Alex Conover

Minnesota is likely to bring in a pair of bigs and they have been following the 2018 size with a lot of effort

Richard Pitino and his staff have established a couple recruiting territories in his tenure and when it comes to 2018 bigs the supply locally and in New York should give them what they need.

The Gopher staff missed on Jericho Sims, Nathan Reuvers, and Theo John locally in the 2017 class but don’t forget their roster still includes local talent Reggie Lynch, Amir Coffey, Michael Hurt, Jarvis Johnson, and three local walk-ons so half of the roster is from this state.

Kimani Young has been recruiting the heavily populated areas of New York, New Jersey and Philly which has given this team Dupree McBrayer, Ahmad Gilbert, and the 2017 recruiting class of four star Isaiah Washington and Jamir Harris.

When it comes to handing out a pair of scholarships for 2018 the Gophers won’t have to go very far.  First off, let’s not forget that Race Thompson was the first frontcourt player that Pitino offered.  We listed him in the small forwards but the ever growing Thompson is 6-foot-7, very strong, long, and bouncy so he will play the four too.  Add him to the three local names listed below.

Thomas had a nice July and earned scholarship offers from Oregon State, Iowa State, Arizona State, Marquette, and some others.  His long arms and incredible athleticism in a great frame have everybody watching close including Minnesota, Wisconsin, and others.  Stands 6-foot-6 and needs to get more skilled which is why some teams are waiting.  Has also transferred from Hill-Murray to Tartan to Orono to Bishop Gorman to Orono in his short high school career.

Marlon has been committed to New Mexico since last May but Minnesota was watching the 6-foot-8, 240 pound power forward from Albuquerque for awhile before the choice was made.

The Gophers were the first high major program to offer the 6-foot-11 center who has been playing with Minnesota committed Isaiah Washington for years on the AAU circuit.  Like current Gopher Dupree McBrayer and future Gopher Washington, Brown plays for the New Heights program that Kimani Young used to coach for.  Brown is one of the highest rated center prospects in the class which is why Kansas, Michigan, UCONN, Georgetown, Arizona, Louisville, Florida, Maryland, and so many other programs have also offered.

The 7-foot-2 Adam Trapp controls the paint completely.  We’ve seen long stretches of games where opponents simply don’t try to shoot anything but long jumpers and don’t even try to offensive rebound.  DePaul, Iowa, and Purdue have offered while Minnesota watched him this fall in open gyms in addition to seeing Trapp at their camp and in AAU play.  Adam is still a project because he is so thin but when he’s on balance he scores and controls the paint.  Has had some knee issues in the past.

Daniel Oturo is arguably the most important recruit on this list.  The 6-foot-9 and growing explosive long armed big gets better by the minute.  He has a non stop motor that has also helped earn him a four star ranking.  Minnesota was the first high major program to offer a scholarship and they were followed by Kansas, Nebraska, Baylor, Memphis, Providence, Creighton, and others.  Oturo is from the eastern Woodbury part of the community that is in the Stillwater school district but Oturo goes to CDH.

The 6-foot-9 Mamadou Doucoure is from New York and plays for the PSA Cardinals team that Minnesota watches so closely year by year.  Right now he’s rate as just outside the national top 100 and has offers from Pitt, UCONN, and St. John’s so far among others.  Doucoure fits the mold of the type of guys that Minnesota has tracked from the east coast.

Parks is a guy we are throwing in here as a name to watch.  He’s from New York City and stands 6-foot-8 and 235 pounds.  Has seven offers so far including Pitt, Saint Louis, UMASS, and a few others.  A little under the radar now but keep the name in mind.  Some services have him as a four star guy already.

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