Gophers sophomore center Daniel Oturu has started the process of seeking information about where he could be taken in this year's NBA draft.
Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said Wednesday on KFAN 100.3 radio that the Gophers sent in paperwork for Oturu to the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee, which provides feedback to prospects about their draft stock.
Pitino met with Oturu earlier this week to talk about the process. The 6-foot-10, 240-pound former Cretin-Derham Hall standout has not officially declared for the draft, but he’s expected to leave school early for the NBA.
“In recent years, the NBA has done a much better job of educating the players about where they potentially stand,” Pitino wrote in his season-ending blog Wednesday. “My message to Daniel is to go through the process, gather the information and make an informed decision for what's best for himself and his family.
Oturu, an All-American and All-Big Ten performer, averaged 20.1 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.5 blocks this season. He has been projected as high as a lottery pick in mock drafts this month.
“The most important thing to do is receive the proper feedback from the NBA,” Pitino wrote in his blog. “Social media, media and mock drafts are not the decision makers. Agents are recruiting you, so they are going to tell you what you want to hear.”
The NBA hasn’t announced how workouts, the combine or the draft itself would be affected the postponement of the season due to concerns about the Coronavirus.
Prior to Oturu, Jordan Murphy and Amir Coffey both sent their applications as non-seniors to hear feedback from the NBA’s Undergraduate Advisory Committee. Coffey went undrafted after leaving following his junior season last year, but he received a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Clippers.
In his first local comments about his father getting hired at Iona, Pitino wrote that he was "fired up" that former Louisville coach Rick Pitino was back coaching college basketball. There also could be a game between the Gophers and Iona on the schedule soon.
"We briefly spoke about putting something together for next season at the Barn," Pitino wrote. "I think it would be pretty cool for both programs and hopefully we can make it happen!"