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

A recruiting primer for Minnesota's 2015 targets

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: April 30, 2014 - 12:20 PM

The Minnesota staff has to feel good about its 2015 recruiting efforts. Finally, there will be an element of normalcy to the class that will begin to sign this autumn. 

Richard Pitino's first class, after being hired at Minnesota last April, was scrapped together in the matter of a month and a half. His second -- the recently completed 2014 group -- was made up of a half a dozen players, but also slightly rushed. The great majority of elite recruits sign during the fall signing period, by November. Last year at that time, Pitino had been in Minnesota for about eight months, a comparably diminutive amount of time to identify, woo and ultimately get commitments from top targets.

But this next class, one made up athletes who are currently juniors in high school, will be something to hold up and examine; to judge -- fairly -- the new coach's recruiting pull and effectiveness for the the first time.

Part of such success requires finding under-the-radar talent that can grow and develop within the confines of their program; part of it means, eventually, landing a headline-popping player or two.

As the recruiting season heats up along with weather in places outside of Minnesota, the Gophers have shown they intend to cast a wide net: dipping into the lesser known puddles for untapped potential as well as plunging into the pool with the bluebloods to fight for prize-winning catches. 

Among those targets:

PG: Jarvis Johnson, Desure Buie

Noteworthy: Johnson, the speedy quick DeLaSalle standout, was among Minnesota's first 2015 offers and the staff would love for him to stay home and take the reins from DeAndre Mathieu after his eligibility runs up at the end of last season. Landing the bright floor general would qualify as a huge "get" for Minnesota (and it's first 4-star since 2009 when the Gophers had a 4 (Rodney Williams) and a 5 (Royce White), according to ... Buie is another option Minnesota has kept its eye on for a while. The slender 3-star from the Bronx has picked up a bevy of offers from mid-and-low major schools but schools at the next level seem slightly hesitant ... Minnesota is no longer recruiting Jalen Adams.

SG: Jimmy Whitt, Sacar Anim, Allonzo Trier, Kain Harris, Eric Davis, KJ Walton, Dupree McBrayer

Noteworthy: There is no shortage of depth at this position and Minnesota is perusing plenty of options. The Gophers have extended offers to (4-stars) Whitt, Trier, Davis and (3-stars) Harris and Walton. Trier and Davis are both top-40 players and Minnesota will have plenty of competition there ...  Whitt is the most recent to receive a scholarship, getting the nod on Saturday ... Anim has been on the Gophers' radar from early on because of proximity and recruiting other players at DeLaSalle, but the 6-4 guard hasn't yet developed into a dominant presence ... McBrayer's recruitment is just starting to heat up.

SF: Danjel Purifoy, Tyler Kohl, Jordan Murphy, Chris Clarke

Noteworthy: Pitino is recruiting a bunch of athletic wings who can drive or shoot -- all of these guys fit that description, all of them have offers on the table ... Purifoy, who is ranked 38th nationally according to, is probably the most elite of the foursome and combines efficiency and power for a lethal offensive attack ... the 6-6 Clarke is extremely versatile defensively, able to potentially guard three or four positions on the floor ... Contrary to reports Minnesota is not recruiting Brandon Ingram.

PF: Alex Illikainen, Ed Morrow, Jarred Reuter, Cody Schwartz

Noteworthy: Grand Rapids' star Illikainen is one of the Gophers' top targets of any position. The 6-8 stretch-four can shoot from anywhere as well as play under the basket, though his post moves remain raw ... The Gophers recently extended offers to Morrow and Reuter, both of whom are starting to get attention from some big name schools ... Minnesota have been watching Schwartz, a three-star, but haven't offered yet.

C: Akolda Manyang, Doral Moore, Diamond Stone

Noteworthy: The Gophers have gotten involved early with a pair of elite five-star centers in 6-11 Moore (ranked 16th nationally according to and 6-10 Stone (ranked third). The trouble for Minnesota is, the rest of the country -- including a slew of first-class programs. It appears the Gophers are going after Moore -- about as athletic as you get with a 7-footer -- the hardest of the two ... there is also Manyang, a 7-footer at the JUCO named preseason No. 1 a year ago. The Indian Hills CC player, who competed at Duluth East in high school, is being courted by Oklahoma, Minnesota and Arizona State.


New England 7 2nd Qtr 2:16
Seattle 7
Miami 83 FINAL
Boston 75
LA Lakers 80 FINAL
New York 92
Arizona 3 FINAL
Montreal 2
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Nashville 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Miami-Florida 54 FINAL
Florida State 55
Oakland 96 FINAL
Youngstown St 80
Cincinnati 46 FINAL
East Carolina 50
Michigan 66 FINAL
Michigan State 76
Marist 75 FINAL
Canisius 67
Fordham 77 FINAL
Dayton 101
Manhattan 87 FINAL
Monmouth 76
Quinnipiac 100 FINAL
Niagara 105
Utah 67 FINAL
USC 39
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Houston 70
California 90 FINAL
Washington 88
North Dakota St 64 FINAL
Western Ill 62
Penn State 65 FINAL
(22) Rutgers 76
(14) Texas 59 FINAL
TCU 64
Coll of Charleston 49 FINAL
Towson 71
Cornell 53 FINAL
Yale 60
Xavier 68 FINAL
Providence 57
Drexel 61 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 44
Stony Brook 60 FINAL
New Hampshire 52
Maine 52 FINAL
Albany 44
Miami-Florida 66 FINAL
Pittsburgh 81
(21) Georgia 72 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 80
Arizona 69 FINAL
Colorado 81
Wake Forest 63 FINAL
(4) Notre Dame 92
Loyola-Chicago 56 FINAL
Illinois State 72
(24) Oklahoma 69 FINAL
West Virginia 78
St Johns 73 FINAL
Seton Hall 78
Delaware 73 FINAL
Hofstra 62
Binghamton 49 FINAL
UMass Lowell 66
Vermont 49 FINAL
Hartford 60
William & Mary 72 FINAL
Northeastern 66
Boston College 60 FINAL
(16) North Carolina 72
Virginia 77 FINAL
Clemson 72
(2) Connecticut 83 FINAL
Temple 49
Arkansas 53 FINAL
Alabama 42
Virginia Tech 71 FINAL
Georgia Tech 79
Kansas 58 FINAL
(3) Baylor 66
Canisius 51 FINAL
Rider 52
Monmouth 52 FINAL
Fairfield 54
Quinnipiac 81 FINAL
Saint Peters 50
Butler 55 FINAL
Creighton 62
Wichita State 61 FINAL
Drake 64
Evansville 52 FINAL
Indiana State 67
(18) Miss State 67 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
Villanova 47 FINAL
DePaul 49
Georgetown 73 FINAL
Marquette 80
North Texas 55 FINAL
Rice 58
Auburn 45 FINAL
(12) Texas A&M 78
(11) Arizona State 58 FINAL
Utah 48
Missouri State 56 FINAL
Northern Iowa 64
Michigan 60 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 75
Minnesota 49 FINAL
Northwestern 70
Wisconsin 73 FINAL
Illinois 62
Bradley 59 FINAL
Southern Ill 76
Florida 67 FINAL
Vanderbilt 58
(20) Iowa 88 FINAL
(5) Maryland 93
(1) South Carolina 77 FINAL
Ole Miss 59
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