Gophers Open Period Preview: Week 2

Week two of the open period starts Wednesday and gives local Minnesota fans a chance to head out and watch top targets like McKinley Wright, Jericho Sims, and others at the Summer Classic in Chaska.

Week two of the open period starts Wednesday and gives local Minnesota fans a chance to head out and watch top targets like McKinley Wright, Jericho Sims, and others at the Summer Classic in Chaska. 

#1 McKinley Wright

Year: 2017

Team: D1 Minnesota

Location/Event: Chaska, Minnesota at the Summer Classic

Coach:  Somebody on the Gopher staff will likely always be there at times two coaches.  The event starts Friday so you can expect them to periodically come home to see the D1 Minnesota team. 

The Chatter: Wright continues to be the connection to a lot of talent (close to Sims, John, and Matthew Hurt) plus he is a fantastic fit for the Gophers on both ends.  He’s number one on this list because with him opens the door to others that love playing with him.

Competition: Still Dayton and Minnesota.  I’m told right now they are in front.  Iowa State also trying hard but isn’t there with the other two and Texas and Xavier are in contact but recruiting others harder. 

#2 Jericho Sims

Year: 2017

Team: D1 Minnesota

Location/Event: Chaska, Minnesota at the Summer Classic

Coach:  I think you can expect the Gophers to have at least one come over from Milwaukee on Friday and likely two or three here by Sunday’s semi-finals and finals. 

The Chatter:  Jericho was outstanding last week taking steps forward as a “future pro” some have said.  He had consistent big games at the Adidas Finale and more big name programs are stepping up the effort.  Based on the chatter he’s going to be fast rising up all recruiting rankings soon.

Competition: Texas is really stepping up to get him, Xavier wants Jericho really bad, Oregon just jumped in with both feet in, and of course Minnesota wants him to say home where his brother played football and father played basketball (for the Gophers).  The Gophers have been all over him and many think they are in the lead but nobody knows how long the race is or how close the competitors are.

#3 Theo John

Year: 2017

Team: Howard Pulley

Location/Event:  Milwaukee, the NY2LA Summer Jam

Coach:  This is the biggest event of the weekend in the Midwest so you can fully expect that Richard Pitino, Ben Johnson, and Nate Pomeday will all be there at different points and often together.

The Chatter:  Theo’s ten points and outstanding defensive performance in the game with MoKan has cemented several programs wanting him to come in and be a John Thomas type big with strength, agility, and high defensive ability with the agility and strength to finish at the rim on offense.

Competition:  Cal and Nevada offered this week and are now part of the massive group look at Theo.  Who is there at the top with Minnesota?  I’m told the leaders along with the Gophers are Purdue after his unofficial visit, Oklahoma, and Marquette.  Purdue though is after several bigs from their area and Marquette’s big thing is they are close to home (six hour drive).  Oklahoma had several staff members watching Theo at the Peach Jam. 

#4 Isaiah Washington

Year: 2017

Team: New Heights

Location/Event: Atlanta area, The UAA Finals.

Coach:  Kimani Young will definitely be watching the New Heights crew likely with Pitino coming to see the Under Armour big event as well.

The Chatter:  Washington is still a guy they are after hard and confident with.  What is he thinking for a timetable?  Still tough to know as a recent answer said he would carry this out through the winter.  Minnesota is one of the first teams out of people’s mouths whenever they have the conversation of Isaiah Washington.

Competition:  Still wide open.  Several different programs are mentioned with each conversation. 

#5 Matthew Hurt

Year: 2019

Team: D1 Minnesota

Location/Event: Chaska, Minnesota at the Summer Classic

Coach:  A combination of Pitino and/or Johnson will be there the three days regularly one would think (or at least most games, some of the teams they will play they will beat by 40 plus).

The Chatter:  Last night UCLA offered.  Who could be next?  North Carolina, Kansas, Duke, and Kentucky are calling and I would expect offers to come in the not to distant future. 

Competition: As expected it will always be fierce but Minnesota has an ace in the hole in that Matthew’s brother Michael is currently on the Gopher roster and Matthew is close with McKinley Wright so if they were to get him, that would help too.

#6 Jamir Harris

Year: 2017

Team: NJ Playaz

Location/Event:  The Hoop Group Camp.  Not sure how long this goes and what is attached to it but I know that the NJ Playaz are a part of that at the start of the week.

Coach:  Pitino and Young watched Harris down at the Peach Jam and you can expect them to see him this week.

Competition:  Boston College and the Ivy League schools seem like the top competition right now.  Minnesota had him on a visit at the end of June and things went really well with it.

#7 Wabissa Bede

Year: 2017

Team: Mass Rivals

Location/Event: Not sure.  It’s not made very clear where they will be on their website. 

Coach:  Nate Pomeday is recruiting Bede along with Richard Pitino.

The Chatter:  Bede already had a nice east coast helping of offers and then added Minnesota, Seton Hall, and Dayton after leading his team to the Adidas Finale title. 

Competition:  Bede was quite excited to get his first offer a Big Ten school but at this point everything is wide open.  He told us at GI he hasn’t really thought much at all about visits, he just wants to finish out July strong and then worry about the recruiting aspects.

#8 Terrence Lewis

Year: 2017

Team: Playground Elite

Location/Event:  Milwaukee at the NY2LA Summer Jam.

Coach: Nate Pomeday and Richard Pitino likely to be watching plus Ben Johnson will be there to see the Pulley teams

The Chatter:  Lewis is a three man and teams that need an athletic three man in the Midwest are after him hard.  Minnesota doesn’t need the position that bad but they are watching him game by game after offering.

Competition:  Illinois and Iowa State seemed to place him as a high priority with head coaches watching him often last week plus Marquette’s head guy was there regularly along with Pomeday.

#9 Race Thompson

Year: 2018

Team: D1 Minnesota

Location/Event:  Chaska, Minnesota at the Summer Classic

Coach: Ben Johnson and Richard Pitino

The Chatter:  Remember, Minnesota has five to give in 2018.  They were looking at 2018s everywhere last week.  They had targets in the class at the Peach Jam, at the Adidas Finale, at the Adidas Invite in Indy, back east at the Hall of Fame event in Massachusetts, in the NY2LA event, and elsewhere.  But Thompson is a big one and they saw him play every game in Spartanburg.

Competition:  Right now the competition is Marquette. They are the other high major offer.  Others will join but Marquette is the squad to beat. 

#10 Daniel Oturo

Year: 2018

Team: Howard Pulley

Location/Event: Milwaukee, Summer Jam

Coach:  Ben Johnson, Pitino, and Nate Pomeday will be there to watch.

The Chatter: Oturo is on the fast track to be a top 100 level kid.  His winter numbers were outstanding, he’s grown from 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-9 in the past two and a half years, he’s played well with Pulley 17s, and when he adds some core strength he’s going to be even more dangerous.

Competition: Providence offered along with Minnesota but many more offers will be coming.  The young man is very talented and several top programs have called on him. 

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories