Pitino’s Latest Shot to Save 2019 Recruiting Comes Sunday from Germany

PHOTO: Trainingsauftakt bei den Tigers: Isaiah Ihnen mit Ball. Bild: Ulmer
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There were very high hopes for the 2019 MN boys basketball recruiting class when it was early on in the process, and quickly those local Minnesota basketballers started flourishing into nationwide top college prospects. Gopher fans salivated at 5-star, Matthew Hurt VERY early on but when other 4-stars emerged next to him like Tyrell Terry and Zeke Nnaji, Gopher fans got dangerously optimistic.

I mean, even if you weren’t able to land any of those 3, who had more blue-blood offers than a Blue Man Group blood letter; you’d definitely be able to drop down a few rungs of your ladder and grab onto some solid 3-4 star in-state talent…. right?

With guys like Tyler Wahl, Robert Jones…. and eventually David Roddy, when he decided on basketball over football, there was plenty to choose from.. and Pitino just needed to get a couple…

But even with all of those in-state options, Little Richard got…

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But per usual, Pitino hasn’t gone down without a fight. Late in the recruiting season, Pitino began his 2019 remurgence when he signed a solid 4-star wing in Tre Williams, who slots in just outside of the top-100 prospects nationally and should be able to provide some playing time from the start.

Then earlier this week, Pitino got an official “Letter of Intent” from Sam Freeman; a 3-star power forward/center from Texas, who will take a little longer to develop, but supposedly has a motor that can run with anyone, and he can rebound for days (at least that’s what I keep reading). This team will need all of the rebounding it can get, after losing Jordan Murphy to graduation.

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This weekend, Richard will have his chance to sure up what has been a tumultuous 2019 class, so he can get ready to move forward, no matter what the rest of spring recruiting brings. 

Yesterday, I found myself worrying a bit about the last few days of quiet out of men’s basketball team’s recruiting chatter. But, I was quickly reminded of the German visitor that will land in Minneapolis on Sunday:

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Isaiah Ihnen is a 6-9 Shooting SF out of Germany who is flying under the radar. Because he is out of Germany and yet to commit (I hadn’t really heard about him until recently), he isn’t rated on 247Sports.com and you can’t find very much that’s been written about him. So, I was forced to do my own research and use my own judgement to see what the German kid had and if he could ball.

He’s smart too, because most of the video I found was video that he put out. Call it biased if you want, but it wouldn’t matter who was taping these games, because he looks fucking legit. I’ve watched basketball my entire life and played it up to a varsity level. These “well-trained” eyes quickly saw the potential.

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If that video isn’t enough for you, you can find more at his YouTube channel HERE and his Instagram HERE. Ihnen may not have any ratings yet on 247 Sports but Minnesota isn’t the only big school targeting him. His offer list is nothing to laugh at. Tennessee, Stanford and Arizona State have offered him but he is in the States this week and he is reportedly only visiting two schools.

Texas Christian University – Thursday (yesterday)


The University of Minnesota – Sunday

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It’s funny that Fuller mentions his favorite player being Kevin Durant because that’s exactly what his game reminds me of. He loves to shoot the 3. He shoots them in abundance in his videos, and he also mimics KD on the drive and when he gets to the rim, with those long arms.

There is a reason why so many big time schools have offered Isaiah Ihnen. I don’t know what his ratings will be if or when he gets his stars from recruiting websites, but I know I was starry-eyed when I went deep diving into his videos yesterday. Sunday could be a good day…

Eric Strack (New NCAA Scout) | Minnesota Sports Fan


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