Travis Releford Talks MU
Releford, a 6-foot-5 scorer ranked the No. 25 player in the nation in Scout.com's most recent Top-100 for the Class of 2008, has long been rumored to be a lock for Kansas, but that's not the case, he said.
"I really don't have a favorite team," he said. "I'm open. I want to see what other schools are going to recruit me [this summer]."
As of right now, the schools atop his list, in no particular order, are KU, Mizzou, North Carolina and Texas. Carolina has not offered, while it's unclear whether Texas has. Releford hasn't been keeping close tabs on such issues, though he has taken a liking to MU head coach Mike Anderson and assistant Melvin Watkins.
"They're both real down to earth guys," he said. "I like their program and their style of basketball."
Releford's coach at Miege, Rick Zych, said the Tigers staff has been tireless in its recruitment of Releford, a super-athletic shooting guard who averaged 19 points per game as a junior.
"I'd probably say Coach Anderson and Mizzou have worked as hard as anybody on Travis," Zych said.
"When Coach got the job, they were one of the first schools we saw … Without Coach Anderson, he never would have been [seriously interested in MU]. They have done a great job and they're always there. On a consistent basis, I'd put Missouri and Coach Anderson up there with anybody," Zych said.
Releford has a busy summer planned. He'll be all over the map, traveling with his club team, Kansas City Pump-and-Run. He's the No. 6 shooting guard in the nation heading into the all-important summer season after junior year, when reputations are solidified and individual recruitments takes shape.
Not that he's worried about it.
"I really don't pay any attention to all of that," he said, adding that his goal for the summer is to improve his ballhandling and shooting.
But no matter how he may try and shy away from the spotlight, he's already a know commodity It's difficult to lay low when Kansas begins seriously recruiting you as a ninth-grader.
"He's a guy that's been on the scene since his freshman year," said Scout.com national recruiting analyst Dave Telep. "He's very versatile for his size and has shown the ability to put teams on his back … He's a national level prospect and one of the best prospects in the Midwest."
Releford doesn't have any individual visits planned yet, as he's still trying to figure out exactly which schools will make his final list. He hopes to take some campus stops with his AAU team, and one of them could be in Columbia, where he has visited last year and shot around with some of the players.
Releford said he'll probably commit at the end of the summer, but that's not set in stone. There's plenty of time for Anderson and Co. to continue developing a relationship with him, and little question that's exactly what they'll be trying to do.
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