Joe Coleman has reportedly landed at St. Mary’s in Moraga, Calif., after getting his release from the Gophers men’s basketball team earlier this spring, following the arrival of new coach Richard Pitino.
“It came down to the fact that coach [Randy] Bennett has been able to develop guards and also that they have playing time available,” Coleman told ESPN.com on Monday. “When Coach [Tubby] Smith left, I decided I wanted to go somewhere that I could expand my game.”
The 6-4 Coleman, who was Minnesota’s Mr. Basketball out of Hopkins High School in 2011, will have to sit out a year because of transfer rules. He averaged 8.7 points in 26 minutes a game last season, his second year under Smith.
St. Mary’s went 28-7 last season, losing 54-52 to Memphis in the NCAA tournament’s round of 64 after winning a “First Four” game against Middle Tennessee State. Under Bennett, the Gaels have appeared in the NCAA tournament five times since 2005, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 2010.