Taison Chatman, a 6-foot-5, 185-pound junior guard of Fridley (MN) Totino-Grace is considered the top player in the state of Minnesota in the Class of 2023. Chatman has a scholarship offer from Minnesota and attended several Gopher home games this past season.
Chatman averaged 13.5 points per game this season as the Eagles finished 26-6 and won their first ever Class AAA title, defeating DeLaSalle 50-44 in the title game. He averaged 13.0 points and 4.7 rebounds in the three state tournament games.
Chatman averaged 12.6 points as he scored in double figures in 14 of 20 games as a sophomore, including a season-best 24 points versus Maple Grove in the season opener.
GopherHole caught up with Chatman Thursday after the practice with D1 Minnesota to learn the latest about winning the state title, his recruitment and upcoming AAU season.
GopherHole: You won the state title 12 days ago. What is the feeling like now?
Taison Chatman: At first, I was really happy, actually. I was happy with the way the season went, but now it is the AAU season, so I can switch gears. I’m still happy that we won, but I’m in AAU mode.
GopherHole: Back in the day, Totino was known as a football school. What has the reaction been, especially with the girl’s team also winning the state title, when you got back to school and from your other classmates?
Taison Chatman: The whole community is proud. That was the first time we had been to state in a while. The girl’s won it, too, so for us to win both 3A boy’s and girl’s was pretty big for our community.
GopherHole: After the girl’s won, did they put a little pressure on you guys a little bit?
Taison Chatman: Not really. We just had to come out and play our game. We knew that we had a good shot at state.
GopherHole: You had some tough games with Columbia Heights in the section finals and the state championship game, you were down by four with four minutes to go. What was the feeling going into that last couple of minutes when you were down?
Taison Chatman: We just got to play. We just got to play our best. We didn’t know what come happen. We just played our hearts out. We knew it was our last game, especially with the seniors on the team. We didn’t want to go out with a loss, so we just gave it everything we had and we came out with a win.
GopherHole: What’s the latest on your recruitment. How many offers are you up to right now?
Taison Chatman: I’m still at nine right now. (Minnesota, Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Louisville, Nebraska, Marquette, Iowa and Iowa State). (He picked up offers from Washington State and Northwestern since this interview)
GopherHole: What is the latest offer?
Taison Chatman: Texas.
GopherHole: What are you hoping to show this spring and summer to college coaches. I know that they are going to be able to watch you this weekend?
Taison Chatman: Just going to show that I have improved since last year. I think that I have improved quite a lot and continue to showcase my skill set.
GopherHole: What’s the biggest difference you think in your game from last year at this time to today?
Taison Chatman: For me, strength. I put on about 15 pounds since last year.
GopherHole: You are getting into the mix of recruitment now with your senior season coming up? Have you thought about when you would even try to decide on a school yet or have you thought that far?
Taison Chatman: Not that far. Still taking it one day at a time.
GopherHole: Did you have a chance to go to many games? I know it was tough with your schedule.
Taison Chatman: I went to Iowa. I took an unofficial there, but other than that, I was too busy in the season.
GopherHole: Did you go to any Gopher games?
Taison Chatman: I went to a few.
GopherHole: What are going to be the main factors that make you pick School A over School B or School C?
Taison Chatman: I would say relationship with the coaches would be a big one and then playing style would be big, too.
GopherHole: I know that Minnesota with Coach Johnson has put a priority on getting the top Minnesota kids to stay in-state a big thing. He has got three Minnesota kids (Braden Carrington, Joshua Ola-Joseph and Pharrel Payne) coming in next year. Is that something that he and the coaching staff has talked to you about?
Taison Chatman: Yes. They want a big-time hometown kid to play for the hometown team. He talked a lot about it and we are just keeping our relationship.
GopherHole: What is it going to mean to you when you walk out on that court for your first college game?
Taison Chatman: It’s going to mean a lot. Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of playing college basketball at the highest level, so it would definitely mean a lot to me and my family.
GopherHole: You come from such a basketball family. Your dad played college basketball and your brother is playing. Is that where you got the love of the game from them?
Taison Chatman: Basketball was put in my hands really, really young, so I kind of took it and ran with it and like you said, I come from a basketball family, so it is kind of in my genes.
GopherHole: Do you think that helps you in a way with recruiting because you can talk to those two since they have been through it? Does that make it a little bit easier?
Taison Chatman: Yes, definitely. They help me out with recruiting. Little tips.