One on one with Reid Travis

The latest player to earn a Duke offer in the class of 2014 sat down with TDD to discuss how the Blue Devil interest has changed his recruitment, and where things are likely going from here.

Can you offer your thoughts on how your summer went as a whole?

Reid Travis: I think it went pretty well, playing against all those guys was awesome. I showed what I could do and I competed against some of the best out there and it was eye-opening to play that level of talent and it was real nice because I felt like I measured up as a player.

Going into the summer-were there any goals that you were hoping to accomplish?

I didn't really set any goals that I wanted to accomplish, I just really wanted to compete and be successful in every camp and tournament I played in, and just try to show that I could play with these guys and that I could play at a high level.

What were your favorite match-ups this summer?

I'd probably say at the camps, like I'd probably say the Amare camp was my favorite because of the match-ups there, it was position based, so it was pretty much all fours going up against each other, I won't name any names, but it was nice to be in a group of the 15 best power forwards and just being able to go head up against them. That was probably my best event where I could show what I had against my own position.

Going into the summer, were there any schools from a recruiting perspective that you were hoping to hear from?

Yeah I was always interested in Duke, that was the only school that I had interest in that I hadn't gotten much interest from before the summer came around, so it was pretty cool when they started talking to me. Other than that, I pretty much had everybody that I was hoping to hear from.

What was it about Duke that made you hopeful for contact?

It's just kinda the schools I'm looking at, I'm trying to find that right balance of academics and basketball and I feel like they have that. All the schools I'm looking at have that as well, so I was trying to build a good list where everyone has the same deal like that. Before the summer, I felt like Duke was the only one out there that had that balance that I hadn't heard from yet.

Did you grow up watching Duke?

Yeah, I watched them frequently and I know how they play, I've always been impressed by them, so it was a big deal when they gave me a call.

Having watched them frequently, what were your impressions of their style of play relative to your game?

The first thing you see is their bigs are really versatile, they do multiple things on pick and rolls and things like that, they aren't pigeon-holed or anything, I like the freedom they give them.

From your perspective, how do you approach the game?

My approach is pretty much just try to be as physical as possible, I do like to post up a lot because I do feel like I have that advantage as far as strength most times and if I do have to spread out to the wings a bit I feel like I can get by fours if they get put on me out there. I try to either post up or get by them. I want to be a straight four in college and I'm working on my pick and pop game because that's where the position is evolving so I want to be able to be that pick and pop guy who can finish and who can also post up and still keep that in my game when I'm playing guys that are smaller.

Sounds like a physical, no-nonsense approach. What's the origin of that?

I think it really came from my years of playing football, it's just so physical and I was a quarterback, so I'd be locked in all the time because you are running the show as the quarterback, so when I play basketball, I just try to bring over the same approach and be physical, have that mentality that you can have fun, but it's also about playing for a lot more than that and that's why I try to keep it serious and focus on what I have to do. I've actually made the decision to not play football for my senior season or in college.

What went into the decision to not play football this year?

A little bit was about basketball, I just wanted to relax and take some visits, stuff like that, let my body rest, I've never had a few months just to train and stuff like that, so I just wanted some time off to focus on basketball.

Which schools have you been able to visit so far?

I visited Gonzaga earlier this summer and I've visited Minnesota several times unofficially. I liked Gonzaga a lot, just the culture and the family feel they bring out there, the players are great guys and the campus is beautiful. I was impressed by Gonzaga. With Minnesota, I grew up right by the campus, I pretty much know all about them and I'm just trying to keep building a relationship with the new staff. I like the new staff a lot, one of the assistant coaches went to my high school, so I know him well from the little time I've known then, I've got a good vibe with them.

How's your family feel about you potentially going away for college, is there a family influence to stay close to home?

They support me with anything, they let me take the reigns, whatever school I pick they will support me on.

How serious an option do you see it being for you to potentially stay close to home to play college?

I could see myself doing either or, staying home or going away, that's what makes it so hard with this decision because I'd love to play home in front of my friends and family, but I also could see myself getting away, with either one it's about finding the best fit.

What does your remaining visit schedule look like?

I'm not sure, we don't have anything setup, there's some things in the works right now.

Which schools are you considering for the visits?

I'm looking at Duke, Notre Dame, Michigan State, Stanford, Minnesota, Georgetown, I've only got 4 officials left, so I'm trying to narrow it down and figure out which places I want to visit officially. I've already visited Gonzaga officially.

Are there any schools recruiting you that it's pretty much a no-brainer you know you visiting them officially?

I wouldn't say there's any that are non-brainers, I just need to see how these in-home visits go and then see after  those which places I want to go visit their campuses.

What's the in-home visit schedule looking like?

All those schools I just listed before are coming in next week, the first 3 days next week, I think a couple are at home and I think I'll do a couple just meeting at the school. I don't know off the top my head what the specific dates are.

Can we go back into the Duke interest when it first started, when did that first happen?

I'd say after Orlando, so probably about a month ago I got a text from one of the assistants and then Coach K called me and it went from there. It was great hearing from Coach K, I couldn't believe it, I was really excited to hear from him and seeing that he was showing some interest.

What did Coach K discuss with you?

He just said that he had watched me play a lot, all summer because of course Tyus was on my team, and he told me that he loved my physical approach to the game and that was pretty much the gist of it. We talked about getting on campus for a visit and all that good stuff.

When did the Duke offer come and how did Coach K communicate it to you?

It was about two weeks ago I'd say. Coach K was on the phone and we were talking about visits and they made it really clear that they want me to play for them and that's how they went about it. I was pretty excited to put them with all the other schools that I have, it was nice to put them up there and making that nice list and going from there.

Where do you think Duke falls in the pecking order for you now that they have offered?

I'm putting them up there with everybody even thought I might have a better relationship with other coaches than them just because they have been recruiting me for two years, but I feel as we've been moving through the recruiting process that I've been getting to know them a lot better, so I'm just keeping moving forward with them. I don't have any schools that have really jumped to the head of the list just because I've only seen a couple of campuses so far, I really need to take visits so I can get to know the people a lot better. I don't have anybody that's a front-runner or at the end of the list.

During the in-home visits, what do you think is going to catch your attention that's going to lead to you wanting to take an official visit to that program?

It's not so much what they do on the in-home visit, it's more overall the sense I've gotten from them recruiting me, we're just going to be catching up on the in-home visits and then figuring out where I'm visiting officially.

What kind of questions do you have for the newer programs to your recruitment like Duke as you are going through this process?

I just want to know what their plans are for me in the future, how they see me playing, trying to see how they would use me, those are the biggest questions for me so I can honestly  see how I would fit into their system.

Is playing with Tyus Jones something you hope to continue beyond having played with him in AAU or is that not a part of your college choice consideration?

It's not a part of the consideration because we haven't talked about that, I wouldn't mind it because he's a great point guard that I enjoyed playing with this summer and if it all worked out, I wouldn't be mad about it at all.

In looking at the rest of your decision making process, how do you see the recruiting process going in terms of timelines?

I'm thinking about taking all 4 and then making my decision in November. 

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