Two combo guards, a small forward, and high flying power forward round play their first games for the Golden Gophers beginning in 2011. Andre Ingram, a 6’7” 235 pound forward from Minneapolis via Butler Community College in Kansas is the latest and likely last commitment. With this team especially, there is always the possibility of a transfer and another late edition to the team, but that is appearing less and less likely.
Ingram is described as long and athletic and plays in the style of Trevor Mbakwe. He is at his best rebounding and on defense, but lacks a polished offensive game. If Mbakwe is any indication, Ingram’s athleticism may be able to make up for that potential lack of skill. Put backs and a few free-throws can add up for double-digit scoring pretty quickly.
There is a bit of controversy surrounding Minnesota’s recruitment of Ingram because he is another in a growing list of spring recruits, and the previous spring recruits have yielded mixed results. There is also some question of whether or not Ingram fills a need, especially with the likely return of Trevor Mbakwe. With the departure of Colton Iverson, Ingram does fill a hole, especially next season. Mbakwe is the only reliable rebounder on the roster, and after he graduates after this coming season, Ralph Sampson III and Mo Walker would have been the most likely candidates to lead the team in rebounding, and as we have seen, neither has much of a nose for the basketball. Ingram also won’t tie up a scholarship for more than two years, and will give the coaching staff that much more time to find a four year answer to Minnesota’s occasional interior rebounding and scoring problems.
Ingram joins Andre Hollins, a combo guard from Memphis who has the look of Tubby Smith’s best recruit so far, Minnesota Mr. Basketball Joe Coleman, and Julian Welch, another junior college transfer from California who was the Big West freshman of the year for UC Davis two seasons ago. Check back as we take deeper look at the 2011-2012 Gopher roster, and expectations for the upcoming season.