With Matz Stockman Now Sticking Around, Pitino’s 2018 Crew is ALMOST Set

PHOTO: GopherSports.com



Matz Stockman has decided he will stay at the University of Minnesota. The former Louisville transfer had announced his desire to transfer earlier this summer, but Pitino hadn’t filled the open scholarship yet, and Stockman was reportedly finding the transfer process more difficult than he had hoped. So, he becomes the player that fills the last open scholarship for the Gophers, after being the transfer that had originally opened that spot.

After an offseason full of both short-term and long-term arrivals, along with plenty of departures at both the player and coaching levels, the 2018 Gopher Basketball roster now seems to be set. They swapped out two coaches. That process had the panic button smashed through the desk around Gopher nation, until Richard spun the situation into two new coaches, that some analysts have as upgrades.

Disaster averted.

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Along with the coaches, players departed too. Some graduated. Some transferred. Some were banished from society. Again, at times, panic button – ENGAGED. However, Isaiah Washington stayed, after a very underachieving freshman year that ended with a departure of both the assistant coach that recruited him and fellow freshman, Jamir Harris.

Obviously, the top contributors will be the remaining upper-classmen in Amir Coffey, Dupree McBrayer, and Jordan Murphy. You’ll also see big minutes from Michael Hurt. But, we already know about them.

Lets get to the additions. Three Minnesota freshman will join the squad and all of them will be looking for playing time. Daniel Oturu is the most highly touted but he is coming off of a shoulder surgery (in which the recovery is reportedly “ahead of schedule”) and the reviews have been raving from the new practice facilities when it comes to the work ethic and athleticism of the two other newcomers, Gabe Kalscheur and Jarvis Omersa. So, those are a few long-term answers that coaches and fans hope will also contribute early on.

But, those weren’t the only new weapons added to Pitino’s 2018-19 arsenal this offseason. Brock Stull is a grad-transfer that chose the Gophers over a handful of other schools with high interest. He is a playmaking guard who we hope can also add a legitimate shooting threat from the 3-point line. He will get big minutes for the one season he’s around, as he finishes off his college basketball career and pursues his Master’s Degree.

So, technically those are the only NEWCOMERS who will CONTRIBUTE for 2018. But, it’s not the entire story.

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First, Peyton Willis is a transfer from Vanderbilt who got 17-19 minutes per game as a Freshman and Sophomore but will have to sit this season due to NCAA transfer restrictions. He should make an impact next year, depending on how his season, away from game-action, plays out.

Marcus Carr was the other undergraduate transfer who arrived on campus this summer. He came over from Pitt, where he played just his Freshman season. He also got big minutes and was a big part of the team, until his coach was fired, and he applied for his transfer. Carr’s situation is a little different, as I dug into a little bit last week, because of the circumstances that caused his departure from Pitt.

The Gophers have applied for Carr to play right away in 2018 but don’t get your hopes up because these waivers aren’t approved very often. With that said, the NCAA is under fire right now about their entire structure and the entire transfer process is constantly being reviewed. Actually, they made MAJOR changes today. Could they be a little more lenient on transfers this year too, because of all that’s going on?

Maybe… hopefully…

However, if all goes well, the biggest “new” contributer for 2018-19 won’t be new at all. Eric Curry busted onto the scene 2 years ago when he came in as a Freshman next to highly touted and local hero, Amir Coffey. However, he quickly made a name for himself as a huge offensive threat that consistently brought life to a second team that really needed it from an inside presence. But, before his Sophomore season started, Curry suffered a devastating knee injury that earned him a medical redshirt where he’ll get a redo of his Sophomore season this year. Will he be the same player? Better? Worse? His health and how he responds to the injury will be critical to how 2018-19 ends up for this team.

There are still a lot of questions left to be answered but with Stockman now recommitted for the season, the pieces are nearly in place. We’ll be here when the news drops on the waiver request for Marcus Carr. That should be the final domino unless something goes down that we can’t see from here.

You never know… but shit, let’s hope not.

Eric Strack
Minnesota Sports Fan @RealMNSportsFan

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