Gopher Men’s Basketball Preview
The Gophers will play Concordia-St. Paul on Monday night in an exhibition game before playing their regular season opener against Lehigh Friday November 8 at 7pm, pregame on AM 1390-the Fan at 6:30.
The Gophers have lots of new faces this season including head coach Richard Pitino. Minnesota returns guards Austin Hollins, Andre Hollins and Maverick Ahanmisi, forward Wally Ellenson and centers Elliott Eliason and Maurice Walker. Minnesota will depend on new transfers Malik Smith, Joey King and Deandre Mathieu. Minnesota will be undersized but under Pitino will run a fast paced exciting system. The biggest question is whether this system can work in the Big Ten and does Pitino have the right personnel yet to execute this?
Andre Hollins and Austin Hollins should thrive in Pitino's system but can a thinner Maurice Walker keep up with this pace. Joey King averaged just 6 points a game at Drake and is expected to start at the #4 for the Gophers with Eliason starting at the #5.
Next week could be a big week for Pitino in his recruiting hoping that forward Reid Travis chooses Minnesota over Duke and Stanford. Pitino has signed 3 3-star recruit but Travis is a 4-star recruit and would bolster this recruiting class. Travis is expected to decide next week.