I don't know what it is, but I can't get excited for the big signing of PG Maverick Ahanmisi by the Gophers that happened over the weekend, despite his sweet name. Maybe it's because we're in the middle of a great baseball season, or maybe it's a hang-over from missing out on Cory Joseph (which does at least save us all from hearing people call him CoJo all year), or maybe it's just because signing non-rated players in the Spring period does nothing for me.
Yes, following in the grand tradition of Oto Osenieks, Maverick is another player not rated by any recruiting service. Now, that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Unrated players and low-rated players can certainly develop into good players, or even stars (see: Hayward, Gordon), but that isn't exactly the norm. Much more likely is that you are getting a player who will work hard in practice and probably endear himself to the drooling masses of fans with his "hustle", "grit", and whiteness, and who has an absolute top-level upside of having one skill that can help in very specific situations - like Jamal Abu Shamala against Northwestern.
In fact, here are the 0 star players the Gophers have signed since 2002 according to Rivals.com: Kerry Woolridge, Kevin Payton, Limar Wilson, and Engen Nurumbi. Does that thrill you? None of those four even finished out their time with the Gophers, and I can't remember any of them contributing anything outside of some stellar high fives and towel waves.
Certain things about Maverick sound good. He's increased his scoring average every year of varsity ball and is described as a good scorer and excellent shooter, but his negatives, from his own mouth, are that he needs to become a better ball-handler and improve his defense. This is what we wanted as a back-up point guard?
It would be easier to handle shots like this at Maverick and Oto if there was a solid recruiting class in place to build from, but it is sounding like out of the five players coming in next year, four of them are going to be projects and/or redshirts with Mo Walker the likely lone contributor next season. I know I've typed this before a few times on this site, and maybe at this point I'm just trying to convince myself, but I'm still willing to give Tubby the benefit of the doubt. The big difference being that going into the previous two seasons I was already impressed by what Tubby had done, while this season he brings in a bowl full of question marks.
As Homer once said, "Prove me wrong, kids, prove me wrong."
Seriously, if I can't get excited for a guy named Maverick, there must be something seriously wrong.