Minnesota Basketball: Keeping up with the fluid Gopher roster

Are you finding it hard to keep up with the constant ins and outs of the Gopher basketball roster? It can be really challenging to keep up. Here is your basic primer, which is sure to change daily.

This post could really be titled something like, “How I learned to stop worrying and love the transfer portal.” Much has been written about people’s love and hate of the transfer portal. But it is a reality of the current NCAA basketball landscape. And for teams who are also experiencing a coaching change, expect the portal on steriods. That is where we are.

There are 357 Division I basketball programs, with 13 scholarships on each of those rosters (not accounting for reductions due to penalty or other specific restrictions). That means there are 4,641 scholarship basketball players (give or take a few) in D1 hoops. As of right now there are 1,235 players who have entered their names into the transfer portal. That is 26.6% roster turnover at this level…for now. That number will go up. Love the portal or hate the portal, it is going to shake up a lot of rosters; especially Minnesota’s.

So buckle up.

WHO IS OUT?

Currently the roster from this past season is depleted. Of the 12 recruited scholarship players on the roster 8 have put their names into the transfer portal and 1 will not be playing basketball any longer (Eric Curry).

  • Marcus Carr
  • Gabe Kalscheur
  • Liam Robbins
  • Jamal Mashburn Jr
  • Tre Williams
  • Sam Freeman
  • Martice Mitchell
  • Jarvis Omersa

All have put their names into the portal.

Now, this does not mean that they are all gone. Most of the names on that list are highly unlikely to return, but not all of them. There is a chance that Kalscheur and Robbins return, but they are taking this opportunity to explore their options.

Ultimately, Johnson may have to be replacing 4 starters and a key reserve.

WHO IS IN?

In the past week, Johnson has been busy scouring the portal and adding some names to the Gopher roster for this upcoming season. We know that 3 guards have committed to coming to The Barn next season.

  • Jamison Battle – G/F from George Washington
  • Luke Loewe – G from William & Mary
  • EJ Stephens – G from Lafayette

So if you’re trying to do the quick math, the Gophers have potentially lost 8 and added 3.

WHO IS UNDECIDED

  • Brandon Johnson – The starting PF who has expired his eligibility, but could choose to play 1 more season due to the Covid bonus year allowed. As it stands the Gophers really don’t have an interior player on the roster. We know what we have in Johnson and keeping a starting caliber forward would be huge for Johnson.

WHAT ABOUT RECRUITS

Yes, there are players coming in too. So far there are 2 incoming recruits and neither has asked to get out of his Letter of Intent.

  • Treyton Thompson (C) – Alexandria native who is excited to be a Gopher, I’d be surprised if he starts looking around.
  • Kenny Pohto (C) – Sunrise Christian Academy product who was recruited by Kyle Lindsted, really wouldn’t be surprised either way with what Pohto will decide to do for next year.

THE ROSTER

Now, if you are keeping score at home, the Gophers have 8 players committed to play next year. As things stand right now, the Gopher roster looks like this.

  • G – EJ Stephens – senior
  • G – Luke Loewe – senior
  • G/F – Jamison Battle – junior
  • F – Both Gach – senior
  • F – Isaiah Ihnen – junior
  • PF – Brandon Johnson (MAYBE) – senior, would not count toward scholarship limit
  • C – Treyton Thompson – freshman
  • C – Kenny Pohto – freshman

What we know now, there are 6 scholarships available to use today and nine to be used over the next 2 years. Hopefully one or two more names on the current roster will decide to stay but that cannot be counted on.

WHO ARE THE TARGETS?

There are names out there that Minnesota has been tied to for both transfers and high school recruits.

  • Race Thompson – PF – Indiana – Remember this name? Thompson is the son of Gopher football great, Darrel Thompson and reclassified a year early to go to Indiana. He was 4th on the Hoosiers in scoring, 2nd in rebounding and would be a really nice addition to the 2021-22 roster.
  • Parker Fox – PF – Northern State – transfer from a D2 powerhouse. Fox is from Monticello and grew up a Gopher fan. He would be a senior with just 1 year left to play. There has been contact with Fox and Coach Johnson.
  • Filip Rebraca – C – North Dakota – A native of Serbia, the 6’9” center had 23 points and 6 rebounds against the Gophers at the beginning of the year.
  • David Joplin – F – high school recruit who was previously committed to Marquette. Joplin is a Wisconsin kid who played his AAU ball with D1 Minnesota. There are ties here, Johnson has been in contact. Landing this 4-star 2021 kid would be outstanding.

Things are very fluid and names are going to change, almost by the hour. But the fact is that the Gopher roster is going to look completely different from March to October. Should be very interesting.