The Gophers gave fans a glimpse at some fresh new faces with five players making their debut in Thursday's 83-59 exhibition victory against Bemidji State.
Junior Reggie Lynch, freshman Amir Coffey and senior Akeem Springs were in the starting lineup. Freshmen Eric Curry and Michael Hurt came off the bench.
The best first impression definitely goes to Curry, who came off the bench to post a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds in 27 minutes. The 6-foot-9 big man was a force in the first half helping to spark the Gophers' comeback with 11 points and eight rebounds by halftime.
Lynch and Coffey had their moments as well. In the first half, Coffey cut into the lane and threw a no-look pass to the 6-10 Edina native for a two-hand dunk. One of the highlights of the night was actually on a miss dunk from Coffey, who nearly leaped over the Bemidji State defender while drawing the foul.
Coffey scored just six points on 2-for-8 shooting, but he led the team with five assists. The former Hopkins star also had six rebounds and a block in a team-high 33 minutes.
Getting his first game action since transferring from Illinois State last year, Lynch had six of his 10 points in the first half. He picked up his fourth foul with 16:44 left in the second half. But Lynch still returned to block three shots before fouling out at the seven-minute mark. You can definitely see why he led the nation in block percentage in his first two seasons. He had four blocks in just 14 minutes Thursday.
Hurt did what coaches expect from him by hitting a couple three-pointers in the second half to finish with six points in 17 minutes off the bench. A surprisingly poor shooting performance came from Springs, who went scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting in 24 minutes. The Milwaukee graduate transfer had a team-high 21 points with seven three-pointers in Saturday’s closed scrimmage against DePaul. But he was 0-for-4 from three-point range against Bemidji State.
Overall, the five newcomers combined to score 39 points and grab 29 rebounds Thursday.
-- Sophomore guard Stephon Sharp, who was sidelined with a bruised knee, had two assists in 11 minutes.
-- The attendance for Thursday's exhibition game was 8,014 at the Barn.