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2015-16 Big Ten Preview: Minnesota Golden Gophers Backcourt

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have lost some key players from last year, but they are returning some crucial players to the backcourt and adding some talented recruits.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers did not have the best season last year, even though the team was welcoming back some key players. Now, Andre Hollins and Maurice Walker are gone, and the Golden Gophers are going to have to call upon some new players to pick up the torch and start playing at a high level.

The Golden Gophers' backcourt is where the team will find scoring, great court awareness, and athleticism. These backcourt players will determine if the Golden Gophers can be a top or middle of the road Big Ten team next season.

Nate Mason- Sophomore:

Nate Mason is going to be called on a lot next season to score the basketball and create for others. He should be a starting guard for the team next year, and he is coming off an impressive freshmen stint with the team. Mason averaged 9.8 PPG, 2.8 RPG, and 2.8 APG last season. He will need to score a lot more for the Golden Gophers this year, especially since their leading scorers from last season graduated. Mason also shot 38.9 percent from deep last season, which he could improve on, but that is not a bad three-point shooting percentage for a freshmen point guard.

Mason needs to improve his facilitating skills because he is going to have to create for others this upcoming season, especially some of the talented wings. Minnesota is a young team, and Mason is still young, but he will be asked to mature quickly for this upcoming season.

Carlos Morris- Senior:

Carlos Morris and Mason will likely be the two primary scorers for the Golden Gophers next season, and Morris can score in a variety of ways. He has great size on the perimeter at 6-foot-5, he can shoot from deep, and he can attack the rim at will. Morris averaged 11.1 PPG, 3..2 RPG, and 2.1 APG, while shooting 45.2 percent from the field. He does need improve the consistency of his three-point jumpshot because he will be called upon to score from deep next season. The Golden Gophers do not have many big-time three-point shooters, Mason and Morris are the two best deep-range shooters on the team.

Morris can also get it done on the defensive end because of his length on the wing. Watch for Morris to be the leading scorer on the team along with Mason.

Kevin Dorsey- Freshmen:

Kevin Dorsey is going to be asked to play a big role for the team next season, even though he is just a freshmen. The true point guard should compete for playing time early, but down the stretch, both he and Mason could be in the starting lineup. He is terrific on the defensive end, and he will add some balance to the backcourt rotation for the the team. Coach Richard Pitino has been raving about Dorsey so far, and he should be able to help the Golden Gophers in the backcourt right away.

Dorsey must improve his shooting on the offensive end if he wants to become a big scorer for the team, but he has plenty of time to develop his game, since the Golden Gophers are a very young team.

Dupree McBrayer- Freshmen

Dupree McBrayer is a sneaky-lefty with great ball-handling skills on the perimeter. He knows how to score the basketball in many ways, and the Golden Gophers will call upon him this season for his shooting and scoring ability. McBrayer is also a gifted passer, and he has great court vision. His shooting and ball-handling will make him dangerous for the Golden Gophers next season.

Overall

The Golden Gophers are going to rely heavily on their backcourt next season for scoring, and Mason, Morris, and Dorsey are going to be key for the team next season. The Golden Gophers have some other players that will make their way into the backcourt rotation, but if Mason, Morris , and Dorsey do not play well next season, then the Golden Gophers could be in big trouble.