I'm just minding my business today when I see Twitter murmorings that Coach P signed another player. I pay a bit more attention to the Gopher webs and hey would you look at that:
Ive accepted a scholarship to play basketball at the University of Minnesota. Could not be more excited to be a gopher.!— Joey King ♛(@KingJoey_24) June 2, 2013
Sure enough, Joey's profile pic is a Block M bball too. But Twitter can be very Sid-like at times. What do our local scribes have to say on the matter?
Former Eastview High School standout and Drake transfer Joey King gave an oral commitment Sunday to play for Gophers coach Richard Pitino next season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
I see the headline writers decided to be all parochial. What are some details on Joey?
The 6-9, 219 King is from Minnesota originally, attending Eastview High School. He played one year at Drake, averaging 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in 19 minutes a game. King had been seeking a transfer due to family reasons and it is possible that he could get a waiver, to that end, that would make him eligible right away.
Coach P seems to like players who can get waivers. I don't blame him. Regardless of whether the waiver is granted, Joey will have 3 years left to play (he has his RS year to burn on the transfer season if needed). So, I think we can call this transfer a done deal, yes? Welcome to the Gophers Joey!
So we've signed ourselves a Joey King. What does that mean? What exactly does he bring? I'll be honest, I didn't know anything about Joey other than he'd been a rumored transfer option for a little while now (what? I'm a horrible recruitnik and don't live in MN anymore). As a result, I'm not exactly the best one to offer an opinion on what King does and does not bring.
Instead of pretending to look smart, I'm going to turn to a nice post that Late Night Hoops put together when the rumors of a King transfer were swirling. JB, what can you tell us?
Joey King is unique in that he’s a 6’9″ kid with good shooting ability, especially from behind the 3-point line. We like what he can add on the offensive side of the ball and wouldn’t see it as a reach if Minnesota brought him into the program as a scholarship player. Adding King as a walk-on would be a bit of a coup.
Reminder, JB wrote this a few weeks ago. Everything is pointing to Joey getting a scholly at this point. So, big guy who can shoot. What else?
At the same time we don’t believe King adds what the Gophers need most in 2013-14: strong rebounding and interior defense.
While this would be a bummer, I'm guessing that I'm not the only one who has been thinking that this team was going to look for other ways to compensate a lack of bulk inside and that the remaining schollies probably weren't going to solve that immediately. Stats and other details?
Miscellaneous Comments, Thoughts & Analysis on King:
- Averaged 19.0 minutes, 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds.
- Don't be fooled by his 42.8% FG. More than half of his FGA were 3FGA.
- Finished the season with a good eFG% of 52.3%.
- Made 34.7% of his 3FGA (33/95). Prior to the final 6 games of the year his 3FG% was 40.2%. (33 3FGM would have been third on the Gophers in 2012-13; Dre=81, Austin=53)
- Made 52.6% of his 2FG despite taking a lot of jump shots. Mid-range shooting was strong.
- Has a fairly solid build, but not a contact guy.
- DR% was only 13.5%, but he played with strong DR teammates.
- His offensive rebounding ceiling appears low.
- Turnovers weren't awful and should improve.
- Fouled the opposition often; again an area that projects to improve with experience.
- Vs. Top 100 RPI opponents: 53.8% eFG, 4% OR, 7% Assist, 95 ORtg (per RealGM.com)
- Vs. Non-Top 100 RPI opp: 50.0% eFG, 8% OR, 14% Assist 110 ORtg (per RealGM.com)
Some good stuff here to unpack. In case we needed a reminder, Coach P definitely seems to have a "type" of player, and a big component in that type casting is whether a guy can shoot and can shoot from outside. It looks like there are bonus points for players who put more attention into shooting the 3, something that we know is a big part of the new offense. And in this case, it looks like Joey is a decent outside shooter, particularly for a big guy (I know I wish I could shoot like that when I was playing).
Things we think we know (or at least, things everyone is saying)? That he won't be a banger inside and as a result, doesn't solve the team's "bulk" issues. As of now, the "big" big guys on the Gophers seems be a short list of EE and...well, EE. Until proven otherwise, I don't think Mo will play much in Coach P's uptempo system and Oto is many things, but banger doesn't seem to be one of them. So we're still shifty.
Things we don't know? What kind of defense he plays as a big guy, especially against players who are bigger and stronger than him. That's sure to be an area of concern if he is playing PF in the B1G.
Joey's transfer leaves the Gophers with one scholly left for next season. What happens with it? #Scoops sensors, engaged:
#Gophers source says the last scholarship for 2013-2014 will go to Rakeem Buckles or Derrick Randall. I asked, "That it?" Answer was yes.— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) June 2, 2013
Having a hard time keeping all these names straight? GopherNation's post on Pitino's recruiting and roster management is here to help:
Rakeem Buckles is another FIU guy. By all accounts it appears as though Buckles will be a Golden Gopher assuming he is cleared to play right away. Buckles is a former Louisville Cardinal who suffered two ACL tears and spent the last year rehabbing while redshirting at FIU. He played 3 seasons for Louisville with his best season coming as sophomore where averaged 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in just under 19 minutes per game. Considering we need a big man and he wants to be here, I would expect that he'll be a Golden Gopher this fall. It all depends on the NCAA.
Another potential transfer is Derrick Randall, a big man from Rutgers. 6-8, 240 lbs and played just 8 minutes per game last year as a sophomore for Rutgers. Out of high school he had a number of Big East offers, mostly teams from the current Big East, not the new American Athletic Conf teams). He would have 2 years left to play and likely would be allowed to play right away due to what went down at Rutgers. More of a strong defender and rebounder than a scorer, but we need able bodies inside. Visiting campus this weekend.
I'm going to guess that your feelings on these two players is probably tied to their impact on the scholarship numbers. Rakeem Buckles is a one and done (assuming he can get the necessary waivers, something I'm not worried about at this point). That means that his scholarship would be available for the 2014 class and given the MN talent to be found, I'm betting a lot of folks are rooting for Coach P to land Buckles.
In the meantime, another piece has been added to the puzzle as we enter the summer months. When will the final piece fall into place? Is there another piece to add? Don't ask me, I'm not a wizard. But if/when it does you can be sure I'll babble on about it for a bit.
Happy Monday and welcome to June!
GN UPDATE - I wanted to add an updated scholarship allotment table following the King announcement.