Maverick Ahanmisi is the Latest Gopher Commit

Maverick Ahanmisi, a 6-foot-1 point guard from Stoneridge Prep who visited Minnesota Wednesday, has committed and will sign this weekend. Ahanmisi was headed to Boise State last fall, but went to Stoneridge Prep after failing to clear the NCAA Clearinghouse. GoldenSports.Net caught up with Ahanmisi and Branch West Recruiting Assistance Service head Bob Gottlieb to learn the latest on his decision.

Maverick Ahanmisi visited Minnesota Wednesday and spent the day with Coach Tubby Smith and his future teammates. GoldenSports.Net caught up with Ahanmisi to learn about his decision.

What was it about Minnesota that made you realize that this is where you want to be?

"A lot of things. A lot of positive things. On of the things I look for is how I fit in with the team, like if I like my teammates. I am going to be with them 24/7, so you've got to like your teammates and of course, the coach. I just felt like it was a good fit and the environment was great. I just felt like it would be a good fit and I would like to go there and I'd have a good time going there."

What other visits had you taken and what other visits were you planning on taking before coming to Minnesota?

"I had taken a visit to UCSB and before Minnesota, Loyola of Chicago wanted me to come out on a visit."

What they told you your role is going to be with the team?

"As of right now, I'll be helping back up and as of what I've heard from them, I'm what they need to really help space the floor, when we get it into the post and they kick it back out for a jump shot. That will basically be my role, to help space the floor, bring up the ball."

What are you strengths as a player?

"My strength as a player is my jump shot. I've got a good jump shot. I get a lot of tipped passes."

What thing are you working on to improve as a player?

"Ballhandling and probably get better on my on-ball defense."

Have you thought much about a possible major?

"Most likely, business and sports management, something like that."

Do you know when you are going to arrive at Minnesota are you planning on coming up for summer school in June?

"I'm actually supposed to call Coach today or tomorrow and he will give me all the details."

Branch West Recruiting Assistance Service head Bob Gottlieb said that Ahanmisi enjoyed his visit and wanted to commit to Minnesota shortly after the trip.

"They offered Maverick a scholarship and he wanted to sign, but they said "Look, go home and sit down with your family and make sure that this is the right thing for you and that this is what you really want and if it is, we would really love to have you."

Gottlieb said that Ahanmisi enjoyed his time in Minnesota.

"I know that he loved the visit. He had a great visit. Tubby Smith, the whole day, was with him personally. Things could not have gone any better."

Gottlieb said that Ahanmisi is a player with many strengths.

"Tremendous shooter and scorer. He is a great, great shooter with range, but he is much more than a shooter. He is a scorer. He does everything. He is a complete offensive basketball player. He can drive. He can break a defense down. He can find the open people. He'll also finish. He sees the court extremely well. He knows how to play. He is always under control. He always plays within himself. He's been playing with him for two and a half years and we run things like a college program. He will certainly bring to the table, someone who is ready to play. Tubby plays straight up defense and Maverick is very athletic and he anticipates well defensively. I think that is one area that he needs to improve a bit, but with Tubby's coaching and his general talent and athleticism, I don't see any problems. He is very bright and a quick learner. He is one of the best players I've had in the last ten years or so. I've had Cole Aldrich and Deon Thompson from North Carolina. We've had some really good players and he is probably the best natural scorer of the bunch."

Gottlieb think that Ahanmisi can also play point guard for the Gophers, which could be a trouble spot for Minnesota with questions about the eligibility of Al Nolen and transfer of freshman Justin Cobbs.

"Maverick in high school, for Golden Valley, played point exclusively. The preceding summer for me, he played point. Last summer, we moved him to the off guard in order to take advantage of his vast scoring skills. He is capable of playing wither one of them. One of the other attributes he has, he might be the best end of the game scorer that I have had in a long, long time. Someone that you can run things for in the last two or three minutes and have him come off screens and nailing jumpers with the game on the line. He is really, really good at that and that is a rare quality. I think that he is a guard. It is almost sacrilegious to have to say that he is an off guard. That he is a point guard. He is a guard. He is a complete player offensively. He knows how to play. He is athletic. He has good ability. He is very bright. He is a smart player. He makes good decisions. He'll be an asset to the program, whether it is coming off the bench as a freshman and contributing 15-18 minutes a game or whether it is starting. Maverick is ready to play. First of all, keep in mind, he is a fifth year player, too. He played at Stoneridge Prep this year, so he is a year older and that much more experienced than a normal high school player. So it is almost like getting a kid out of junior college with four years of eligibility left."

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