Reid Travis to Stanford

Reid Travis spurned both perennial powerhouse Duke and home-state school Minnesota in order to go play for Johnny Dawkins at Stanford.

“It just kind of came down to the feeling,”  said Travis, who averaged 26.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game last season, according to the Star Tribune. “I went out to Stanford and immediately it just felt like home and it was comfortable there … [Cardinal coach] Johnny Dawkins did a great job of building a relationship with me since sophomore year. It got to the point this last year where it wasn’t even like he was recruiting me anymore, it was like I was talking to a family member — he was just checking in on me.” To read more of this story, click here

Stanford's Owens Has New Lease on Life

NEW YORK — Josh Owens says he feels a renewed commitment to basketball.

That makes sense considering Owens had to redshirt the 2009-10 season at Stanford because of an undisclosed medical condition.

“There was all types of possibilities,” the 6-foot-8, 235-pound Owens said of what could’ve happened as a result of his medical situation. “I wasn’t allowed to practice with the team. It definitely was one of the toughest experiences.” To read more of this story, click here

Perry Ellis Weighing Options

Perry Ellis is from Kansas, but he grew up a Duke fan.

“I actually grew up liking Duke but not [any] more,” the 6-foot-8, 212-pound rising junior said by phone from the Kevin Durant Skills Academy in Chicago. “That’s what I liked growing up more.”

Now a member of the USA Developmental National Team and one of the top small forwards in the nation, Ellis has a slew of elite programs after him — but he isn’t counting Duke among them.

Ellis lists Kansas, Memphis, Kentucky, Kansas State, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Stanford, Oklahoma and Wichita State as college options.

“Nobody has a an edge. I’m just looking,” said Ellis, who carries a 4.0 GPA. To read more of this story, click here

Madness Roundup; Powell to Stanford

I was at the Pittsburgh-Rutgers football game last night, but Midnight Madness festivities tipped off around the nation. Here’s a brief rundown on a few high profile events.

UCONN

Some 9,000 fans turned out at Gampel Pavillion to support the Huskies on First Night.

6-8 Oak Hill (Va.) forward Roscoe Smith is considering Duke, UConn and Georgetown. He has already visited Georgetown and was at UConn on Friday.

“I’m a versatile-type player. I can do it all,” Smith told David Borges of The New Haven Register. “Anything the coach needs of me, I can do.” To read more of this story, click here

Selby Considering UConn; Pinkston, Collier, Williams Plan Visits

Josh Selby visited UConn on Thursday and is considering the Huskies along with a number of other schools.

“I talked to his mom yesterday [Thursday],” said Herman Harried, head coach of Baltimore (Md.) Lake Clifton. “They say everything went very well.

“They are being considered as one of his top schools.”

Selby, the No. 2 point guard in the Class of 2010,  decommitted from Tennessee and is still considering other schools, including Kansas, Kentucky, Miami, Syracuse and Texas, Harried said.

“He’s still going to look at other schools,” he said. “They’re gonna get back home and sit down and plan some other visits.” To read more of this story, click here

Barnes Does More Than Ball

During a recent unofficial visit to Stanford University, basketball coach Johnny Dawkins was giving Harrison Barnes a tour of campus.

The next meeting on the schedule was an 11:30 a.m. with a certain “Professor Rice.”

Turned out it was Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state who is now teaching at the school.

Barnes, a 6-foot-7 wing from Ames (Iowa) Senior High who is ranked No. 1 among small forwards in the Class of 2010, had only known Rice from TV appearances in which she didn’t seem to have much of a sense of humor.

But when he finally met Rice in her office, she was laughing and joking and making him feel right at home.

Read the full story here.

Tristan Thompson: The Best Canadian Ever?; The Marvell Waithe Update

I just finished up a story for the upcoming issue of Basketball Times on Canadian forward Tristan Thompson and thought I’d mention a few things.

I covered the Texas-bound Thompson during his stint at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark, when he was listed at 6-foot-8, 215 pounds. He’s now 6-10, 240 with a game that screams NBA potential. His mother, Andrea, said Tristan’s great-grandfather grew to 7 feet.

Thompson just returned Tuesday morning from an 18-hour adventure home from the FIBA U19 World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand. It was 13 hours from Auckland to Los Angeles and another five to his home in Toronto.

“I’m pretty tired,” Thompson said by phone. “I’ve been playing for the last four weeks non-stop so my body’s kind of tired. But I’ve been taking care of my body real well so I’ll probably need just two days to rest and I’ll be back in the gym working out.” To read more of this story, click here