Gopher Basketball Has Some Holes to Fill
The Gopher men's basketball team now has 4 scholarships to fill after point guard Isaiah Washington announced on twitter Monday that he is transferring from the University of Minnesota. He hasn't decided yet where he is going.
Minnesota has been been linked to many unsigned high school seniors and some potential transfers after signing 6'5 shooting guard/small forward Tre Williams from Mount Pleasant, Utah this past fall. Williams is considered an athletic multi-positional player who moved from a 3-star recruit to a 4-star recruit during his senior year.
The High school seniors most likely to end up in Minnesota are 6'2 combo guard Grant Sherfield from Wichita, Kansas, 6'9 forward Isaiah Ihnen from Germany and 6'10 center Sam Freeman from Justin, Texas. Top in-state recruit Mathew Hurt from Rochester is expected to decide where he's headed April 19 but Minnesota is considered a long shot with Duke, Kentucky, North Carolina and Kansas high on his list.
Sherfield visited Minnesota earlier this month and is visiting Wichita State this week and could decide where he's headed soon. Other schools interested in the 3-star recruit are Wake Forest, Iowa State, Purdue and Texas Tech. Ihnen is a lean 6'9 190 pound athletic power forward from Germany. The 3-star recruit has narrowed his choices to Minnesota, TCU, and Tennessee. He's expected to visit each of those schools later this month. Freeman is a 6'10 3-star shot blocker and rebounder with limited offensive skills at this time. He grew 2 inches in the last year and is considered a raw under the radar talent. TCU and Virginia Tech are also interested in Freeman.
The Gophers acquired three guards last spring due to transfers; Marcus Carr from Pittsburgh, Payton Willis from Vanderbilt and Brock Stull from Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stull was a graduate transfer and played this past year and is leaving the program. Carr has 3 years of eligibility remaining while Willis has 2. Carr averaged 10 points and 4 assists at game his freshman year at Pitt and sat out last year due to transfer rules. He's expected to step into the Gopher starting lineup next season. Willis is a 6'4 shooting guard who averaged 5.1 points a game his sophomore year at Vanderbilt and is expected to come off the bench this next season.
The Gophers could add at least one transfer. Options include 6'7 power forward Anthony Duruji. He is leaving Louisiana Tech after his sophomore year after averaging 12.2 points and 6.1 rebounds a game. The Gophers have reportedly reached out to Duruji.
Graduate senior options who could play right away include 7'1 240 pound center Derrik Smits from Valparaiso, 6'9 245 pound forward Nate Sestina from Bucknell and 6'9 260 pound center Dominik Olejniczak from Ole Miss. Sestina is visiting Kentucky this week.
The Division I men's college basketball late signing period goes from April 17 - May 15.