Jalen Suggs Already Loves PJ Fleck but will Host Richard Pitino Tonight…

Minnehaha Academy junior guard Jalen Suggs, photographed at Minnehaha Academy’s Upper School gym in Minneapolis on Monday, March 18, 2019, iis the 2019 Pioneer Press boys basketball East Metro Player of the Year. (Jace Frederick / Pioneer Press)

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You thought the meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un was important? Ha.

If you are a dire Minnesota Gopher fan like me, then there is a meeting happening tonight that is sure to sit on your Mount Rushmore of great meetings (because I know you have one). Jalen could change the life of Richard Pitino while helping to propel the football team to the vision of PJ Fleck.

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Jalen Suggs is a 4-star dual-threat QB (#7 DUAL Nationally – #2 DUAL In-State), according to 247Sports.com but his profile really jumps off the page on the basketball court, where he ranks as a 5-star combo guard who stands at 6-5 – 185 lbs.. He is ranked as the 10th-best prospect in the entire country. Just like Matthew Hurt in the class before him, Suggs would be a program-changer and a job-cementer for Richard Pitino, going forward.

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But just like us, I’m sure Jalen knows exactly where he sits in both the football and basketball recruiting worlds. It’s known that Jalen wants to try playing both sports when he gets to school. That helps Minnesota because that automatically disqualifies some schools. People who follow closely will already tell you that Jalen REALLY likes PJ already.

In Richard Pitino’s case, it’s a blessing from the sky above. He gets to partner with one of the great recruiters in all of college sports, and his friend and neighbor, PJ Fleck. But, can he close the deal?

He hasn’t much lately, with in-state kids. He got Gabe, Dan, and Jarvis but it could be argued that Dan was coming here no matter the coach and his friends, Gabe and Jarvis, followed suit. 2019 could have been a big year for in-state recruiting but rumors are amuck that Richard isn’t in a good place with a lot of those kids….

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So, this is his chance to make up for all of that and more. His cupboards are a bit bare for the next two classes but there is plenty of time left for 2020. The entire conversation can change tonight, if Richard can convince Jalen and his family that he is the right coach and Minnesota is the right place for Suggs to stay and play basketball.

It seems that PJ Fleck is already well-along that path…. can Richard keep up?

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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