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 rivals.com ... 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 ESPN.com, 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 rivals.com) 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.

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Los Angeles - C. Frias 2:10 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
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Arizona - A. Chafin
Boston - C. Buchholz 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano
Toronto - J. Happ 6:05 PM
Baltimore - B. Norris
Washington - B. Treinen 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Wood
Miami - H. Alvarez 6:10 PM
NY Mets - D. Gee
NY Yankees - B. McCarthy 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - A. Cobb
Cincinnati - D. Corcino 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - K. Hendricks
Chicago WSox - C. Sale 7:10 PM
Kansas City - Y. Ventura
Cleveland - C. Carrasco 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Oberholtzer
Detroit - D. Price 7:10 PM
Minnesota - K. Gibson
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
Seattle - J. Paxton 9:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Wilson
Texas - D. Holland 9:05 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
Philadelphia - C. Hamels 9:10 PM
San Diego - E. Stults
Tampa Bay 9/18/14 7:25 PM
Atlanta
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 9/18/14 6:30 PM
(20) Kansas State
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
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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.
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
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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