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Minnesota Basketball Nugz: July Edition

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Schedule updates, players in the pros, and overseas trips

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Minnesota vs Louisville Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

It’s July. It’s not basketball season. But there are SOME things happening, albeit few and far between. Most of the action is around schedule clarity and way-too-early looks at next season. Here are a few Nugz:

Amir Coffey goes undrafted, signs with Clippers

Though it was a sad set of events, Amir Coffey decided to forgo his senior season with Gophers and enter the NBA Draft. And while he went undrafted, he signed a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Clippers and turned some heads in the Summer League, averaging nearly 15 points and six rebounds per game to go along with three assists per game.

Under a two-way contract, a concept the NBA introduced in 2017, a player typically spends most of the season in the developmental G League but can spend a maximum of 45 days on the active roster of his NBA team.

Jordan Murphy inks Summer League contract with Wolves, performs well

Meanwhile, Jordan Murphy, who also went undrafted, signed a Summer League contract with the hometown NBA team, and averaged nearly nine points and seven rebounds while picking up 14 minutes per game across seven games. We’ll see where he goes from here but it’s awesome to see Murph getting a look at the highest level and holding his own.

Meanwhile, Shooter claims that Murphy could be looking at an overseas contract in either Greece, Italy or Spain next year, making somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000.

Gophers add point guard depth for upcoming season with Bryan Greenlee

The Gophers picked up another 2019-20 commit, signing BJ Greenlee out of Florida’s Rock School in Gainesville. Greenlee, a three-star PG recruit, was also being recruited by Iowa, Cincinnati and Old Dominion.

The 6-foot Greenlee adds immediate depth to the Gopher backcourt, which is looking thin after the departures of Coffey, Dupree McBrayer and Isaiah Washington, and without being able to convince a grad transfer to join the team.

Gophers plan overseas trip to Italy

As they’ve done in the past, Minnesota will spend a couple weeks overseas building team chemistry and playing some friendlies against international competition. The Gophers will be in Italy from August 3-13, visiting three cities and playing three games.

On August 6, the Gophers will suit up for their first game against the Stella Azzurra Academy in Rome and then head to Tuscany to see the sights and square off against the Tuscan Select squad in Florence on Thursday, August 8th. The Gophers conclude the trip with a Saturday game against Como Select.

As part of their foreign tour, which are permitted once every four years by the NCAA, the Gophers will have 10 additional practices leading up to the trip. Minnesota last traveled on a summer foreign tour in 2015, visiting Barcelona and Madrid in Spain.

Slightly more non-conference schedule clarity

Minnesota added two more games to it’s non-conference schedule, announcing that it will take part in the BOK Center Basketball Showdown in Tulsa, Okla. on Saturday, Dec. 21. The showcase will also feature Tulsa playing Colordado State. It’s looking like the Gophers will open up the season at home against Cleveland State, which brings the known non-conference opponents to Cleveland State (HOME), Oklahoma (neutral), Clemson (HOME), Utah (road) and Oklahoma State (neutral-ish)

The Gophers are IN according to the latest Bracketology

Joey Buckets listed Minnesota as one of the last four teams IN in his way-too-early look at next season’s bracket, and that’s including the loss of Amir Coffey. Lunardi put the Gophers as an 11-seed, which gives an early glimpse at where pundits have Minnesota heading into the season.

Minnesota will “host” a tournament this year instead of going to one?

Chris Dobbertean’s over at “Blogging the Bracket” appears to confirm that Minnesota will not play in a bracketed tournament in the 2019-20 season and instead opt to be the “host” school in a five-team multi-team event (MTE). So, think of it as the Gophers hosting their own version of the Maui Invitational. On one hand, it means they’ll probably get four games at home or somewhere in the Twin Cities area. On the other, it also probably means that the competition level will be low. We’ll see. The Gophers already have a handful of road/neutral-site games on the docket, making it unlikely they’d want to be away from Williams Arena for any additional games.