• Timberwolves General Manager Scott Layden knows the team will have a very good first-round pick. He was asked how the team scouts the wide variety of international players available. “It’s a process,” he said. “We go through it day-to-day; actually we have scouts right now overseas looking at potential draft picks. But also, and I think this is something we need to remember, we’re also looking at players that could come over as free agents. I think there’s a lot of good players that are playing internationally that have a lot of Euro game experience that we could use on our team. So we’re looking at potential draft players but also players that could help us with experience.”
• There seem to be two primary candidates to be the Gophers’ starting quarterback in Connor Rhoda and Demry Croft, but coach P.J. Fleck said he might wait until the last minute to name a starter. “I’ll definitely name a starter before the first game, I know that. I don’t think we’ll have a person that we name before training camp,” Fleck said. “I think the job will be won during training camp at some point. But I am one of those people that it will go up until it’s necessary to name one. I like my starter to be able to have a lot of reps prior to the first game, too. It won’t be the day before the game unless it has to. You like to make a decision a few weeks into training camp, so those last two weeks they’re getting the majority of the reps.”
• Chaska High School product Brad Hand, who was a second-round pick by the Marlins in 2008, has turned his career around since being claimed off waivers by the Padres in April 2016. Entering Saturday, the 27-year-old lefthanded reliever had a 2.65 ERA over 105⅓ innings with 129 strikeouts since joining San Diego. Last season, he led major league pitchers in appearances with 82. In the five seasons with the Marlins, Hand struggled with a 4.71 ERA over 288⅔ innings and averaged just 5.9 strikeouts per nine innings, compared to 11.0 with the Padres.