Coach: Rick Pitino (seventh season, 112-92; 130-106 overall)
Last season: 22-14, 9-11 Big Ten
Returning starters: Daniel Oturu, 6-10, so. (10.8 ppg, 7.0 rpg); Gabe Kalscheur, 6-4, so. (10.0 ppg)
Top reserves: Eric Curry, 6-9, jr. (4.1 ppg, 3.1 rpg); Michael Hurt, 6-7, sr. (1.7 ppg); Jarvis Omersa, 6-6, so. (0.9 ppg)
Promising newcomers: Marcus Carr, 6-2, so. (transfer from Pittsburgh); Alihan Demir, 6-9, sr. (transfer from Drexel); Payton Willis, 6-4, jr. (transfer from Vanderbilt); Sam Freeman, 6-10, fr.; Isaiah Ihnen, 6-9, fr.; Tre Williams, 6-5, fr.; Bryan Greenlee, 6-0, fr.
Key losses: Amir Coffey, Jordan Murphy, Dupree McBrayer, Isaiah Washington, Matz Stockman
Pitino says: “Marcus (Carr) is a natural leader, just confident, on and off the court, tough, competes, versatile, can play a multitude of positions, fearless. He's only a sophomore, but he doesn't act like it. He's got natural leadership abilities. Payton Willis may not be as loud as him at times, but his work ethic does the talking … With those transfers — Alihan, Payton and Marcus — they're really, really good at doing the right things to show those other guys that's how you need to act at this level.’’
Don Doxsie says: The Golden Gophers lost three very good veteran players and two of their top subs so they will rely heavily on those three transfers along with the two returnees who started for them as freshmen last season. Carr, who started for Pittsburgh two years ago, will need to step up in a league loaded with very talented point guards. Even if he does, this team might struggle to stay out of the Big Ten’s second division.