Power state: 3 of college hoops' top 5 teams feature Minnesotans

Minnesota is a basketball recruiting hotbed.
Publish date:

It's no secret that Minnesota's high school and AAU basketball circuit is a hotbed for big-time recruiting. 

The latest example came Friday with Hopkins star Paige Bueckers being named one of three finalists for the Gatorate National Basketball Player of the Year award. 

Meanwhile, in men's college basketball, former Minnesota prep stars Geno Crandall, Reid Travis and Tre Jones are playing key roles on some of the best teams in the country. 

Crandall, a former DeLaSalle High School star, comes off the bench and plays 19 minutes a game for the No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs, who are all but a lock to receive one of the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA Tournament. 

Crandall is averaging 5.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.4 assists for the 'Zags, and he recently put himself on national highlight reels with a killer crossover against BYU. 

It's also notable that both of Gonzaga's losses came in games where Crandall sat out with an injury. 

Travis starts at power forward for the fourth-ranked Kentucky Wildcats and is averaging 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting 51.6 percent from the floor. 

The former DeLaSalle big man is a graduate transfer from Stanford University. He sprained his knee Feb. 19 but the team updated his status over the weekend saying he's day-to-day and getting close to returning. 

Jones, the reigning Minnesota Mr. Basketball winner from Apple Valley, is a starting freshman guard for the fifth-ranked Duke Blue Devils. 

He's averaging 8.7 points, 3.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists, which is right on par with what his older brother Tyus Jones averaged (11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.6 assists) in his only season at Duke before being drafted by the Timberwolves. 

Depending on how the brackets unfold on Selection Sunday (this coming Sunday), all three could be on the road to the Final Four in Minneapolis at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

Note: The 19th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers feature a couple of Minnesotans with Brad Davison (Maple Grove) and Nathan Ruevers (Lakeville North), and the 23rd-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles have a Minnesota duo in Theo John (Champlin Park) and Sacar Anim (DeLaSalle). 

Next Up

All Energy Solar Residential Installation

End 'renting' from your utility company and go solar

A solar installation is one of the few home improvements that actually pays for itself.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Hornets erupt in 2nd half to blow out Timberwolves

The Timberwolves were outscored 73-46 after halftime.


Authorities investigate fatal Bloomington house fire

One person has been reported dead in the fire.

Minneapolis skyline

New tool helps Minneapolis homeowners disavow racial covenants in deeds

A new free program connects homeowners with the City Attorney's office to complete the process

Kyle Rudolph

Watch: Vikings create tribute video for Kyle Rudolph

Rudolph's 10-year tenure with the Vikings ended when he was released on Tuesday.

Zach Parise

Wild scratch Zach Parise for Wednesday's game vs. Vegas

Parise will be a healthy scratch for the second time in his 16-year career.

shawn myers 1

Charges: Windham hospital patient threatened to kill staff, spit on them

Shawn Myers is charged with felony terroristic threats.

kaplans tiktok

Minnesota grandparents go viral for 'distancing duo' songs on TikTok

Their most recent duet about getting their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine has gotten more than 67,000 likes.

CHS Field

Start of St. Paul Saints season delayed to May

Major League Baseball says it's being 'prudent' in delaying the minor league season.


Tre Jones

ESPN list of top-25 college players includes 4 Minnesotans

The four Minnesotans are all rated in the top 16 of the list.

Tre Jones

3 Minnesotans 1 win from reaching Final Four in Minneapolis

The NCAA's Elite 8 are set, with the Final Four decided this weekend.


East Ridge hoops star Ben Carlson narrows college list to 6

The 4-star recruit is part of a very strong Minnesota 2020 class.

Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 10.55.24 AM

3-on-3 college tourney to be played at Mall of America

This sounds pretty awesome and it's free to watch.

Matthew Hurt

Hurt chooses Duke, Gophers don't land any of top-7 MN recruits

It's the second time in three years that none of the top recruits stayed home.

Whalen and Pitino

Tourney bound? Gopher women, men face top-10 teams Thursday

The women are at Maryland and the men host Michigan.

Minnesotans playing big roles for top-10 Marquette basketball

Theo John and Sacar Anim were stars on the Minnesota prep scene.

McKinley Wright

Ex-Minnesota prep stars behind 2 big college hoops upsets

Two upsets, four Minnesotans playing big roles.