Gophers junior guard Dupree McBrayer is out for Wednesday’s game against No. 10 Miami (Fla.) with a right leg injury.
McBrayer, who started the first seven games of the season, will be replaced in the starting lineup by freshman Isaiah Washington, who will get his first career start.
In the offseason, McBrayer missed a few months of practice with a stress reaction in his leg, a precursor to a fracture.
The Queens, N.Y. native had a slow start to the season scoring under double figures in his first two games, but he combined for 27 points in wins against Niagara and Western Carolina.
McBrayer, who tied a career-high with eight assists Saturday against Alabama, averages 9.3 points, 3.6 assists and 2.0 rebounds in 24.1 minutes.
Washington averaged 8.1 points and 3.0 assists in 20.3 minutes entering Wednesday’s game. Returning to his home state last week, the Harlem native had a career-best 14 points on 7-for-15 shooting in 26 minutes Saturday in an 89-84 win against Alabama in the Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn.
Washington played the final 10 minutes of the second half after starting point guard Nate Mason was ejected after his second technical foul. New York's Mr. Basketball and Jelly Fam co-founder had a section of fans at the Barclays Center screaming after his every basket.
The most hyped incoming Gophers basketball recruit in years, Washington said his goal was to be the starting point guard as a freshman. But Pitino told his prized recruit that he still needed to get a better grasp of the offense and improve defensively.
Washington can take opponents off the dribble, but his outside shooting is a work in progress. He’s only 2-for-21 from three-point range in the first seven games, including 10 straight misses from beyond the arc entering Wednesday.
McBrayer struggled his freshman season shooting from long distance, but he's been one of the team's top threats from three-point range the last two years. He's shooting 43.5 percent from three this season.
An injury to one of their best shooters hurt the Gophers last season when Akeem Springs was sidelined in the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments. But Minnesota has more depth in the backcourt this year with Washington and fellow freshman Jamir Harris, who leads the team at 52.6 percent from the three-point line.
-- The Gophers are expecting to announce their first sellout this season Wednesday against Miami (Fla.).