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 DeLaSalle's Jarvis Johnson

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball Updated: July 9, 2013 - 12:11 PM

 

The hype surrounding DeLaSalle's Jarvis Johnson has been building steadily as the rising junior continues to improve. Now, he's hit a new stage of his recruitment. Per NCAA rules, coaches can make unlimited calls and send unlimited texts to rising juniors after June 15. With that date now in the rearview, Johnson is adjusting to a hectic new wave of attention and focusing on his next steps. I caught up with the Minneapolis native last week at the Howard Pulley Pro City League to chat about what's going on now with the Gophers target (new coach Richard Pitino offered him a scholarship in April).

 

Things have changed for you since we last spoke. On June 15th, college coaches were able to start texting and calling you unlimitedly. What happened on that day, did your phone just blow up or what? It did. I had to learn how to get used to it, but it was good. It’s a process, so it was kind of fun.

You think you’re used to it already? Yeah, I would say so.

Did you have to set some ground rules or go in with a plan so that you don’t get overwhelmed? Well not yet really, I haven’t really had to. I can see how it could be a little overwhelming but yeah I haven’t.

Who did you hear from first? Tubby Smith was the first one.

Tubby was? Really? Yeah, he was.

A little bit ironic since he didn’t offer you or even recruit you all that much when he was actually at Minnesota? It was. Yeah. But I can see how he’s a cool guy, you know. I guess he’s been watching me – of course, but yeah.

What do you think about Texas Tech? I don’t really know much about the school, but since Tubby’s there I guess it has to be some type of a good program.

Did you hear from Pitino that day as well? Yup, I did.

They can send you stuff in the mail now too. Has your mailbox been overflowing? Yeah, it actually has been. Marquette sent me some stuff. So it’s been overwhelming a little bit on the mail stuff.

Is your mom starting a collage or anything like that with all of it? Yeah she is! She’s starting a shoe box.

What has your contact with [Minnesota] been like since the Gophers offered you? Well, it’s been good. I’ve been talking to Ben Johnson a lot since he’s a DeLaSalle grad, so we’ve been in contact a lot.

Are you pretty close, you and Ben Johnson? Yup, I would say so.

Does he come to the school anymore? Yeah, he does, like a couple practices we had last year he came to, not just because he was a Nebraska coach but because he’s an alumni, so he was around.

Have you had any new schools jump in? Recently it’s been Michigan State, Kansas, Cincinnati – there’s a few more, I just can’t think of them off the top of my head.

Having Reid Travis as a teammate, being able to grow up behind him and watch how he handled all this, how much has that helped you, do you think or how much is it going to help you? It’s helped me a lot, actually. Because Reid is not the type to be like, ‘Oh, all these coaches are calling me’ and all that. It’s something he can get used to and I just watched him – so I got used to it.

Has anything about the process surprised you – when it comes to the aggressiveness of coaches or things they’ll say or anything like that? Not really, but just hearing from some coaches is like – wham. Like Izzo, when I got that call, it was kind of overwhelming, but it’s also kind of nice.

Do you get nervous when you talk to guys like that? I mean, Izzo is obviously a legend. Yeah, at first I did, but now I’ve kind of gotten used to it.

I saw you taking a lot of jump shots over there – is that something you’re really focusing on? It is. I’ve been working on my jump shot a lot, actually, because playing in the EYBL, everyone is bigger than you, so you’ve got to get the jump shot down pat.

How do you think it’s going? Good, good.

What are you doing? Do you have any kind of daily routine with shooting? It’s just every chance I get, that kind of thing.

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