The Gophers have a chance to possibly find their center for next season with Ole Miss senior Khadim Sy announcing his decision Wednesday.
The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Sy narrowed his finalists to the Gophers, Clemson, Wake Forest, and East Carolina last week. He has 49 career starts, including 29 games as a junior at Ole Miss in 2019-20 and 28 games as a freshman at Virginia Tech in 2016-17.
"They have great program and the coaching staff is pretty cool," Sy told the Star Tribune last week about the Gophers. "We've been talking for a little while and I had some zoom meetings [with them], as well as with others schools."
Limited to 14 games last season, the Senegal native averaged a career-low 3.1 points and 1.9 rebounds in 11 minutes after missing 14 games dealing with concussion issues and an undisclosed illness. Sy did have a season-best 13 points on 3-for-3 three-point shooting off the bench in a win vs. Auburn in January.
His best season with Rebels was averaging a career-best 9.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and recording 25 blocks in 2019-20. Sy scored in double figures 15 times as a junior, which included a career-high 20 points vs. Southeast Louisiana and 18 points and eight rebounds against Mississippi State.
Sy's basketball journey in the U.S. started at Oak Hill Academy in high school in 2015, but the 24-year-old also spent time at Virginia Tech (2016-18), Dayton State College (2018-19) and Ole Miss (2019-21). He was a four-star prospect and the No. 3 junior college prospect by 247Sports.com in 2019.
First-year Gophers coach Ben Johnson has 10 scholarship players on the 2021-22 team after commitments from Stephen F. Austin big man Charlie Daniels and Indian River State College (Fla.) guard Abdoulaye Thiam last week.
At 6-9, 230, Daniels is expected to play a backup role at center next season. The frontcourt is still desperately in need of more size and depth with 6-9 sophomore Isaiah Ihnen and 6-11 incoming freshman Treyton Thompson. Junior transfer Parker Fox is sidelined for at least six months after knee surgery.
The Gophers are also waiting for Boston College transfer and former Shakopee forward Steffon Mitchell to make his decision between Minnesota, Utah, and San Diego State.