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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Jahlil Okafor's AAU coach thinks Duke is the frontrunner for Tyus Jones package deal

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers players Updated: August 3, 2013 - 1:13 PM

Note: Post updated to reflect the source of Mike Irvin's quote; it was not a Duke fan site, but rather the Chicago Sun-Times.

When it comes to the Tyus Jones sweepstakes, many Gophers fans have started admitting the facts:

  • As one of the most highly touted recruits in the nation, with offers from just about every impressive program out there, the odds of Jones choosing to stay home and go to a school without much in the way of facilities, immediate winning potential or tradition, are not good.
  • Although new coach Richard Pitino and staff may be flexing their recruiting muscle already, jumping in during the finishing stretch for a Jones-caliber recruit is, well, tough.

Jones has repeatedly said Minnesota is still in the mix, and the Gophers remain on his short list of seven. But a smart recruit would not eliminate his home state school until the very end anyway, so as to ruffle as few feathers as possible.

Interesting, then, if Jones isn't talking, that someone very close to Jahlil Okafor -- the player Jones has talked about choosing a college with for years -- is. At least according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Just one man's opinion here, even if that man is Okafor's AAU coach. It is very far from an official word. But in the absence of any public leanings from either player, interesting nonetheless ... 

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