By Joe Henricksen
Northwestern continues its nice blend of attracting Illinois products, along with a national and international recruiting flavor, as coach Bill Carmody secured a commitment from Nate Taphorn, a 6-7 wing from Pekin, Sunday night.
The combination of the current players, coaching staff and the one-of-a-kind academics at Northwestern was too much for Taphorn to ignore any longer.
"The guys there are great," Taphorn said of the NU players. "At Northwestern you get a great education and get to play the game you love. Plus, coach Carmody is one of the best guys I've ever met. I just respect him so much."
Taphorn, who has shined for the Illinois Wolves on the club program and was solid this past weekend at the Chicago Summer Challenge at Riverside-Brookfield, visited the Evanston campus in late June. Both Carmody and associate head coach Tavaras Hardy were on hand for several of Taphorn's games this past weekend. He is among the top 15 prospects in the Hoops Report's Class of 2013 player rankings heading into the July evaluation period.
In addition to Northwestern, Taphorn received offers from over a dozen programs, including Boston College, Colorado, Colorado State, Creighton and several mid-majors.
The slender but skilled Taphorn must continue to develop physically, but he handles and passes the ball well and has the ability to space the floor and stretch a defense with his perimeter shooting ability.
"This is one of the biggest decisions I will make in my life," says Taphorn. "I'm just excited. I hope to make an impact any way I can. I just want to win with my teammates."
The Wildcats, who received a commitment from arguably it's most decorated prospect in the Carmody era last week in point guard Jaren Sina out of New Jersey, continue to stockpile talent the program has never seen, as the Hoops Report indicated in a previous blog about Northwestern's recruiting fortunes in comparison to the past. In addition, led by the recruiting charge of Hardy, there continues to be a strong presence with specific in-state prospects that fit the Northwestern profile.
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