Losses: After this season, the Gophers will lose seniors Al Nolen at point guard and shooting guard Blake Hoffarber. Both of these losses will no doubt hurt the Gophers. Nolen is a great pass-first point guard who does a great job at facilitating the Gophers' offense. Last season, Nolen missed half the year but still averaged 4.6 assists per game to go with an impressive 2.4 steals per contest. Guard Devoe Joseph plays well at the point but excels when he can let the ball fly from the wing.
The loss of Hoffarber could be more problematic. Not only is Hoffarber a light-out shooter, but he is a great leader who has gotten lots of playing time since his freshman year. Last season, Hoffarber hit 46.7% of his three point attempts and averaged 10.0 points per game. The Gophers will need to find some solid recruits to replace the holes left by Nolen and Hoffarber.
Recruits: The Gophers recently got a commitment from wing Joe Coleman. Coleman is a 6-foot-3 athlete from Hopkins High School who is the 29th ranked small forward in the country. Coleman is a kid who can play shooting guard in college, but does not have the same sharpshooting ability of Hoffarber. Coleman is a great athlete who will be able to help the Gophers put points on the board with his hustle and hard work. Coleman should be able to fill some of the scoring void left by Hoffarber.
Another player who could help in the scoring department is guard Andre Hollins from Memphis, Tennessee. Hollins, like Coleman is a great athlete who gets to the cup with ease. He also has a great shot that he shoots effortlessly. In a recent interview with Goldensports.net, Hollins explained that he is working on his ball handling to get ready to play in college.
At 6-foot-1, Hollins isn't the tallest guard and could see some time playing guard. Hollins is a solid player and would be a great addition to the Gopher recruiting class. He holds offers from Auburn, Ole Miss, Stanford and Harvard. A great student, Hollins is said he is very interested in a school with great academics. Because of this, Stanford and Harvard might have a slight edge.
The top recruit that the Gophers are targeting is 6-foot-0 point guard Naadir Tharpe. Tharpe is a pass-first point guard who is great combination of athleticism, ball-handling ability and court vision. He can run the ball in transition or beat his guy of the dribble for a quick finish around the room or a kick to an open teammate. Tharpe would be a huge pickup for Tubby Smith and the Gophers. He is a player who could step in and get some minutes running the point for Minnesota.
Tharpe is also a good defender who would fit well on a Tubby Smith team. Recently, the recruitment of Tharpe has picked up. He now holds offers from Minnesota, Iowa State and Oklahoma, while gaining interest from Kansas. So far, his only visit has been to Minnesota but he plans on taking more visits this year.
Basketball Recruiting Overview
Gopher Illustrated Top Stories
5 takeaways from Minnesota's 34-32 winFive takeaways from GopherIllustrated's Ryan Burns on Minnesota's 31-10 last second victory at home over Rutgers on Homecoming.
Gopher IllustratedYesterday at 2:50 PM
Gopher Scrimmage ThoughtsMinnesota gave the Gopher fans their first viewing of the 2016-17 season. The scrimmage was short but the players got their nerves out in a 20 minute running time event.
Gopher IllustratedYesterday at 2:36 PM
Minnesota escapes 34-32 over RutgersSophomore kicker Emmit Carpenter hits a 27-yard field goal to give Minnesota a 34-32 victory.
Gopher IllustratedYesterday at 10:30 AM
Focus on 16-17: The RotationToday the Focus Series turns to the rotation which is something for GI fans to think of when they see tomorrow’s scrimmage.
Gopher IllustratedFriday at 10:55 AM