St. Anne’s-Belfield 4-Star Wing Justin Taylor Reflects On Busy Week

St. Anne’s-Belfield class of 2022 star Justin Taylor is receiving interest from the University of Virginia. ~ Photo courtesy of St. Anne’s-Belfield basketball’s Twitter page

Monday, June 15 was the first day Division 1 men’s basketball college coaches could begin unlimited contact – telephone and electronic – with rising high school juniors. It is an important day, and a hyped one in which coaches often contact recruits after midnight to express interest. For St. Anne’s-Belfield (Charlottesville, VA) star rising junior Justin Taylor, the experience lived up to the hype.

“It was crazier than I expected,” said Taylor, a 6’6”, 200-pound small forward who led the Saints to the VISAA Division 1 quarterfinals last season. “I didn’t expect so many coaches to contact me at midnight. It was a busy day but fun to talk to a lot of coaches. Throughout the day it was pretty busy.”

On June 14, Taylor boasted scholarship offers from Virginia Tech, George Washington, Old Dominion, Liberty and James Madison. Tech’s offer was given on June 14. The wave of interest brought in five new scholarship offers for the sharp-shooting Taylor, who is ranked by 247Sports and as a 4-star prospect and the no. 53 overall rising junior in the nation.

Maryland, a school Taylor has visited before, was one of the five offers with Marquette, NC State, St. Joseph’s and Bryant rounding out the list. Taylor explained that he had been in contact with coaches from most of those schools prior to June 15. Marquette was unexpected as Taylor had no previous contact from the coaches there.

Butler offered three days later, and Richmond came through on June 19. Butler head coach LaVall Jordan offered via a Zoom meeting with Taylor and his family.

“Half of it was just talking and getting to know the coaches,” Taylor said, recalling the conversation with the Butler coaches, who Taylor says are the only ones he has had a Zoom meeting with. “They talked about the program. The coach was talking at the end, and I didn’t see this coming, but [Coach Jordan] offered.”

“The head coach is really cool,” Taylor added. “Coach LaVall. Also, [assistant coach Emerson] Kampen. They are both great guys.”

Taylor provided his thoughts on the Virginia Tech offer as well.

“Honestly, I’ve been talking to them for a while too,” Taylor said. “It was definitely cool to get that one. I’m not sure some in Charlottesville thought it was as cool (laughs).”

The Charlottesville native discussed the interest he has received from the hometown University of Virginia.

“Coach [Jason] Williford contacted me at midnight. Coach [Tony] Bennett texted me too,” Taylor said. “Two days later, Coach Bennett called me. He said he wanted to wait until the madness slowed down. I had a really good conversation with him. He wants to be patient and take his time with me. He said he is definitely interested. Virginia is definitely one of those schools that does not offer you right away. [Coach Bennett] made an emphasis on the call that just because they don’t offer right away doesn’t mean they are not interested. When they offer, it means they really want you.”

Taylor has attended numerous UVA games over the years and has gotten an up-close look at Tony Bennett’s program. Where would he see himself fitting in Tony Bennett’s program position-wise? Have the coaches made any comparison’s with current or past players?

“I think I’m pretty versatile so I’m able to play multiple positions,” Taylor said. “I’d say I could be a 2 or a 3. I’ve heard comparisons to Sam Hauser. I went to the scrimmage and he played well in that. Also