The Masters may be just a few days away, but Penn State's newest basketball commit couldn't help but draw a golf analogy to when he gave the Nittany Lions his word Thursday night.
"It was like a golf match, like a Tiger Woods famous shot," Taran Buie said, joking in a telephone interview with The Daily Collegian on Monday. "I walked on the bus and I shook the coaches' hands and I looked [Ed] DeChellis in the eye and I said, 'Coach, I wanna be a Nittany Lion,' and the whole bus just shouted like the ball just rolled into the cup."
Three days after verbally committing, Buie -- accompanied by his parents and younger brother Davante -- announced his decision to come to Happy Valley in front of his Bishop Maginn High School teammates and coaches Monday in Albany, N.Y .
The junior is rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com and is ranked No. 17 among shooting guards for the Class of 2010, making him one of the highest-touted recruits the Penn State basketball program has ever locked up.
"I'm a basketball player, so we live for pressure, we love the pressure and we love the high expectations," Buie said. "It's definitely something that you gotta work towards, you can't get lackadaisical and just think things are gonna be given to you. You'll have people gunning for you, so you gotta just try to come out and play your hardest, and I'm looking forward to the challenge."
Buie told his half-brother, Lion point guard Talor Battle, his intentions not long after Penn State topped Baylor on Thursday night to win the National Invitation Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
"I was sitting in the game and I was thinking about it, and it just kept crossing my mind," Buie said. "I know this is the place I wanna go, so what am I waiting for?"
Buie's mother, Denise Murphy, said her face has been hurting from smiling so much since Thursday.
She recalled Battle and Buie standing under a street light outside after Thursday's game, when Buie finally pulled the trigger.
"They're looking at each other and I'm looking at them, and my last words I heard Taran say to Bubby [Battle's nickname] were, 'Are you gonna leave me? Are you gonna leave and go to the league?'
"[Battle] said, 'Brother, if you'll come, I'm gonna wait and get my diploma and I won't do a thing without you.' "
The timing of Buie's decision has caused message board chatter, with some fans questioning the legitimacy of his commitment because he cannot officially sign with Penn State before the fall.
But the guard remained unwavering Tuesday, saying it was more than just being caught up in the moment and doing his best to ensure he would be playing in the Bryce Jordan Center come the 2010-11 season.
"I'm 100-percent confident in my decision and my verbal," he said. "It's a very, very solid verbal, and I'm almost positive I'll be playing in a Penn State uniform."
Murphy said her two sons feel that believing is the key to everything, as they look to take the program to the next step.
Buie, whose Albany City Rocks AAU team played in New Jersey over the weekend, is hoping to lure some of his spring teammates to State College.
He said he talked to two of them, Will Regan and Pat Moore, after he made his decision.
"Pat Moore loves Penn State. As soon as I told him he was like, 'Yeah I know. I'd love to be there with you,' " Buie said. "But I'm not sure how Penn State is with the whole recruiting path or whatever, so I still gotta talk to Coach [Kurt] Kanaskie and Coach DeChellis about that and see what they think about him as a player, you know? I can't just try to bring him here if they don't like him for the system, you know?"