New head coach Richard Pitino added his second recruit since taking over the helm of the Minnesota basketball program, landing a reported verbal commitment from Central Arizona JC (AZ) lead guard Dre Mathieu. The Gophers reportedly won out on Mathieu’s services over Ole Miss.
The 5′-10″ point guard started college as a walk-on at Morehead State, and excelled as a sophomore at Central Arizona, boasting an impressive stat line. On a good team, Mathieu averaged 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, while shooting 52% from the floor and 72% from the free throw stripe.
Mathieu joins Daquein McNeil (who was committed to Pitino at Florida International as well) in the class for the Gophers. Presumably Pitino will add more players, if he can, for next season.
Given the presence of Austin and Andre Hollins already in the backcourt at Minnesota, Mathieu likely won’t be expected to reinvent the wheel as a newcomer to the program. Instead, he’s likely to find a role where he can provide quality minutes as a reserve, or win a starting role based on pure point guard skills that are impossible to ignore.
The addition of Mathieu is also a nice addition given that another strong prospect the Gophers were in the running for, guard Allerik Freeman, picked the Baylor Bears on the same day.