Gopher Basketball Looking to Fill 3 Scholarships
The Gopher men’s basketball team is in search of filling the 3 scholarships they have available this spring. The spring signing period began Wednesday and the Gophers have yet to sign anyone. Minnesota is looking for big men with both centers, Mo Walker and Eliott Eliason both entering their senior seasons next year. The Gophers have a verbal commitment from 6’9 forward/center Gaston Diedhiou from the Canary Islands of Spain. Diehiou is a 20-year old player who’s considered to be a raw under the radar talent who isn’t ranked by the many rating services. Diehiou will likely take one the 3 scholarships available.
Minnesota is also close with 6’11 center Bakary Konate from Kansas by way of his home country, Mali. Konate has been recruited by many schools including Louisville, Tulane, Texas A&M, Creighton and Oklahoma. Konate is a 3-star recuit who has an outside jump shot.
The Gophers would like to sign a small forward or shooting guard. Minnesota has been linked with 6’6 small foward Djuan Piper from Rainier, Washington but Piper may not be academically eligible which means he could be headed to junior college. The Gophers could also be a destination spot for 6’6 small forward Justin Martin. Martin is expected to transfer from Xavier. Since he is a graduate student he could transfer and be eligible to play right away. Martin averaged 11.7 points, 5.2 rebounds a game and shot 37 percent from 3-point range.
The late signing period in college basketball ends May 21. It is possible the Gophers will decide to not use 1 or more scholarships and save them for the 2015 recruiting class. The Gophers are contenders for 4-star recruits 6-0 points guard Jarvis Johnson from DelaSalle in Minneapolis and 6’9 power forward Alex Illikainen from Grand Rapids, Minnesota.