This is Amelia Rayno's third season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News.

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Josh Cunningham to visit Minnesota over the second weekend of October

Posted by: Amelia Rayno under College basketball Updated: September 25, 2013 - 1:33 PM

Gophers target Josh Cunningham will be visiting Minnesota on an official over the second weekend of October, he and his AAU and high school coach, Nick Irvin said.

The 6-7 wing from Chicago, who has already visited Creighton officially, also has Oklahoma, Iowa State and Bradley scheduled, Irvin said.

Cunningham is used to playing in an up-tempo system in high school, in which Cunningham is a natural, Irvin said. “He loves defense,” he said. “He takes about three charges a game. … He rebounds the ball well. He can play any system, but I think the uptempo style fits him best.”

Irvin knows Richard Pitino from when the Gophers coach was an assistant at Louisville, and recruited Cunningham’s former Morgan Park High School teammate Wayne Blackshear. The young coach and his staff has made an impact, he said.

“Josh likes them a lot,” Irvin said. “He’s gotten to know Pitino and the assistant coaches. … One of the things he’s said about Richie is that he’s coached with two of the top coaches in all of college basketball, which are his father and Billy Donovan, so he has a good background. And he’s a young coach, and energetic.”

Cunningham also has family in the Minneapolis, area, Irvin said, with an aunt, uncle and lots of cousins nearby.

“When we play AAU out there, they came and supported him, he had a big support system,” Irvin said. “He wants to have a good support system and be around people that he know or could get to his mom if he needed to or his family could get to him, where it’s not far – that’s important.”

Cunningham’s last official is scheduled for November 8th, so assuming he takes all his visits – as Irvin has urged – a decision is not imminent. This week, both Iowa State and Minnesota are expected in Chicago, the coach said.

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