Heels Co-Lead for Releford

Thanks to his play on both the high school and club circuit levels, 6-4 guard Travis Releford has turned himself into one of the more heavily recruited players in the class of 2008.

A versatile player who scores with or without the ball, the Shawnee Mission (Kan.) Bishop Miege product played well enough at the Adidas Superstar Camp to be named to, and earn, the MVP of the camp's underclassmen All-Star game.

"I felt real good about it, I played well in the game and did what I was supposed to do out there," said Releford. "Before the game I talked to L (summer coach L.J. Goolsby) and he said I need to get off that game. I had been kind of quiet during camp and people were saying that Releford hadn't really done much. I went out there and showed what I can do. I just had to do it."

Often times, lofty rankings and a national reputation can cause a young player to develop an inflated ego. Not only that, young players find lots of people around them looking to get a piece in hopes of earning some type of benefit down the road. So far, Releford has been able to avoid those pitfalls.

"Nothing's gotten to my head," Releford told Inside Carolina. "I just get good advice. People say that just as quick as I blew up it could all go away and I just try to keep that in mind."

Because of his ability to impact games on both ends of the court and the fact that he doesn't need to take a ton of shots to get his points, some of his effectiveness is lost on those not watching closely. A total team player, Releford works hard off the ball to get himself into position for good shots and always finds ways to fill every column of the stat sheet.

Another endearing quality is the way he seems to turn up his game another notch when faced with top competition.

"It seems like that's just natural to me. I play better when I play against good players, it's always been like that for me," said Releford, who also admits that he needs to keep that same focus no matter who he's playing. "When I play against people that aren't all the way up there, I am kind of relaxed. I still play well though."

Not surprisingly, many of the top programs in the country have been vying for his services. Programs like Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, UNLV, Oklahoma, and many others have made overtures. However, Kansas and North Carolina have distanced themselves from the rest of the pack.

"Those are the two (Kansas and North Carolina) so far," said Releford of the two schools that sit atop his list. "I want to go visit North Carolina, but I'm not sure when. We talked about going in November but that could be cutting it close to basketball season."

There is also one other program that could push it's way into the upper tier along with Kansas and UNC.

"I was really interested in Texas, and I wanted to take a visit there to see what they are all about, but I haven't really heard from them lately," said Releford. "My coach says that they are supposed to be coming out and watching soon."

One school that is scheduled to be out to watch him within the next week is North Carolina. Having spoken with several members of the staff, including head coach Roy Williams, Releford thinks they like his overall game after getting a taste of what he can do by watching him over the summer.

"They said they are going to watch me play more," said Releford. "They said they are interested and they like my all-around game and that I can make plays with or without the ball."

As for a decision timeframe, the 16-year-old junior is in no rush to make a choice. Not surprisingly, he says that his mother would prefer he stay closer to Kansas City, but he also feels like he'll have plenty of support whether he chooses to stay close to home or venture out on his own.

"I don't feel pressure to go anywhere," said Releford. "My mom told me it's my future and if I want to go somewhere far then she's going to let me go far if that's what is best for me."

Travis Releford Profile

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