Mashburn Jr. on why he liked the #Gophers: "They need someone who can shoot the ball, defend and lead a team ... That separates them from other programs. There's a need, and I know with the right opportunity I can make something happen. @StribSports @GopherMBB— Marcus R. Fuller (@Marcus_R_Fuller) October 14, 2019
The Gophers just got a good one with this commitment by Jamal Mashburn Jr. This is a kid who can shoot, handle the ball, and has a family pedigree that can’t be ignored. I went a little bit deeper into Mashburn when Pitino got his first 2020 commitment a couple of weeks ago, in stretch-big Martice Mitchell. In that blog, I wrote about how much Mashburn’s highlights remind me of Nate Mason, another smaller guard who could handle the ball, run a team, and shoot the ball when challenged.
Pitino’s 2020 class is taking shape now, and it is looking pretty damn good for a class that doesn’t include any Minnesota kids yet, from possibly the state’s best basketball class in its history. Some Gopher fans are big on getting MN kids. I’d like to get them too. But, I want MN kids because we produce elite basketball talent and I want elite talent on this team. Residing in MN should give you a head-start on MN talent. It’s an easier route to 4-5 start talent (in theory).
For whatever reason though, Pitino has had issues with getting the in-state talent to stay in-state, recently (after good early success with Amir Coffey, Michael Hurt, Daniel Oturu, Gabe Kalscheur, and Jarvis Omersa). Both the 2019 and 2020 classes, however, have been (and is looking to be) some of Richard’s best. I just want to win and make runs in the NCAA Tournament. I don’t care where the players come from.
With that being said, Dawson Garcia is a Minnesota kid (Prior Lake) that hails from that incredible 2020 class. If the Gophers can get him to stick around, everyone would be happy. He’d be the highest-rated out of the class, too. Unfortunately, one of the most trusted brains in this business (Darren Wolfson – SKOR North/KSTP)… doesn’t think that’s very likely at this point, giving the odds just 25%. So, we’ll have to see what happens with Garcia or whoever Pitino spends his last 2020 scholarship on but its a big one, no matter.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan
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