Basketball recruiting diary

The Gophers have players of interest from many different areas, from those looking to transfer to high school kids, on their radar. We take a look at the Gophers basketball recruiting new of late.

Smith Takes Time Off From AAU Circuit
by Bill Seals of, May 20, 2004 at 5:03pm ET
Instead of playing with Ray Brown and the prolific Team Minnesota AAU squad this spring, one of the top players from Iowa is instead working on his individual game in anticipation of a big all-star camp in July. Any improvements to Brandon Smith's game are welcome, but the 6-foot-5, 195-pounder is still attracting big-time attention from college coaches.

"Right now he's just working out preparing for the ABCD Camp," said Smith's high school coach Larry McKenzie. "He's working with a personal trainer and not playing with anybody, in terms of AAU. He was playing with Team Minnesota, but he really wanted to work on some of his weaknesses. He's got a trainer and coach that's working with him on his shooting and ball handling."

The ABCD Camp is set to begin on July 7th.

A program from the Big 12 and Conference USA are currently leading the way for the talented Smith, a small forward who is coming off a big season for Minneapolis Patrick Henry High.

"There are two primary schools right now," McKenzie said. "I would list Marquette and Iowa State as being neck and neck for being the front-runners. They're within close proximity to home and both play in competitive basketball conferences.

"He's gotten a lot of interest. We're getting calls every day, and someone else is coming to the table. Over the course of those two weeks that coaches were able to be out, I think he got offered by every school that was in here. Right now he's just trying to work on his game and make a decision on what he wants to do."

Smith Lists Top Five
by Jeff Goodman of, May 20, 2004 at 9:37am ET
Brandon Smith, a 6-6, 200-pound wing at Patrick Henry (Minn.) High, told that his five leaders are Minnesota, Marquette, Iowa State, Stanford and Oklahoma.

CA Freshman Gets Big Ten Offer
by Chris Monter of, May 20, 2004 at 2:54pm ET
Tyrone Shelley, a 6-5 freshman out of El Cajon (Calif.) Christian, has been offered a scholarship by Minnesota, according to sources close to the program. He averaged 28.5 points per game, the second-best scoring average in the San Diego area, finishing ahead of Gopher signee Rico Tucker. Shelley also contributed 12.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 3.8 steals and 3.5 blocked shots per game. He scored a season-high 51 points. Shelley, who is expected to play in the Nike All-American Camp this July, was a first-team choice in the Harbor League.

Prep School C Could Return Home To Big Ten
by Chris Monter of, May 19, 2004 at 5:09pm ET
Six-foot-9 center Jonathan Williams of Fitchburg (MA) Notre Dame Academy is close to making a decision to play for Minnesota, according to sources close to the program.

Williams has a passing test score, but is completing work on his core. He will not sign a letter of intent with the late signing period ending today but plans to enroll at Minnesota in the fall. Willams attended St. Cloud (Minn.) Apollo and signed with St. Johns in the 2002 early signing period. However, he de-committed to the Red Storm and went the prep school route to work on his academics.

Williams averaged eight points and eight rebounds per game this season. He was out of shape during part of the season, but has been working hard on his conditioning. Williams saw his stock rise with a strong 2002 summer playing for the Howard Pulley Panthers AAU team. Williams is an outstanding shot blocker and leaper who is just developing an offensive game. He is relatively new to the game and has a bright upside. Williams previously attended high schools in Georgia and Florida and needed some work on his academics, which scared off some schools. He is the sixth newcomer to the Gopher program.

New List For 2005 Guard
by Greg Hicks of, May 19, 2004 at 1:47pm ET
Harvey Perry, Jr., a 6-5 senior point/shooting guard from Las Vegas (Nev.) Cheyenne, will be attending prep school at Brewster Academy next year and become part of the class of 2005.

We spoke with Harvey Perry, Sr. today and he informed us that his son's current top five schools include Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Marquette, Washington and Oregon State.

He has some interest in the Gophers but has not been offered.

Tulane Freshman Looking For New Home
by Chris Monter of, May 19, 2004 at 2:29am ET
Dan Fitzgerald, a 6-foot-8 freshman forward, has left Tulane and is looking for a new school. Fitzgerald averaged 4.2 points in 14.8 minutes per game as a freshman for the Green Wave. He was the St. Paul Pioneer Press Metro Defensive Player of the year as a senior and averaged 16 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block per game for the Cadets.

Fitzgerald is receiving interest from Minnesota, Marquette, Georgetown, Northern Iowa, Illinois State, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Power Forward Has Offers
by Greg Hicks of, May 17, 2004 at 6:52pm ET
Jerry-Davon Jefferson, a 6-7 junior power forward from Lynwood (Calif.) High, told us yesterday that four schools have offered him a scholarship -- USC, Washington, Oregon and Oregon State.

Jefferson said coaches from North Carolina and Kansas have called his high school coach recently.

He had some interest in Minnesota, but he has not been offered.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories