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 Lakeville North's J.P. Macura

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches Updated: July 11, 2013 - 5:28 PM


Certainly you've heard of the "Big Three" local recruits of Tyus Jones, Reid Travis and Rashad Vaughn. Well, J.P. Macura is the state's OTHER impressive 2014 offering, one that isn't getting quite as much hype due to the elite class he happens to be grouped in with, but has steadily been improving, gaining attention and climbing in the national rankings. The 6-5 shooting guard from Lakeville has made it all the way up to No. 89 nationally in Scout's rankings and lands at No. 126 on Rivals. I caught up with him on the phone this week to chat with him about his recent visit to Minnesota, and what's going on with his recruitment these days.


I know you visited Minnesota recently. Tell me what you did on campus. I mainly went to Ben Johnson and the assistants and just hang out with them for a little bit of a day and I went and got some food with them and then went and watched the players lift some weights. And then just shot around with Joey King in the gym for probably about an hour.

Do you know Joey pretty well? Yeah, I know him from basketball. I know him pretty well and I’ve known him for probably like 4 or 5 years.

Is that from AAU? No, from high school basketball.

So did you hang out with all three assistants then? Dan McHale, Ben Johnson and Kimani Young? No, well I got there and it was just me and Ben. We went out to eat and then I talked with the strength trainer guy and then me and Joey just shot afterward. So it was just Ben.

Where did you guys go? Buffalo Wild Wings.

And was coach Richard Pitino around at that time? Did you get to say hi to him or anything? No, I think he was in California.

Have you gotten an offer from them yet or are you still talking at this point? No, I haven’t gotten an offer yet. I’m just still talking to them. They said they’re really interested, they’ve just got to see me play.

Did they talk about coming up to see you play at some point? Yeah, this upcoming tournament in Indianapolis, Pitino is going to be there.

UPDATE: Macura tweeted he was offered by Pitino on Thursday.

Is that going to be a little nerve-wracking for you, knowing that you’re being judged like that? No, I think I’ll be fine. I’ve just got to play basketball and not worry about what colleges are there and try and focus on basketball instead of worrying.

That never helps! Being friends with Joey, does that play into your decision at all? Knowing someone at Minnesota pretty well? I mean, I haven’t played with him before – he’s a good friend of mine but I don’t think it’s going to factor too much. It would be nice to know someone but I don’t think it’s going to be that big of a deal.

Did you have a chance to meet any of the other players? Were any of them around? The only other person I talked to was Mo.

And you said you talked to Shaun Brown, their strength and conditioning guy. It seems like he’s already having an impact with Mo Walker losing a lot of weight and Charles Buggs gaining a lot of weight. Were there things you talked about that impressed you? We didn’t really talk too much in detail. Ben Johnson just introduced me to him and he seemed like a great guy. So I didn’t really talk too much to him.

OK. You recently took an official to Butler, yes? Yeah, I want to say maybe two weeks ago. It was the week before [Brad Stevens] left [to accept the Celtics job].

Right. So that obviously had a big impact on you – you didn’t see that coming! Oh no, I definitely didn’t see that coming, it was pretty shocking.

So does that kind of start over the process with them for you? Well, they hired coach [Brandon] Miller, he was one of the assistant coaches and I have a good relationship with him. I’m just going to play it out. I still like the new head coach and I think he’s going to do a good job.

OK. So it changes things, but you’re not ruling them out yet. Yeah.

And do you have any other officials planned right now? No, I do not. I’m just going to play July out and then decide right after AAU’s over and try to figure out my other officials then.

Do you have a timeline of when you want to do all your officials? Yeah, I want to try to get some officials done in August and then decide maybe in late August, early September, somewhere around there, whenever I find a school that I really like and that best fits me.

If you had a couple of schools planned to visit and you went to one and you felt like everything felt good there, would you go ahead and make that decision or do you feel like you want to kind of see all your options and then decide after the fact? I kind of want to see all my options and decide after, but if I know for a fact that it’s a school that’s perfect for me then I’ll probably make a decision.

You’ve been gaining a lot of attention as you’ve been improving, and you’re moving on up in the national rankings. Do you feel like we should start a campaign to change the “Big Three” (Tyus Jones, Reid Travis, Rashad Vaughn) nickname to the “Big Four”? Nah, that stuff doesn’t matter to me, I don’t really want to focus too much on that. It’s not a big deal to me.

That’s kind of a rough year for you to be coming out of high school though – a lot of other years and you’d be the No. 1 guy. Yeah. Haha.

Do you know those guys? Have you gotten to have a relationship with any of them? Yeah, I know all of them.

The last time I talked you you had 13 offers. How many new ones do you have now? I think I’m at 22 offers right now.

That’s a pretty big jump. Been a little bit of a crazy couple of months? Yeah, a little bit. A few colleges have been calling and picking up interest and stuff like that.

What are the biggest ones that have jumped on board recently? As far as offering? Well there’s Butler, Kansas State, Florida State, Iowa State, Boston College, Xavier, I think that’s it.


Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 FINAL
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
Florida 56
Rice 71 FINAL
Mercer 77
San Jose St 56 FINAL
Washington 78
Washington St 43 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 71
Baylor 71 FINAL
Memphis 47
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11:00 AM
Western Ky 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11:00 AM
Akron 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 12:00 PM
Toledo 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 7:30 PM
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
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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 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pm




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