(note: I’m bad at telling time and thus fell back 2 hours — from 9 PM PT decision deadline — instead of forward like a smart person would have when this was first posted. The correct deadline for Coffey’s decision is 11 PM CT)

I wanted to jump on and give Gopher basketball fans an update on what I am seeing and hearing on the Amir Coffey / NBA Draft situation. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Amir Coffey declared for the NBA Draft but can still drop out of the draft process and declare himself eligible for his senior year at the University of Minnesota… until tomorrow night.

Tomorrow by 11 PM CT, Coffey needs to make his decision. He has one more workout scheduled with the Sacramento Kings in the moments leading up to that deadline…

I’ve had my ear to the ground on this all day and I am going to shoot you straight like I always do….

It’s not looking good for Gopher fans wanting to see Amir Coffey wear Maroon and Gold again. 

It sucks to say that because the Gophers are going to have a lot more help for Coffey this season, if he were to come back. Losing Jordan Murphy will hurt but if Amir were to stay, the Gophers would be improved EVERYWHERE else. Unfortunately, from everything that I’ve seen/heard, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

It’s pretty clear, at this point, that Coffey isn’t going to be drafted anywhere near the first round. In fact, the question seems to center much more around whether he will be drafted at all. That doesn’t bode well for those hoping he will return. A lot of times, being (pretty much) guaranteed a spot in or around the first 30 picks, is the deciding factor on declaring, and kids will back out of the draft process once they realize that isn’t the case for them. Coffey clearly doesn’t care about whether or not he’s a first round pick.

Ryan James of GopherIllustrated.com said today on the GI Boards that he is hearing from his sources close to Amir and the Gophers, that Coffey won’t be returning. I heard Justin Gaard say essentially the same thing on KFAN today, too. If it weren’t for this tweet from Jeff Goodman, I’d already be writing Coffey off but…

….YOU’RE SAYING THERE’S A CHANCE?!?!

Anyway, I’ll go to bed tonight praying to God and all of the aliens that I am wrong, and Amir somehow has a change of heart by the time he announces his decision tomorrow……….. but don’t hold your breath.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan