Signings 2024 Class

Ignatius L Hoops

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The two members of Gophers women's basketball coach Dawn Plitzuweit's most recent recruiting class are expected to sign their national letters of intent Wednesday:

McKenna Johnson, a 5-9 guard from Wilmot (Wis.) Union High school;

Tori McKinney, a 6-1 guard from Minnetonka.
 




MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota head coach Dawn Plitzuweit announced that McKenna Johnson and Tori McKinney have signed their National Letters of Intent to join the Minnesota women's basketball program for the 2024-25 season.

This is an incredibly exciting day as we welcome two fantastic young ladies and their families into our Gopher Women's Basketball Program," Plitzuweit said. "Tori McKinney and McKenna Johnson are both outstanding students, both are ultra-competitive, and both are high-energy individuals who will be great fits for our program and for the University of Minnesota."

Victoria "Tori" McKinney | Guard | Minnetonka, Minnesota | Minnetonka High School
McKinney joins the Golden Gophers as an elite player, earning back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year laurels from Prep Girls Hoops during the 2022 and 2023 AAU season, which she played with North Tartan. In McKinney's most recent AAU campaign she averaged 11.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.1 steals. She took numerous charges throughout the EYBL circuit, including taking 10 charges during the Boo Williams Tournament. McKinney, a 6-1 guard, has played at the varsity level at Minnetonka since her seventh-grade year. McKinney, the daughter of Jennifer and Thomas McKinney, is an honor roll student with a weighted GPA of 4.271 and was a three-time All-Conference performer. McKinney's father, Thomas, was a track and field athlete at the University of Virginia from 1987-91 while her uncle, Anthony, played for the Minnesota Vikings and other NFL teams from 1997-99.

"By staying home, I already have a built-in fan base, so I am very excited to be surrounded and supported by my family and friends," McKinney said. "I am very excited to play under Coach Plitzuweit and the rest of her coaching staff. Throughout my phone calls and visits to the University of Minnesota, I can see the work ethic, dedication, and passion the coaches and players have. I am excited to join a family that wants to win and put forth effort to do so. Lastly, ever since I was young, I have wanted to compete in the best conference and playing in the Big 10, I will have a chance to play against and with the best of the best in women's basketball."


"Tori is a brilliant student with well over a 4.0 GPA and someone who is interested in the Carlson School of Business," Plitzuweit said. "On the court, Tori developed under Coach Brian Cosgriff at Minnetonka High School and by all the coaches in the North Tartan Program. She is an absolute winner and competed for an AAU National Championship during her career. In our style of play Tori will be an outstanding fit offensively as she shoots it well from the arc, she handles it, and she also gets to the rim to score or oftentimes kicks it out and creates shots for her teammates. Tori's versatility is not only outstanding on the offensive end of the court, but she is also a lockdown defender. She is a tremendous on-ball defender, while also being someone who helps her teammates at a high level, and our fans will see her taking charges all over the court. We are thrilled about Tori staying home and we are so happy to welcome her and the McKinney family to Gopher nation!"

McKenna "Kenna" Johnson | Guard | Wilmot, Wis. | Wilmot Union High School
An elite shooter out of the state of Wisconsin, Johnson brings a dynamic game to the Gophers as the No. 60 ranked recruit in the latest 2024 ESPN top 100 rankings. In her most recent season, the 5-9 guard averaged 26.1 points, 10 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.0 assists per contest. The Wilmot, Wis., native has played for the Wisconsin Flight Elite program, where she helped lead the program to the EYBL Final Four this past summer. At Wilmot Union, Johnson is a three-time All-Conference performer and was named to the All-State team after her junior season. She's been selected as the team's MVP for three consecutive years with her high school team winning the regional championship in 2021. Johnson, who is one of seven children, is the daughter of Amy and Scott Johnson.

"I chose the University of Minnesota because I connected well with Coach Plitzuweit and the entire coaching staff," Johnson said. "I really like the style of play that they bring, and I loved the campus, the beautiful facilities and the great academic programs that Minnesota offers."


"McKenna Johnson is a top-notch student and is someone who will excel here at the University of Minnesota in the classroom," Plitzuweit said. "McKenna has been mentored on the basketball court by Coach Keith Skrzynecki at Wilmot Union High School and by Coach Nic Levy on the AAU circuit this past year playing for the Wisconsin Flight Elite. She's a player who is versatile in how she scores the ball. She can shoot it from deep, she can get to the rim and she's incredibly comfortable in the midrange game as well. Her versatility as a combo guard, combined with her toughness, shows in that she averaged a double-double as a point guard in her junior season. She truly seems to have a nose for the ball and is someone who was always in the right spots in the games we watched this past spring and summer. We are incredibly excited about McKenna and the entire Johnson family joining our family here and we cannot wait to have McKenna with us in the Twin Cities!"

The Golden Gophers will host LIU in the season opener at Williams Arena on Wed., Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. Fans interested in buying season tickets for Gopher women's basketball this season can find more information at https://z.umn.edu/24sznTixor by calling the Minnesota Ticket Sales Office by phone at 1-800-U-GOPHER or by email at [email protected].
 

ESPN HoopGurlz 2024:



PrepGirlsHoops 2024:




The #60 ESPN rank on Johnson is at the high range. None-the-less, #60 is what it says for due credit.
 


McKenna Johnson is intriguing because her stock jumped. Why? Is she that good, or should I say, how good is she?

According to her bio at Gopher Sports (pasted above):

...elite shooter.

...most recent season, the 5-9 guard averaged 26.1 points, 10 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.0 assists per contest.

...played for the Wisconsin Flight Elite program, where she helped lead the program to the EYBL Final Four this past summer.

...three-time All-Conference performer and was named to the All-State team after her junior season.

...selected as the team’s MVP for three consecutive years with her high school team winning the regional championship in 2021...
 

McKenna Johnson is intriguing because her stock jumped. Why? Is she that good, or should I say, how good is she?

According to her bio at Gopher Sports (pasted above):

...elite shooter.

...most recent season, the 5-9 guard averaged 26.1 points, 10 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.0 assists per contest.

...played for the Wisconsin Flight Elite program, where she helped lead the program to the EYBL Final Four this past summer.

...three-time All-Conference performer and was named to the All-State team after her junior season.

...selected as the team’s MVP for three consecutive years with her high school team winning the regional championship in 2021...

Johnson received offers from Iowa State and Marquette, and from Big Ten teams Michigan State and Wisconsin.

According to her coach Keith Skrzynecki, “She has worked tremendously hard this offseason to work on her craft. She has taken on ideas and suggestions to improve her game both offensively and defensively. The sky’s the limit with her.”

 

Has anyone heard anything how Johnson’s season is going? I tried to look up games or newspaper articles today but couldn’t find anything.
 

Has anyone heard anything how Johnson’s season is going? I tried to look up games or newspaper articles today but couldn’t find anything.
I've been looking also. She's doesn't seem to be on the roster. I saw the following on Wilmot Sports twitter account concerning her signing day:

"Congrats to ⁦⁦
@KennaJohnson11
⁩ for signing her letter of intent to play for ⁦
@GopherWBB
⁩. Kenna is forgoing her senior season to enroll early at Minnesota. Best of luck Kenna!!"
 
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Interesting! Thanks for that. So I assume she could start playing in January.
 

I've been looking also. She's doesn't seem to be on the roster. I saw the following on Wilmot Sports twitter account concerning her signing day:

"Congrats to ⁦⁦
@KennaJohnson11
⁩ for signing her letter of intent to play for ⁦
@GopherWBB
⁩. Kenna is forgoing her senior season to enroll early at Minnesota. Best of luck Kenna!!"

I see what you mean. I have no opinion. Here is what I found to look at what you posted:


1702815182521.png

ESPN HoopGurlz still has her at #61 2024 prospect. PrepGirlsHoops doesn't have her as a top 5 Wisconsin player for 2024. I previously subscribed for articles but rather not this time to read Wisconsin articles for more information. She bounced up in rankings later her senior year, so PGH may have underrated her final ranking. May have, I don't know.

Here is a link that gets close to stats but looks incomplete. No mention of Johnson.



1702814574032.png







I assume this is from last season:
1702814443407.png
 
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Ok that makes more sense now. Thanks. I do not think her HS team is very good. As a HS coach though idk how I feel about it. It will be nice for her to get some experience as I believe the Gophers will use her next season.
 



Interesting! Thanks for that. So I assume she could start playing in January.
Does anyone know if she enrolls in January if she can counted to last years signing class and be eligible to play when school starts. Or is it strictly start school early and practice with team but not play?
 

Does anyone know if she enrolls in January if she can counted to last years signing class and be eligible to play when school starts. Or is it strictly start school early and practice with team but not play?
I'm guessing it will be like when Sophie joined us.. maybe she will be able to practice with us but I'm guessing she won't play.. so she is allowed all 4 years.
 

Does anyone know if she enrolls in January if she can counted to last years signing class and be eligible to play when school starts. Or is it strictly start school early and practice with team but not play?
Not sure. But, it sounds a lot like Katie Borowicz's situation. She left high school early and played right away. She only played in 14 games and it was considered a red shirt season.
 

Not sure. But, it sounds a lot like Katie Borowicz's situation. She left high school early and played right away. She only played in 14 games and it was considered a red shirt season.
It's similar but different because of the Covid extension. From the STrib at the time:

It won't cost her a year of eligibility. Because of the NCAA's decision to extend eligibility for winter sports, giving athletes an addition season of competition, Borowicz would be in line for a waiver that would allow her to play four more seasons after this partial season is over
 
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Not sure. But, it sounds a lot like Katie Borowicz's situation. She left high school early and played right away. She only played in 14 games and it was considered a red shirt season.

Yes and also I think because of Covid rule, they said. May not apply in this case. I am curious to know.
 

I also thought that was a covid thing….however if for some reason it’s not. I wouldn’t be surprised if she found minutes.
 

Interesting situation... she could play but would that be the best course of action?
Cassandre Prosper enrolled in January last year at Notre Dame. She played in most all games
last year once she enrolled in school. She is now a sophomore.

Not fair for basketball players...football freshmen enroll in January and get to practice spring football. Then they play their freshman season just as if they enrolled in September. They end the season as a freshman and get to play four full years with five spring practices. Basketball players if they play would end their senior year at Christmas.

I'm guessing McKenna practices but doesn't play like Betts did who redshirted for the Gopher guys after enrolling early in September last year. I would think McKenna will redshirt as well to have four years left after this season.

Time will tell.
 
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Interesting situation... she could play but would that be the best course of action?
Cassandre Prosper enrolled in January last year at Notre Dame. She played in most all games
last year once she enrolled in school. She is now a sophomore.

Not fair for basketball players...football freshmen enroll in January and get to practice spring football. Then they play their freshman season just as if they enrolled in September. They end the season as a freshman and get to play four full years with five spring practices. Basketball players if they play would end their senior year at Christmas.

I'm guessing McKenna practices but doesn't play like Betts did who redshirted for the Gopher guys after enrolling early in September last year. I would think McKenna will redshirt as well to have four years left after this season.

Time will tell.
Because volleyball is also a fall/winter sport (like football), those athletes can also enroll early and not lose eligibility. Both 2024 volleyball commits join the team in January. But I suspect you are right about the basketball red shirt. It would be asking a lot for her to be ready to play immediately and lose a year for only half a season.
 

Early enrollees can practice with team once enrolled in school. Doesn't sound like they can play in games without using eligibility.
 


Minnetonka just defeated No. 4 Maple Grove by 13 points and edged No. 8 Eden Prairie by two points. Junior standout Aaliyah Crump scored 31 points in the 67-54 victory over Maple Grove, while Gophers recruit Tori McKinney scored 25 in a 62-60 win over Eden Prairie.
 




ASGR has issued updated ranking for the class of 2024, with McKenna Johnson checking in at # 72, and Tori McKinney checking in at # 98.


I don't follow high school basketball. Maybe others know this better. Tori McKinney stats at this link. She was known for stout defense, winning back-to-back defensive player of the year honors. Those are her scoring stats circled.


Tori McKinney #14·G​

1709514305265.png





McKenna Johnson came on strong last summer. She's a shooter. She torched it in an AAU tournament. Because there's not much to go on before that, it's hard to say.

ESPN has Johnson at #61.


 

Tori McKinney is not a PG.

I have never seen McKenna Johnson play in person that I can remember, but I do know she was not the PG on her AAU team. She could have been on her high school team but not sure if that counts since it was such a weak team and she was probably just the strongest ball handler by default so got that position. Not uncommon for small schools.
 

Sarah Strong is still not committed to anyone. Yes I know, the chances are slim to none, but she would be a really good fit for this team next year. Help bring some size and quickness down low and also can pass the ball out to our shooters. She would be coming in to a team with many Juniors looking to get the program back towards top of big ten. Then Sophomore year, they would be all Seniors and hopefully Crump will join Makena Christian coming in the following year. Would be a solid team with depth set to make a run for Big Ten title and long run in NCAA.
 

Sarah Strong is still not committed to anyone. Yes I know, the chances are slim to none, but she would be a really good fit for this team next year. Help bring some size and quickness down low and also can pass the ball out to our shooters. She would be coming in to a team with many Juniors looking to get the program back towards top of big ten. Then Sophomore year, they would be all Seniors and hopefully Crump will join Makena Christian coming in the following year. Would be a solid team with depth set to make a run for Big Ten title and long run in NCAA.
Strong is the only one that hasn't committed for the 2024 class. Wonder what gives?
 




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