Saturday, March 25, 2023

Gophers Basketball: Upcoming Dawson Garcia needs difficulty waiver to play next season

Gophers Basketball: Upcoming Dawson Garcia Needs Difficulty Waiver To Play Next Season

Former McDonald’s All-American Dawson Garcia is officially a Gophers men’s basketball player, but the Prior Lake native needs a waiver to be eligible for the upcoming season.

The NCAA now gives student-athletes an opportunity to transfer schools and they are not forced to sit out for a season. The 6-foot-11 Garcia used it when he moved from Marquette to North Carolina between the 2020-21 and 2021-22 seasons.

Garcia left the Tar Heels program in January after his family suffered heavy losses related to COVID-19. Gophers coach Ben Johnson tried to mark the chance for Garcia to be exempt from hardship on Thursday.

“You never know,” Johnson said. “I’m not going to go into depth about it, but there’s some very valid and difficult stuff in it. But then, you never know. So we’ll go through that process and see where it takes us.”

Johnson cited Garcia’s best game last season. In the Big Ten/ACC Challenge against Purdue, Garcia had 26 points on 10-in-13 shooting, including three 3-pointers and eight rebounds. This was one of three times in 16 matches in which he scored more than 20 points.

Johnson said he has known Garcia since he was a freshman in high school when he came to Gophers team camp.

“He’s excited to be back, excited to have the opportunity to play here in front of friends and family,” Johnson said. “He knows some of the players in our team, so (he) is excited to play with them. I think he is ready to go to work now. He is just ready to hone his craft and get better. The kid has always been about improving. ,

Garcia averaged 13 points and 6.6 rebounds in 27 games with Marquette at the Big East Conference two years ago and shot 36 percent from a 3-point range. He averaged 9.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in the ACC a year ago and shot 37 percent from deep in 16 games.

open space

The Gophers have a few vacant scholarships right now, and Johnson doesn’t expect to fill them all going into next season.

“I probably won’t use them all,” Johnson said. “I just think, man, with Portal as it is now. It’s so hard… I’ve seen it 100,000 times, it’s even tougher to play nine people. And I think right now we’re around 10. If We get another one, so I think it (it) will be.”

The Gophers have four returning scholarship players (Jamison Battles, Isaiah Ihenan, Parker Fox and Treyton Thompson), four incoming high school freshmen (Braden Carrington, Pharrell Payne, Josh Ola-Joseph and Jaden Henley), and two transfers (Garcia and Talone). . Cooper). This adds up to 10 scholarship players, with a total of 13 spots available.

“I think right now I feel pretty good about my players,” Johnson said. “I think if we can add depth, maybe a combo (guard) piece. Maybe lean a little like that.”

Johnson wants the point guard/shooting guard to be able to take some rudimentary ball-handling pressure off Cooper, a transfer from Morehead State.

They will have four fresh starts next season; The fight is about to return.


The Gophers finished the spring workout a few days ago and are in a dead period as the players midway through the class finals. The players will remain closed until early June and will begin their eight-week workouts in the second week of June. … Fox and Ihane, who are coming out of season-ending knee injuries, have yet to participate in a full-contact five-on-five act. He hopes to get that opportunity this summer. … Johnson loves the versatility of 6-foot-9 Ihane to play and defend multiple positions. … Johnson said monitoring the transfer portal can be addictive. “It’s every five minutes,” he said. “It’s a disease. It really is. Now that it’s taking off, you have a kind of withdrawal because you’re used to the constant updates.”

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