The Gophers’ basketball programs are expected to get national letters of intent from two players on Wednesday, the first day of the early signing period.

Four-star senior point guard Isaiah Washington from St. Raymond’s High School (N.Y.) reportedly has decided to wait until next week to sign with Richard Pitino’s Gophers. But three-star shooting guard Jamir Harris out of New Jersey is expected to sign.

Four-star guard Destiny Pitts from Detroit Country Day is expected to sign with Marlene Stollings’ program. Pitts is ranked the No. 1 prospect in Michigan, according to ESPN.

Marcus Fuller


Two Gophers honored

Forwards Tommy Novak and Mike Szmatula of the Gophers were named the Big Ten’s first and third stars of the week in hockey, respectively, on Tuesday after Minnesota’s overtime tie and shutout win against nationally ranked North Dakota over the weekend.

Novak, a sophomore from River Falls, Wis., led the Gophers with four points (two goals, two assists) against the Fighting Hawks. He had the tying goal with 1:17 left in regulation in the 5-5 tie Friday and got an assist on the game-winner in a 2-0 win Saturday.

Szmatula, a junior from Commerce Township, Mich., scored his first game-winning goal Saturday. He also had two assists Friday, the second on the game-tying goal.

U’s Pannek recognized

Junior center Kelly Pannek of the Gophers was named the WCHA’s offensive player of the week after her eight-point weekend in a sweep of Minnesota State Mankato.

Pannek had two goals, one shorthanded that was the game-winner and the other on a power play, and six assists as the Gophers beat the Mavericks 5-0 and 8-1.

She has 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) this season, which ties her for the conference and NCAA scoring lead with her linemates Dani Cameranesi (12-10—22) and Sarah Potomak (10-12—22).

U track captains set

The Gophers named seven women’s track and field team captains: seniors Cami Gilson (pole vault), Kimberly Golding (hurdles, jumps), Angie Guenther (throws), Erin Hawkins (sprinter), Titania Markland (sprinter, middle distance) and Nicolle Murphy (javelin), and junior Madeline Strandemo (distance). Markland and Murphy were captains last year, too.