Obviously Tyus Jones is the point guard to want for 2014, but it's not as if Pitino is putting all his chickens in that particular basket, offering 2014 PG Kaleb Joseph out of New England who ranks 54th in the class according to ESPN, as well as an offer to #41, Josh Perkins out of Colorado. The Perkins offer was originally made by Tubby Smith and at one point Perkins had narrowed his list to 9 schools that included Minnesota. I can't find any information if the offer still stands and/or the interest is still there on Perkins part, but with offers out now to 3 top 60 point guards just hitting on one of them would be outstanding. Pitino also recently offered Wisconsin PG Sandy Cohen, who is apparently not in ESPN's database but according to Ryan James also received offers from Memphis and Marquette. If he's anywhere near as good a basketball player as he is a father to Ryan and Seth on the O.C. he's going to be a star. Jalyn Patterson out of Georgia is yet another point guard Pitino recently offered, which leads me to believe it's possible that Pitino understands how important point guards are. I find this development a positive one.
On the wing, Brandone Francis is someone I know very little about but he's a guard from the Dominican Republic who is said to have interest in Minnesota and considering he has an offer on the table from Indiana that's probably a good thing. There's more information about Terry Larrier (a SF and another NYC kid), a SF Pitino had offered when he was at FIU who he must have really liked to offer now that he's at Minnesota. The kid's offer sheet doesn't look at that great (best offer is probably Dayton) but the scouting report on him is he's an incredible athlete and would fit well in the system Pitino is trying to implement.
The last offer for 2014 that's been handed out recently by the Gophers went to 6-8 PF Abdul-Malik Abu from Boston who ESPN ranks as the 53rd overall in the class. He's got a lot of offers from good schools so this is another highly competitive situation that the Gophers find themselves in. Abu is another guy who may not be the most skilled but scouts rave about his athleticism and once again that is the type of big man who would fit what Pitino is trying to build.
It's an exciting time, man. Between all the activity to fill the roster for 2013 (Pitino's name has also been mentioned with regards to a top 100 guard who just decommitted from UCLA and a couple of JuCo players along with being in the mix for Tarik Black among others) and an aggressive 2014 plan already it's tough just to keep up. ESPN just came out and said they believe the Gophers are now in the lead for Rashad Vaughn's services in 2014 which, even if it doesn't come to fruition, is simply awesome. There are rumors that Vaughn may be transferring to a prep school in Virginia or West Virginia or something for his senior year, and some think that helps the Gophers while others think it hurts them so who the hell knows. All I know is this has already been a really fun offseason, and if Pitino gets this program as entertaining on the court as they've already been off it I can't wait. And, perhaps most exciting of all, there's this tweet:
A long time Minnesota AAU coach told us today that "5 weeks ago the #Gophers had no shot at the Big 3, now any combination is possible."
— GopherHole.com (@GopherHole) May 1, 2013