U waiting for hoops signees

The first day of the national signing period came and went Wednesday, and the Gophers men’s basketball team received no commitments from the high school or junior college ranks.
The Gophers, who recently had their finest season in school history by making it to the Final Four and winning the Big Ten championship, have four scholarships to offer for next season. They hope to sign at least one junior college player to replace either Bobby Jackson or John Thomas.
Minnesota also wants to sign Minneapolis North point guard Khalid El-Amin and reportedly sent him a letter of intent. El-Amin gave the Gophers an oral commitment during the summer of 1995 but reneged and is still looking at other schools.
Gophers recruiting coordinator and assistant coach Larry Davis accepted the head coaching job at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., on Monday.
The Gophers expect to have some players signed by next week.
— Todd Zolecki
Women’s basketball
The Gophers women’s basketball team, even without a coach at the helm, signed Brandy Pickens of Flint, Mich., on Friday.
Pickens, a 6-foot-2 forward out of Powers Catholic High School, averaged 11 points, 12 rebounds, two blocks and two steals per game in leading Powers to the Michigan Class B state title.
Pickens is the third player to sign with the Gophers for next season. Anoka’s Theresa LeCuyer — the metro area’s leading scorer this season — and Ayesha Whitfield of Detroit Cass Tech committed to Minnesota during the early signing period in the fall.
Women’s athletics director Chris Voelz has yet to announce a replacement for Coach Linda Hill-MacDonald, who resigned last month. Clemson’s Jim Davis confirmed last week that he had been contacted by the University.
— Aaron Kirscht
Men’s cross country
The Gophers signed Joey Corr, who will compete in both cross country and track for Minnesota.
The Redmond, Wash., native took second at the 1996 state cross country meet for East Lake High School. His best track time is 9:17.0 in the 3,200-meter run.
Corr is Gophers coach Steve Plasencia’s first recruit since he took the position last year.
— Matthew Cross