Howard transfer Elijah Hawkins commits to Gophers

–> Howard transfer guard Elijah Hawkins committed to the Gophers Monday, becoming their third addition from the transfer portal this offseason.

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After a tough stretch of recruiting luck for Ben Johnson and the Gophers, they finally got back on the board Monday when Howard transfer guard Elijah Hawkins announced his commitment. Listed at 5-foot-11, Hawkins will provide Minnesota with another experienced ball handler at the combo guard position. He will have two seasons of eligibility remaining as the Gophers now have only one open scholarship.

Who is Elijah Hawkins?:

Elijah Hawkins broke onto the scene at legendary Demantha High School in the DMV area. Getting out-shined by other teammates like Hunter Dickinson, Hawkins was under-recruited. He opted to stay in the area and commit to Howard. He quickly proved the doubters wrong, averaging 13 points per game as a true freshman. He one-uped that, averaging 12.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 6 assists last season for the Bison. He led the team in scoring as they went 22-13, won the MEAC tournament title and met Kansas in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. After entering the portal in April, he was also hearing from Texas, Ole Miss and Wichita State before settling on the Gophers.

  • Scouting Report:

Listed at 5-foot-11, Hawkins is a true combo guard. He played PG the last two seasons for Howard, but he also has the skills to be an efficient off-ball player. He shot an impressive 46.6% from beyond the three-point arc last season averaging 3.7 attempts per game. He is an impressive facilitator, but he did have a 3:2 assist-to-turnover ratio last season. Overall, he will provide the Gophers with a playmaking guard who is willing to defend.


Instant Reaction:

This was a good pivot for Ben Johnson and the Gophers. After losing out on so many other portal options over the last few weeks, Hawkins still fits what the Gophers needed. While the MEAC to Big Ten will be a massive step up in competition, Hawkins has proved that he is a winning basketball player at every level that he’s played. He and Mike Mitchell Jr. have very similar skill sets, so it will be interesting to see how they mesh throughout the next two seasons.

What I like most about Hawkins is he is a willing defender (1.7 SPG) who is a very good shooter. His 4 turnovers per game last season make me think we could see him play a little more off the ball next season, but he is still an impressive facilitator from the lead guard position. With two seasons of eligibility, the Gophers now have an interesting guard room with Mitchell Jr., Carrington and Christie as well — it certainly is talented it will now be about who rises to the top.

What is next?:

It might not be the roster Gophers fans were thinking of, but they at least have the pieces. This roster is better than last season and they should play like it. They currently have one open scholarship remaining. Last season, they entered the year with one open spot before giving the scholarship to Will Ramberg, so they could do the same this year, but I still expect Johnson to be active in the transfer portal.

Projected Depth Chart:

  • G: Mike Mitchell Jr./Elijah Hawkins
  • G: Braeden Carrington/Cameron Christie
  • F: Isaiah Ihnen/Josh Ola-Joseph/Kadyn Betts
  • F: Dawson Garcia/Parker Fox/Will Ramberg
  • C: Pharrel Payne/Jack Wilson
    • *Walk-ons: Jackson Purcell, Erick Reader

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