Robbins Finally Granted Eligibility Waiver From NCAA
Richard Pitino and Gopher Men’s Basketball received some massive news Wednesday afternoon. After much deliberation, the NCAA has finally granted Drake transfer, Liam Robbins, his waiver for eligibility during the 2020-21 season.
The announcement comes months after he declared his decision to transfer, early this summer. Robbins is now eligible to suit up immediately for the Gophers. A decision on Both Gach still awaits, but that’s not surprising because the Gophers haven’t sent his request in yet.
Source: Minnesota’s Liam Robbins has received a waiver from the NCAA and is eligible for the 20-21 season.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 2, 2020
Transfer from Drake.
A Davenport, Iowa native and former University of Drake standout, Robbins transferred to play in the Big Ten, while also being closer to family amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Robbins’ uncle is Minnesota Associate Head Coach, Ed Conroy, and senior walk-on, Hunt Conroy, is Liam’s cousin.
But after averaging 14.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game and shooting 49.9% from the field and 69.4% from the charity stripe, Robbins was under-recruited no more. He earned offers from schools across the country, but eventually picked the Gophers.
Now eligible to play immediately, Robbins should vault the Gophers from the bottom of the Big Ten to the middle of the pack or higher. He brings a great deal of experience and talent to the Gophers, on top of a very formidable jump shot.
Significant Big Ten News.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) September 2, 2020
If Minnesota also receives a waiver for Both Gach, Richard Pitino will have an NCAA Tournament caliber team. https://t.co/I0bg7zOSR4
#Gophers haven't sent the waiver yet for Utah transfer Both Gach. But it's highly likely since he's from Austin, Minn. coming home during a pandemic. Gach and Liam Robbins are projected starters for 2020-21 season if both eligible.— Marcus R. Fuller (@Marcus_R_Fuller) September 2, 2020
Gach, the former Austin (MN) High School standout, announced his plans to transfer from the University of Utah earlier this summer. This past season, the 6-foot-6, 183-pound guard averaged 10.7 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.7 assists for the Utes, while also shooting 39.7% from the field and 25% from three. A desire to come back home, where a member of his family is dealing with health issues amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, was likely the reason for his departure.
In addition to transferring, Gach also had the option to declare for the draft this year, but ultimately decided to wait another season and develop his game in the meantime.
I would love to give a huge Thank you to all the schools that took the time to recruit me but at this time I’m excited to commit to the University of Minnesota and join coach Pitino and his staff ….. Excited to be back home 〽️ ?? pic.twitter.com/NeIeN2AtQB— Both Gach (@TutBoth) June 15, 2020
Both Gach is expected to get his waiver request approved in easier fashion than Robbins, and should also make a large impact immediately. When watching Gach’s game, he has similar skills to former Gophers star Amir Coffey.
A few particular things stick out: his finishing ability, shot-making ability, and the ability to play anywhere on the court. Part of why he is able to do these things so well is his good body control. This shows most in his finishing ability at the hoop. He displayed that ability against All-Pac 12 guard McKinley Wright in the gif below.
I could keep going on about how good he is, but luckily I already wrote a piece about what he brings to the Gophers. Read that piece here.
With Robbins receiving his waiver for this season, and Gach looking likely to be granted a waiver as well, the Gophers roster for the 2020-21 season is suddenly looking very strong.
They will need to be. The Big Ten conference will be no joke in 2020-21. Richard Pitino may find some job security if the group performs well.
Carson Ruen | Minnesota Sports Fan