Fresh off of the biggest signing for his Gopher Men’s Basketball 2019 recruiting class, Richard Pitino is on his spring prowl again today. He’s in Philadelphia, probably near the Drexler campus. Hopefully it’s a nicer day there than it is back here in the Twin Cities, where my mental status needs sun worse than my skin doesn’t need cancer.

Who is Richard’s target this time?

Alihan Demir is a graduate transfer from Drexler, who’s apparently seen enough horse shit eaten off the streets of Philly. Now that he has his degree, he’s looking for somewhere more sophisticated. The University of Minnesota is seemingly the front-runner for the 6-9 stretch-PF out of Turkey, who you might want to run the point guard after watching the tape below.

You can see exactly what Richard Pitino is excited for, when you watch Demir play. He’s the classic stretch-4 guy that the Gophers have lacked since…. forever (in Richard Pitino land). He likes to step out and shoot the 3 but can get to the basket when overplayed. The best part though… his passing gets me uncomfortably excited.

Pitino loves to put his big man at the top of the key with the ball in his hands, and while it was ugly at times with Jordan Murphy last season, since he never shot the ball out there, the high-low game could be lethal with Oturu low in the box getting leverage and Demir at the top with the ball.

Alihan has been highly sought after since hitting the transfer market. He appeared on The Scoop Podcast with Darren Wolfson of KSTP and SKOR North, and said he was contacted by over 40 teams. Since they are eligible to play immediately, graduate transfers have become a hot commodity in recent years.

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(hopefully) Our Turkish PF has offers from a pretty legitimate list of schools that includes (according to Ryan James of GopherIllustrated.com) Cal, Marquette, Nebraska, and Miami but the only real competition came down to Kansas State, who Demir visited over the weekend, after seeing Minnesota.

But from what I read all over and what I listened to when he was on with Doogie, playing time and offensive fit are the most important pieces to landing Demir and the Gophers fit everything he wants. We are the HARD favorites right now. Expect his decision VERY soon too.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan