Minnesota Golden Gophers Basketball Details
One of the original Big Ten teams, the Minnesota Golden Gophers were one of the most successful teams in the early years of basketball, as all three of the school’s national championships came before 1920. The team has seen a bit of a resurgence recently under coach Richard Pitino, son of legendary Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who took over in 2013. Despite having only one season of head coaching experience prior to joining Minnesota at Florida International University, PItino has already helped the Gophers break team records. In his first season, the Golden Gophers defeated FSU in the NIT semi-finals, setting a school record of 24 wins, and then went on to win the NIT Championship and set the record at 25 wins. The Minnesota Golden Gophers finished the 2016-2017 season with a 24-10 overall record and an 11-7 conference record, finishing fourth in the Big Ten Conference. Pitino won the Big Ten Coach of the Year award in 2017, becoming only the second coach in Gophers history to do so.
One of the most highly-anticipated new recruits joining the Golden Gophers this season is four-star point guard Isaiah Washington from New York. Washington averaged 26 points and 6 assists per game in his senior year of high school, and will certainly be an impactful addition to the Golden Gophers. Another strong recruit is three-star shooting guard Jamir Harris from New Jersey. Harris was ranked fourth in the ESPN top New Jersey recruits and will be a powerful guard for the Gophers. Washington and Harris will hope to follow in the footsteps of past Golden Gophers now playing in the NBA, among them the Trail blazer’s Joel Przybilla and current free agent Kris Humphries.