Recruiting buzz from Day 4 Las Vegas


LAS VEGAS -- Reid Travis (Minneapolis, Minn./DeLaSalle) woke Saturday morning with a score to settle. Dream Vision was on his mind.

“They beat us in Indianapolis [earlier this month],” Travis said. “They overlooked us.”

To sum it up, Travis’ Minnesota Pump N' Run team is still in Vegas, Dream Vision isn’t. Reid led a charge that sent Dream Vision packing. One of the guys he played in front of was Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith. With a brother at Harvard and a 3.7 GPA himself, Travis has options.

The junior rattled off Harvard, Stanford, Southern Cal, Minnesota, Washington State, Nebraska, Iowa State and Northwestern. Helping him knock off Dream Vision was a diminutive point guard who won’t pass the look test but will ace the play test. Graham Woodward (Edina, Minn./Edina) has offers from Princeton, Yale, Brown, Vermont, UC-Davis, Omaha and Cal Poly.

Graham's stock soaring

Out here in Las Vegas, the name Devonte Graham (Raleigh, N.C./Broughton) has turned into a big deal. Coming into the game, Graham had low-major action and fast-forward a month and he’s got a festival of teams involved. Offers poured in from the Hurleys at Rhode Island, High Point, UNC-Wilmington, Appalachian State and Richmond, with the Spiders likely to lock up an official trip. Illinois is looking.

Graham’s teammate Isaac Copeland (Raleigh, N.C./Miller School) is a reclassified 2014 forward. Copeland was injured most of the year and sat on the bench as his Ravenscroft team celebrated a state championship. He didn’t play in the game. “I think about it all the time,” Copeland said, using the injured season as fuel for his rise. “I played well in Indiana and my recruiting’s taken off.”

Riding with Copeland this month is Western Kentucky and Georgetown, his most ardent supporters. Copeland’s come a long way and his 6-foot-8 frame is enticing. There’s much to prove but he’s trending up and many have taken notice.

Badgers after Ellenson

Henry Ellenson (Rice Lake, Wis./Rice Lake) has Wisconsin following him around as if he’s a senior recruit. Purdue and Georgetown were at the game I attended. Iowa State’s firmly in the mix. Minnesota’s been intent of showing its commitment to him.

Meet the press

The most fun I’ve had in Vegas came while watching Team Thad’s U-16 squad. With founder Thaddeus Young of the 76ers courtside, they played a style that wakes up spectators and puts opponents to sleep. These guys press everyone on the court but the referees and that was without the team’s best player, Leron Black (Memphis, Tenn./White Station). Chris Chiozza (Memphis, Tenn./Bartlett) has a Mohawk and a style on the court with a flair for passing. Missouri commitment Anton Beard (N. Little Rock, Ark./Parkview Arts & Sciences) creeps into the seams of the defense for timely pull-up jumpers.

St. Mary's after Hermanson

Calvin Hermanson (Lake Oswego, Ore./Lake Oswego) is so good that one time St. Mary’s coach Randy Bennett lay on the floor to watch him. Bennett’s bad back would only allow him to be comfortable in one position so he dropped to the floor and watched this guy. St. Mary’s, Utah, Drake, Oregon State and Santa Barbara all want him. In keeping with my theory that great 3-point shooters know exactly what they shoot, Hermanson told me he made 40 percent last high school season.