Tubby shores up team with JC recruits

Guard Julian Welch and forward Andre Ingram fill out the men’s basketball roster after the departure or Devoe Joseph and Colton Iverson

Josh Katzenstein

 

The Gophers menâÄôs basketball team announced the signing of two players for the 2011-12 season during the late signing period Wednesday.

Guard Julian Welch and forward Andre Ingram will both join Minnesota next year after playing for junior colleges last season. The Gophers had already signed guards Andre Hollins and Joe Coleman to letters of intent in November, but two more scholarships opened after juniors Devoe Joseph and Colton Iverson opted to transfer from Minnesota.

Ingram âÄî 6-foot-7, 235 pounds âÄî is a Minneapolis native who attended Minnesota Transitions charter school before playing for two seasons at Butler Community College (Kan.). Last season, Ingram averaged 13.4 points on 63.2 percent shooting and 7.7 rebounds.

âÄúAndre was a late signee due to our recent departures, but we needed a mobile and athletic forward and he certainly fits that mold,âÄù head coach Tubby Smith said in a release. âÄúHe is a delightful young man who is coming back home to Minneapolis and is excited and eager to be here. He will bring the agility and mobility that we need at the forward position.âÄù

Welch, who should immediately compete with Maverick Ahanmisi for starting point guard duties, reportedly committed during the Big Ten tournament in March. The point guard played one year at California-Davis before transferring to Yuba Community College (Calif.), where he averaged 19 points and five assists per game last season. After leading Yuba to the Bay Valley Conference title, Welch earned BVC player of the year honors.

âÄúWe had the need for a guard with maturity who can handle the ball, and thatâÄôs what weâÄôre getting with Julian,âÄù Smith said. âÄúHe has played at the Division I level before and also had a great run in junior college. IâÄôve been very impressed by his court vision and awareness. He also has the ability to knock down shots. We had trouble scoring last year and he can score in multiple ways.âÄù