#114 Minnesota Men's Basketball 2018-2019 Preview

Minnesota Golden Gophers
2018-2019 Overall Rank: #114
Conference Rank: #10 Big Ten
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Expectations were very high for Minnesota heading into the 2017-2018 season. However, the Golden Gophers struggled through an extremely disappointing campaign. Things started off well enough with seven straight victories, but fell off quickly from there. After a January 3rd victory against Illinois, this team only won two games the rest of the season. The good news is that four starters are back, but this is basically the same group that fell apart last year. Coach Richard Pitino has his work cut out for him, but he certainly does not lack in talent.
2017-18 Record: 15-17, 4-14
2017-18 Postseason: None
Coach: Richard Pitino
Coach Record: 90-78 at Minnesota, 108-92 overall
Key Departed Players:
Nate Mason, Guard, 16.7 ppg
Reggie Lynch, Center, 10.1 ppg
Jamir Harris, Guard, 3.9 ppg
Davonte Fitzgerald, Forward, 3.7 ppg
Bakary Konate, Center, 1.8 ppg
Key Returning Players:
Jordan Murphy, Senior, Forward, 16.8 ppg
Amir Coffey, Junior, Guard, 14.0 ppg
Dupree McBrayer, Senior, Guard, 9.4 ppg
Michael Hurt, Junior, Forward, 3.2 ppg
Isaiah Washington, Sophomore, Guard, 8.7 ppg
Hunt Conroy, Sophomore, Guard, 1.0 ppg
Eric Curry, Sophomore, Forward, DNP last season
Key New Players:
Gabe Kalscheur, Freshman, Guard
Jarvis Omersa, Freshman, Forward
Daniel Oturu, Freshman, Center
Brock Stull, Senior, Guard, Grad Transfer from Milwaukee
Payton Willis, Junior, Guard, Transfer from Vanderbilt, not eligible
Jordan Murphy is the star of this team after averaging 16.8 points and 11.3 rebounds during his junior campaign. Losing Reggie Lynch hurts the shot blocking ability of the team, but Minnesota has high hopes for Eric Curry, who missed last year with an injury, to join Michael Hurt and Murphy in the frontcourt. Amir Coffey and Dupree McBrayer will be mainstays in the backcourt. Those two are proven double digit scorers and should have little trouble replacing the lost scoring production of Nate Mason. The development of Isaiah Washington could be key for this team. As a freshman last year he was inconsistent, but showed plenty of promise. The addition of Brock Stull, a graduate transfer from Milwaukee, should provide Minnesota with the outside shooting threat they so desperately need. Mason was by far the most consistent and prolific shooter on the team and if this group cannot replace that aspect of his game, the offense could struggle. But it was the defense that was the bigger problem last year and that may remain an issue.
Projected Postseason Tournament: CBI/CIT
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 75.2 (138th in nation, 6th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 75.1 (249, 13)
Field-Goal Percentage: 43.1 (256, 11)
Field-Goal Defense: 43.8 (170, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 6.8 (256, 11)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.6 (199, 10)
Free-Throw Percentage: 70.4 (220, 8)
Rebound Margin: 0.0 (199, 11)
Assists Per Game: 14.6 (106, 5)
Turnovers Per Game: 11.0 (29, 5)

Madness 2018 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#47 Daniel Oturu
#151 Gabe Kalscheur