Pitino optimistic about transfers this season

After losing some starting players from last season, Pitino and his staff filled those holes in the transfer portal.


Parker Johnson

Gophers Head Coach Richard Pitino looks on from the sidelines during a free throw attempt at Williams Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 26. The Gophers entered the second half with a 47-31 lead over the Maryland Terrapins.

AJ Condon, Sports Reporter

The Gophers’ men’s basketball team is going to have a lot of new faces when they take the court this season. From freshmen to grad transfers, head coach Richard Pitino is excited for them to make a difference.

“For all the newcomers, we’re very excited about them. I think what we were able to do in the spring, from a recruiting standpoint, that was a great job by our staff to pull that off,” Pitino said. “All of them are working hard and we’ve got to be ready to adjust and pivot as a coaching staff.”

The Gophers have seen new faces year after year, and with that comes inexperience. Moving into the Big Ten conference isn’t an easy change for any transfer even if they’re coming as a grad transfer.

“It’s a challenge, Brandon Johnson is older, but he’s never played at the Big Ten level, therefore he’s inexperienced. They’ve been really good, the older guys. Liam [Robbins], Both [Gach] and Brandon certainly understand it a little better than the younger guys, which is normal,” Pitino said.

The Gophers have just about all their pieces for the upcoming season, but are still waiting on a waiver for junior Both Gach.

“If he gets the waiver, which we anticipate [he will], he’s another guy to go along with Liam that we feel can be an impact guy right away,” Pitino said.

Pitino enjoys bringing newcomers to Minnesota, particularly adding transfers. It’s a chance for a new start, and a chance for players to start their career again as Gophers.

“Having a bunch of newcomers, it is a bunch of fun in its own little way. It gets you as a coach to step back and build it from the first floor and make sure everybody’s on the same page.”