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.


Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 26 2nd Qtr 5:44
Cleveland 45
LA Lakers 42 2nd Qtr 5:36
Charlotte 40
Sacramento 37 2nd Qtr 11:32
New York 21
Houston 15 1st Qtr 6:20
Atlanta 15
Utah 7:00 PM
Washington 7:00 PM
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Nashville 0 2nd Prd
New Jersey 1
Calgary 1 2nd Prd
Philadelphia 0
Washington 2 2nd Prd
Columbus 0
Buffalo 0 1st Prd 14:08
Tampa Bay 0
Toronto 0 1st Prd 14:02
Florida 0
Ottawa 7:00 PM
NY Islanders 7:30 PM
Anaheim 8:00 PM
Los Angeles 8:30 PM
San Jose 9:00 PM
Ole Miss 27 2nd Half
Alabama 30
Eastern Mich 35 1st Half 0:11
Ball State 24
Kent State 34 1st Half 2:58
Bowling Green 27
Ohio 29 1st Half 0:30
Buffalo 39
Georgetown 30 2nd Half
Butler 24
Toledo 37 2nd Half
Central Mich 36
Rhode Island 27 1st Half 1:46
Dayton 33
Youngstown St 35 1st Half 1:15
Detroit 27
North Carolina 39 2nd Half
Georgia Tech 21
Loyola-Maryland 11 1st Half 3:41
Holy Cross 28
Iowa 25 1st Half 2:31
Indiana 24
Akron 23 2nd Half
Miami-Ohio 17
Army 26 1st Half 1:20
Navy 22
Maryland 31 1st Half 0:08
Rutgers 23
Kennesaw St 13 1st Half 4:00
USC Upstate 32
Jacksonville 22 1st Half 3:51
Fla Gulf Coast 28
Lipscomb 31 1st Half 1:41
Northern Ky 35
Stetson 12 1st Half 14:36
North Florida 11
Wright State 7:00 PM
Western Mich 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
Nebraska Omaha 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Houston Baptist 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
NC State 8:00 PM
Texas A&M 8:00 PM
Kentucky 8:00 PM
West Virginia 8:00 PM
Auburn 8:00 PM
Michigan 8:00 PM
Villanova 8:15 PM
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 2nd Half 0:29
UNC-Asheville 64
NJIT 23 2nd Half
UMass Lowell 34
West Virginia 7:00 PM
Kansas State
TCU 7:00 PM
Fresno State 8:00 PM
Air Force
San Jose St 8:00 PM
Boise State
Nevada 8:00 PM
Colorado State
UNLV 8:00 PM
San Diego State
Wyoming 8:00 PM
Utah State
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