It's the offseason. Thankfully. But like any offseason in Gopher Land it's fraught with plenty of nonsense to keep us talking. For those keeping score at home, nothing illegal has happened (yet) but there's still a couple impactful moves that have already altered the landscape next season. Let's recap the first few weeks of the season shall we?
Kevin Dorsey transferred away
I guess we'll never know exactly why Dorsey decided to transfer, but given the timing and the circumstances surrounding his exit, it certainly seems related to the sex tape stuff. It's not ideal from a personnel standpoint, as Dorsey was seen as a fixture in the Gophers' backcourt for years to come, and it's not everyday you get a four-star recruit to come to town. Even more frustratingly, Dorsey was the highlight recruit in the 2015 class and, while he struggled for much of his first year, he appeared to figure things out in late January. He averaged 10 points per game in his final 6 games as a Gopher before having to sit out the final 5 games of the regular season due to his suspension. We discussed more around the transfer in a previous post.
I guess we'll just have remember Dorsey the same way we remember lots of defectors -- what could have been?
Akeem Springs transferred in
And just when things seemed dire with the departure of Dorsey, we actually got some good news when it was announced that Springs would take the available scholarship as a one-year grad transfer. Springs, a guard from UW-Milwaukee adds instant depth and a veteran presence to the backcourt. A scorer, Springs averaged 13 points per game in his junior season, shooting 49% from the field and showing a third straight year of growth. He even lit up the Gophers when they faced each other this season, dropping 15 points on 6-11 shooting. He also has the ability to pull down a fair amount of rebounds, and was second on the Panthers last year with 5.3 rpg.
Overall, the Gophers are fortunate to add a veteran like Springs who can come in immediately and contribute. It's also possible that he'll compete for a starting position out of the gate and give Dupree McBrayer something to think about.
The Gophers are in pretty rough shape when it comes to APR
The U recently released their academic performance reports and it wasn't pretty for the men's basketball team. After years of good scores, the Gophers eeked out an 860 out of 1,000 for the 2014-15 academic year, which is terrible. Consider that the Gophers scored a perfect 1,000 in Tubby's final year and Pitino's first and it's a big a shock to see such a low score.
More importantly, the way the APR is scored takes into account transfers and defections, which means that Carlos Morris and Kevin Dorsey's exits could put Minnesota in the danger zone to make the APR threshold and avoid any penalties. The APR is calculated over a multiyear period, and two bad years in a row could force the Gophers to have to score almost perfectly in coming years or face things like postseason bans and scholarship penalties.
Richard Pitino had some interesting things to say in his blog
I'll give Pitino credit, he actually provides some fun, interesting nuggets in his blog posts, and I especially enjoy his player-by-player breakdowns. He authored a post shortly after the end of the basketball season and covered a few things worth calling out:
- Joey King is pursuing a professional contract overseas. No word on where yet.
- The Gophers have basically locked in a home-and-home series with a Power 5 team. Time will tell which one it is.
- Pitino gave praise to transfer Davonte Fitzgerald, calling him a gym rat but also the team's biggest wild card.
- He made mention of being excited to run the offense through Amir Coffey at times. An interesting confirmation in that it guarantees we'll see some Coffey at point guard.
- Sounds like McBrayer has put on 10 pounds since we last saw him and even has 10 more to go.