Gopher Fall Signees

Under first year head coach Richard Pitino, Minnesota signed three recruits in their basketball class and we give our analysis on the outlook of this class

Nate Mason - Mason is possibly the top recruit out of the current class. Mason reminds people, including Gopher's Head Coach Richard Pitino, of Andre Hollins. While Mason has a ways to go to get to that level, the potential is certainly there. Mason has good range and is solid with the ball in his hands, sometimes being fairly flashy. The biggest area that I see a similarity between Mason and Andre Hollins is that both are very capable of creating their own shot. Another area that the two are similar in is that both can play either the 1 or 2 guard positions. Coach Pitino said in the press conference that they liked that about Nate and they will likely utilize that flexibility. Pitino also said multiple times when discussing Mason that they "got a steal" in landing Mason. That certainly seems to be the case when you watch Mason's film or look at his stats from Peach Jam where he averaged 14.3 points per game against some very good competition and led his team to a second place finish. Mason has very good athleticism and is a very good fit in Coach Pitino's system.

Josh Martin - Martin is the lone big in this class thus far. Martin stands at 6-8, but what really sets him apart from the competition is his motor. Coach Richard Pitino said in Wednesday's press conference announcing his signing that Martin's motor "starts during warm-ups and doesn't stop until the final buzzer sounds." This is apparent when watching Martin's highlights as there are numerous dunks from warmups that not only showcase Martin's athleticism, but also his passion for the game. Martin's athleticism and motor will pay dividends in the paint and on the glass. Martin is also capable of hitting some jumpers from outside and is fairly good with the ball in his hands for a power forward. While he lacks elite moves inside and is still quite lanky, Martin will likely contribute early due to both his work ethic and talent as well as a lack of depth inside for the Gophers. I think Martin will be a very good player by his junior year, but he'll have growing pains like most players will. Martin, like Mason, is a very good fit in Coach Pitino's uptempo system.

Carlos Morris - Morris is a JUCO transfer and was a four star rated player coming out of high school. He was originally committed to South Carolina, but ended up at Chipola College in Florida. Morris averaged 13.3 points per game as a freshman last year, sharing the court with multiple power conference players. Morris will be a junior when he arrives at the University of Minnesota. The biggest thing that Pitino and staff like about Morris is his ability to score. Like the other two in this class, Morris is very athletic. which is a requirement if you want to be able to play in Pitino's system. Much like Mason, Morris is more than capable of creating his own shot and shoots the ball with a lot of confidence. Morris also has good court vision. He averaged 2 assists per game last year and while he looks more like a scorer than a distributor he's not afraid to give the ball up if someone else has a better look at the basket. Morris will get his points both from outside and from driving to the basket. Morris also has enough size that he could potentially spend some time at the 3 though the 2 is a more likely home for him.

Brice Marich also contributed to this report


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