UPDATE: King's former high school coach, Mark Gerber, said that King has not contacted or been contacted by any schools at this time and that his primary focus right now is finishing up final exams.
It’s no secret that the Gophers are a little short on big men for next season.
While the Gophers have some options in Elliott Eliason, Charles Buggs and Mo Walker, other than the first listed, there are a lot of unknowns that go along with those possibilities. We’ve only seen Buggs play in a pair of exhibitions – even if he looked promising at times, the sample size and competition is not enough to make any assumptions. We simply don’t know what to expect from Walker, who officially returned from a knee injury last year, but didn’t play much, and was largely inconsistent.
Is new Gophers coach Richard Pitino still searching for players to root the frontcourt? I think he is, and there is a good chance Minnesota will sign at least one for next season (the Gophers have two scholarships remaining).
One possibility is 6-9 Joey King, who averaged 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds last year at Drake, as a freshman. King, who graduated from suburban Eastview High School, announced that he would leave the program.
King, as an undergrad transfer, would normally have to sit out a season due to NCAA rules, but it’s possible (without knowing the extent of King’s situation) that the Gophers could seek a hardship waiver for the Minnesotan so he could play right away. King has told other media outlets that he is looking to play closer to home.
Another name that is gaining a bit of steam is 6-6 Josh Davis (from my home town of Raleigh, N.C., in other news), who is seeking a transfer from Tulane. As a graduate, he would also be eligible to play right away. Davis is reportedly getting interest from a number of schools, including San Diego State, Gonzaga, NC State, Illinois, Pittsburgh and Iowa State. Davis, who averaged over 17 points and 10 rebounds a game last season, was the only Conference USA player to average a double-double.
Otherwise, Minnesota is keeping its focus on Rakeem Buckles, who I think is the most likely big man to wind up at Minnesota next season. If he comes, he will need to be granted an NCAA waiver, so that could be the hold up with any news there. Tarik Black, on the other hand, is still on the market, but highly unlikely considering the competition for his services.