Seven Sweet Scoops: Reid Travis Announcing Today, Kentucky’s Top Class & More…Posted by Sean Moran on November 8th, 2013
Seven Sweet Scoops is a weekly column by Sean Moran, the RTC recruiting guru. Once a week he will bring you seven notes from the high-stakes world of college basketball recruiting. We also encourage you to check out his contributions at The Intentional Foul, dedicated to recruiting coverage and analysis. You can also follow Sean at his Twitter account @Seanmohoops for up-to-date news from the high school and college hoops scene. If you have any suggestions as to areas we are missing or different things you would like to see, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. PF Reid Travis Set to Chose From 3 Schools
Continuing the trend of commitments, four-star power forward Reid Travis is set to make his announcement today at 3:30 PM CST. Travis is a 6’7”, 240-pound power forward from De La Salle (MN) High School who is currently ranked as the No. 7 power forward in the class of 2014 and No. 40 prospect overall. He is set to choose between his hometown Gophers, Duke and Stanford. Coming out of his junior season, Travis was ranked No. 95 in his class but impressed college coaches and scouts throughout the spring and summer in AAU games and camp tournaments. Playing for the Howard Pulley Panthers Nike AAU team alongside Tyus Jones (#4 overall – 2014), Travis averaged 19.2 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while shooting 51.7 percent from the field. In today’s day and age, Travis is the rare power forward that likes to work inside-out. Physically, he is one of the strongest players in the class of 2014 and uses his strength down low to overpower opponents for layups or short jump hooks. When not in the post, he also has a nice shooting touch out to 15 feet. When it comes time to choose a college, Travis has three strong options:
- Minnesota – The hometown school first started recruiting Travis under former head coach Tubby Smith. When Richard Pitino took over the job, Travis became his top priority and the most likely of the Minnesota Big Three (along with Jones and shooting guard Rashad Vaughn) to stay in Minnesota.
- Duke – Coach K started to recruit Travis after watching him during his scintillating performance at the Nike Peach Jam tournament in July. Last week the Blue Devils lost out on power forward Kevon Looney (#14 overall, #2 PF – 2014), but would love to add the Minnesota duo of Travis and Jones.
- Stanford – Travis took an official visit to Stanford on October 18 and is attracted to the academics offered by the university. With a commitment, Travis would be the Cardinal’s third Top 100 recruit in 2014 and perhaps the most important.
2. Kentucky Back on Top
North Carolina had claimed the top spot in the 2014 recruiting rankings for quite some time with earlier commitments of five-star point guard Joel Berry (#21 overall, #3 PG), five-star small forward Justin Jackson (#9 overall, #3 SF) and four-star small forward Theo Pinson (#27 overall, #10 SF). With its most recent commitment from Trey Lyles (#8 overall, #1 PF), Kentucky made its way past UNC into the number one spot in the rankings, the spot they’ve held since 2009 when John Calipari first brought in stars John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins. The Wildcats now have two fivestar players in Lyles and center Karl Towns (#11 overall, #4 C) and two four-star guys in point guard Tyler Ulis (#29 overall, #6 PG) and shooting guard Devin Booker (#31 overall, #5). All four players are not considered explosive athletes and in turn are not a lock to become one-and-done like most of Calipari’s previous top recruits. What this means is that this talented class could stay in school for a bit longer than normal and could replicate the success of UNC’s top-ranked class in 2006 which eventually won a championship in 2009.
3. Louisville Turns Attention to Australian Native Jonah Bolden
With five-star power forward Trey Lyles choosing Kentucky over Louisville this past Tuesday, the Cardinals have turned their attention to four-star Jonah Bolden who is just beginning his recruitment. The 6’8” Bolden (#30 overall, #6 PF) currently suits up for Findlay Prep (NV) and just recently came to the U.S. from his native town of Sydney, Australia. Bolden impressed this past August at the Adidas Nations tournament in California which included some of the top high school talent throughout the world. Bolden showed off his shooting, ball-handling and rebounding abilities during the three day viewing window. Per ZagsBlog.com, Pitino took a trip out to Nevada two weeks ago and will most likely turn his attention to one of the few remaining top prospects in the 2014 class. Bolden’s long list of schools includes UCLA, Michigan, UNLV, Louisville, SMU, LSU, Arizona, Oregon State, Auburn, Vanderbilt, and Indiana.
4. Cliff Alexander Getting Close
Big man Cliff Alexander (#5 overall, #3 C – 2014) is expected to make his college commitment on November 15 and the rumor mill is starting to heat up on his choice. Earlier in the week, there was chatter that Alexander had eliminated Kansas from his list; however, this was quickly refuted. Either way, the Jayhawks and Illini are considered the favorites for his services, with DePaul as a sleeper. This weekend Alexander is taking an unofficial visit to Lawrence to visit his girlfriend who also plays basketball for KU. Just last week Alexander took his last official visit to Champaign. With just one week left before an announcement, expect the rumors and smoke screens to continue to heat up over the next week.
5. JaQuan Lyle Taking Local Visit
Five-star point guard JaQuan Lyle is taking a local visit this weekend to check out West Virginia. This past summer the No. 4 point guard in the class of 2014 and No. 22 prospect overall transferred from Bosse (IN) High School to Huntington Prep, a basketball factory located in the Mountain State. In late June Lyle committed to Rick Pitino and the Louisville Cardinals, but in September he de-committed and re-opened his recruitment. He initially stated that he wanted to play in college with Cliff Alexander and took an official visit to Memphis for their Midnight Madness with Alexander. While the package deal rumors have slowed down, there are several schools still actively pursuing Lyle. Tom Crean is recruiting the Indiana native, but now it looks as though Bob Huggins has thrown his hat in the ring due to the close proximity of Huntington Prep to Morgantown.
6. Justise Winslow Visiting Stanford
The last official visit is taking place this weekend for five-star forward Justise Winslow. The No. 9 ranked player in the class of 2014 and No. 3 small forward will conclude his official visits with a trip to Palo Alto and took in the Stanford-Oregon football game on Thursday night. This will be Winslow’s third trip to the West Coast after recent visits to Arizona and UCLA. He also took official visits to Florida and Duke along with an unofficial visit to Texas A&M. No timetable has been set for an announcement.
7. Max Preps Releases Preseason Top 25
Max Preps released its high school Top 25 on Wednesday and to no surprise their top four teams consist of Montverde Academy (FL), Findlay Prep (NV), Huntington Prep (WV) and Oak Hill Academy (VA). All four of these schools draw kids from all over the country and are basically high school all-star squads. Montverde finished the season ranked #1 last year and returns five-star senior guard D’Angelo Russell (#16 – 2014) and five-star junior Ben Simmons (#8 – 2015). Findlay Prep is ranked #2 this year, but they feature Rashad Vaughn (#13 – 2014) and Kelly Oubre Jr. (#6 – 2014), both five-star talents in addition to Bolden, Craig Victor (#17 0 2014), Derrick Thornton Jr. (#10 – 2016), and Justin Jackson (#6 – 2016). Mater Dei (CA) rounds out the top five as the defending California state champions and returns five-star senior Stanley Johnson (#7 – 2014) who looks to wrap up a fabulous four year career at Mater Dei.