Looking to add point guard depth for next season, the Gophers landed a commitment Thursday night from three-star 2019 Florida point guard Bryan "BJ" Greenlee.
Greenlee, a 6-foot senior from the Rock School in Gainesville, Fla., had one other Power Five scholarship offer from Iowa last summer, but he also visited Cincinnati and considered Old Dominion.
Greenlee was named the Gainesville Sun's Co-Player of the Year for small schools in Florida after leading the Rock to its second Sunshine Independent Athletic Association state title. He averaged 13.7 points, 7.3 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 2.5 steals last season.
“He’s had a great high school career,” The Rock coach Justin Harden said. “Minnesota is getting a kid who is going to be really tough. He looks the part. He’s 6-feet and 185-190 pounds. He looks like a defensive back. He plays the game the right way. He’s a student of the game and really balanced player. He’ll provide consistency and leadership.”
Greenlee started on the varsity for three seasons and helped his team win 134 games. As a sophomore, he played alongside current Penn State starting guard Jamari Wheeler, who was one of the best defenders for the Nittany Lions last season. That’s also a strength for Greenlee.
“He’s a phenomenal on-ball defender, picking up guys 94 feet,” Harden said. “That was one of the main things with coach (Richard) Pitino that we talked about is just him being able to come off the bench the first year and just being able to use his athleticism to cause havoc and being a spark on the defensive end.”
Pitino was searching for more ball handling for the 2019-20 season after losing Amir Coffey to the NBA Draft, Isaiah Washington to transfer and Dupree McBrayer to graduation. The Gophers were unable to convince any graduate transfers to sign, including after a visit last week from North Texas guard Ryan Woolridge, who remains undecided.
Pittsburgh transfer Marcus Carr is projected to be the U's starting point guard after sitting out last season, but Greenlee gives Pitino a backup option. Greenlee joins a 2019 recruiting class that includes four-star forward Isaiah Ihnen, four-star guard Tre' Williams and three-star center Sam Freeman.