Gophers officially ink three spring recruits

by Jace Frederick

Gophers head coach Richard Pitino's up-tempo system requires a rostor packed with athleticism to be able to reach its full force.

His first recruiting class looks to have pushed the Gophers toward that point.

After officially signing Senegal native Gaston Diedhiou, Bakary Konate and Illinois State transfer Zach Lofton, the Pitino and his staff have now filled all six open scholarships available for next season. The spring trio joins fall commits Josh Martin, Nate Mason and junior college guard Carlos Morris to round out Minnesota's newcomers.

"We have added a great deal of athleticism,” Pitino said in a release. “That is extremely important with our style of play and as we continue to build this program.”

Here are a few of Pitino's thoughts on the three new additions, per the release:

On 6'9" forward Gaston Diedhiou: "He brings a necessary addition to our frontcourt. His size and potential will be a great asset to our team," Pitino said.

On 6'11" center Bakary Konate, who played most recently for Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas: "Bakary has tremendous potential – the sky is the limit for him,” Pitino said. “He's a great athlete and shot blocker which is vital in our system.  His best days of basketball are certainly ahead of him."

On 6'4" guard Zach Lofton, a St. Paul native, who averaged 11.3 points per game as a sophomore at Illinois State and will red-shirt at Minnesota next season, per NCAA transfer rules: "Zach is a very talented player and has been a proven scorer in a very competitive basketball conference,” Pitino said. “He has great size and athleticism.  He grew up loving the U and will wear the Minnesota jersey with pride."