Minnesota guard Joe Coleman will be transferring from the school after they granted his release from his scholarship earlier this week. Coleman, who was a sophomore last season, will have two years of eligibility left for wherever he decides to transfer.
This move comes after Richard Pitino took over as head coach of the program in early April, a change from Tubby Smith, who originally brought Coleman into the program.
This would seem to be a big loss for the Gophers, as Coleman started 32 games last season and played over 26 minutes per game. Coleman averaged 8.7 points per game out of the backcourt, while shooting over 48 percent and grabbing an average of 3.6 rebounds.
But, the loss of Coleman might not be that big of a deal for Minnesota last season. Although he did have a fairly big role last season, most would still argue that he was just the third-most valuable guard, behind Austin Hollins and Andre Hollins. Both Hollins’ played more than Coleman, scored more and made a bigger overall impact for the Gophers.
To go with the two Hollins, Pitino has brought in two new guards out of junior colleges, in Daquan McNeil and Deandre Mathieu — Both can be looked at to have immediate impacts for Pitino’s team, especially with the minutes Coleman might have had.
By bringing in these transfers, Pitino may have seen the writing on the wall for Coleman with the team, or Coleman saw that Pitino was bringing players to potentially replace him.
Either way, Coleman is now gone and Pitino will have depend on his new signees even more now.
You can follow Alex Dale on twitter @alexdalecbb