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Minnesota Basketball: Ben Johnson leaving Gopher staff for Xavier

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The Gophers lose their second assistant coach of the offseason.

NCAA Basketball: Big 10 Media Day Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Pitino lost his second assistant coach this offseason when it was announced today that Ben Johnson is leaving for an opening at Xavier. He will be the Associate Head Coach on Travis Steele’s staff.

This one stings a little bit. Losing Kamani Young was a blow to our recruiting ties on the East Coast, but this one really hurts locally. Ben Johnson is a Minneapolis native, a De La Salle grad, a former player in maroon and gold, and was highly respected on this staff and within Minnesota basketball community.

Good for Coach Johnson as this is a step up in the basketball coaching ranks and best of luck to him at Xavier.

More analysis to come on the state of the program and the challenges it is facing this offseason, but Pitino is now faced with filling a second vacancy on his staff while also working to fill 3 open scholarships on his roster.