Sports

High hopes for Stanford men's basketball recruits

Stanford men's basketball coach Johnny Dawkins announced the signing of four incoming student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. The group will join the Cardinal for the 2014-15 campaign.

The class is recognized as one of the best in the country, currently ranked as high as No. 13 by ESPN.com, No. 14 by Scout.com and No. 15 by Rivals.com. This year's group represents the second top-15 class for Stanford in five years.

Robert Cartwright (Pasadena), Michael Humphrey (Phoenix, Ariz.), Dorian Pickens (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Reid Travis (Minneapolis, Minn.) are projected as top-100 players and four-star recruits by multiple services.

"This was a very important recruiting class for us and the future of our program," Dawkins said. "The four young men who committed to us are individuals we have targeted for awhile, especially after the July recruiting period, and for that we feel fortunate. We are confident they will all be valuable contributors during their respective careers and will help our program take a big step."

Cartwright is a 6-2, 165-pound point guard from Flintridge Preparatory in La Canada, Calif. His current national rankings are as follows: Scout.com (No. 51 overall, No. 13 position), Rivals.com (No. 78 overall) and ESPN.com (No. 95 overall, No. 21 position).

Cartwright averaged 18.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.8 steals per game during his junior season, leading the Rebels to a 22-7 record, Prep League title, Division V-AA semifinals and CIF State Division V appearance. During the process, Cartwright was named the Prep League Most Valuable Player award, along with first team All-Area and All-CIF honors.

Cartwright also guided Flintridge Preparatory to a CIF Southern Section Division V-AA crown as a freshman. A member of the Los Angeles Rockfish AAU program, Cartwright also attended Chris Paul's CP3 Elite Guard Camp.

"We needed a point guard in this class and Robert was who we targeted, especially after getting to know him and his family better and watching him play last spring," said Dawkins. "He kicked off the class for us with his commitment, and that's reflective of him being a future point guard and leader. He is a consummate point guard, always making plays for his teammates as well as himself. He plays with tremendous energy and passion and really embraces guarding the ball on defense."

Cartwright said he was looking for a blend of academics, sports and a feeling of comfort.

"During the recruitment process, I wanted to find a school where I felt comfortable with the coaches and the players, and a school that has high academics," said Cartwright. "It was also important for me to be able to come in and compete right away, and hopefully be successful for four years. That's really what I wanted. Stanford is a great school with a great basketball program. I immediately connected with the coaches and the players, and just really felt at home."

Humphrey, a 6-9, 215-pound power forward, is in his final season at Sunnyslope High School in Phoenix. Humphrey's current national rankings include the following: Scout.com (No. 80 overall, No. 10 position), Rivals.com (No. 74 overall) and ESPN.com (No. 89 overall, No. 21 position).

Humphrey averaged 11.0 points and 8.0 rebounds as a junior while leading the Vikings to a 28-4 record and advancing to the state semifinals. A versatile two-sport standout who also plays quarterback, Humphrey directed Sunnyslope High School's football team to a 10-0 regular season before falling in the playoffs. Humphrey is a member of the Arizona Magic AAU team and participated in the Pangos All-American Camp this summer.

"Michael is a late bloomer and was someone we, as well as the entire country, learned about a little later as a result," Dawkins said. "We had heard about his growth during last season and started contact with him because of it, along with his great academic profile for us. After one initial viewing in the summer, we knew that we wanted him as a part of this class. He is a versatile forward who has a very bright future. As his high school's quarterback, Michael just led the football team to an undefeated regular season. Now focused solely on basketball, it will be exciting to see Michael develop physically and his game continue to grow with us."

Humphrey was impressed with the campus as well as the academics.

"Stanford provides everything both on and off the court," said Humphrey. "Whether it's the academics or athletics, the people you get to meet or the location, there are just endless opportunities. I just kind of fell in love with the campus and obviously the academics are the best in the world. I think the athletics are going to continue to excel and it's an exciting time for the program. The location is far enough away where I feel like it will be a new experience but close enough where I will not be far from home."

Pickens is a 6-5, 210-pound versatile, athletic wing who has prepped at Pinnacle High School in Phoenix. Tabbed a three-star recruit, Pickens' current national rankings include the following: Rivals.com (No. 126 overall) and ESPN.com (No. 81 overall, No. 18 position).

Pickens averaged 17.8 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game while shooting 55.0 percent overall during his junior season. Named to the AZCentral Sports' All-Arizona Team, Pickens led the Pioneers to a 26-7 record as the club won 16 consecutive games before falling in the Division I title game.

In addition to guiding Pinnacle to Sectionals each of the past three years, Pickens is a two-time first team all-conference recipient after earning second team accolades as a freshman.

"We have recruited Dorian for quite some time," said Dawkins. "I think everybody likes to label him as a shooter, and he is indeed that. However, we really appreciate his complete game and especially his basketball IQ. He really knows how to play and can be trusted making the right play for both himself and his teammates. We are excited that Dorian became the final addition for this class and fortunate that we will have the opportunity to coach him."

Pickens competed at last summer's Peach Jam with the Oakland Soldiers AAU program, while also participating with the Arizona Stars and Magic club teams.

"Stanford is a great university, one of the best in the world," said Pickens. "It's also a basketball program that I would love to be a part of. I'm extremely excited about next year and representing such a great university. There is also a great benefit in that I will be close to home, so I'm really looking forward to representing the West Coast as well."

Travis is a 6-8, 240-pound power forward who attends DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis. Travis is currently ranked among the nation's top-50 by the following: Scout.com (No. 40 overall, No. 7 position), Rivals.com (No. 40 overall) and ESPN.com (No. 23 overall, No. 5 position, five-star recruit).

As a junior, Travis averaged 26.1 points and 9.0 rebounds per game while guiding the Islanders to their second straight Class AAA state title and third since 2006.

Tabbed the Minneapolis Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, Travis also earned MaxPreps second team Junior All-American honors and was named co-state player of the year.

Similar to Humphrey, Travis was a heralded two-sport star who achieved success on the gridiron during his first three seasons before deciding to focus solely on basketball.

"Reid is a young man who we have recruited the longest for this class, so it was definitely rewarding to see his commitment come to fruition," Dawkins said. "He and his family really valued our commitment as well as everything that Stanford has to offer, which speaks volumes about them. Reid had a great year on the court; winning another high school state championship and then having a successful run with his AAU team and all his summer opportunities. Reid will be physically and mentally ready to have an impact right away for us. Reid has always been extremely effective around the basket, but we have always believed in his skill level and versatility, too, which we look forward to continued development."

In addition to leading his AAU squad, Howard Pulley Panthers, to the AAU Super Showcase championship, Travis was equally impressive at the Big Man Skills Academy, LeBron James Skills Academy, Peach Jam, NBA Player Association Top 100 Camp and Global Challenge.

"The biggest thing for me was I just thought it was the right feel," said Travis. "When I was talking to the team, coaches and people on campus, I felt that those were the type of people I want to surround myself with. The Stanford brand, that kind of persona, is how I envision my college experience. That's what sold me. Academics were the top priority for me throughout the recruiting process, especially having the opportunity to come to Stanford along with my brother already attending Harvard. My family really stressed academics from day one, and although you still want to play basketball at the highest level, I just felt that a Stanford education is going to help me out in the best way. I'm really excited to keep following the team's progress and get out there next year."

— Stanford Athletics

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