Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Welcome aboard, Reggie Lynch!

Center Reggie Lynch, formerly of Edina, announced he is transferring from Illinois State to the Gophers and OMG you guys.  A real, honest to go defensive force and bruising big man.  Unfortunately he has to sit out next season due to transfer rules, but come 2016-2017 this guy is going to be fun.

Lynch, 6-10 and 257 lbs., averaged 9.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks in 22 minutes per game last season and has the speed and athleticism to run the floor in Pitino's uptempo system.  His offense is a bit of a problem considering he shot just 51% from the floor while 65% of his shots were classified as "at the rim" but his main weapon is dunking and ideally the Gophers will be able to get him his opportunities running the floor.  Here's his shot chart from shotanalytics.com, with the caveat that it only covers 7 games.

Yep, he's a dunker.
He looks to basically be a dunker, though that red dot is promising and at least he took a handful of shots on the perimeter in those 7 games, so maybe he can develop some kind of jumper.  Still, that's not really the big selling point on Lynch - he's a defender.

Lynch's 2.8 blocks per game was 14th in the nation, and on a per possession basis he was tops in the country, blocking 15.2% of all opponents shots when he was on the floor.  To put this in perspective so you know what to expect, A.J. Hammons of Purdue was 12th at 12.3%.  There will likely be some fall off moving from the Missouri Valley to the Big Ten, but Lynch's game should translate pretty given his size as long as he doesn't find himself constantly in foul trouble, which he did have some issues with.  Worth noting he had 6 blocks vs. VCU, 6 vs. UAB, and 5 vs. Wichita State in games last season.

This is a very nice get for a team with so many questions about the future front court, and a good use of one of the three (I think) remaining open scholarships, and also breaks up the recruiting classes a little.  With a bunch of guards coming in, nabbing up a nice big man who has already established himself a bit is great, and getting a true rim protector is awesome.  Fun stuff.  With two scholarships still open for 2015 I'll write up a post later this week on potential future Gophers.  I promise.

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