Hargrow’s sudden exit surprises players

Some knew Gophers guard Moe Hargrow was frustrated but did not expect him to leave.

Adam Fink

The news that Minnesota men’s basketball guard Moe Hargrow had left the team sent shockwaves through the Gophers locker room over the weekend.

Hargrow, a junior averaging 11.4 points and 4.4 rebounds per game, announced Friday that he will transfer effective immediately.

The loss leaves Minnesota with only 14 available players for the rest of the season.

The team was told by Gophers coach Dan Monson during a team meeting Friday, although some of the team members had already been informed.

Senior Michael Bauer wasn’t surprised by the decision, only the timing of the announcement.

“(I didn’t expect it) during the season,” said Bauer, who scored 17 points in Saturday’s 86-81 overtime loss to Indiana. “I knew he was frustrated with a lot of things. He definitely needs to do what he needs to do.”

Hargrow had seen sporadic playing time and his numbers had dropped lately. In his last four games, the St. Paul native averaged 5.5 points and had been taken out of the starting lineup.

Overall, Hargrow had struggled this season after surgery on his right wrist during the summer.

“The team goes on, season goes on,” said Stan Gaines, one of Hargrow’s better friends on the team. “Moe has to do what is best for him.”

Hargrow, a 6-foot-5-inch shooting guard, had established himself as one of Minnesota’s premier defenders and the team’s opponent’s best shooter was his typical defense assignment.

His departure is another in a growing line of midseason exits under Monson.

Kris Collins, Shane Schilling, Joel Przybilla and Mitch Ohnstad have all left for various reasons during the school year under Monson.

With Wesley Washington out of the recruiting picture, Minnesota will now have two unexpected scholarships available for next season.

Crowd supportive

Shortly after the final buzzer sounded Saturday afternoon, applause could be heard from those remaining of the season-high crowd of 13, 401 at Williams Arena.

Considering the team lost Hargrow and faced an 18-point first-half deficit, the cheers weren’t lost on the Gophers.

“That kind of support is hard to find anywhere else,” said Bauer, who tied Sam Jacobson for most made three-pointers in school history (173). “We are going to continue to work hard.”

Monson, who has felt his share of criticism, received a light applause but no boos during player and coach introductions.

The Gophers fifth-year coach also noted the fans reaction after the game.

“It was a nice touch,” Monson said. “That’s Minnesota people for you. They have been very supportive. This is a hard time.”

In the paint

• Kris Humphries finished with 24 points but only had four at intermission.

In addition, the freshman was shooting two-for-13 at halftime.

“I missed a lot of shots I thought I could make,” Humphries said. “Sometimes they are too good to be true.”

The forward’s final shooting line was seven-for-24.

• The Gophers committed only four turnovers, a season low.