Skip to main content

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

Minnesota is a basketball recruiting hotbed.

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

Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 6.16.34 PM

Suspect kills himself after shooting woman and baby at Fargo restaurant

The suspect was found dead in a stolen vehicle in Minnesota.

CK Kyle Kasio

Charges: Guest stabbed three men as they slept in Albert Lea

Investigators believe the suspect is related to all three victims.

Kandiyohi County Courthouse

2 charged for fentanyl overdose death of 19-year-old

The-19-year-old died from a fentanyl overdose last month.

storm, severe weather

Severe thunderstorm watch: Hail, 65 mph gusts, tornadoes possible

The watch is just north of the Twin Cities metro area.

Lake Minnetonka

The staggering rise of Minnesota's most famous lakes this spring

Imagine dumping Lake Minnetonka into Lake Superior 47 times.

Marijuana, cannabis

Minnesota Senate shoots down latest marijuana legalization attempt

The bill didn't receive the required votes for further consideration on Wednesday.

tree

Minneapolis wants to use $1M in federal cash to plant 200,000 trees

The goal is to have these trees planted by the year 2040.

Screen Shot 2022-05-18 at 12.54.22 PM

MOA theater to debut wrap-around, 270-degree movie screen

The new technology will expand the movie screen onto the side walls of the theater auditorium.

Trevor Scott May

Driver ejected in fatal Roseville crash identified as 30-year-old

The crash temporarily shutdown westbound Highway 36.

Kim Crockett

Endorsed candidate's campaign video used antisemitic trope at MN GOP convention

The video aired before GOP-backed secretary of state candidate Kim Crockett's speech at the state party convention.

Related

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.

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.

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.

Whalen and Pitino

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

The women are at Maryland and the men host Michigan.

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.

basketball

East Ridge hoops star Ben Carlson narrows college list to 6

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