It’s National Signing Day which means we get to officially add some new players to Gophers roster as the early signing period begins Wednesday. This year Minnesota is inking two new players - local product Treyton Thompson and European big man Kenny Pohto. Both checking in at 6-11, the 2021 class offers the potential of a veritable twin towers and much needed size for the Gophers as they seek to build out their front court.
Treyton Thompson, PF, 6-11 (Alexandria, MN)
Thompson, an Alexandria native who was originally a Top 100 recruit overall, committed to the Gophers in November of 2019. He chose the Gophers over offers from Iowa, Texas Tech and Oklahoma.
Initially seen as an ideal recruit for Minnesota because of his size, the 6’11” PF product has seen his stock fall slightly since originally committing. He’s gone from a 4-star to 3-star recruit on 24/7 (though he is still a 4-star on Rivals) and fallen out of the top 100 overall. While it’s unclear why the experts have cooled on him, he is still considered a key prospect for the Gophers. He has the height to defend bigger players in the Big Ten and has been lauded for his high basketball IQ. A gifted shot-blocker, he can also extend his range out to the three-point line. Once he adds some muscle to his lanky frame he’ll have a much better shot at getting to that 4-star ceiling.
After starting high school in Alexandria, Thompson left to play at La Lumiere Prep in Indiana and is now returning home to play in front of friends and family more regularly. Here is a highlight video:
Kenny Pohto, PF/C, 6-11 (Sweden)
Pohto was recruited as an under-the-radar player from a familiar institution to the Gophers, Sunrise Christian Academy, the alma mater of Dupree McBrayer and Bakary Konate. Pohto is a Sweden native, but only recently began receiving interest from colleges and, thanks to Kyle Lindsted, Minnesota had the inside track.
Minnesota was Pohto’s only offer, though he did receive interest from Nebraska, so take that however you will. He has a versatile game and, as you can see in the highlight video below, he’s just as comfortable throwing it down in transition as he is nailing a three-pointer.
He comes in at 210 pounds, so he already has some size. Assuming he can add a few more pounds of muscle he should be a versatile option for the Gophers as he matures, and his ability to shoot makes him a more dangerous weapon. A work in progress, but hopefully Richard Pitino got a steal here.