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

Jarvis Johnson taking more of a lead role this AAU season

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball, Gophers coaches, Gophers players Updated: May 6, 2014 - 11:55 AM

A lot has changed for Jarvis Johnson. 

A year ago at this time, the DeLaSalle point guard was a shadow behind Howard Pulley teammates Tyus Jones and Reid Travis (who also attended DeLaSalle): a pair of top recruits being wooed by elite programs across the country. Then, Johnson was a bit wide-eyed, watching the players that acted as his mentors, and soaking up the process.

Now, the rising senior is running the show. He's top dog on Howard Pulley; one of the state's top players for the class of 2015. And as his recruitment grows, the 6-1, 185-pound Johnson -- always a polite young man -- is acting the part, speaking more eloquently and with a greater confidence than before.

"It's kind of a big role, I've got to step up a little bit," Johnson said of the change at the start of the AAU season. "So I'm just trying to carry my team as much as I can and lead by example."

When it comes to his recruitment, he's not in a hurry. While Minnesota was thought to be an early favorite for the speedy, athletic guard, Johnson squashed a rumor that he had already committed at the Howard Pulley Invitational last weekend. Rather, the number of programs involved is only growing, and a lot could change over the summer, when coaches will turn their focus to the 2015 class.

Currently, Johnson -- who is ranked 85th nationally according to -- said the schools that are going after him the hardest right now include Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa State, Kansas and Marquette.

"I'm really just taking my time, communicating with coaches," Johnson said, noting that he's thought plenty about playing in the Big Ten. "I used to go to Big Ten games a lot, being from Minnesota. Playing in the Big Ten I'm sure would be fun."

Pitino said he talks with Gophers coach Richard Pitino and assistant Ben Johnson -- a DeLaSalle alum -- regularly. Last year, Johnson went to "three or four" Minnesota home games, and has followed the team pretty closely.

Johnson said he hopes to schedule some official visits this summer, but he doesn't have any plans yet, other than saying he wanted to unofficially tour Michigan State. There is no timeline for cutting down his list, he said.

For now, he's just focusing on improving his jump shot and on-ball defense and letting his recruitment expand as it will. Johnson is in the unique situation of having a pair of "tutors" -- Travis at his high school and Jones playing his same position -- coming up ahead of him to give him advice and allow him to learn through observation. Johnson still talks to Jones about his game regularly, he said. Both Jones and Travis were on site to watch Johnson and the rest of the Invitational last Saturday.

Ultimately, though, Johnson is carving his own path. He seems to be enjoying the next stage of his recruitment. His humble demeanor will serve him well in the summer ahead, when the attention will only grow.

"You've probably just got to figure out where you fit in best," he said. "It's not about the school name, it's about where you fit in."


Tampa 6 FINAL
Philadelphia 2
LA Clippers 96 FINAL
Chicago 86
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Houston 105
Golden State 106 FINAL
Boston 101
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
Indiana 94
Portland 110 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Charlotte 98 FINAL
Orlando 83
Oklahoma City 108 FINAL
LA Lakers 101
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Denver 92
Los Angeles 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Tampa Bay 3 FINAL
Florida 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Toronto 0 FINAL
Washington 4
Anaheim 3 FINAL
Dallas 1
St. Louis 5 FINAL(SO)
Vancouver 6
Connecticut 81
Quinnipiac 65 FINAL
Manhattan 69
Fairfield 56 FINAL
Niagara 57
Marist 49 FINAL
Rider 59
Iona 60 FINAL
Saint Peters 68
Oregon State 56 FINAL
California 73
South Florida 55 FINAL
Houston 72
Marquette 66 FINAL
Providence 77
Michigan State 61 FINAL
Wisconsin 68
Siena 57 FINAL
Monmouth 63
Pittsburgh 66 FINAL
Wake Forest 69
Oregon 73 FINAL
Stanford 70
Purdue 61 FINAL
Ohio State 65
Arizona State 81 FINAL
Colorado 87
Washington St 67 FINAL
Georgetown 66 FINAL
Providence 81
Binghamton 50 FINAL
Elon 65 FINAL
Hofstra 58
Virginia Tech 47 FINAL
Boston College 49
(8) Louisville 59 FINAL
Virginia 75
Texas 69 FINAL
West Virginia 76
Creighton 53 FINAL
Villanova 61
Seton Hall 85 FINAL
Butler 76
UNC-Wilmington 76 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 65
(5) Maryland 69 FINAL
(25) Northwestern 48
Saint Josephs 67 FINAL
La Salle 55
Louisiana Tech 53 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 60
Rhode Island 70 FINAL
Massachusetts 78
Richmond 55 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 49
Davidson 46 FINAL
Fordham 54
St Bonaventure 43 FINAL
Duquesne 51
George Mason 45 FINAL
(22) George Washington 80
Indiana 60 FINAL
(20) Rutgers 71
(12) Texas A&M 63 FINAL
LSU 80
Ole Miss 47 FINAL
(11) Miss State 55
Clemson 56 FINAL
Pittsburgh 61
Maine 47 FINAL
New Hampshire 61
Vermont 48 FINAL
Albany 76
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Monmouth 48
Saint Peters 47 FINAL
Siena 64
(4) Notre Dame 67 FINAL
NC State 60
Wisconsin 62 FINAL
Penn State 56
Stony Brook 49 FINAL
Hartford 56
Northeastern 47 FINAL
William & Mary 62
St Johns 61 FINAL
Xavier 74
James Madison 74 FINAL
Delaware 71
Towson 45 FINAL
Drexel 50
Illinois State 50 FINAL
Bradley 60
Southern Ill 74 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 70
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Wichita State 66
Minnesota 76 FINAL
(17) Iowa 92
(15) North Carolina 80 FINAL
(16) Duke 81
Alabama 73 FINAL
Auburn 80
(9) Florida State 69 FINAL
Miami-Florida 55
Arkansas 41 FINAL
Missouri 57
Georgia 52 FINAL
Florida 45
Dayton 95 FINAL
Saint Louis 68
Drake 57 FINAL
Missouri State 86
Colorado 46 FINAL
(10) Arizona State 59
(19) Stanford 55 FINAL
Oregon 62
Marquette 82 FINAL
DePaul 99
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 60
Vanderbilt 49 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 79
(2) South Carolina 56 FINAL
(13) Kentucky 67
Utah 41 FINAL
Arizona 64
Ohio State 78 FINAL
Nebraska 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Who is the best center on a Twin Cities sports team?

Weekly Question