Ross Travis wearily awoke from his bed and hopped in the car. He looked at the clock on Saturday morning. It showed 5 a.m.
It's not a scenario most high school kids enjoy. They usually wake up closer to noon than they do midnight.
Travis isn't your ordinary teenager. He's a basketball recruit. The trip from Chaska, Minn. to Iowa City, Iowa takes about five hours.
After spending the day at the University of Iowa, Travis was scheduled to be at Iowa State's elite camp on Sunday. He knew early mornings and road trips were required during the process.
"Recruiting is going real well," the 6-foot-8, 210-pounder said. "It's a nice mix of levels between high majors and mid-majors. I'm looking forward to this summer because I think I'm going to get more offers later on."
Travis is projected by some analysts to be the No. 1 player in Minnesota's Class of 2011. He holds offers from North Dakota State, Rice, Northern Iowa, Iowa State and Oregon State. He's receiving consistent interest from USC, Washington State and Iowa.
"He got a lot of interest during the month of April when the coaches could come to open gyms," Chaska Coach Dana Kallman said. "Oregon State, Washington State and Washington all came in."
Kallman believes Travis' recruitment had been slowed by injury. The versatile big man, who ran the point for Chaska last season, played only seven games as a sophomore and missed 12 games last winter.
Travis grew seven inches since he was a freshman. Kallman said the growth spurt may have led to back injuries. Travis spent seven months in a back brace he only removed to shower then endured five months of therapy.
"When he's played, he's played pretty outstanding," Kallman said. "College coaches want to see if he can stay healthy. They've told me that if he shows he can, he's a high major talent."
Said Travis: "My back feels great. It's better than ever. Last summer was really my first on the AAU circuit and I was able to pick up interest. I think my second season this summer will increase the high major interest."
Travis enjoyed his time in Iowa City and Ames. He felt like he got to know new head coaches, Fran McCaffery and Fred Hoiberg.
"I got to sit down with (McCaffery) and talk about the offense and how he plans to change the Iowa program completely around," Travis said. "That was good to hear. I also liked hearing about his style.
"He said that a transition team keeps the opponent on its heels and that's the kind of game I like. I want to push it, so I liked the sounds of that."
Travis also met with the Iowa assistants and got a campus tour. He then headed to the Cyclones elite camp on Sunday.
"Coach Hoiberg is real cool," Travis said. "We ran some drills and then played five or six games of five-on-five. There were quite a few Minnesota guys there and we got to play together, which was nice.
"Overall, it was a really good weekend."
Minnesota came out to watch Chaska several times during the season and talk with Travis. He said he has not heard from the Golden Gophers in a while, however.
"I'm going to be at their team camp with my Chaska team," Travis said. "I never was a kid that grew up dreaming of playing for them, though. I grew wanting to play college basketball, but I never had a favorite team."
Travis said he would like to take official visits and choose a school before the start of his senior season of high school.
"I haven't narrowed anything down yet," he said. "I do have an idea what type of school I want to play for. Like I said earlier, I like an up-tempo style. I want to push the ball and get out in transition.
"After the July AAU period, when things settle down, I'll narrow it down to 10 or five schools or something. Then I'll take visits so I can see what the campus is like when the students are there and get a better feel for the players and coaches."