STrib: Gophers men's basketball roster has entirely different look after transfer portal exodus

BleedGopher

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Per Marcus:

How did the Gophers fill more than half of their new roster in the spring? Here's the 2024-25 team breakdown after additions from the portal and incoming recruits. Summer practice starts in early June.

Returning players​

Mike Mitchell, 6-2 senior (San Jose, Calif.)

Started the last 23 games alongside Big Ten assist leader Hawkins. Mitchell averaged 10.2 points and 2.6 assists and shot a team-best 39.9% from three-point range with 77 threes.

Dawson Garcia, 6-11 senior (Savage)

Led the Gophers in scoring (17.6) and rebounding (6.7) in back-to-back seasons. Also had career highs in field-goal percentage (48.6), free-throw percentage (80.2), blocks (1.0) and minutes (31.9) to earn All-Big Ten.

Parker Fox, 6-8 senior (Mahtomedi)

After back-to-back seasons missed with injuries, Fox was a sixth man and ranked second in team history at 68.3% on field goals last season. Will be back for his seventh season.

Kadyn Betts, 6-9 sophomore (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Former four-star recruit averaged 7.1 minutes in eight games last season. Was consistently the team's top performer on the scout team in practice.

Incoming transfers​

Trey Edmonds, 6-10 senior (Texas San Antonio)

At 255 pounds, the Denver native's size helps replace the physical presence of Payne, but he can play both frontcourt spots. Edmonds scored 12 points in UTSA's loss to the Gophers.

Frank Mitchell, 6-8 senior (Canisius)

Toronto native is another physical force at 240 pounds. Finished fourth in the nation with 11.4 rebounds per game last season. Had 12 games with at least 14 rebounds, including twice grabbing 20-plus boards.

Femi Odukale, 6-6 senior (New Mexico State)

All-Conference USA wing who averaged 10.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.0 blocks last season. Played his first three seasons at Pittsburgh and Seton Hall.

Lu'Cye Patterson, 6-2 senior (Charlotte)

Former Minnesota Prep Academy star has 82 career starts. Averaged 14.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists to earn All-American Athletic Conference honors last season.

Brennan Rigsby, 6-3 senior (Oregon)

Averaged 6.1 points and 2.7 rebounds while shooting 35% from three-point range with the Ducks. Started 13 games last season, highlighted by his season-high 19 points in a win vs. Michigan on Dec. 2.

Caleb Williams, 6-2 senior (Macalester)

Former Division III local standout scored 41 points in an exhibition game against the Gophers last November. Has averaged 19.6 points in 80 career games (all starts).

High school class​

Isaac Asuma, 6-2 freshman (Cherry, Minn.)

Four-star recruit and top 10 point guard in the 2024 class, according to 247Sports. Mr. Basketball finalist led Cherry to its first state boys basketball title.

Grayson Grove, 6-9 freshman (Alexandria, Minn.)

Earned Class 3A state all-tournament team honors after Alexandria finished fourth. Had 26 points and 15 rebounds in a quarterfinal game at Williams Arena.

NBA draft/portal​

Cam Christie, 6-6 sophomore (Arlington Heights, Ill.)

First Gophers All-Big Ten freshman since 2017. Averaged 11.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and shot 39.1% from three. Focused on NBA draft but could return to college at the U or elsewhere.

Walk-on​

Erick Reader, 6-8 sophomore (Woodbury, Minn.)

Ex-New Life Academy standout played in two games last season.


Go Gophers!!
 








Seriously? LOL
Seriously. Why with your job on the line would you not fill out the roster and get the best player you can? Wait for Christie (if he hasn't already told Ben its hopeless) and then take the best available fit.
 

Seriously. Why with your job on the line would you not fill out the roster and get the best player you can? Wait for Christie (if he hasn't already told Ben its hopeless) and then take the best available fit.
No...still gotta plan for the future
 



No...still gotta plan for the future
Plan for the future?
No problem!
Pick 10 new mature guys out of the portal every year.
Recruit two Freshmen every year.
Play a nine-man rotation every year to convince a couple players to bypass the portal and stick around another year.
No problem!
 


Jesus whats left for next year? Azuma Betts and Grove?

Better win now Ben.
 




Seriously. Why with your job on the line would you not fill out the roster and get the best player you can? Wait for Christie (if he hasn't already told Ben its hopeless) and then take the best available fit.
You seriously think that Ben bringing in another 3 star player ranked in the 300 somethings in the portal will help save his job?
I will give a tip of the cap for this, you are certainly a true optimist with that line of thinking. Good on you.
 



You seriously think that Ben bringing in another 3 star player ranked in the 300 somethings in the portal will help save his job?
I will give a tip of the cap for this, you are certainly a true optimist with that line of thinking. Good on you.
You think that refusing to try to improve the team roster is a good decision for any coach?
Why would a coach NOT try to improve his team?
 

Would've liked to hear a little more about what each of the new transfers can bring defensively (what do they seem to be good at on the defensive end) and maybe how and why Coach Johnson feels they can work together to form a cohesive team defense that can be competitive.

I think we all know that we lost a pretty fair amount of offensive firepower that we know could put up points at the Big Ten level and replaced it with guys that we're not sure if they can score at the same level. I think we all agree that better defense by this new team will be the REAL KEY to how competitive the Gophers can be. Yet, not a word about the defensive side of the ball.

Stuff like "Is this guy known for not letting opponents get early post position and how is he at hedging a high screen, then quickly and effectively diving down to defend the rim". Is this guard known for being able to grasp the idea of when you go under a screen and when to fight through-and have they shown the ability to do so?" "Has this guy shown the ability to funnel guys to the help side defense or can they generally stay in front of a driver?" I mean THE thing that I think we all agree needs to be strong for this team to maintain or improve it's level of play, and not a peep about it in the story, other than a couple of quick mentions of size and a statistical mention of blocks. Not that the Gophers are close to the level, but the old adage of "Offense is fun to watch, but defense wins championships" needs to be the focus.
 

Would've liked to hear a little more about what each of the new transfers can bring defensively (what do they seem to be good at on the defensive end) and maybe how and why Coach Johnson feels they can work together to form a cohesive team defense that can be competitive.

I think we all know that we lost a pretty fair amount of offensive firepower that we know could put up points at the Big Ten level and replaced it with guys that we're not sure if they can score at the same level. I think we all agree that better defense by this new team will be the REAL KEY to how competitive the Gophers can be. Yet, not a word about the defensive side of the ball.

Stuff like "Is this guy known for not letting opponents get early post position and how is he at hedging a high screen, then quickly and effectively diving down to defend the rim". Is this guard known for being able to grasp the idea of when you go under a screen and when to fight through-and have they shown the ability to do so?" "Has this guy shown the ability to funnel guys to the help side defense or can they generally stay in front of a driver?" I mean THE thing that I think we all agree needs to be strong for this team to maintain or improve it's level of play, and not a peep about it in the story, other than a couple of quick mentions of size and a statistical mention of blocks. Not that the Gophers are close to the level, but the old adage of "Offense is fun to watch, but defense wins championships" There is a shortage of statistics which accurately measure the value of individual defense. Team defense often is dependant on the skills of a player's teammates and that makes it difficult so isolate an individual defensive skill level.
 

Jesus whats left for next year? Azuma Betts and Grove?

Better win now Ben.
Add Frank Mitchell and three frosh. Then you still have to get 5-6 in the portal. 5 will be average in the Big Ten this year
 

Jesus whats left for next year? Azuma Betts and Grove?

Better win now Ben.
Until some stability is reintroduced into the roster management piece for college basketball there is no real point in planning for anything beyond the current season.

And specifically for Ben, if the team doesn't win this year there is a very good chance he won't be here for the 25-26 season anyway.
 

Kadyn Betts, 6-9 sophomore (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Former four-star recruit averaged 7.1 minutes in eight games last season. Was consistently the team's top performer on the scout team in practice.


I don't know whether to find this encouraging, or just laugh uncontrollably.

If he can play, then play him. It's not like the Gophers are such a juggernaut that they can afford to let players sit on the bench even if those players could contribute to the team's success - especially once Carrington and JOJ started pouting.

on the "add another player" bit. like it or not, Johnson has never shown any inclination to go that deep in his bench. He plays a 7 or 8-man rotation with the 9th player getting token minutes. If you're the 10th, 11th or 12th guy on the roster, you're not playing.

so the only reason to bring in another portal player now is IF that player is clearly better than one of the top 8 or 9 guys on the roster. otherwise, you're just bringing in a warm body to wear a uniform on the bench during games.
 

You think that refusing to try to improve the team roster is a good decision for any coach?
Why would a coach NOT try to improve his team?
If the 13th scholarship will make or break you, you're already screwed. Ben has said you can't keep more than 8 happy and then proceeded to play 7 most of the time. This team is what it is. The 13th scholarship will go to the walk on of his choice. It's that way on most teams. Clinging to some remote hope that Christie is coming back or he's going to get one of the top remaining guys in the portal with that scholarship is wishful thinking.
 

One of the things that hints at individual defensive prowess - for bigs - is rebounds. Most rebounds come at the defensive end, and, by definition, a defensive rebound ends the opponent's possession with zero points. Based on the breakdown above, Frank and Femi should be welcome additions.

The real question is who can play on the floor together with Garcia and still be able to effectively guard the opponent's small forward/combo guard. Looks likely to me that only two of Garcia, Fox, Edmonds, and FMitchell can be on the floor together defensively. That's good depth, I suppose, but they won't get their full numbers from when they got more minutes at their previous school.
 

If the 13th scholarship will make or break you, you're already screwed. Ben has said you can't keep more than 8 happy and then proceeded to play 7 most of the time. This team is what it is. The 13th scholarship will go to the walk on of his choice. It's that way on most teams. Clinging to some remote hope that Christie is coming back or he's going to get one of the top remaining guys in the portal with that scholarship is wishful thinking.
I can do wishful thinking!
It may be my favorite!
 

If the 13th scholarship will make or break you, you're already screwed. Ben has said you can't keep more than 8 happy and then proceeded to play 7 most of the time. This team is what it is. The 13th scholarship will go to the walk on of his choice. It's that way on most teams. Clinging to some remote hope that Christie is coming back or he's going to get one of the top remaining guys in the portal with that scholarship is wishful thinking.
The 13th scholarship CHRONOLOGICALLY is not necessarily given to a scrub.
It could go to your best player (Christie or his last minute replacement at the 3)
To not award it to a contributing player is not smart, unless there is no other choice.
 

Kadyn Betts, 6-9 sophomore (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

Former four-star recruit averaged 7.1 minutes in eight games last season. Was consistently the team's top performer on the scout team in practice.


I don't know whether to find this encouraging, or just laugh uncontrollably.

If he can play, then play him. It's not like the Gophers are such a juggernaut that they can afford to let players sit on the bench even if those players could contribute to the team's success - especially once Carrington and JOJ started pouting.

on the "add another player" bit. like it or not, Johnson has never shown any inclination to go that deep in his bench. He plays a 7 or 8-man rotation with the 9th player getting token minutes. If you're the 10th, 11th or 12th guy on the roster, you're not playing.

so the only reason to bring in another portal player now is IF that player is clearly better than one of the top 8 or 9 guys on the roster. otherwise, you're just bringing in a warm body to wear a uniform on the bench during games.
Oh no, that 13th guy will save his job. LOL
 

The 13th scholarship CHRONOLOGICALLY is not necessarily given to a scrub.
It could go to your best player (Christie or his last minute replacement at the 3)
To not award it to a contributing player is not smart, unless there is no other choice.
Does the Hopium come in gummies or do you have to huff it?
 

The 13th scholarship CHRONOLOGICALLY is not necessarily given to a scrub.
It could go to your best player (Christie or his last minute replacement at the 3)
To not award it to a contributing player is not smart, unless there is no other choice.
I don't disagree with your theory. the question is putting that theory into practice.

just trying to be realistic here: The Gophers don't have a lot of NIL, and at this point, I have to assume that most of that NIL is spoken for. I just can't imagine that they're holding back a big chunk of NIL for some hypothetical player.

and also, the available players are getting picked over like a big box store on Black Friday.

so, are the Gophers realistically going to be able to locate a player who is better than any of the top 8 currently on the roster --- convince that player to come to MN --- and have enough NIL available to close the sale? I think that is a long shot, at best.

sure, if they can find some guy who is good enough to come in here and elevate the roster, and that player is willing to commit to MN, go for it. I just don't like the odds of that happening.
 

Does the Hopium come in gummies or do you have to huff it?
Is that supposed to be a logical argument stating that I am wrong?
Or is that supposed to be a logical argument stating that you are right?
Or is it just nonsense?
 




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