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Minnesota Basketball Player Preview: The Injured and Walk-Ons

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A brief review of those players who will not see playing time one way or another

NCAA Basketball: Saint Louis at Minnesota Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

With the Minnesota Golden Gopher men’s basketball season kicking off on November 9th, we will be previewing all members of the roster. In this first edition, we will group together those who will not play at all, due to injury, or play very sparingly (walk-ons).

Isaiah Ihnen - Junior - Forward

Measurables

Height: 6’ 9”

Weight: 220 lbs

Experience

Ihnen, one of only two roster hold overs from the 2020-2021 season, has played in 50 games over two years for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. He averaged 2.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.3 minutes per game last season.

Brief Breakdown

There was momentum building for Ihnen to use his natural athleticism and good-looking stroke in conjunction with a new philosophy on the coaching staff to catapult himself into a nice “leap” season. Unfortunately, Isaiah will be out for the entire 2021-2022 season with a knee injury he suffered in July.

Projected Role

N/A - Will miss the entire season

Parker Fox - Junior - Forward

Measurables

Height: 6’ 8”

Weight: 210 lbs

Experience

Fox has played three seasons at Northern State, a Division II school in Aberdeen, South Dakota. He excelled in his final season, winning D2CCA All-American honors while averaging 22.3 points (on 64.4% shooting!!!), 9.9 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, and 1.7 steals per game.

Brief Breakdown

Fox, a childhood Gopher fan, was a hot transfer commodity for several programs coming off an incredible 2020-2021 season. Coach Ben Johnson called him the day he got the head coaching job to convince him to come home. Unfortunately, the dynamic Fox will miss the season with an ACL tear he suffered shortly after committing to Minnesota.

Projected Role

N/A - Will miss the entire season

Will Ramburg - Sophomore - Guard

Measurables

Height: 6’ 5”

Weight: 195 lbs

Experience

Ramburg played his first collegiate season across the border at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He appeared in 10 games.

Brief Breakdown

As a walk-on, it is unlikely that the guard from Cook County will accrue much playing time but seeing as how the Gophers will very likely need all hands on deck, there could be more minutes in his future than we realize.

Projected Role

Walk-on - Likely will play sparingly

Joey Kern - Graduate Student - Guard

Measurables

Height: 6’ 1”

Weight: 170 lbs

Experience

Kern played at Division III Johns Hopkins for three years, including 81 starts. He shot a career 39.6% from three-point range and averaged 8.7 points and 3.1 rebounds in his final season in 2019-2020 (Johns Hopkins didn’t have a season last year due to COVID-19).

Brief Breakdown

Coach Johnson has already identified Kern as a team leader. While Kern may not see much playing time, his educational background suggests he will be an intelligent addition to the roster and hopefully he can be a steadying presence in a role of team leadership.

Projected Role

Walk-on - Likely will play sparingly

Jackson Purcell - Freshman - Guard

Measurables

Height: 6’ 5”

Weight: 175 lbs

Experience

Purcell committed to Minnesota this past May out of Eastview High School. Eastview were South Suburban League champions in both his junior and senior seasons.

Brief Breakdown

The local product will see very little floor time as both a true freshman and walk-on.

Projected Role

Walk-on - Likely will play sparingly