 2009

Buie and Battle to reunite in State College

Bishop Maginn's Taran Buie (above, with ball) made a verbal commitment to join older brother Talor Battle at Penn State in the fall of 2010. (Mike McMahon - The Record)

William Montgomery
The Record

ALBANY - Taran Buie has been looking to older brother Talor Battle for advice practically every day for the past few years.
The two were teammates on Bishop Maginn’s 2006-07 New York State Class AA runner-up squad but Battle bolted to Penn State after his senior season, becoming an instant star on the college level. Buie, however, never let him get too far away as the two constantly traded messages and communicated by phone and spent last summer training together as the younger brother budded into a major college prospect himself.
Sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden earlier this week watching Battle lead the Nittany Lions to the National Invitational Tournament championship in front of an impassioned arena packed with Penn State fans, Buie’s mind was made up. After the game, Buie - who had been coveted by programs in Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and the University of Maryland, among others - gave a verbal commitment to Penn State head coach Ed DeChellis, according to The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s student newspaper.
Buie will join the Nittany Lions as a freshman in the fall of 2010 when Battle will be entering his senior year.
The Big 10 Conference’s co-Player of the Year, Buie averaged 18.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals per game for Bishop Maginn, which completed its second consecutive 16-0 regular season. As a sophomore, Buie led the Golden Griffins to the 2007-08 New York State Class AA championship, including a thrilling revenge victory over Mount Vernon in the semifinals.
A 6-foot-2 guard, Buie can play the point or in the No. 2 spot, primarily a shooting position. In Bishop Maginn’s Section II Class AA semifinal game against Albany Academy on March 3 – a one-point overtime victory for the Cadets – Buie scored a season-high 30 points and pulled up his dribble to sink six three-point buckets.
Buie is ranked No. 17 nationally among shooting guards in the Class of 2010 by Scout.com and was heavily recruited by both Notre Dame and Maryland, having made visits to both campuses prior to his junior season. A standout on the AAU circuit with the Albany City Rocks, Buie was also invited to the LeBron James Skills Academy last summer, a camp reserved for the top 80 players in the country.
Buie’s family in Albany is considering a move to Pennsylvania to be closer to relatives in the Harrisburg area, but they have not officially made an announcement yet. With his commitment to Penn State, calling the Keystone State home makes plenty of sense but it could leave Bishop Maginn without its top scorer next season should Buie decide play his senior year in Pennsylvania.
The Golden Griffins have won 38 consecutive games in Big 10 Conference play, a streak that dates back to Jan. 16, 2007.
A sophomore point guard, Battle guided Penn State to its first ever national tournament title with a 69-63 victory over Baylor in Thursday’s NIT championship game. Battle made 189 assists, setting the Penn State single-season record. He was named to the 2009 All-NIT team and was a first team All-Big 10 selection on both the media and head coaches’ teams.
During Penn State’s NIT games in Manhattan earlier this week, ESPN’s announcers mentioned Buie by named numerous times and cameras cut to the high school junior late in the championship game, beaming him out to a worldwide audience. Although he has a year of high school left to go, Buie and his brother, Battle, together again, are hoping to team up and turn a football-crazed university into a basketball powerhouse.

Talor Battle (left) celebrates Tuesday's NIT semifinal victory over Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden. (Associated Press).

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