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ESPN 5-star guard commits to Neighbors

by Richard Davenport | September 13, 2021 at 11:57 p.m.
Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors is shown during a game against Ole Miss on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, in Fayetteville.

University of Arkansas women’s basketball Coach Mike Neighbors landed an oral commitment from ESPN 5-star junior guard Taliah Scott late Monday night.

Scott, 5-9, of Orange Park (Fla.) Oakleaf, made an unofficial visit to Fayetteville last weekend and attended the Razorbacks’ football game against Texas.

“The atmosphere was amazing,” Scott said. “Seeing all those fans and how hype they are and how much they support their team, it gave me a really good feeling about playing in front of this fan base. That I would have people supporting me, I just know I will have fun in those student sections, too, when I get there.”

She said she fell in love with the campus and the wide-open style of play used by Neighbors’ teams.

“They were talking to me and telling they wanted to play me being able to create, do what I do and they really believed in me in being able to do that,” Scott said.

It was after attending an Arkansas practice and sitting through a film session is when she starting thinking about committing.

“I really liked how they practiced, everything they’ve been telling me it’s really true,” she said. “It’s not like some other schools say it but it’s not what they really do. … When [Arkansas] started showing me film, I was like, ‘Yeah, this is where I want to go.’ ”

ESPN also rates Scott the No. 9 overall prospect in the nation. Prospects Nation rates her the No. 2 recruit in Florida for the 2023 class and the No. 31 overall prospect in the nation. She’s expected to get a bump in the rankings after an outstanding summer while playing for Florida Girls Basketball program.

She averaged 23.4 points, 5 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.6 steals per game as a sophomore and led her team to Florida’s Class 7A state semifinals. She scored 20-plus points 15 times during the season and recorded her 1,000th career point on Jan 29.

Scott was first runner up for the 2020-2021 Class 7A Player of the Year.

She said she had a good vibe with Neighbors, associate head coach Todd Schaefer, and assistants Pauline Love and Lacey Goldwire.

“I want to go pro, they want to see me go pro,” Scott said. “I want to have a good college career, they want me to have a good college career. I feel comfortable talking with them. They’re really cool people, really nice people. I just connected with them.”

She chose the Razorbacks over scholarship offers from more than 30 other schools, including Florida, Florida State, Texas, Louisville, Michigan, Ohio State, Tennessee, Alabama, SMU, Rutgers, Notre Dame, Virginia and other programs. Scott was among 34 players invited to the USA Basketball U16 women’s team trial held in June.

Scott joins 6-2 wing Jenna Lawrence of Melbourne, and 5-8 combo guard Maryn Archer of Derby, Kan., as Arkansas’ commitments for the 2023 class. Oral commitments are nonbinding.

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