• Now that the Gophers have offensive lineman Connor Mayes signed to the football team, they have two pairs of brothers on the offensive line with Connor and Alex Mayes of Van Alstyne, Texas, and Kyle and Luke McAvoy of Bloomington, Ill. With the graduation of Ed Olson, Tommy is now the sole Olson brother on the roster.
• One of the bigger decisions in college basketball is whether Kansas center Joel Embiid will declare for the NBA draft after his freshman season. He has been projected as a potential No. 1 pick. His mentor is Timberwolves forward Luc Mbah a Moute, a fellow native of Cameroon who is helping guide Embiid’s decision.
• JP Macura, the Lakeville North standout, was one of the big basketball recruits out of this state for the Class of 2014, signing with Xavier. But word is that Musketeers coach Chris Mack is being targeted by Wake Forest for its coaching position, and perhaps that could reopen Macura’s recruiting. Richard Pitino and Co. came in late on recruiting Macura, who might rank with the top recruits in the state. So now the Gophers might get another chance to recruit him, and he would really help the Gophers next season if they could somehow get him.
• While the Gophers beat St. Mary’s 63-55 to reach the NIT quarterfinals, the Gaels will have a big upgrade in store next year when former Gophers guard Joe Coleman is able to play after sitting out as a transfer this season.
• Former Gophers forward Nick Bjugstad continues to have a great second NHL season with the Florida Panthers. Going into Saturday, Bjugstad had 33 points on 14 goals and 19 assists in 68 games. He was tied for the second-highest point total on the team. Another Gopher, Kyle Rau, was drafted by Florida in the third round of the 2011 draft, and the junior might join the squad next season.