Dartmouth transfer Taurus Samuels commits to Gophers

May 9, 2021: Dartmouth grad-transfer guard Taurus Samuels committed to the Gophers Monday, adding to a strong 2022-23 roster.

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Gophers head coach Ben Johnson continues to craft his first full roster as a head coach, this time adding Dartmouth grad-transfer Taurus Samuels to the fold. Samuels, a 6-foot-1 guard averaged 9.4 points and 2.1 rebounds last season for the Big Green. The only other school he publicly received interest from was Florida. After losing Abdoulaye Thiam to the portal last month, the Gophers have found the veteran guard depth that they desperately needed.

Who is Taurus Samuels?:

  • Scouting Report:

Samuels doesn’t do anything that will jump out to you. But what he does do is take care of the ball. Averaging 0.8 turnovers in 28.5 minutes per game last season is an incredibly valuable asset to this Gophers team. He will likely not be the long-term starting PG of this team, but I think he would be more than capable if there were an injury. His free throw shooting has gotten better every season that he is been in college, a number that is much more predictive long-term of a player’s shooting capability. He is an all-around veteran guard, something this team needed.

**High School highlights**

Instant Reaction:

A lot of Gophers fans might be lukewarm on this signing, but they shouldn’t. Not every player can be a home run and Taurus Samuels is the type of player that is on a winning basketball team. Right now, if I had to guess, I would imagine that Ta’Lon Cooper starts at PG and Braeden Carrington starts at the two, but it would shock me if they eased Carrington, or Jaden Henley, for that matter, behind Samuels, as they will be true freshmen. By the time March rolls around I expect Samuels to be the lead guard off the bench for this team.

For example, Kansas’ top guards last year were Remy Martin and Christian Braun, but they had Dajuan Harris Jr. who did all of the dirty work for that team. Samuels can be this team’s Dajuan Harris Jr. He seems like a high-character, smart player, something that you can only hope for in a role player. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an earth-shattering move, but this is a player that a winning basketball program adds.

What is next?:

As it stands today the Gophers have 11 players on scholarship while 13 is the limit. It seems as if, UNC transfer Kerwin Walton will not be coming home, according to multiple reports, while Champlain Park, Minn. native Josiah Strong will also be going elsewhere. That leaves Merrimack transfer guard Mikey Watkins as the only name in the portal that I have seen with interest from the Gophers.

It would make sense for Minnesota to pursue another veteran guard and possibly a big man. I would also not be surprised if walk-on Will Ramberg earns a scholarship, a player that Ben Johnson trusted with a few meaningful minutes last season. Overall, I believe that Taurus Samuels is another step in the direction of this team competing fro an NCAA Tournament berth next season.

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