Taylor signs with Vandy; Tinsley still undecided

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 at 4:00pm

Highly regarded swingman Jeff Taylor of Hobbs [N.M.] High School, who committed to Vanderbilt last week, signed his national letter-of-intent Wednesday.

The 6-foot-7 Taylor, ranked as one of the nation's top 100 prep seniors by ESPN, will join the team this fall.

“We are extremely excited to add Jeffery Taylor to our program,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. "He is an outstanding young man who comes from a great family. He had an excellent senior season and led his team to a state championship. Jeffery is a versatile player with great athleticism and I am anxious for him to join Lance Goulbourne and Steve Tchiengang in our incoming freshmen class."

Goulbourne, a 6-foot-7 forward from Princeton, N.J., and Tchiengang, a 6-foot-9 forward from Montverde, Fla., signed with the Commodores last fall.

Taylor figures to have a good opportunity to start on the wing next season as Vanderbilt attempts to replace departing seniors Shan Foster and Alex Gordon. Foster finished his career as VU's all-time leading scorer.

Taylor, originally from Norrkoping, Sweden, moved to Hobbs two years ago and lives with his grandmother. His parents and siblings still live in Sweden. His father, Jeff Taylor, played briefly in the NBA in the 1980s before continuing his basketball career overseas.

Jeff Taylor Jr. averaged 30 points per game while leading Hobbs to the 5A state championship this spring. He is ranked as the nation's No. 52 senior by Rivals.com.

Taylor chose Vanderbilt over Texas. He had also earlier considered Gonzaga, UNLV and Nebraska.

"Let's face it, if you toe the line with Texas for a player, you're swinging in the right neighborhood," said Dave Telep, national basketball recruiting analyst for Scout.com. "I've said it before: Coach [Kevin] Stallings and his staff are amongst the tops in the nation at targeting, locking in and adding players that fit their profile and style. This is a strong addition."

Vanderbilt also hopes this spring to sign guard Brad Tinsley of Oregon City, Ore., who reportedly has narrowed his list of schools to VU and Wake Forest. He is expected to announce his decision within the next week.

Tinsley visited Vanderbilt in April, then visited Wake Forest last weekend.

"It was a lot of the same kind of thing (as Vanderbilt)," he told Rivals.com. "I ate a lot, played with the guys and got a chance to see what the coaches had to offer. It was hard to get that all in just two days and it was a lot of information, but we pulled it all in.

"With Vanderbilt and Wake Forest, both have beautiful campuses and the academics at both schools are up there, too. Both head coaches are great guys and down to earth guys, too. Both teams have great guys and I really connected with the players and I seem to fit in with both schools too. Both styles of play both fit me."

Rivals.com ranks Tinsley as the nation's No. 16 senior point guard and 94th-best player overall.

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By: TITAN1 on 12/31/69 at 7:00

Great job, coach! Just keep reloading! GO VANDY!