Tuesday, September 3, 2013
#AskCoachB: Minnesota recruiting
By Paul Biancardi
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation national recruiting director Paul Biancardi a question about basketball recruiting? Tweet it to @PaulBiancardi using the hashtag #AskCoachB.
The Gophers have ton of offers on the table, and that's the norm when you have a new head coach. When Richard Pitino was hired in April, there there was not a lot he could accomplish on the recruiting trail for the 2013 class. By that late in the recruiting calendar, many players were already committed and everyone he was trying to get involved with had other programs on them for a long time, so he was playing a major catchup game. Fast forward to the present and as the school year begins, Pitino and his staff have been relentless in evaluating and offering players in the 2014 class. This will be their first full recruiting class, and it will make an impact on the program.
There are several signees who would constitute a win. ESPN 100 power forward Reid Travis lives extremely close to campus, had a fantastic summer and could be the face of the program. Fellow Minnesota native and No. 1 shooting guard Rashad Vaughn, who recently took an unofficial visit to campus before heading out to play his senior season at Findlay Prep (Nev.) would be a go-to guy immediately. They are also making headway on ESPN 100 prospect Isaiah Whitehead, a dynamic scoring guard form New York. Lourawls Nairn and J.P. Macura have also been to campus and have a high interest.
A loss would be if they they strike out early with the guys on their list and then panic and take a player who can't help just to be on the board. Minnesota needs to have a plan, stick to it, and bring in the talent and traits that are needed to move into the upper crust in the Big Ten. Pitino was a terrific recruiter as an assistant coach and brought in some league-winning talent at Florida International. It will happen in time for Gophers fans.