Ben Johnson, Gophers Blindsided by Elijah Hawkins’ Surprise Transfer Portal Entry

Syndication: The Indianapolis Star
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Once again, the transfer portal is making waves in the college basketball scene, especially within the Minnesota Gophers program. With only nine days remaining before the portal closes, Elijah Hawkins, the starting point guard for the Gophers, has reportedly decided to enter the transfer portal.

This, after a recent announcement that he had decided to stay in Dinkytown.

Losing Hawkins is a big blow for the Gophers. He was a key player, ranking second in the country for assists per game with an impressive 7.5. Not only that, he also contributed to scoring, averaging 9.5 points per game. It’s worth noting that he only played one season for the Gophers after starting his college career with the Howard Bison.

Losing key players like Pharrell Payne, Josh Ola Joseph, and Braeden Carrington to the transfer portal was a tough blow for the team. However, it was a relief to see players like Dawson Garcia, Parker Fox, Mike Mitchell, and Hawkins sticking around. Sadly, Hawkins has made a last minute decision not to return as a Gopher next season, leaving many questions.

Related: Ben Johnson Optimistic that Worst of Gophers’ Transfer Portal Season is Behind Them

Just a dozen or so days after making his return announcement, it sounds like Hawkins likely stumbled upon a more enticing NIL opportunity elsewhere. According to Ryan James (247Sports), “several” inside the Gophers program were “blindsided” by today’s news that their starting point guard had entered the portal.

“Earlier [this offseason] Elijah said he was returning to the University of Minnesota. In a move that blindsided several at the University of Minnesota, Hawkins has put his name in the transfer portal today.”

Ryan James – (247Sports)

Why Did Elijah Hawkins Leave Minnesota Gophers?

Hawkins had an incredible season as the Minnesota Gophers point guard, averaging 9.5 points and 7.5 assists per game, and making history along the way. Elijah set U of M men’s basketball records for most assists in a single season (211) and a single game (17), becoming easily the best one-season distributor in Gopher basketball history.

Related: Gophers MBB Loses Another Hometown Kid to Transfer Portal

There’s no doubt Hawkins’ departure leaves a noticeable gap in the team’s backcourt. Unless head coach Ben Johnson can dig into the portal and find someone just as good, if not better, this portal loss will hurt.

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