On Saturday, Duke began showing interest in 2014 power forward prospect Reid Travis. Adam Rowe (@bluedevillair) at bluedevillair.com was the first to report this information. Travis is considered a 4 star recruit by ESPN, and he is ranked 40th among 2014 recruits. ESPN has his current list of schools at Arizona, Boston College, Harvard, Iowa State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Stanford, UCLA and USC. Duke is just in the beginning stages of recruiting Reid Travis but Duke may be recruiting him for more then just his skills. Travis is an AAU teammate with top point guard recruit Tyus Jones. Travis is an extremely talented player who Duke would love to have, but Tyus Jones seems to be the real key here.
Tyus Jones is known to have cut his list to Baylor, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, Minnesota and Ohio State. Many have rumored Duke to be at the top of the list for Jones and his potential package deal with Jahlil Okafor. But, you can never count Bill Self, John Calipari and Tom Izzo out of a recruiting battle. Duke needs any possible advantage to get with Jones, and Reid Travis could be a huge advantage. The ability for Duke to now bring in three of Jones’ friends to play with him, Jahlil Okafor, Travis Reid and Justise Winslow, could push an already great school over the top. Tyus Jones looks to be a truly special player and Duke needs to do anything they can to bring him to Durham.
When I first saw the news, I thought it was just to further recruit Jones, but Reid Travis could be a great piece for Duke, even without Jones. He is extremely athletic at 6’8″, 240 pounds. He is a solid rebounder, defender and can score with efficiency. He uses his superior strength to bully on the block and has the finesse to finish at the rim. He is a multi-sport athlete as well as the starting quarterback for his high school team. Reid Travis is a great athlete, and Duke would be lucky to have him. As likely a 4 year player, he has the ability to impact Duke over the four years he would be here and would give Duke another senior leader that many top schools are looking for.
I believe Duke recruiting Reid Travis is a win-win situation. They get to recruit a top notch player while making themselves more attractive for Tyus Jones. If Reid Travis ends up at Duke, he may not make an immediate impact, but he has the chance to be a solid player down the road. Hopefully Duke continues recruiting Travis and become significant players in his recruitment because it can only bring good things for Duke. Duke is looking to bring in two big men this recruiting year, between Jahlil Okafor, Myles Turner and Kevon Looney, and Travis could be the perfect fit as the power forward with Jahlil Okafor or even Myles Turner. Obviously, this is just the beginning of Reid Travis’ recruitment by Duke but I am excited to see what happens.