I have some good news and some bad news.
The good news is that the Gophers have secured a verbal commitment from 3-star shooting guard, Jamir Harris. The New Jersey native had actual offers from the likes of Rutgers, USC, Alabama, BC, Seton Hall, Creighton and had strong interest from Stanford. Harris had taken an unofficial visit here this summer, has an official scheduled for next weekend, yesterday Coach Pitino and Kimani Young were visiting Harris and today he made his announcement to be a Golden Gopher.
Harris brings some very good shooting ability to the Gophers. According to Scout's Evan Daniels here were his numbers from the Nike EYBL circuit this summer.
Through 21 game in the Nike EYBL with the NJ Playaz connected on 57 of his 148 attempts and shot 38.5-percent from three. Harris averaged 11.4 points a game.
That is playing against some of the best talent in the country.
So the Gophers are getting a very strong SG who is actually very capable of playing point as well. He is a good shooter, which is something we haven't often been able to write about recent recruits. And they are getting a kid who is academically very strong as well considering he has offers from a few Ivy League schools as well.
Marcus Fuller also points out a couple interesting nuggets in that Harris played one season along with Dupree McBrayer at The Patrick School before McBrayer became Golden. And while watching Harris, Pitino also offered 2019 guard, Al-Amir Dawes a Gopher scholarship.
It appears as though the Gopher's 2017 recruiting class is going to be a couple of guards in 4-star point, Isaiah Washington and SG, Harris.
So what's the bad news?
Well, the Gophers really needed a big man in this class and currently the scholarships are being given to guards. A point guard was equally as needed and Isaiah Washington fit that bill. Jamir Harris will bring an athletic kid who can shoot to the mix and I'm excited to see him as a Gopher. But we need a big man in this class.
Next year the team will lose the following forwards and centers.
- Reggie Lynch (6'9")
- Bakary Konate (6'11")
- Gaston Diedhiou (6'9")
- Davonte Fitzgerald (6'8")
And they will be left with
- Jordan Murphy (6'6")
- Eric Curry (6'9")
- Amir Coffey (6'8")
I have no qualms with Murphy starting at PF. But Coffey really should be considered a perimeter player and your starting center is either Eric Curry or someone brand new to the program. Front court depth, experience and players that can be trusted are going to be major questions.
Of course there are 5 scholarships available in the 2018 class but that means your entire frontcourt consists of 2 returners who are more like PFs and then true freshmen and/or JUCOs.
After the Gophers missed out on Jericho Sims and Theo John, it was expected that Hasahn French was their primary target to fill that second scholarship. Then Harris commited and if you were wondering if they were still planning to bring in French, letting the scholarship issue play out in the spring? Well, that doesn't seem to be likely anymore...
PF Hasahn French will not be visiting Minnesota this weekend. He had been scheduled for an official visit this weekend.— Ryan James (@RyanJamesMN) September 21, 2016
I'm actually quite excited about Harris and what he will bring to the Gopher backcourt. What the staff does with the front court in the coming months and in the 2018 class is going to be critical.