Skip to main content

New players impress in Gopher hoops 'First Look Scrimmage'


Where is time going? The NFL season has reached its midway point, Ron Gardenhire hasn't had a job for nearly a month, the Timberwolves open the season in three days, the Wild are in midseason form and believe it or not, the college basketball season starts in a couple of weeks.

That's right. Nov. 14, the Golden Gophers men's basketball team opens the regular season with a game in Puerto Rico against the Louisville Cardinals. Naturally, most of the attention will be on Richard Pitino, in his second year with the Gophers, coaching against his old man, Rick Pitino.

But on Sunday, it was the younger Pitino's team showing off its potential in a Maroon versus Gold scrimmage. According to the U's athletics department, the Maroon beat the Gold by a final score of 59-58.

The leading scorer was sophomore swingman Daquein McNeil, who led the Maroon team with 20 points. True freshman Nate Mason led the Gold team with 17 points. He finished 5 of 7 on 3-point attempts.

Amelia Rayno, Gophers beat writer for the Star Tribune, raved about the group of new players.

"Not since I've been on this beat has an incoming class been so intriguing. Carlos Morris started the firestorm. Nate Mason looked like a legitimate star. Bakary Konate showed enough promise for Gophers fans to dream about. Zach Lofton, though redshirting, flashed his pro potential. Josh Martin nearly jumped through the rafters. It could be a fun year to watch."

Rayno noted that freshman center Konate looked more polished than advertised, athletic freshman Josh Martin threw down a pair of exciting dunks and junior college transfer Carlos Morris showed why he could be the starting small forward.

"Our newcomers needed to play in front of people," Pitino said after the scrimmage, according to the Pioneer Press. "And you saw some really good things from Nate. You saw some flashes of good stuff from Carlos Morris. Those new guys now have to understand how to play. They've got the talent. Now we just have to coach that."

Among the veteran players, big man Elliot Eliason finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. Andre Hollins shot just 1 of 9 while DeAndre Mathieu committed seven turnovers. Pitino said he isn't worried about the Hollins. They simply had a bad scrimmage.

The Gophers first game against outside competition is Nov. 6 when they host Minnesota-Duluth in an exhibition game at Williams Arena.

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

KAT sets a franchise record, leaves early in loss to Wizards

Towns fell on his back in the final minutes of a loss in Washington.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Man shot by police in Forest Lake dies from injuries

It was one of two police shootings in the Twin Cities on the same day, both of which proved fatal.

Dylan Bundy

Report: Twins agree to deal with Dylan Bundy

The Twins signed the right-hander with a lockout imminent.

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

'Everyone should really be masking up' in public, Malcolm says

The health commissioner said residents have gotten "a little bit lax" with some protective measures.

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton believes he's the best player in baseball

"Nobody [does] the things that I do. I know that."

unsplash medical marijuana

Edibles coming to Minnesota's medical marijuana program

MDH also announced it will not add anxiety as qualifying condition.

plow, snowplow, snow

Plowable snow possible this weekend in Minnesota

Up to half a foot of snow could fall within the heaviest band.

Best Buy - jjbers, Flickr

Police reveal new details about 'coordinated' Best Buy thefts

A large group stole thousands of dollars in merchandise from three Twin Cities Best Buy stores.

Seven Points exterior - 2

New tenant revealed for former Libertine spot in Uptown

The space will combine playful art offerings with a restaurant.

white Christmas

What are Minnesota's chances of a white Christmas this year?

The Twin Cities averages a white Christmas about 3 out of every 4 years.

ilhan omar press conference voicemail screengrab 11.30.21

'You will not live much longer b***': Rep. Omar shares threatening voicemail

Omar's office received the call hours after Rep. Boebert posted her video about the MN congresswoman.

Screen Shot 2021-12-01 at 11.24.09 AM

ESPN's 'Booger' makes fun of Wild fans' record cup snake

He's the same guy who thought the "Minneapolis Miracle" was bad for the Vikings.