Gophers ink 3, including 2 Minnesota basketball standouts for 2016-17


The Gophers have inked a trio of recruits – including a couple of local standouts – to join them next fall for the 2016-17 men's basketball season.

Guard Amir Coffey, forward Eric Curry and guard/forward Michael Hurt signed National Letters of Intent to join the Gophers Wednesday.

Both Coffey (of Hopkins) and Hurt (Rochester John Marshall) are among the top recruits from Minnesota this year.

"The signing of these three student-athletes represents another step in the growth of our program," coach Richard Pitino said in a statement Wednesday. "In Amir and Michael, we have the two best prospects in our state staying home to help us in our pursuit to win a championship, while Eric's signing shows that we have as much to offer as any program in the country."

ESPN.com ranks the 6-foot-7 Coffey No. 33 in the entire 2016 class. He is the son of former Gopher and NBA player Richard Coffey.

"It's very exciting; it's a big deal for everybody," Coffey told the Pioneer Press. "I'm just happy to get my letter of intent signed, so I can focus."

Pitino sees Coffey as a tremendous talent and someone who can contribute in a number of ways.

Most rating services rank Coffey as a four star recruit. Some also rank Curry as a four-star prospect as well. He averaged 15.4 points and 8.6 rebounds a game for Southwest Christian (in Little Rock) as a junior.

"Eric Curry is a perfect fit for the type of player we are looking for in our program," Pitino said. "He has experience playing in an up-tempo, pressing style similar to ours and is long and athletic. He will help us in many ways next season."

Hurt is also among the top 150 prospects nationally. He received multiple Big Ten offers after averaging 20.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game at Rochester John Marshall.

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