Some of what’s been going on this week in the recruiting world:
- In case you missed it, the Gophers picked up their second recruit for the 2013-14 season and a much-needed forward in Alex Foster from Chicago on Saturday. The Gophers are still searching for another big man along with Foster to help replace forwards Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams after they graduate at the end of this season. Foster joins Alvin Ellis, a former teammate of his, as the second commitment.
- Meanwhile, commit Daniel Edozie plans to de-commit from the U after the Gophers watched him play in a tournament and didn't like what they saw.
- Edina point guard Graham Woodward officially committed to Penn State today, announcing his decision via Twitter. The Gophers liked Woodward a lot, but didn’t have room for another guard for next year.
- According to blogger TC Hoops Czar, coaches from Oregon, Kansas and Northern Iowa were in Grand Rapids to watch forward Alex Illikainen (2015) this week. Illikainen has been get LOTS of big interest this school year.
- The Gophers have plans to visit forward Vincent Edwards (2014) soon, according to 247sports.com. Edwards, from Middleton, Ohio, is ranked No. 66 by Rivals.
- Nigel Hayes, who visited Minnesota in September, has completed all his official visits, and plans to make a decision in the next month and a half he said.
- Sterling Brown, another guard the Gophers were highly interested in (but got out of the competition for, after snagging Ellis) committed to SMU today.
- Tyus Jones and Chicago’s Jahlil Okafor were at Duke over the weekend to watch the Blue Devils’ version of Midnight Madness.
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From the Gophers’ perspective, any game they can gut out or steal is a big victory.
Through five games, Nebraska Omaha is playing at the third fastest pace in Division I college basketball. (And one of the Mavericks top players is a former Chaska star.)
The Gophers have collected 48 fouls in the last two games, and foul trouble contributed to Minnesota’s 81-68 loss to Texas Tech on Sunday.
The question now is whether Minnesota can move past a bad long weekend and pick up some steam through the rest of this month and next – or whether a not-so-easy slate between now and New Year's will put the Gophers on the path toward the basement.
The Gophers are young and inexperienced and while the future may be bright, the present is tenuous, at best.