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Notre Dame Basketball

2020 PF Elijah Taylor Sets Commitment Date

September 16, 2019

After taking an official visit to Notre Dame, Elijah Taylor has seen enough and the 2020 Philadelphia power forward is ready to make his decision.

Prior to Notre Dame, Taylor took official visits to VCU, Seton Hall and Florida. He was supposed to take an official visit to Pittsburgh this coming weekend, but instead will announce his choice on Thursday, according to his coach Tahar Sutton.

We’ll find out what that means for the Irish when he announces that decision during a press conference at Imhotep Institute Charter School on Thursday, but it’s clear his trip to South Bend this past weekend was a positive one.

“From all that I’ve gotten, it’s really, really, really good,” said Sutton, an assistant at Imhotep, who wasn’t on the trip but spoke with everybody who was. “From everything I’ve heard from Andre Noble, our head coach at Imhotep, and his guardian, it was a great visit.

“He enjoyed the guys. He got a chance to get a better picture of how they see him, the mold they see him and how he fits to what they do, which is good. Obviously, he got a chance to soak up the campus and the atmosphere. There wasn’t anything that he didn’t enjoy or didn’t like hearing.”

One thing that did impress the 6-foot-8, 230-pounder was seeing exactly how he’d fit in with the Irish on the court.

“Their bigs play outside the lane a lot,” Sutton said. “There’s posting up, but not a lot, where traditionally, if you’re a big guy, you’re playing with your back to the basket predominantly.

“Their guys are setting ball screens and picking-and-popping, picking-and-diving. They’re always screening, the ball is jumping around, they’re getting a chance to rip from certain areas.”

Notre Dame showed Taylor clips of undersized bigs having success in the past so he could see what it would like for himself, specifically former lefty players like Tyrone Nash and Troy Murphy.

“I think they showed him clips of (Ty) Nash, Troy Murphy and a couple other guys and how they were used and how they fit into the offense,” Sutton explained. “That’s how they see him. They see him as a guy who can obviously be a high-level rebounder and energy guy. They see him as a guy who can pick-and-pop and make shots, can switch and guard different positions.”

The Irish also let Taylor know they see him as a guy who could really strengthen the culture they value so much within the program.

“Elijah is a guy who comes from a strong culture here at Imhotep, one of playing hard, playing tough, defending, being completely unselfish and being a team first guy,” said Sutton. “Those are all of the same things that they’re all about at Notre Dame already. They see him as being a guy who can accentuate that even more.

“He gives up so much of himself if you watch him play. He plays the game, he’s diving all over the place, he’s taking charges, he’s banging and battling for rebounds. Sometimes he’s going three and four and five possessions and not touching the ball offensively and he doesn’t complain about it. He’s just a guy you win with on all levels.”

Notre Dame also said Taylor could have the opportunity to get on the court right away.

“That’s another thing that was really attractive to him and to all of us as we looked at the numbers of what they have there now, what’s leaving, what’s coming back,” said Sutton. “Even the guys they’re recruiting outside of Elijah who may be bigs like Hunter Dickinson, he doesn’t get in the way of Elijah. He liked the fact that the minute availability is something that could also be there right away.”

The people in South Bend made strong impressions as well.

“From what I gather, he said the people were really nice,” said Sutton. “Everybody was down to earth and really helpful. Of course, the people who are around the program are trying to sell the situation, but from what I gathered from Coach Noble, he felt like for him, everyone was really genuine about what they experienced at Notre Dame. They all felt like that was a really big piece of it.”

Learning about the Notre Dame’s Business School was also “huge for him,” according to Sutton.

“He was able to speak with people about what their experiences were inside the Business program and the business models they helped them create and bring to life in terms of their own businesses. For him, he wants to be a Business major and that was big.”

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