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Ex-Gophers star Oturu stands out during virtual NBA Draft combine

This year’s NBA draft combine was different from any other being that teams mostly relied on videos to see how prospects excelled at areas critical to their success at the next level.

Former Gophers and Cretin-Derham Hall standout Daniel Oturu blew teams away with his NBA combine shooting drill numbers this week. 

Oturu, who is 6-foot-10 and 240 pounds, shot 67.5 percent from three-point range (104 for 154) and 87 percent from the free throw line (87 for 100) at the P3 Sports Science facility in Santa Barbara, Calif.

P3 Sports Science runs combine drills for the NBA Draft, which is scheduled to be held virtually Nov. 18.

In other testing results, Oturu’s box lane agility drill (11.37 seconds), 3/4 court sprint (3.28 seconds), standing vertical jump (29.5 inches) and max vertical (35.5 inches) topped averages at his position from the 2019 NBA Draft combine in Chicago.

Overall, his 2020 pre-draft assessment was pretty impressive for an athlete at his size and length, which included measurements of a 7-4 wingspan, 9-2 standing reach and 9.25-inch hand width.

Since the spring, Oturu has trained at P3 Sports Science in Santa Barbara with former Howard Pulley AAU teammate and Apple Valley point guard Tre Jones, who left Duke early for the draft this year.

Jones’ combine numbers tested off the charts as well, most notably a 40-inch max vertical jump. He also had box lane agility (10.48 seconds) and 3/4 sprint (3.14) numbers above many point guards in last year’s combine.

Oturu and Jones participated in virtual interviews with NBA teams during the combine process this month. They join other former Minnesota high school standouts projected by some mock drafts to be picked in the first round, including former Hopkins and Arizona big man Zeke Nnaji and former DeLaSalle and Stanford guard Tyrell Terry.

Gophers unlikely to play in Hall of Fame Tip-Off this season

The Gophers men’s basketball schedule remains in flux five weeks before the official start date of the 2020-21 college season, but one thing appears to be clear.

Richard Pitino’s team is unlikely to play in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Connecticut this season, sources told the Star Tribune on Wednesday. 

 

The Gophers backed out recently, hoping to either host a multi-team event or play an MTE closer to home to limit non-league travel during the pandemic, sources said.

The four-team HOF Tip-Off scheduled for Nov. 28 and Nov. 29 in Uncasville, CT is now looking to replace another team. The original field had included the Gophers, Marquette and Central Florida. It now has Virginia Tech, Temple and Rhode Island.

At the start of practice last week, Pitino couldn’t confirm anything about nonconference play. The Gophers’ first game could be Nov. 25 vs. Green Bay at Williams Arena. But the Big Ten has yet to release the basketball league schedule for this season.

“I don’t know,” Pitino said during a video call last week. “Science can evolve. Testing is very, very important. Getting to where you can get daily testing is very important. So, we don’t know anything yet. We’re all hoping the Big Ten schedule can get solidified at some point and we can work around that.”

Pitino hopes to play 27 regular season games, which means seven nonconference games to go with a 20-game Big Ten slate.

  

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