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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It's close to decision time for 'Tum Tum' Nairn

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball Updated: September 23, 2013 - 11:55 AM

Gophers point guard target Lourawls ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn returned from Indiana this weekend, and with all official visits completed now, a decision could be right around the corner.

Kyle Lindsted, his high school coach at Sunrise Christian Academy in Wichita, Kan.,  said that he anticipates an announcement “within the next week or so.”

“We just need some time – a week – to think about it and process it,” said Lindsted, who picked up Nairn from the airport Sunday, but hasn’t talked “in depth” with him since the return from Indiana. “Kind of see where his heart and his soul and his gut are taking him. After you come back from every one of these visits, you’re going to say the school you went to is where you want to go. We just need some time to be away from the visits and away from the emotional part of it and make a smart decision.”

Right now, Lindsted wouldn’t say that all schools are equal in Tum Tum’s mind, but he noted they all have their pros and cons. Nairn's short list includes Minnesota, Michigan State, Indiana and Oklahoma, all of which he has visited officially.

Regarding Minnesota, Lindsted said: “He just likes that they’ve recruited him so hard – they’ve been faithful, they’ve been loyal, they just work very, very hard to get him there. Those guys have kind of told him he’s their No. 1 guy and they’ve treated him that way from Day 1, and I think he thinks that that’s a good town, that’s a good place to be. He knows those guys have put him as a high priority and he appreciates that, I think.

“All of these places will have their pluses and all of them will have their minuses,” Lindsted said. “At OU, we’re very good friends with that staff, his best friend [Buddy Hield] plays for OU. We know them very well. Minnesota, he’s their No. 1 guy. Michigan State is the No. 1 ranked team in the country pre-season. Indiana is a high-major team that’s recruited him hard for three years and built a relationship with him. All four of these schools have something to offer – they all bring something different, they all have a reason that they’re there. And now we’ve got to sit down and take some of the emotions out, because every time you go some place you’re going to be emotional and feel an attachment. So now we’ve got to sit down and figure out what his priorities are and which place best fits his priorities.”

Among those priority decisions will be how much he values playing time, for example.

“In the world of recruiting, everybody has promised him a lot of playing time,” Lindsted said. “But that will vary from spot to spot. I think it will be different no matter where he goes. I think he realizes that, and I think it just depends on whether he wants to go to a program that’s already established or if he wants to go to some place and try to build something, you know? And if he goes somewhere that’s already established, it’s obviously harder to play right away. I think that’s going to vary and I think that that’s one of the criteria that he’s got to make his decision on.”

Michigan State will be in Kansas today to see Nairn, Lindsted said, and Minnesota is expected to be in town on Wednesday. In the meantime, the coach said he plans to sit down with Nairn three times this week, for about an hour apiece, to discuss his options and communicate via speaker phone with the relevant parties. When those discussions are over, Nairn could be ready to make a choice.

Whether that choice lands the Gophers their first commit for 2014 or results in another near-miss remains to be seen.

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