It has been an impressive couple of days for the Stanford athletic department to say the least.
A day after beating Oregon on the gridiron, the Cardinal basketball program landed coveted-recruit Reid Travis over the likes of Duke and Minnesota. The fact that Stanford was able to pry the Minnesota native from the Gophers and national powerhouse Blue Devils is impressive.
Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv and NBA.com reported the news earlier today:
Huge get for Johnny Dawkins with Reid Travis, who spurns Duke and home-state Minnesota.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) November 8, 2013
One of the reasons Stanford was able to land Travis was assistant coach Mike Schrage. Andy Drukarev of Rivals points out just how valuable Schrage was on the recruiting trail in the pursuit of Travis:
#Stanford was on Travis early/often and it paid off. Major credit to assistant Mike Schrage, who's one of the top recruiters in the country.— Andy Drukarev (@StanfordRivals) November 8, 2013
Travis is the No. 7 rated power forward in the class of 2013, according to 247sports.com, and will give the Cardinal a formidable presence in the post. He is one of the best rebounders in this entire class despite the fact that he is listed at only 6’7”.
The primary reason Travis is so solid on the boards is his pure strength. He can outmuscle taller opponents underneath, which is critical for positioning on loose balls. That strength also helps him on the offensive end when backing down larger defenders. He has no trouble getting close to the rim and then dropping soft-touch shots over their outstretched arms.
This is a major coup for Johnny Dawkins and Stanford. According to Amelia Rayno of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, academics in the family played a role:
Travis: "I wanted to give my parents the chance to say I have a kid at Harvard and a kid at Stanford."— Amelia Rayno (@AmeliaRayno) November 8, 2013
Good luck playing Trivial Pursuit in that family.