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.

  Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno

Catching up with 2014 'Big Three' recruit Reid Travis

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: May 28, 2013 - 12:20 PM

Big decisions are right around the corner for Reid Travis, one of the highly anticipated “Big Three” in 2014 recruiting. The 6-7, 235 small forward, who is currently ranked 40th in the nation for his class by ESPN and 41st by Rivals, expects to decide on both which sport he will pursue (he is also being recruited in football as a quarterback) and which school he will attend by the fall. That doesn’t leave a lot of time, but Travis said he expects to take all five of his official visits, and named three – Gonzaga, Stanford and Minnesota – that will be recipients. I caught up with Travis at the EYBL tournament over the weekend, where he averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in five games.

Travis said he has mentally narrowed his list of basketball schools to 15, but he declined to list them.

What are the most recent schools to jump in? UCLA offered, that’s probably the most recent.

And what about your football recruitment. Are things heating up more with that than when we last talked (in the winter)? For sure, especially now that my film is getting out from last season, there’s more schools that are starting to come in contact with me.

Do you feel like seeing where that’s going is getting you close to making a decision about which sport you want to follow? I’m just letting it get to its peak right now. I think everybody has a chance. I’m just leaving everything open. I think in August and September I’ll start to really take some visits and narrow my decision.

I know you haven’t done any official visits yet. Any planned? No, I don’t [have] anything penciled in. There’s a few schools I want to get to on officials but nothing is set.

Which ones? Gonzaga and Stanford are the ones that I have officials kind of in the talking right now. There’s other ones that I’m looking at, but those are the ones that could happen in the next month.

Has Stanford officially offered you? It’s kind of weird how they do it. They’ve got to get my ACT score. Yeah, I’ve been talking to them. (He anticipates an offer.)

Last time we talked, you said you wanted to have a good idea of both the sport and the school by the fall. Is that still what you’re thinking? Yeah, that’s the timeline I’m on. I want to have a school picked through the fall so I can kind of set everything up throughout the year, I don’t want wait out the decision, so I think once summer basketball is done, I should be able to just narrow my list all the way down to one, hopefully in the fall.

Do you plan to take all five officials? Yeah, I do, and probably some unofficials here and there so I can get in as many schools as possible.

Since Minnesota is basically in your backyard, does that discourage you from using one of your five on the U? No, there’s some stuff they can show you, but on an official visit, they can show you everything. So that’s the thing. I’ve been on an unofficial (there) I think like 10 times, so to be on an official, there are some ins and outs that you really can’t experience with an unofficial, so I kind of want to see all that. So I’ll definitely use one on the U.

I know you were close with former Gophers assistant Ron Jirsa – and in general, a coaching switch (with former coach Tubby Smith getting fired) is a big change. How did that affect you? It definitely changes the way you start to think about it because you grow a relationship with the old staff that they had, But I like the new staff now, so it really didn’t affect me too much. I like Ben Johnson, I like Pitino a lot. So it’s kind of changed a little bit, but I still have a strong relationship with them.

Does it feel like you are getting recruited by a new school? There is different personnel, a different system. Yeah, a little bit, but at the end of the day, I was always looking at the school aspect of it first with the business school and stuff like that, so it’s kind of just building new relationships, so probably like the fourth thing that I was looking for on the list, so it wasn’t too much of a change for me.

When did the new staff reach out to you? I think a day after [Pitino] was hired, my dad talked to him on the phone and I started to with Ben Johnson as soon as he got hired. So right away, they started picking up their recruiting.

And what has the contact been like since? It’s been strong. I talk to them at least two, three times a week, whenever they can get ahold of me, so we’re building a strong relationship and I’m really starting to like where it’s going.

Do you see differences in recruiting styles? Not too much. I think they’re all professionals and they all handle it the right way, the way they call you here and there.

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