The Gophers men’s basketball team will open summer practices Tuesday with three of its four new recruits on campus and ready to get acclimated.
Incoming freshmen Tre’ Williams and Sam Freeman and Drexel transfer Alihan Demir arrived in the Twin Cities over the weekend to get settled in before summer school started Monday.
German recruit Isaiah Ihnen is still waiting back home to hear when he can join the Gophers. It’s not a matter of “if” just “when” for the 6-foot-9, four-star prospect ranked 90th nationally in this year’s recruiting class by 247Sports.com.
Gophers coach Richard Pitino talked glowingly about the 19-year-old small forward’s potential being “off the charts.” Ihnen posted on Instagram last weekend a picture of himself wearing a Gophers jersey with the words: “Can’t wait to put that jersey on.”
“They’re working on it for me to come earlier,” Ihnen said Monday. “I really want to get there ASAP.”
Ihnen already came to the United States in April on a visitor visa, which could help speed up the process. How soon is unclear. International students are typically admitted to school 30 days before the Sept. 3 start date for the fall semester. At the latest, Ihnen would then join the team at the beginning of August possibly before Minnesota’s foreign tour to Italy from Aug. 3-13.
“He hasn’t played any basketball here, so conventional wisdom would say it’s going to be an adjustment for him,” Pitino said last week. “Really, really talented. It’s important for him to have a really good summer and fall, so that he is ready. … I’m really excited to get him on campus. He’s going to be a really good player.”
• Demir, a 6-9 senior forward, will return to Philadelphia to walk with his graduating class at Drexel on Wednesday. The graduate transfer finished his degree in international business this spring.
• The Gophers assigned numbers to their newcomers Monday as follows: Williams is No. 1, Demir is No. 30, Freeman is No. 32 and Ihnen will be No. 35.