This morning Kevin Dorsey, a 6’0″ point guard out of Maryland, confirmed that he had verbally committed to join the Minnesota Golden Gophers for the 2015-2016 basketball season. That season is nearly a year and a half away, giving the team two point guards of the present, and two of the future.
I’ll never pretend to be an expert on the various skills and attributes of recruits from far-flung corners of the country. I can make best guesses about what YouTube videos mean or don’t mean.
I do know that recruiting rankings can be wrong, but better players tend to be ranked better than those who aren’t so good. Dorsey is ranked as one of the better players in the country. According to 24/7 he is the #17 point guard and #97 overall player in his class and rivals has him ranked #84 in the country. For a bit of perspective, Andre Hollins was ranked #110 by Rivals. If Dorsey can match Hollins’ production over his four years on campus, today’s commitment could be special indeed.
Recruiting very talented players feels like a bonus after what felt like years of not having enough players, regardless of talent level, in key positions. The late spring scramble to sign anyone who is available was something of a staple during the Tubby Smith Era. Even after the year without a point guard, Tubby Smith never managed to have more than one real ball handler on his roster. In Richard Pitino’s first season, he often had two point guards on the court at the same time. When Nate Mason joins the team this season, the Gophers will have four players, Andre Hollins, DeAndre Mathieu, Daquein McNeil, along with Mason, who are capable ball handler. Hollins and Mathieu will depart this season, but McNeil, Mason, and Dorsey will be ready to share point guard duties, and Pitino remains in pursuit of Jarvis Johnson. Point guard is the most important position in basketball, and Richard Pitino is planning to have a surplus of them.
Successful recruiting is about much more than just getting highly touted kids on campus. It is about identifying needs, filling those needs, and putting players in a position to succeed. Gopher point guards are in a position to succeed for at least the next five seasons.