Richard Pitino just took over the Minnesota program a couple of months ago, but he is already making big changes.
Joe Coleman, a major backcourt contributor, left the program a few weeks ago and Pitino has already added three transfers to the program. Minnesota is also losing their starting frontcourt of Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams to graduation.
The Gophers will have a ton of roster turnover as Pitino molds the squad into his own. A great way to make the transition easier is to add top-level talent, and Pitino could be able to snatch some in the 2014 class in scoring guard Isaiah Whitehead.
This past week, Whitehead told CBS Sports’ Jeff Borzello about Minnesota’s interest in him, saying that the Gophers, along with Louisville and Syracuse, were the three schools recruiting him the hardest. Whitehead stated, “They’re just great programs” and “they have great coaches” in regard to three of his top suitors.
Whitehead is a 6-foot-4 guard from Brooklyn, who Rivals has as the no. 19 player in the country in the 2014 class. Known as a fantastic scorer, Whitehead can slash to the hoop, while also having a decent jump shot. He has a terrific first step and will continue to develop in his senior season as he plans to continue to move up in national rankings.
“All the guys out here that’s ranked higher than me, I’m just going at them and showing everybody that I’m better than them,” Whitehead told Borzello.
Now, just because Minnestoa has a lot of interest in Whitehead does not necessarily mean it is mutual interest. Although he praised Minnesota, they are still huge underdogs to land the Brooklyn guard as they are going up against Louisville and Syracuse, as well as other big programs like Kentucky.
Nevertheless, for Minnesota fans, it should be encouraging to see new coach Pitino already making waves in national recruiting along with bringing in transfers.