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The eve before the era: Your new look Gopher basketball team


If you're just tuning back into the Gophers basketball team after their seven month offseason, you have missed quite a bit.

You probably heard about their new coach, so we won't bore you with that.

As far those that have departed the program and you won't see, here's a quick list.

  • Forward Trevor Mbakwe, who spent time with the Philadelphia 76ers this summer, now playing in Italy for Virtus Roma.
  • Forward Rodney Williams, who is still in Philadelphia's organization and was one of the last cuts by the 76ers, now playing for their D-league club, the Delaware 87ers.
  • Forward Andre Ingram, who averaged 10 minutes a game last year for now-Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith.
  • Guard Julian Welch, who averaged three points per game with Minnesota his senior season.
  • Forward Chris Halvorson, who appeared in just seven games in 2012-13.
  • Guard Joe Coleman transferred, landing at St. Marys of the West Coast Conference, he was the Gophers fifth leading scorer last year.

Coleman, Mbakwe, and Williams were all consistent starters, with Ingram, Halvorson and Welch being role players at best.

Returners are guards Andre and Austin Hollins, the Gophers' top two scorers last year, senior guard Maverick Ahanmisi, centers Elliot Eliason and Maurice Walker, forwards Oto Osieniks and redshirt freshman Charles Buggs, and guards Kendall Shell and Wally Ellenson.

Here are the faces you may not know.

  • Junior guard Deandre Mathieu, who is lightning fast, transferred from Central Arizona Junior College after averaging 17 points, six rebounds, and six assists last season.
  • First year guard Daquein Mcneil had offers to Louisville, VCU, and Washington among other powerful basketball schools, but chose Minnesota despite never visiting campus.
  • Sophomore forward Joey King, an Eagan native, spent a year at Drake, where he was All-Missouri Valley Conference freshman team.
  • Guard Malik Smith followed Pitino to Minnesota from Florida International University. He averaged 14 points per game last year while shooting an absurd eight threes per game for FIU. In his words "I like to shoot."
  • Jason Baranowski was added to the roster as a walk-on this month, he played guard at Green Bay Southwest High School. He had only Division III offers, but chose to take the chance at the "U" instead, which has paid off so far.

So there you have it, on the eve of the Gophers exhibition opener when you're likely to see all 14 members of the 2013-14 Gophers, you're up to date on a team that will play a different style, with plenty of different faces.

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