By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The college rule that allows student athletes who complete graduation early to transfer without penalty is becoming a craze.

Geno Crandall went from DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis to the University of North Dakota. He is now looking for his next school, and he’s got plenty of interest.

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It’s summer time, and Crandall is honing his skills in the pro-am league.

“I think that the biggest thing for myself and probably a lot of the younger college guys and some of the high school guys is you just get to play against, you know, professionals. There’s a bunch of pros here, you know, every game, and there’s so much that you can learn from in the game, but then the experience of getting to know those guys and having them to, you know, kind of lean on,” Crandall said.

Geno Crandall (credit: CBS)

And he’s got something to prove. After a stellar career at UND, he will graduate early enough that he can transfer for one year without penalty.

“It was kind of something that I talked about with the coaching staff up there at North Dakota a little bit after the season had ended,” he said. “I still have a couple classes to finish up before I officially graduate, and all the schools that are recruiting me know that,” Crandall said.

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That announcement brought the colleges looking for immediate help at point guard into a recruiting war. Richard Pitino wants him and needs him. His high school coach, Dave Thorson, is now an assistant at Colorado State. They are among the suiters.

“A talented kid. I knew him from high school, went to DeLaSalle, he’s really talented, really explosive athlete. He’ll play on the ball, off the ball,” said Pro Am Summer Basketball League director Jamar Diggs. “I just know he’s a hard worker, he’s a great kid off the court as well.”

Whoever lands him will land a mature guard that understands basketball, and has a high basketball I.Q.

“Right now I’d say the top four are probably Minnesota, Xavier, Gonzaga and Colorado State,” Crandall said. “I’ve taken calls from just about every coach you can think of from across the country.”

And wherever he ends up, he knows where he wants to end up next year: in his home state — the home of the national championship game.

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“I’m just somewhere I can win. I got one year left, want to win at a high level,” he said. “And if possible, you know, Final Four would be nice, you know. Come home and play in Minneapolis in the Final Four.”

Mike Max