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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Transfer To Be Shawn Taggart Arrives in Memphis

Iowa State transfer ready to sign

By Gary Parrish, Memphis Commercial Appeal
Contact May 6, 2006

Any doubt about whether Shawn Taggart was really transferring from Iowa State disappeared Friday night when he arrived at Memphis International Airport, headed to baggage claim and snagged a ridiculously large black suitcase. "It weighs 71 pounds, but you should've seen it before," Taggart said. "I packed everything and then got the rest of my stuff shipped back home. I had to get out of there."

Apparently so. Now that he's officially out of there -- there being Ames, Iowa -- Taggart was all smiles in a makeshift press conference during which he addressed a number of issues, among them what other schools he considered before choosing to transfer to the University of Memphis.

"None," Taggart said. "As soon as I decided to transfer I was like, 'I just hope Memphis takes me.' ... I just told my AAU coach that I was ready to make that move to Memphis. I'm so happy."

When will he sign?

"As soon as they put the papers in front of me," Taggart answered. "I'll just pull the pen out and sign them."

A 6-10 forward, Taggart averaged 5.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game last season as a freshman at Iowa State while battling a slew of illnesses and injuries that hampered his development. His decision to leave the Cyclones program came after coach Wayne Morgan -- whom Taggart liked -- was replaced by Greg McDermott.

Taggart said he met with McDermott only twice, and that the two never bonded.

"I said a curse word in the gym, and he told me that wasn't allowed," Taggart said. "I was like, 'I've got to get out of here.'"

Informed that things are much different at Memphis, that cursing is allowed though more often players are the ones sometimes cursed -- particularly for poor defense -- Taggart just smiled and shook his head.

"That's good," he said. "That's what I need to make me better."

Per NCAA transfer rules, Taggart will only be allowed to practice next season. He'll be eligible to play in 2007-008 and have three years of eligibility left.

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