Last week, I posted a recruiting overview for the 2015 class, as it concerns Minnesota -- and noted that size and athleticism are driving those efforts.
In the 2016 class, more size will be needed across the board, but some of the specifics likely depend on what the Gophers can muster up for the fall.
For now, Minnesota is casting a wide net with a wide-ranging variety of recruits -- despite the fact that unless the Gophers save one or more scholarships from the remaining three available for 2015, they only have one left to give. The Gophers expect the eligibilities of Carlos Morris and Joey King to expire after the 2015 season, and the staff has already got a commitment from Rochester wing Michael Hurt in January.
A look at some of the names the Gophers are considering:
Amir Coffey: The four-star big guard's injury proneness might be affecting his recruitment to an extent, but not when it comes to Minnesota, which is just as intent as ever, a source says, at nabbing the rising senior at Hopkins. Coffey, who tore his left ACL in December (he broke the same leg in the summer of 2013), visited Minnesota for the Nebraska game earlier this year, but still has a slew of other high-majors chasing him.
Quentin Goodin: The explosive point guard from Kentucky is another four-star target for Minnesota, which sits in the company of schools such as Louisville, Florida, Michigan, Ohio State, Indiana and Vanderbilt, among others, in competing for his services.
Rawle Alkins: Watching video of this 6-4, 185-pound shooting guard is at times like watching a college athlete scrimmage with high schoolers. Alkins certainly has the body and matchup potential to attract a litany of bluebloods, and Minnesota.
Shamorie Ponds: The Brooklyn lefty is a slick scorer and a shooter with great range above all else, but the unranked shooting guard needs to work on his shot selection if he wants to hold on to the elite tier after him -- including St. John's, Miami (FL), Minnesota, Oklahoma, Seton Hall and South Carolina.
Eli Wright: The Gophers have recently gotten more involved with this three-star versatile guard from Kentucky. The 6-4 Wright is ranked 127th nationally and has caught the eye of Clemson, Indiana, Purdue and Oklahoma State, among others, for offers.
Aric Holman: A mobile, rangy big man is a gem, and this 6-9, 210-pound three-star has shown hints he can be that. Holman's good feet, soft hands and respectable shot has him gaining steam in the recruiting world -- and he's already taken official visits to Western Kentucky and VCU, per Rivals.
Mamadou Diarra: The 6-8, 225-pound Queens native is explosive and has stellar rebounding instincts, but his offensive rawness has kept him somewhat under the radar so far. Minnesota is the only high-major school to have offered the three-star so far.
Reid Nikko: The local 6-9 power forward from Maple Grove has been on campus at Minnesota several times already, and Minnesota has been keeping tabs on the unranked (per Rivals) Nikko, who has a nose for defense and blocking shots.
Xavier Sneed: Sneed, who Rivals ranks 143rd in his class, doubles up both as a small forward and a wide receiver for his Hazelwood Central (St. Louis) high school. On the court, Sneed stands out for his high motor and pesky defensive instincts, and Cincinnati, Creighton, Illinois, Kansas State, Xavier and others are all watching along with Minnesota.