This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

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Catching up with Tyus Jones

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: May 27, 2013 - 11:19 AM

Tyus Mania continues. And the rising senior has given the masses plenty to fawn over, leading the EYBL in points (23.2), assists (6.8), steals (3) and minutes (30.8) a game through the first three sessions (California, Hampton [VA] and Dallas). He was back at it over the weekend, recording 101 points, 24 assists and eight steals in four games heading into Monday’s final matchup. I checked in with Jones to chat about the coaching changes at Minnesota, and what the next steps for him are.

As a reminder (as if you need it), Jones’ list of seven includes (in no particular order): Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Baylor, Michigan State and the Gophers. At this point, he has only set up one official – Baylor – which he will be taking at the end of August. Jones is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation by ESPN and No. 3 by Rivals.

When did Richard Pitino and Co. first reach out to you and how has that contact gone so far? He talked to me the same night he got the job, and I’ve just been talking to him every so often, just trying to build a relationship with him. It’s just a fresh start – it’s a little later than other schools, but I’m still considering them and just building a relationship and going from there.

Obviously, you have no shortage of attention around here – but to have him call you the night he got the job, that’s got to feel pretty good that he’s making you a clear priority. It meant a lot to know that’s what they were thinking about that early. It was pretty hectic, so I told him he didn’t need to feel like he needed to call me everyday as soon as he got the job and stuff like that. So like I said, we’re just building a relationship – it felt good because it was kind of crazy with how it all happened and I know he was super busy, and his dad was in the Final Four and all that and it’s always busy when you get a new job – I appreciate it a lot.

Is it strange to have a change in coaching (after former coach Tubby Smith was fired) in one of your final remaining schools? How did you handle that? It was crazy how it all went down. I wasn’t expecting coach Smith to be gone, but I think coach Pitino is a good hire for them and he’s excited and hungry to get going, so it’s not a negative by any means.

Have you noticed differences in their (Smith and Pitino’s) recruiting styles? A little bit, just because coach Pitino is talking about their style of play, they’re more up and down and they’re going to get out and run and press and they’re going to be up in your face on defense, so it’s just a little bit different of a style of play, so they’re talking about different stuff with coach Pitino than with coach Smith.

Has that been one of his major selling points to you? Their style of play? Yeah, it has. Telling me I’d fit in because I’m looking to get up and down and just really play basketball, so it’s been a main point that they’ve been stressing.

I know you have a visit to Baylor schedule – is that it for you right now? Yep, that’s the only official I have planned.

What’s the next step for you? Do you want to take all five officials? I think so, I’m going to try to just take the process slow, so we’ll see where it goes. I’m looking to take all five, more than likely.

Do you plan on taking them all by fall? I’m taking Baylor at the end of August and that will be my first one so, I’m planning on doing them all in the fall.

As far as your final list of schools – do you think you are going to narrow it again? At this point I’m not going to be narrowing again. If I feel like I need to then I will but at this point, I probably won’t narrow it.

Since you’ve been around Minnesota so much, does it discourage you from doing an official there? I’ve already spent a lot of time on the campus, so I don’t know if I’ll take an official just because I’m on campus a lot already as it is and I’ve seen everything and it’s right down the street, so I don’t know if I’ll take an official there, so we’ll have to see.

You will have six schools remaining on your list after that – will it be tough to narrow out the one that doesn’t get the visit? It definitely will. It definitely will for the six left. All seven of them are great programs, and the six left, I’ve got good relationships with all the schools on the list, so it will be tough not being able to go to two of them.

Other schools been recruiting you for a really long time – and now with the coaching change at Minnesota, it’s kind of like a brand new situation. How has that changed how you view the program? I view them about the same, I’m just open-minded about the whole thing and I’m interested to see the new staff and how they do things around there. It didn’t go up or down, I still view them the same, I’m just open about it.



Philadelphia 3:30 PM
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Utah 101 FINAL
Orlando 94
Charlotte 109 FINAL
Philadelphia 91
Brooklyn 91 FINAL
Cleveland 95
Washington 105 FINAL
Miami 103
Minnesota 98 FINAL
Boston 114
Toronto 110 FINAL
Detroit 100
Chicago 103 FINAL
Memphis 97
Portland 129 FINAL
San Antonio 119
LA Clippers 106 FINAL
Denver 109
Oklahoma City 104 FINAL
LA Lakers 103
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 3
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Ottawa 6
NY Islanders 2 FINAL
Detroit 1
Boston 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Dallas 2 FINAL
Calgary 1
Wilberforce 71 FINAL
Youngstown St 92
Jackson State 49 FINAL
Tulane 56
Siena 66 FINAL
Radford 76
Stillman 49 FINAL
Alabama 69
Case Western Reserve 65 FINAL
Bucknell 88
Niagara 62 FINAL
Buffalo 88
SD Christian 46 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 69
Concordia (MI) 60 FINAL
Central Mich 97
Northern Ill 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 58
North Florida 83 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Hiwassee 71 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 91
Tennessee St 54 FINAL
Hampton 66
Kent State 71
Central Penn College 65 FINAL
Liberty 94
Eastern Ky 72 FINAL
Miami-Florida 44
Northern Ky 83 FINAL
Morehead State 60
Northern Ariz 62 FINAL
Norfolk State 81
MD-Eastern Shore 43 FINAL
Old Dominion 60
St Marys-CA 47 FINAL
St Johns 53
Clemson 45 FINAL
South Carolina 68
Tenn Tech 58 FINAL
Tennessee 61
Washington-MD 46 FINAL
William & Mary 86
Bethune-Cookman 46 FINAL
Mercer 67
Furman 78 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 83
South Dakota St 53 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 49
Milligan 53 FINAL
Lamar 80
LSU-Alexandria 71 FINAL
ULM 76
Southern Utah 57 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 73
Chattanooga 58 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 68
Seattle 57 FINAL
Minnesota 92
Lipscomb 55 FINAL
Princeton 77
Winthrop 71 FINAL
SE Louisiana 81
Dickinson State 48 FINAL
North Dakota 78
New Orleans 56 FINAL
Southern Ill 52
TX-Pan American 60 FINAL
Creighton 75
Colorado State 85 FINAL
Denver 84
Alabama A&M 49 FINAL
Marquette 83
Ark-Pine Bluff 51 FINAL
Texas Tech 72
Eastern Wash 67 FINAL
California 78
Idaho State 56 FINAL
Utah State 69
Arizona 60 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 55
Hawaii 94 FINAL
Chaminade 63
Nevada 10:00 AM
Utah State 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Ohio Valley 33 FINAL
Youngstown St 84
East Tenn St 48 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 61
Cal-Irvine 44 FINAL
Purdue 69
Campbell 63 FINAL
Stetson 76
Jacksonville St 70 FINAL
Charleston Southern 43
Louisiana 64 FINAL
Alcorn State 57
Denver 63 FINAL
Wright State 72
Blue Mountain 30 FINAL
Central Arkansas 71
Texas State 51 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 40
Albany 62 FINAL
Pepperdine 36
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Houston 56
Yale 66 FINAL
Bucknell 73
Northern Colorado 56 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 69
Belmont 86 FINAL
Mercer 83
Massachusetts 66 FINAL
Georgia State 71
George Mason 69 FINAL
Winthrop 57
Portland State 33 FINAL
Princeton 104
Samford 52
Mobile 30 FINAL
Alabama State 66
Nicholls 49 FINAL
Texas Tech 76
Toledo 65 FINAL
Nevada 56
UMass Lowell 48 FINAL
(13) Duke 95
St Marys-CA 49 FINAL
Virginia 62
McNeese State 55 FINAL
Rice 57
McMurry 49 FINAL
Houston Baptist 69
Seton Hall 74
(6) North Carolina 65 FINAL
Maine 36
Lafayette 58 FINAL
Stony Brook 60
Siena 62 FINAL
Binghamton 53
Longwood 56 FINAL
Clemson 72
Savannah State 51 FINAL
Florida State 97
(19) Syracuse 72 FINAL
(9) Baylor 74
Buffalo 68 FINAL
Manhattan 58
Canisius 43 FINAL
Michigan 79
Davidson 66 FINAL
NC State 82
Northern Ky 63 FINAL
Delaware 58
Saint Louis 81 FINAL
Austin Peay 86
(25) DePaul 64 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 98
Ohio U 74 FINAL
La Salle 63
Florida Atlantic 60 FINAL
Long Beach St 85
Miami-Florida 65 FINAL
Tulane 70
Miss Valley St 39 FINAL
Memphis 62
Ark-Pine Bluff 56 FINAL
UAB 65
Bowling Green 58 FINAL
Illinois State 54
Arkansas State 78 FINAL
Missouri State 62
Wichita State 57
(16) Oregon State 71 FINAL
Southern Ill 55
Pacific 67 FINAL
New Mexico St 62
No Dakota State 79 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 86
Utah State 92 FINAL
Sacramento St 102
Bethesda (CA) 61 FINAL
Fresno State 83
Utah Valley U 44 FINAL
Montana 68
UC Santa Barbara 45


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