Reid Travis of DeLaSalle
One look at Travis and it becomes apparent big things lie ahead for the sophomore center, who was the most consistent force in DeLaSalle's recent three-game run to the Class 3A championship
At a broad-shouldered 6-6, he already has the kind of rugged build that college scouts desire. He's agile and athletic, too, able to intimidate inside on one defensive sequence and then make a steal and go in for an uncontested dunk on the next, as he did in the Islanders' quarterfinal victory over Detroit Lakes.
His basketball lineage is impressive -- his older brother, Jonah, plays basketball for Harvard and his uncle, Marcus Travis, was the leading scorer for DeLaSalle's 1998 Class 2A championship team.
And, thanks to his 57 points and 36 rebounds in the state tournament, Travis can add champion to his résumé.
"He's really a first-rate person," DeLaSalle coach Dave Thorson said. "He comes from a quality family. He got better in every game this year. I'm very lucky because I get to coach him for two more years. I expect great things from him."
His stat line will not wow anyone -- in the recently completed Class 4A tournament, Tusler scored 32 points in three games and had 15 turnovers - but it's clear the Orioles never would have won the title without the junior guard's grit and poise.
Better known as a running back for the football team, Tusler approached the tournament with that fearless mentality. His value was evident on those hustle plays that coaches love: diving after loose balls, tipping passes, playing hard-nosed defense.
But Tusler's role was more than just support. He made the most underrated play of the entire tournament in the final moments of the Orioles' 49-47 victory over Lakeville North in the Class 4A championship game. Tusler recognized that the play designed for the final shot, setting up senior guard D.J. Hebert, was not available.
He drove the lane instead, drawing the defense to him, and found wide-open sophomore center Ian Theisen along the baseline for the game-winning 15-foot jumper. It was Tusler's only assist of the game, but it was the biggest of his life.