With the dust settled on rosters for the 2023-24 season, we’re going team-by-team in the Big Ten to assess where everyone stands and how things could shake out this year.
Next up is Minnesota, which is searching for its first winning season since 2018-19, also the last time the Golden Gophers made the NCAA Tournament. Ben Johnson’s group struggled mightily last season, finishing 9-22 overall and 2-17 in the Big Ten, good for last place in the conference.
- Jamison Battle (12.5 PPG)
- Ta’Lon Cooper (9.9 PPG)
- Jaden Henley (5.3 PPG)
- Taurus Samuels (2.3 PPG)
- Treyton Thompson (1.9 PPG)
- Dawson Garcia, F, (15.3 PPG)
- Pharrel Payne, F, (8.2 PPG)
- Joshua Ola-Joseph, F, (7.4 PPG)
- Braeden Carrington, G, (5.9 PPG)
- Will Ramberg, G, (2.1 PPG)
- Parker Fox, F, (missed last two seasons with injuries)
- Kadyn Betts, F, (redshirted)
- Isaiah Ihnen, F, (missed last two seasons with injuries)
- Mike Mitchell Jr., G, (11.4 PPG at Pepperdine)
- Elijah Hawkins, G, (12.9 PPG at Howard)
- Jack Wilson, C, (0.3 PPG at Washington State)
Freshmen (Rankings from 247Sports Composite)
- Cameron Christie, G, (No. 135)
- Kris Keinys, F, (unranked)
RETURNING MINUTES: 49.3 percent (per barttorvik.com)
VS. INDIANA: Jan. 12 in Bloomington; March 6 in Minneapolis
WHY IT WILL WORK
Dawson Garcia has All-Big Ten potential, after averaging 15.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last year. Mike Mitchell Jr. is a nice add from the transfer portal, ranked No. 60 in the 247Sports transfer portal rankings, who will step right into a big role for the Gophers. Pharrel Payne took a step forward near the end of last season, averaging 10.8 points and 6.5 rebounds over his last 10 games. Joshua Ola-Joseph showed some potential in a few games last year.
WHY IT WON’T
This roster lacks firepower and depth. Minnesota’s offense has a lot of work to do to improve from last year, when it finished ranked below No. 200 in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency, to become even average in the Big Ten. After losing one of their biggest weapons in Jamison Battle, it’s hard to see that happening. The Gophers’ bench will have even more question marks.
This team may be better than last year’s Gophers, but that’s a pretty low bar. Minnesota was one of the worst power-conference teams last season, and this team has a floor in that vicinity once again. This is clearly one of the worst rosters in the Big Ten, if not the worst. Even if several things go right for this squad, it’s hard to see Minnesota having enough to finish outside the bottom four of the Big Ten standings. A bottom-two finish is much more likely. This could be Ben Johnson’s last season in Minneapolis, if he can’t pull a rabbit out of a hat.
BIG TEN OUTLOOK: Bottom of the conference
PRIOR ROSTER ANALYSES:
- Michigan State
- Penn State
- Ohio State
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