Minnesota Gophers Basketball Preview: Roster Breakdown

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: Dupree McBrayer
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 10: Dupree McBrayer /

Part three of our Minnesota Gophers basketball preview takes an in depth look at the entire 2017-18 roster.

As was noted in part one of this preview, the Minnesota Gophers are lucky. Outside of Akeem Springs, they did not suffer significant losses in the offseason. Thus, Minnesota brings back much of the same impressive team as last year. Another year of experience under their belt will surely bode well for the impending success of this team. That being said, let’s take a deeper look inside this stacked roster.


Amir Coffey

2016-17 Averages: 12.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 45 percent FG

After being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team last season, Coffey was selected as a preseason All-Big Ten selection. Despite being young in comparison to the other players on this team, Coffey has the greatest upside. Not only will he become the primary weapon for Minnesota moving forward, he will also make a fine NBA prospect. As for this coming year, do not be surprised if Coffey is the team’s leading scorer.

Nate Mason

2016-17 Averages: 15.2 points, 5 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 38 percent FG

Mason is the other Gopher named to the preseason All-Big Ten team. He held that honor last season as well, being voted All-Conference. In what will be his senior season, he will continue to be a primary offensive focus for the Gophers. Not to mention he will be just one of the many senior leaders on this Minnesota team.

Dupree McBrayer

2016-17 Averages: 11.1 points, 2.7 assists, 2 rebounds, 45 percent FG

I often believe McBrayer to be the Gopher’s “x-factor”. He has the ability to shoot the three, shooting 41 percent from beyond the arc last year. Having the talent of making shots will keep McBrayer on the floor in tight situations. He may even be the one to hit the clutch shot in a Big Ten or NCAA Tournament game.

Jarvis Johnson

2016-17 Averages: Did not play (injury)

The Minneapolis native has been unable to take the floor the past two seasons due to a heart condition. He has yet to be medically cleared to play because of the condition and he may never get that clearance, unfortunately.

Isaiah Washington

2016-17 Averages: Did not play (incoming Freshman)

Once Nate Mason graduates at the end of this season, Minnesota will be Washington’s team. The reigning Mr. Basketball in New York will lead the Gophers into the future. That’s not to say he will not be utilized in 2017-’18 though. It seems as though he will be the back-up to Mason which will provide him some much needed experience.

Related Story: Gopher Basketball Preview Part 1

Jamir Harris

2016-17 Averages: Did not play (incoming Freshman)

Harris is the other recruit coming in with Washington this year. Although he does not have the talent that Washington does, he will show glimpses. He has the ability to score and can shoot the ball rather well too. However, sitting behind players like Coffey and McBrayer will limit his playing time in his freshman campaign.

Brady Rudrud

2016-17 Averages: 1.2 points, 0.2 rebounds

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The Eden Prairie product walked on to the team last season and saw only a total of nine minutes in 2016-’17. Although his minutes will be limited again this year, he can shoot the ball quite well, which may warrant some spot minutes here and there.

Hunt Conroy

2016-17 Averages: Did not play (incoming Freshman)

We profiled Conroy a bit in part one of our preview. He comes to Minnesota from New Orleans and is the team’s only freshman walk-on this year. Knowing that, we cannot expect to see much of Conroy outside of a possible elaborate bench celebration.


Davonte Fitzgerald

2016-17 Averages: Did not play (transfer)

The Atlanta native comes to Minnesota from Texas A&M. However, Fitzgerald has suffered two torn ACL injuries and has not played in a game since 2015. Although this is worrisome, he does have impressive physical attributes. His frame warrants putting him on the block, but he is far more comfortable playing more of a wing role. Fitzgerald may turn out to be a fine replacement for the injured Eric Curry.

Michael Hurt

2016-17 Averages: 0.7 points, 0.5 rebounds, 0.2 assists

Rochester’s very own saw limited time in 2016-17 and he may not see much more than he did last season. Minnesota does not have a plethora of what you would call true wings, and that may lead to Hunt playing more. However, I foresee the Gophers straying away from the traditional one through five lineup.

Related Story: Gopher Basketball Preview Part 2


Reggie Lynch

2016-17 Averages: 8.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.5 blocks, 54 percent FG

If we were to stack up the best interior defenders in college basketball, Lynch may be the best. After winning the Big Ten Defensive Player of Year award last year, he is once again poised to take home that honor this season. Although he lags behind other posts in scoring ability, his ability to protect the rim warrants fear from the opposition. On top of all that, his leadership capabilities are unmatched.

Jordan Murphy

2016-17 Averages: 11.3 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 50 percent FG

Murphy is a hard guy to pin down position wise. His size hints at him being a wing, but he plays like a power forward. He does most of his scoring around the basket and is a high volume rebounder despite being undersized most nights. Murphy provides a scoring option whereas Reggie Lynch is more so an enforcer. This leads to the two being great complimentary frontcourt pieces.

Bakary Konate

2016-17 Averages: 1.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, 46 percent FG

He’s raw and athletic, but saw his minutes cut in half last year. Now, the Mali born senior will be relied upon as a viable back-up to Reggie Lynch. Konate’s stats do not jump off the page, but his length alone makes him imposing at the rim. In that regard, he will remind Minnesota fans of Reggie Lynch when he is on the floor.

Gaston Diedhiou

2016-17 Averages: 0.5 points, 0.5 rebounds, 33 percent FG

In his senior season, Diedhiou may not see the floor too much. With Reggie Lynch and Bakary Konate ahead of him on the depth chart, he may only see garbage time minutes. This has been the status quo for the Senegalese big man throughout his Gopher career. To date, he has only scored 27 total points for Minnesota.

Matz Stockman

2016-17 Averages: 1.7 points, 1.2 rebounds, 65 percent FG (at Louisville)

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Since the big Norwegian transferred this offseason to Minnesota, he will be ineligible to play this year. However, he will most likely be thrust into the starting center role once Reggie Lynch graduates at the end of this year. Stockman will be a huge piece for the 2018-19 Gophers.

Eric Curry

2016-17 Averages: 5.5 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 43 percent FG

Due to a freak knee injury suffered in an offseason pickup game, Curry will miss the entire season with a torn ACL, MCL, and meniscus. He hopefully is ready to return as a starter in 2018-’19.

Top to bottom this Gopher roster is talented. Talented enough to where they can make a serious push towards a Big Ten conference championship. Primarily, they will rely on their veteran starting five to push them to success. However, they do have capable bench pieces to pick up the slack if the Gopher starters fail to show up one night. Regardless, Minnesota looks pretty formidable from a roster standpoint.

Next: Top 5 closer options for the Minnesota Twins!

Check back next Friday for part four of the five-part Minnesota Gophers basketball preview! Ski-U-Mah!