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What the Gophers' starting 5 could look like next season

It's very possible that Minnesota's lineup features three new starters.

The Gopher men's basketball roster for the 2020-21 season is nearly set after Drew Peterson transferred from Rice to the University of Minnesota this week.  

There's still a question if Peterson will have to sit out a year as a transfer, but if he's allowed to play immediately because of coronavirus crisis exceptions, he could provide much-needed wing depth as a 6-foot-8 forward who averaged 11.1 points and 6.5 rebounds for Rice. 

The other big question is if starting point guard Marcus Carr will keep his name in the NBA Draft. He's testing the draft process but many expect Carr to return to the Gophers for his junior season. If he's back, it gives the Gophers a sure thing in a starting lineup that could feature a ton of flexibility. 

Here's a position-by-position look at Minnesota's depth. 

Point guard: Marcus Carr, Bryan Greenlee, Hunt Conroy

Carr is expected to return for his junior season and with that he immediately gives the Gophers an All-Big Ten-caliber point guard. With the loss of Payton Willis (transfer), Carr will undoubtedly be asked to play a ton of minutes again next season. 

Shooting guard: Jamal Mashburn Jr., Tre Williams

The son of former Kentucky and NBA star Jamal Mashburn, Jamal Mashburn Jr. comes into the program as a 4-star recruit known for having an ability to shoot with accuracy from all over the floor. 

Small forward: Gabe Kalscheur, Drew Peterson, Isaiah Ihnen

This a position of depth for the Gophers, with Kalscheur looking to rebound from a rough sophomore season. He'll have competition for minutes if Peterson is allowed to play right away and if Ihnen, who got more time late in the season as a true freshman, makes a big jump this summer. 

Power forward: Brandon Johnson, Jarvis Omersa, Eric Curry

Johnson is immediately eligible to play as a graduate transfer from Western Michigan, where he averaged 15.4 points and 8.1 rebounds last season. Omersa is the junkyard dog providing a spark off the bench and Curry, who will be a redshirt senior, will try to bounce back from multiple season-ending injuries. 

Center: Liam Robbins, Sam Freeman, Martice Mitchell

Robbins averaged 14.1 points, 71. rebounds and 2.9 blocks this past season at Drake and was named 2nd team All-Missouri Valley Conference. He was fifth in the nation with 99 blocks and he is undoubtedly the starting center for Minnesota in 2020-21. Freeman was a freshman last season and Mitchell enters the program as a true freshman/3-star recruit. 

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