Well that happened quick. Last week, Kevin Dorsey (the #97 ranked player and #17 PG according to 247sports industry composite ranking) came out and said he was down to Minnesota, Maryland, and Nebraska. All the experts said he was a Maryland lean. Then on Monday I got an email tipping me off to the fact that in all the excitement that was my nephew's 2nd birthday party on Saturday I missed that Dorsey chose the Gophers. So welcome aboard Kevin Dorsey, a great start to the class of 2015 for Richard Pitino.
Dorsey is a great get, not just because, depending on who you ask, he could be the highest rated Minnesota recruit since Royce White and top rated pure PG in a super long time, but also because he continues a trend of Pitino grabbing players who fit the system he wants to run, but this time with a little more pedigree to go with it. Dorsey is a lightning quick, can get into the lane in a flash, passes well, and is already a great defender. Sounds about right.
It sounds like he's not exactly going to set the world on fire with his jump shooting at this point, but he's known as a great finisher around the rim, and Nate Mason and Zach Lofton should be able to shoot well enough along with whoever else comes in 2015. It's worth trading shooting for all the other skills he brings to the table, and if he ends up somewhere between an Al Nolen and a Rajon Rondo we should all be pretty happy.
With, I think, 4 scholarships available for 2015, getting a quick early signing from a highly regarded player is a good step in the right direction. Jarvis Johnson, the highly rated and talented De La Salle point guard, is still in play as Pitino pushes the idea of creating a Russ Smith/Peyton Siva or Shabazz Napier/Ryan Boatright kind of back court - you know, the guards for the last two National Champions. Getting Johnson, Alex Illikainen, and Chris Clarke would be an absolutely amazing class. Clarke is quickly rising up recruiting rankings, however, so hopefully the Gophers can grab a quick commitment before more heavy hitters get involved.
Plenty of other back-up plans out there as well, and rather than rehash everything you can read this terrific round-up from the Gopher Report. Should be a fun summer, and suddenly there's a lot more optimism in the air.