The Minnesota Golden Gophers have some questions that need to be answered during next season. especially since the team is losing their two best players from last season. The team lost Andre Hollins and Maurice Walker, who led the team in many offensive statistical categories. Hollins was their go-to scorer, while Walker was the dominant frontcourt presence. Taking that into consideration, the team will need to replace Hollins and Walker immediately if the team wants to make some noise in the Big Ten.
Now the three questions the team must answer for next season involves replacing Hollins, replacing Walker and seeing if the team can finally make a run for the NCAA tournament in Richard Pitino's third season.
Who will replace Hollins as the go-to guy?
Hollins was the leading scorer for the Golden Gophers last season and the team will need to find a replacement for him next year, so who will that player be? There are two likely candidates that could takeover as the go-to guy for the Golden Gophers next season, with those two players likely being either Carlos Morris or Nate Mason.
Both Morris and Mason found many ways to score last season for the Golden Gophers, especially Morris who has great size as a wing. Both players can shoot the basketball from deep and each player made some big contributions for the Golden Gophers last season. Watch out for both Morris and Mason to step up as two go-to scorers for the team next year.
Who will replace Walker in the frontcourt?
Walker is going to be hard to replace next season in the frontcourt, but the Golden Gophers do have a few options that could try and help to fill the void. Bakary Konat and Joey King are two players that need to step up in a big way next season in the frontcourt. Konat did not play that much last season as a freshmen, but he did show some great signs. King is one of the leaders on the team, so he will be called upon to score in the froncourt.
Both King and Konat are going to need to take their game to another level next season to try and replace Walker.
Is Minnesota good enough to make the NCAA Tournament?
This question is going to take some time to answer because the Golden Gophers have a lot of new players on their roster who need time to show how good they are. The Golden Gophers are probably not good enough to make the NCAA tournament next season because the Big Ten is stacked all around. This looks even more likely when you realize that the team also will have to put a lot of faith into it's freshmen and younger players.
Coach Pitino is going to get the most out of all his players, but he needs every player to exceed expectations if they want to make the NCAA tournament. Sorry Minnesota fans.
The Golden Gophers have some fresh talent coming in next year and they have some players that are looking to step their games up. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out once the season starts, but the team still has a lot of question marks.