4-Star PF Decommits from Gopher BBall Leaving 2019 Class Empty

PHOTO: USA Today Sports

PHOTO: USA Today Sports

As we get dangerously close to the start of the 2018 season, Richard Pitino and the Minnesota Gopher Basketball Team took a gut-punch for 2019 last night.

Tray Jackson had only been committed for a little over a month. He’s a budding athletic SF/PF who can put the ball on the floor and get to the basket, while also formulating a shot that’s coming along nicely. Unfortunately, he’ll be playing ball elsewhere next year and beyond.

And, we didn’t have to wait long to find out where that elsewhere will be…

We again are reminded that we are dealing with kids in this recruiting game. We should probably be a little bit more surprised with how many kids stay committed after making the announcement. Things like this happen. I don’t want to get overly upset at a teenager about changing his mind. Nonetheless it’s frustrating.

And where does it leave Richard Pitino and his 2019 recruiting class? It leaves them at square 1, unfortunately. Tray was the only commit for 2019 so we’re now down to 0 commitments with 4 scholarships available.

So, now where do the Gophers turn and should we be hitting the panic button?

Those who follow the recruiting trail WAY better than I do seem to be VERY nervous about where the Gophers go next. Ryan James of GopherIllustrated.com seems very worried over on their message boards (paid subscription needed). If he’s worried then so am I.

It looks like the Gophers don’t have anyone they’re close to sealing the deal with. It could be a very underwhelming Fall class for a team that has 4 spots available. Normally, Fall is where you pick up most of your new guys while then using the spring to fill in gaps, mostly with JUCO and Grad-Transfer kids. So, this is very concerning.

Even more frustrating is the amount of Minnesota kids that were available for 2019, who don’t seem all that interested in the Gophers, or have already committed elsewhere….

Now, it’s scramble time for Richard Pitino. You can see who else he’s interested in over at Gopher Illustrated. One thing that is giving me a small sense of calm, is what Richard overcame the last time the sky was falling much faster and harder than it seems to be right now. He was losing recruits and assistant coaches… It all seemed to be going sideways.

He rebounded with really good late-season commitments that will help in the now and in the future and two assistant coaches that some would argue are better than the ones that left. Well, he’s going to have to pull more rabbits out of his hat now.

It starts with winning. Some believe Pitino is on the hot seat after last year’s disaster. I don’t. Before his team was ravaged by injuries and sexual assault allegations, they were REALLY good. People seem to forget that. This team can be really good too, if they can get consistent point guard play. They will need it too. Because now, winning is an even bigger deal as they try to show some late commitments that they are a team that can compete in the Big Ten and will be making NCAA Tournament runs on the regular.

Let’s see what you’ve got Little Ricky.

Eric Strack
Minnesota Sports Fan @RealMNSportsFan

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