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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Recruit Gavin Schilling includes Gophers in his four school finalists

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball Updated: February 10, 2013 - 1:10 PM



Gavin Schilling is at the top of the Gophers’ wish list to round out their 2013 recruiting class (they have already gotten commitments from Alvin Ellis and Alex Foster). Schilling announced this week that he’d narrowed his list of schools that he is considering to four: Michigan State, Minnesota, UCLA and Villanova.

I chatted with him about his decision, and the rest of his recruiting process on Friday night, when he was in the midst of his official visit to UCLA. Schilling said he plans to make a final decision this spring.

A little about Schilling:

  • 6-9, 200-pound forward from Chicago, who currently plays at Findlay Prep (in Nevada).
  • Schilling has been to four high schools in four years, playing at Loyola his freshman season, then an elite school in Germany, then Chicago’s DeLaSalle last year, where he played with Ellis and Foster.
  • Schilling is a strong presence in the paint, but needs to work on refining his shot.
  • Schilling speaks three languages fluently: English, French and German (his father is German and he was raised in France).

The Q&A:

You just announced that you narrowed your list to four schools. And it was just three weeks ago that you had trimmed to ten. That was awfully fast.

I kind of had my mind set on my top four or five, I just wasn’t sure yet. And now I just thought about it and released it … just [wanted] to get to know a little bit more about each program, what they have to offer and I felt like those four schools fit me the best.

Take me through all four programs if you will, and tell me what it is you like about each.

Minnesota, I love coach Smith. He was at my game [Thursday] night (Planet Athletes). We just talked about how the season is going and my improvement and just what they offer, how they develop their players. And there’s Alex [Foster] and Alvin [Ellis] coming in and I’m pretty close with them. I played on the same team with them last year [at Chicago’s DeLaSalle].

Michigan State, I took an unofficial there when I went home over Christmas break. And I loved the whole coaching staff, and coach Izzo, he’s a great, great guy, down to earth guy and he develops his players just as well as coach Smith, and just the whole tradition of their program and how they make it to the Final Four like every other year.

UCLA – I’m actually on my official visit right now. I got here this morning. We just toured the campus. I met with all the academic people, the athletic directors and stuff and we watched the team do a pregame walkthrough for Washington State tomorrow at home. So they were just going through all the Washington State sets and stuff like that. We ate in between, and now I’m back at the hotel just relaxing and we’re about to go out and get something to eat and hang out with the guys.

Tease me – what’s the weather like out there?

It’s a little cooler, a little rainy a little windy. It’s not what I expected.

That can’t be helping your recruitment. It’s supposed to be sunny in California all the time.

Exactly. But not today. But it’s whatever. It’s supposed to be better tomorrow and Sunday. Coach Howland, he’s a great guy too. We went to breakfast this morning with the whole coaching staff and I had a chance to talk with him and the assistant coaches and they are all very friendly … UCLA is one of the best in the nation. Al Freeman, he’s on my team, he’s already committed there and we always talk about me coming there too and he’s trying to get me there of course.

Villanova is also a great school. Coach Wright, he’s a seasoned, down to earth coach, he came out and saw me a month ago almost I want to say. We had a really nice conversation about the whole program, and he said he was going to develop me to my full potential and really help me. It’s a whole family environment because everyone is so close together.

Have you visited Nova yet?

I plan on visiting in the near future, but I haven’t set up an official visit yet.

Would you say Coach Smith is the biggest draw for you for Minnesota?

Yeah, and all the other assistants, they’re always contacting me and checking up on me and I like that they actually do care about me. And it’s a great family environment over there too. Coach Smith is a great guy, like I said.

Now that Alvin and Alex are committed are they lobbying for you to join them?

Alvin is a little bit. I haven’t spoke to Alex in a little while, but Alvin and I talk sometimes and of course, like, Al wants me to come to UCLA, [Alex] wants me to come to Minnesota. We’ve just talked about it.

What does Alvin say?

He just says we can do big things. Me and him and Alex. We can change the whole program around. I mean, not around but (Writer's note: it’s OK, Gavin), you know, but do big things next year as freshmen and be impact players next year.

Does it help to know Minnesota is losing their two major post players for next year and they’re going to NEED freshmen contribution? Does that factor in?

For sure. Trevor and Rodney are both leaving after this year and that’s good for me, so I can actually help this team out a lot if I were to go there next year, and that’s part of why they’re in the top four.

Just from what you know about these four rosters, do you get a sense of where you would get the most immediate opportunity?

At all schools, really. There’s not really one school where I’d say I could play more there. It’s pretty much all the same. I’m going to try to play as much as I can at whatever school I go to next year.

Have you been able to watch the Gophers a lot this season?

Yeah, I watched their game against Michigan State.

That was an interesting game for you to watch – two of your top four.

Exactly, it’s an important game to watch. That was a tough loss for [the Gophers], but it’s hard to play at Michigan State.

What are the most important aspects that are going to determine your decision? With Villanova, the fact that you put them in your Final Four without even seeing their campus makes me think there are certainly more important things than that at least.

No. 1 is a great academic program. I want to go into international business, and I need a school that has that, that’s important and coach Smith always talks to me about life after basketball and how much he stresses that and how important that is and how he can help me out with that aspect of reaching my goals after basketball. That’s one of the reasons I like him.

No. 2 is how well I fit into their style of play, how productive I can be and how much I can make an impact.

And third is my relationship with the coaching staff and that’s one of the reasons that Villanova is in my top four. I have a great relationship with them.

Is there anything that’s a draw that other schools on your list have that the Gophers don’t?

No, they’re different schools of course. But for my situation, they fit every aspect of what I’m looking for, so there’s no school that draws more attention than the other, really.



Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 7:00 PM
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA




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