Good morning loyal Gophers fans. In about an hour, ‘Tum Tum’ Nairn, already a Gophers fan favorite and the most mighty and candy-filled of the 3 Ninjas, will head to his high school gym at Sunrise Christian Academy to make his college decision. The contenders: Minnesota, Michigan State, Indiana, Oklahoma. The Gophers have been there every step of the way and have made some good in-roads with the four-star point guard. That said, at this point, the masses are so strongly calling a Spartans victory that Tum Tum picking the Gophers would seem like an upset.
So much drama. So much anticipation. The moment of reckoning is near, when we find who wins the prize of …
In the meantime, let’s move on to questions (your Qs in bold; my As in regular type):
Is it wrong that I will be equally disappointed if 'Tum Tum' doesn't choose Minny because of BB & the greatest name in sports.
No, Gerk, it is not wrong. Tum Tum is a fantastic name. Sniff. Now I’m starting to tear up. Personally, I would greatly miss playing the video, above. (But I will take that stroll down memory lane if Nairn, for example, picks Michigan State and the Gophers play him twice a year.)
Your professional opinion on our chances [with Tum Tum]? I'm not sure what to think.
Brace yourself, Furry. Why don't you sit down. Grab your box of tissues and your Cosco-sized moose tracks-flavored bucket of icy despair. I don’t know how to break this to you, pal, but I think it’s over. Don’t beat yourself up, though. It’s not you. I really feel that Tum Tum likes the Gophers – truly, I think he does. Just not as much, say, as he likes that flirty Michigan State.
Can we get a new recruiting power rankings? Curious how other recruits officials are going? #aMAILiaBAG
I’m glad we’ve moved on. There are plenty of fish in the sea, right? Here are my picks (Again, in order of how likely they are to pick Minnesota. These are not ALL of the recruits. Just the main targets):
1. Josh Martin – This weekend’s official to Pittsburgh will obviously be the wildcard with the Seattle PF, but right now, I think Minnesota’s chances are looking good.
2. Riley LaChance – The interest is there for Wisconsin’s LaChance, and it could come down to Minnesota and Iowa. If Tum Tum goes off the board, this could be your PG of the future.
3. Josh Cunningham – This relationship only seems to be growing: the Chicago wing will visit in October.
4. Carlos Morris – It looks like the JUCO guard could be in town this weekend. Seton Hall is Morris’ only visit so far, and the additions of a couple SGs by the Pirates (including Isaiah Whitehead) seem to take them out of contention.
5. Abdoulaye Gueye – Auburn will be involved, but the Gophers got in early with the Birmingham, Ala. big and have made steady progress.
6. Adonys Henriquez – Word is UCF is the favorite, but the Gophers just made the Florida shooting guard’s short list.
7. Bonzie Colson – I think Colson, a Rhode Island power forward, is gettable – but if the Martin thing plays out, Colson will end up elsewhere.
8. Tum Tum Nairn – I’ll eat crow if I’m wrong, but it looks as though Tum Tum will be wearing more green than maroon and gold in the future.
9. Reid Travis – He’s still the most likely of the 'Big Three' Minnesota recruits, but it seems to be getting less likely. A talked about official visit at Minnesota has not happened.
10. Rashad Vaughn – The Gophers are still on the list, but the list is pretty big. Being away from the land of the lakes at prep school in Vegas does not help.
11. Tyus Jones – Maybe go and see if there’s any of that Moose Tracks left in the bottom of the industrial-sized ice cream tub. Yes, you may have to fish it out of the trash.
#aMAILiaBAG When is @squatcher going to invite you to appear on #FindingBigfoot?
As soon as we can convince my editor I need to take a vacation in the middle of the season to audition to go find the hairy man. You start.
Why does a coach have to meet with a player three times in one week? It seems a bit much.
I think any coach or assistant will tell you that – especially in the days of smart phones, Twitter and general information/communication overload – the most important thing is getting face time. It forces the kids to focus and pay attention, for one thing, and it solidifies a new type of memory in the recruit’s brain. I’m talking like a psychologist here, and I’m definitely not one. Let me just go back to saying it’s important. Anyone can call a kid. Anyone can text. If you’re flying across the country constantly to SEE him when your schedule is already insane, it shows that you’re serious.
How common is it for potential recruits to view a school more favorably after other highly ranked recruits commit to a school? For example, let's say a player like Vaughn commits to the Gophers. Is it common for other recruits - who don't play the same position - to look more favorably at Minnesota after a player like Vaughn commits? I assume the coaches would use that to "sell" the program to other recruits...
Jeff -- from Blaine
Well, it does and it doesn’t. If a school signs an elite recruit and that recruit then flourishes quickly – I think that could be very attractive to kids. But just signing the kid, in the absence of any results, is generally a non-factor. For example, just because Isaiah Whitehead decided to head to Seton Hall, I don’t think recruits are now looking at Seton Hall in a new light. If he brings success in 2014, that could be a different story.
Are any gopher bball alumni involved in recruiting this year?
Not directly in recruiting – that’s an NCAA violation. Pitino has said he’s open to bring in alumni for possible pep talks/instructional things throughout the season, but nothing is planned currently.
What is typical ratio off recruits to scholarships available?
I don’t think there’s any specific ratio that programs go by, but in general there are a lot more feelers out there than there are spots – that’s just common sense, right? As much as the Gophers’ staff is being evaluated and considered by recruits, so are the recruits being evaluated and considered by the Gophers on an ongoing basis. Offering a kid is an important step in letting him know you are very interested. Taking the time to talk to a staff and set up a visit indicates reciprocated interest on the part of the recruit. Neither locks in either side. It’s like online dating. You’re likely looking for one partner, but in the searching, you have many dates and no one calls you a floozy. (Note: mostly because that word is no longer in circulation.)
Is anybody ever going to sign with the #gophers???
No, I said I WASN’T a psychologist. Which means I can’t answer the same crazy question over and over again. The Gophers have plenty of very worthy targets. They cast a wide net, so there have been some ‘Nos.’ Have patience, lad.
Does the lack of a Tyus Jones decision affect how PG recruits view Minnesota? #aMAILiaBAG
No, I don’t think so. Minnesota is not a favorite for Jones, so I don’t think that’s on the mind of a lot of PG recruits.