The 2015-16 Golden Gopher basketball season is going to be a fun one to monitor. While the current roster is mostly filled with rugrats (Tommy Pickles is rumored to have a strong walk-on shot), what's intriguing is that for the first time in Richard Pitino's short head coaching career, they're HIS rugrats. Gone are Tubby Smith's efforts. Now, Minnesota is home to a crew of diaper-dandy-hopefuls, hand selected to fit Pitino's coaching style and ambitions - the juicy fruits of his and assistant coaches Kimani Young and Ben Johnson's labors.
A youth movement is always exciting, especially one that features TEN sophomore and freshman under a coach with the bloodlines of a national champion and possible vampire. But one incoming frosh has us salivating at the mouth while we wait to watch him take charge of the new Golden Gopher era...point guard Kevin Dorsey.
Let's take a look.
Who: Kevin Dorsey
What's his story?: Before signing with Minnesota, Dorsey held offers from opposing Big Ten programs in Nebraska and Maryland as well as West Virginia, Virginia Tech, Ole Miss, SMU and VCU. He really believed in the future of the program and the coaching staff and from all accounts wants to be apart of something special in Minneapolis.
Recruitnik Roundabout: According to 247Sports Composite, Dorsey is a 4-star prospect. They have him ranked as the 122nd best player in the country, 21st point guard and 7th in the state of Maryland. ESPN also has Dorsey as a 4-star recruit, 31st at his position and 3rd in state.
Does he have a social media presence?: Nah, not really.
This is the first time I've kind of been a little disappointed in my ability to Catfish these incoming freshman. The Twitter account I found for Dorsey hasn't put anything out to interwebs since July and when he was tweeting away, it was some sort of weird emoji/Tinder game he was playing.
Either this kid Snapchats everything or has some strong aliases. I'm guessing it's the latter.
What is the coaching staff saying about Dorsey?: From Pitino's Minnesota Blog:
DeAndre Mathieu speed. Can go by anyone. Tough, physical defender. Needs to work on defending without fouling. Has shown me in a few workouts he's a better shooter than I anticipated. He should make an immediate impact.
High praise from Pitino there. Mathieu was one of the quickest players I saw in the open floor during his time at Minnesota. But in terms of Dorsey, he is the perfect Pitino guard. Up-tempo, up-tempo, up-tempo on the offensive end, and a gnat at a Bar-B-Q on the defensive end... just pestering the you-know-what out of the opposition in the full court.
Why should the average Big Ten fan be excited to watch him play?: Like Wale once said, "For my ambition/Easy to dream a dream, though it's harder to live it/They gon' love me for my ambition".
I want to show Coach I have the ability to start as a freshman... I've been in the gym every day just going hard," Dorsey said. "If I really put my mind to it and focus, I can really turn the program around. I'm not saying the program is down or anything, but I can really make a huge impact."
The article goes on to mention that no freshman has opened the season as the Gophers starting point guard since Kevin Payton did it in 2006-07. That's a feat in and of itself, but it's Dorsey's mentality on how he's going to win that job that is the most impressive:
It all starts on defense," Dorsey said. "Most people probably look at my offensive ability, but I think about getting it done on both offense and defense."
It's like Dorsey is majoring in Coach Speak. The only thing is... I REALLY believe it. He knows his way to starting is through his defense. What he does offensively - especially with the kind of speed at his disposal - he's going to be able to score any time he wants:
I feel like I've been working on different parts of my game to score any time I want to. People might not think I have that type of offense, where I can't shoot and different things like that. But I've been working."
What says the tape?: Let's change it up a little bit this time, huh? For those of you wanting to check out one of Dorsey's hype videos, head over to Eric Laboissonniere's piece a few weeks ago on the Three Key Players heading into Minnesota's 2015-16 season (bottom of the page).
This time, instead of breaking down YouTube clips, let's deep dive into Dorsey's "Get to Know" video from GopherSports.com:
- His biggest basketball moments were hitting two game winners during high school (one in the semi finals, one in the championship game). Speed, defense and the onions to hit big shots at the wire? I'm in.
- (:31 second mark): Look how far ahead he is compared to all of his teammates in those wind sprints! It doesn't even look like he's got the burners on yet. If you follow me on Twitter during the season and you see me refer to someone as "Luis Mendoza" when big Minnesota games are on, just know I'm talking about Dorsey... a real speedster.
Seriously, he was a good five yards ahead of the rest of the Minnesota roster in those cuts. Not sure if that's awesome for Dorsey or bad for the rest of the Gophers.
When asked something along the lines of, "Kevin, can I call you Kevin? I can? Perfect. So, then Kevin, how would you describe the way YOU play the game of basketball?", his responses were as follows:
- Uptempo (extremely important to Little Richard and Co.)
- Always gotta start out on defense because of his size (once again a great example of Coach Speak)
- He can get out on the break (probably a good thing considering his speed)
- "Do what he need to do" while on said break (I'm assuming he's talking about lay-ups, assists, alley-oops, etc... again all very good things)
- He can dribble (an ability well suited for a potential point guard)
- He can shoot pretty well behind the perimeter (this has been his only slight among the recruitniks...to which Kevin scoffs)
- AND get everybody involved (another terrific point guard feat)
- He's got an all-around game (he's got an all-around game)
- Defense really gets him goin'... he's really a freshman after my own heart.
- "Getting a block or a deflection or something like that will get my offense going and after that...(pause for dramatic effect)... I... I think it's over". OVER! Just got to the locker room. I can't wait to watch him play.
- Alert! Alert! Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose comparison coming. I repeat, Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose comparison coming by Kevin Dorsey's own volition. Alert! Alert!
- Woah, woah, woah. His favorite app on his phone is Twitter? And wait a minute... he has an Insta too? Who has three "v's" and four underscores in their handle name?!? IT WAS AN ALIAS! Well I guess that only means one thing:
Does he have a social media presence?: YES! He has an Instagram featuring poses of himself with emoji captions, because emoji/Tinder!!!!!!:
I'm going to start a petition this season that instead of "Dorsey" on the back of his jersey, he gets to use a different emoji every game.
At the very least, Minnesota needs to have a "Kevin Dorsey Emoji Shirsey Giveaway Night"... you're welcome Minnesota Athletic Department.
Well there you have it folks. You may now commence the hype on Kevin Dorsey.