Five-star hoops recruit expresses interest in Minnesota


Isaiah Whitehead, a shooting guard from Brooklyn, is apparently curious about Richard Pitino’s team in Minnesota, seemingly much to the surprise of others.

The five-star Rivals recruit listed Pitino’s father’s team, Louisville, as one of his top schools, in addition to Minnesota, Syracuse, UCLA and St. John’s, according to

“I’ll probably visit Louisville, back to Syracuse, Minnesota, I want to go out there and see what [Richard] Pitino got,” Whitehead said to Adam Zagoria, who covers basketball on the east coast.

"Whitehead and 2014 point guard Ja’Quan Newton both mentioned Minnesota, which is now getting much more heavily involved with East Coast players under Pitino and assistants Dan McHale and Kimani Young."

The 19th overall recruit in the Class of 2014, Whitehead is juggling offers from Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Louisville among others. Minnesota has also made an offer to Whitehead.

Ja’Quan Newton is a four-star point guard recruit from Philadelphia, and is currently looking at offers from Virginia, Wake Forest and Nebraska. Newton has not made a visit to Minnesota nor have the Gophers extended an offer, according to Rivals.

While only words are being thrown around, it’s interesting to see the Gophers pop up on the radar on the east coast recently thanks to the addition of McHale and Young. Whether it will be effective recruiting philosophies are yet to be seen, but in some respect, attempting to pick out of the litter on the east coast when better suited recruits are literally miles away from campus seems to be an odd concept that shows Minnesota’s inability to recruit players in its own state.

Currently, Drake transfer Joey King is the only Minnesotan on the roster for the 2013-14 season.

  • Gopher runner Harun Abda will compete in the NCAA Track and Field finals this week after barely escaping Ethopia’s unrest less than a decade ago. The Fridley, Minn. native is a six-time All-American.,
  • Former Gopher power forward, Trevor Mbakwe, is projected to be a second round pick because of character issues and injury concerns. Nevertheless, he’s an “intriguing guy” according to ESPN.  Could potentially the Boston Celtics make a claim for Mbakwe?

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