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Minnesota Basketball: Payton Willis is returning to Minnesota

In a strange twist, Willis is coming back to play for the Gophers

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Gophers need some Big Ten caliber guards on the roster and they just got one back.

Payton Willis

Ht: 6’4”

I am well aware that Ben Johnson and staff are scouring the transfer portal to fill out their 2021-22 roster, but I didn’t see this one coming.

Payton Willis has had an unusual collegiate career, but we now know where he’ll finish out his career.

  • 2016-17 - A freshman for Vanderbilt, starting 12 games
  • 2017-18 - played in 31 games, starting 4 for Vandy
  • 2018-19 - transferred to Minnesota but sat out due to NCAA transfer rules
  • 2019-20 - started 25 games for Minnesota averaging 8.9 points per game
  • 2020-21 - transferred to Charleston, started all 19 games, averaged 13.4 ppg

And now he will get a rare 6th season of eligibility (thanks Covid), he is choosing to come back to play for Ben Johnson. With all of the perimeter players who have left the program, guards has been a concern for next year’s roster. Willis adds an experienced guard with 4 years of high-major experience.

Welcome back, Payton Willis.