Anim poised for productive summer

Jack Satzinger

Sacar Anim plays for DeLaSalle High School during the school year and suits up for AAU powerhouse Howard Pulley in the Summer. Those teams should sound familiar to Gophers fans, having produced some of the state's biggest basketball recruits of the past two years in Reid Travis and Jarvis Johnson. 

Travis was a major priority for head coach Richard Pitino in his first year at Minnesota, but the 6-foot, 8-inch, forward committed to Stanford in November after being recruited by the Cardinal since his sophomore year. Johnson, a 2015 recruit, said he and Pitino have established a good relationship.

Anim, also from the 2015 class, said the same of Minnesota's coaching staff. But the 6-foot, 4-inch, guard lacks something both Travis and Johnson quickly received from Pitino — a scholarship offer.

The Minneapolis native is poised to stand out the summer going into his senior year, a time when offers typically pile up, to change that.

 

As one of Howard Pulley's top players, Anim should have plenty of chances to impress interested parties. 

"I'll be playing a lot of minutes," Anim said. "I'll dictate my future."

 

On Saturday Anim said his only current offer is from Northern Iowa, but he's gaining interest from bigger programs aside from the Gophers. Creighton, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Iowa and Dayton are all looking at the shifty shooting guard. Each of those teams made last year's NCAA Tournament field. 

Anim said outside shooting is the biggest thing he needs to work on in order to receive an offer from the Gophers. He envisions himself as a two guard at the next level and improved shooting could make him a complete player.

"Just trying to improve it everyday," Anim said of his shooting regimen. "Trying to extend my range out further and further."

Johnson and Anim are state champ DeLaSalle's starting backcourt tandem, but they haven't talked much about playing together at the next level. Anim said he expects them to have that conversation later on and he enjoys playing with Johnson, one of his good friends.

"He pushes the ball," Anim said of Johnson. "He has a good motor, he's a good point guard… Jarvis can really pass the ball well."

Pitino and other head coaches from bigger programs have taken notice of Johnson — whose exceptional athleticism gives him a unique skillset at the point guard position.

Anim hasn't received the same attention, but bigger offers could be coming as summer gets underway. 

"He likes my versatility," Anim said of Pitino.  The way I can defend and slash."