DeGroot Impressed with Tempe Visit

Granted, Tempe is more pleasant than a military academy, but Travis DeGroot enjoyed his trip much more than just the mere fact that he was removed from his junior college environment. DevilsDigest caught up with the 6-3 210 New Mexico Military Academy point guard prospect while on his visit.

"I'm having a lot of fun getting to know some of the teammates," said DeGroot on his visit. "It's good to get away from the Military environment. Anything beats that (smile). I saw the facilities, the campus, and I met with the academic advisors." Later on he was scheduled to attend one of Mrs. Evans famed BBQ dinners.

We asked him how does a Montclair, NJ kid end up in a military academy in the southwest? The point guard was very pragmatic in his answer. "Good recruitment (smile). They came out to Jersey for the Showcase (tournament) and just kept in touch with me all summer, and I ended up there." While his tenure in New Mexico has not adversely impacted him, he seems more than ready to bid it farewell. "It's real strict. Going into that school, I didn't really know what I was facing. But I'm dealing with it, and I'm just ready to leave (smile)."

Prior to our interview we witnessed DeGroot in a pick-up game with current ASU players Ike Diogu, Kevin Kruger, and Jason Braxton, as well as outgoing senior Justin Allen. In a recent DevilsDigest interview, DeGroot's coach characterized him as a player that is "…pass first point guard. His teammates need to keep their hands up and ready to receive the pass…" but on the other hand he commented that point guard "can try to get too fancy at times."

Based on what we saw we couldn't agree with that assessment more. His court vision is tremendous, and he's a physical player who can effectively penetrate on offense, and not get out-muscled on defense. His shot is average, but enough to be respected. He definitely has a spring in his step, as evidenced in a baseline dunk over Diogu, which he shrugged off by saying " It's just pickup…"

The chemistry of a team and his relationship with the coaching staff are some of the factors DeGroot will consider when settling on a school. However, one aspect seemed very near and dear to his heart. "Academics are always a big part. I want to make sure that the school has my major, so I can prepare for life after basketball. I want to major in Entrepreneurship and run my own clothing business, producing music…so academics plays a key."

The New Mexico Military Academy point guard mentioned only Georgia State as the only other school that is recruiting him as hard as ASU. In our recent interview with his coach, Arizona State was singled out as DeGroot's leader. His sentiments today, do nothing but reinforce it. "It's looking good with ASU. I like what I've seen so far. The teammates, the coaches are all cool. It's looking at the up." He estimated that he would make his decision in a couple of weeks.

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