Remember how exciting last year was recruiting wise, what with the Gophers making so many top 10 lists and top 5 lists only to pretty much not ever sign anybody? Yeah, I was wondering how every's doing so far this year. Keep in mind it's awfully early in most of these guys' careers. All rankings from 247sports.
PG Tyus Jones (Apple Valley, MN)
247 Rank: #8 overall, #2 PG
Close?: Not really
Bummer?: Not really, it was known
Season Stats: 11.3 points and 5.3 assists in 31.5 minutes.
Outlook: He's basically been everything everyone said he would be. Maybe the only point guard the Gophers looked at last year who has a clearly brighter future than Nate Mason. He should die.
PG Ja'Quan Newton (Philadelphia, PA)
247 Rank: #42 overall, #7 PG
Commit: Miami (FL)
Bummer: He jumped on a Miami offer so quickly it was hard to get too excited. Still, kind of a bummer.
Season Stats: 3.5 points and 1.3 assists in 12 minutes.
Outlook: Typical freshman point guard line so far, and his shooting has been pretty bad (not rare for a freshman). Having Angel Rodriguez there (transfer from Kansas State) has really cut his potential minutes down.
PG Lourawls Nairn (Wichita, KS)
247 Rank: #85 overall, #17 PG
Commit: Michigan State
Close?: Yes, until Izzo got involved.
Bummer?: Yes. After a whole bunch of misses he looked like he might be the big time recruit Pitino would finally sign. Then Tom Izzo called.
Season Stats: 2.0 points and 2.5 assists in 16.7 minutes.
Outlook: I was surprised his minutes are this high because I rarely notice him when I watch the Spartans, but that's probably pretty much what Izzo wants on a team with Travis Trice, Denzel Valentine, and Branden Dawson. His 2.5-to-0.9 assist to turnover ratio is nice for a freshman. Interested to see if he can add any offense next year, since he pretty much never shoots.
SG Riley LaChance (Brookfield, WI)
247 Rank: #133 overall, #34 PG
Close?: At least somewhat.
Bummer?: Not really. Just as his buzz was starting to build he suddenly committed to Vandy.
Season Stats: 12.8 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.6 assists in 33.3 minutes.
Outlook: Basically a starter from day 1 and looking like a pretty big recruiting steal for Vandy. He's the team's second leading scorer, has hit double figures in 17 of 23 games this year, gashed Purdue for 26 points, and is hitting 40% of his threes. Maybe wasn't a bummer to lose out on at the time, but he sure is now.
SG Rashad Vaughn (Henderson, NV)
247 Rank: #13 overall, #5 SG
Close?: Not really
Bummer?: Yeah, but we knew it was coming, particularly after the move to Nevada.
Season Stats: 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds in 32.2 minutes.
Outlook: Dude loves to shoot. He takes 33% of the Rebs shots when he's on the floor and hits a respectable enough 44%. The one and done looks like it's not going to happen (hopefully for the kid) since NBADraft.net ranks him 65th and DraftExpress ranks him 37th (14th among freshman), but he's definitely a talented kid. Another year in college should help polish his game and can only help.
SG Isaiah Whitehead (Brooklyn, NY)
247 Rank: #10 overall, #3 SG
Commit: Seton Hall
Close?: Painfully close. Close enough I watched his press conference hopefully until twitter broke the news.
Bummer?: Extreme bummer. Would have made a huge national splash, and it seemed like they were so close until the Pirates offered his high school coach an assistant coaching gig. Sucked.
Season Stats: 11.9 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.1 assists in 25.3 minutes
Outlook: Good bet he's the Big East freshman of the year. He's extremely polished, as advertised, and though he's shooting just 37% this year it's a good bet he's going to challenge for BE player of the year before his career his over. Yeah, this one hurts.
SG J.P. Macura (Lakeville, MN)
247 Rank: #136 overall, #36 SG
Close?: Tough to say, it was never really clear what the interest level was from either side.
Bummer?: Moreso now than then. Pitino had a lot of fires going and J.P. was lower priority, so he decided Xavier was more for him. After the whiffs on higher profile targets (so many whiffs) maybe making him a higher priority would have been the way to go. Hindsight, and all that.
Season Stats: 6 points and 1.5 rebounds in 13.9 minutes.
Outlook: His shooting has been pretty bad which isn't good when it's your #1 skill, but again, not unusual for a freshman. He's been coming on lately with 21 and 25 minutes played in X's last two games, and is starting to look like a quality four year player. I understand why Pitino didn't go hard after him early in the signing period, but man, it'd be nice to have a second young building block beyond Nate Mason right now.
SF Terry Larrier (Malvern, PA)
247 Rank: #23 overall, #4 SF
Close?: Not really
Bummer?: Not really. It was actually pretty exciting knowing a top 25 recruit from the east coast was considering the Gophers. Signaled a whole new recruiting world. Of pain. So far.
Season Stats: 7.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 17.4 minutes
Outlook: Pretty good freshman numbers though, stop me if you've heard this before, his shooting kind of stinks at under 40%. Still, coming into a system like VCU's and grasping it as a freshman well enough to play 17 minutes per game speaks well of his future. No big whoop, since I don't think he was really ever close to signing with the Gophers.
PF Reid Travis (Minneapolis, MN)
247 Rank: #49 overall, #10 PF
Close?: Agonizingly close.
Bummer?: Hurt so bad. Came right down to the wire and all reports the night before his press conference were that it was looking like the Gophers. Something changed. Still hurts, especially because I don't even think Stanford fans cared.
Season Stats: 6.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in 23.6 minutes
Outlook: Ugh. Look at those rebounds. His season got derailed a bit with a foot injury where he missed about a month and he's just now starting to get back into the swing of things, but leading a major conference team in rebounding as a freshman (pre-injury he as at 6.9 and the team leader)? Playing those kind of minutes on a team with a pretty solid frontcourt already? Gross. I kind of wish I hadn't done this now, or at least skipped this one.
SF Djuan Piper (Seattle, WA)
247 Rank: #153 overall, #36 SF
Commit: North Idaho College
Close?: Uh. Yeah. He was basically all ready to commit and then stupid academics got in the way.
Bummer?: Yeah. It was pretty late in the recruiting game at this point and the Gophers were hopefully about to get a decent player late.
Season Stats: I can't find anything, but he's often mentioned in game recaps and there are pictures of him playing and stuff.
Outlook: Tough to say when I can't find tangible stats. The impression I got from looking for nearly five minutes is that, at a minimum, he's a rotation player, and Idaho is, believe or not, a pretty good JuCo hoops area so that's good. I also found a reference to him being suspended for at least one game, so that's bad. Stay tuned.
PF Abdoulaye Gueye (Birmingham, AL)
247 Rank: #301 overall, #77 PF
Commit: Georgia Tech
Close?: I think this was a case of Gueye willing to commit, but the Gophers holding him off and then he went elsewhere.
Bummer?: No. He was always more of a back-up plan, or at least that's the vibe I got.
Season Stats: 0.3 points and 0.7 rebounds in 3 minutes per game.
Outlook: He's only played 6 games this year and has only a total of 18 minutes played (what, no redshirts at G-Tech?). It doesn't bode well that he couldn't get more PT than that at Georgia Tech, but who knows what the future holds?
C Anas Mahmoud (Orlando, FL)
247 Rank: #87 overall, #9 C
Close?: Maybe? They were at least in the mix.
Bummer?: Kind of. Everything happened so fast there was no real build up time to the heartbreak, plus losing out on him to Louisville is kind of like supposed to happen once they're involved.
Season Stats: 1.2 points and 1.9 rebounds in 9.7 minutes
Outlook: Had a brief burst of consistent playing time in the non-conference, but he's seen that trail off to spot duty and he hasn't broken the 10 minute mark in playing time since Louisville's first ACC game in early January. Clearly, Rick Pitino doesn't know how to properly use him and he should look to transfer somewhere he already felt comfortable when he visited and has a desperate need for post players. (TRANSFER TRANSFER TRANSFER! FREE ANAS!)
And then there's a handful of players who were once Gophers (on some level) who left:
SG Alvin Ellis
Who?: Gophers signee of Tubby, transferred after the coaching change, although rumor was he would have stayed if anybody had bothered to talk to him.
Where?: Michigan State
Season Stats: 1.5 points and 0.6 assists in 9.4 minutes
Summary: His stats are actually worse than his freshman year, mainly due to his inability to make a basket (6-30 shooting this year). I haven't noticed him when I've taken in a Spartan game so I don't know if he's overmatched, but his 2-year results don't look good.
PF Alex Foster
Who?: Gophers signee of Tubby, transferred after the coaching change. Seemingly made his college choice based on playing for Tubby.
Where?: Texas Tech
Season Stats: 1.1 points and 0.9 rebounds in 6.3 minutes
Summary: He's basically completely failed to crack the rotation in two seasons in Lubbock, and this for teams that have gone 14-18 and 12-13. Tubby's playing a deep bench this year with 10 guys averaging at least 10 minutes per game, and Foster not being one of them is not a real good sign for the future.
SF Joe Coleman
Who?: You remember him. Played two decent, if uneven, seasons for the Gophers before bolting when Richard Pitino got hired, even though Pitino's system probably would have been really good for him.
Where?: St. Mary's
Season Stats: 3.0 points and 1.0 rebounds in 14 minutes
Summary: Played in one game for the Gaels before a leg injury caused him to shut it down. I seriously can't find any more information on him than "leg injury." Hopefully it's not too serious and he'll get two more years as a Gael to show the world what he can do.
SG Chip Armelin
Who?: The hyper athletic, somewhat wild but deserved more of a chance shooting guard who played for Tubby for two years before transferring to get more playing time. Yes he's still around.
Where?: Southern Miss
Season Stats: 15.3 points and 4.0 rebounds in 34.3 minutes
Summary: He's having a fantastic senior season, leading the Golden Eagles in scoring. Southern Miss had a pretty solid year for them last year before being bested by the Gophers in the NIT quarters, and with their five top players graduating there was going to be a scoring void, which Armelin stepped into admirably. Of course, Southern Miss is 6-16 and 1-10 in a terrible C-USA and recently self-imposed a postseason ban (lol) because of questions around former coach Donnie Tyndall's recruiting practices. Nice to see him have some personal success though. I always liked him.
Also Better Call Saul has been awesome so far.