Trevor Gruis Makes Gophers-Northwestern Tilt

Trevor Gruis, a 6-foot-9, 200-pound junior big man from Ellsworth (MN) High, attended the Minnesota-Northwestern game Sunday. Gruis helped lead the Panthers to their second consecutive Class A state title as a sophomore as he finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds in an 81-63 win over Minnesota Transitions. GoldenSports.Net caught up with Gruis to learn the latest on his recruitment.

Trevor Gruis helped pace Ellsworth to a 31-2 mark last season. The Panthers were led by Cody Schilling, who became the state's all-time leading scorer during the tournament. Schilling finished the game with 31 points and 10 rebounds and Gruis finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds rebounds in the championship game.

Gruis had 19 points and 14 rebounds in the state tournament with a 59-41 first-round victory over Granada-Huntley-East Chain.

Gruis has had to carry more of an offensive load this season without Schilling, who is currently the second leading scorer at Augustana as a freshman. Gruis has helped the Panthers get off to a 20-2 start and is averaging 17 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 blocked shots per game.

Ellsworth has four regular-season games left and Gruis has high hopes for the rest of the season.

"Hopefully, we'll take it just one game at a time and hopefully get back to the state tournament," he said. "That would be nice."

Ellsworth has shined, despite the loss of Schilling, who averaged 27.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.7 assists per game as a senior and was named the Associated Press Player of the Year award. Gruis and his teammates have had to step up their games.

"It's a lot different. He's a good player and all, but this year we are just playing good team ball. We don't need Cody, I guess, this year. We are just getting it done with the five guys we have this year," Gruis said.

GoldenSports.Net also caught up with Ellsworth head coach Tyler Morris to learn more about his star big man, who is hearing from South Dakota State, Minnesota, Bucknell and Cornell.

"I would say that South Dakota State is probably the most interested of any of those people," Morris said.

Morris feels that Gruis has made strong improvement since the beginning of the season.

"He is probably one of the better passing post players that I have seen. He has had a couple of games in which he has had eight assists. He really sees the floor very well. He can handle the ball extremely well. I think that he played some point back in junior high, so he can handle the ball really well. He is getting better. His post moves have come along this year. He has a really good jump hook that he has been going to a lot more. He blocks out well. Rebounds well, especially on the defensive end. Just a really good overall player," Morris said.

Morris believes that Gruis has things he can improve on as a player.

"Footwork is one thing that I have noticed that he needs to get better at and quicker feet in general. Sometimes he needs to be more aggressive, but lately that has not been an issue. He had 23 points in our last game and before that, he had 30," Morris said. "He has been more aggressive of late, but sometimes he needs to do more. Sometimes, he settles for jump shots rather than attacking. That is something that we talk to him a lot about."

Morris said that colleges are starting to make the trek to watch Gruis play.

"South Dakota State has been down to three or four of his games. Minnesota came to watch him at Fairmont. Minnesota State Mankato has come to watch him," Morris said.

Minnesota is the latest school to show interest in Gruis. Associate head coach Ron Jirsa watched Ellsworth faces Fairmont earlier this month in a 91-76 win.

"I have never talked to them before. They were at one of our games," Morris said. "I just kind of imagined that they were watching him. I don't know who else on the court that could have been watching. But I have never talked to them at all."

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