basketball Edit

Minnesota's 2022 hoops commits have officially signed

Wednesday marked the beginning of the early signing period for college basketball and on Thursday, all three of Minnesota's 2022 commitments have officially put pen to paper for the Gophers.

Braeden Carrington, Pharrel Payne, and Joshua Ola-Joseph are part of a Minnesota recruiting class that currently ranks 10th in the Big Ten and 51st nationally, according to Rivals.com.

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- Carrington, a 6-foot-3, 170-pound sharpshooter, was the first commitment for Minnesota head coach Ben Johnson in this year's class. The Park Center (Minn.) product chose the Gophers over the likes of Colorado, Xavier, Florida, and Seton Hall.

TGR basketball analyst Max Wagner has seen Carrington on multiple occasions over the past year and had this to say about his overall game:

"At around 6'3-6'4 he has a long and lanky frame, and is a knockdown shooter from outside. He'll likely play the two at the college level, but he did play point guard for his high school team during the winter, and showed that he can handle the ball and create off the dribble. Over the years he's developed a nice change-of-pace off the dribble, keeping defenders on their toes with his ability to pull up from deep, or use a quick hesitation get by his man and make plays in the lane."

- Payne garnered a lot of recruiting intrigue throughout the spring and summer playing for Minnesota Select on the AAU circuit. After an unofficial visit in July, the 6-foot-9, 230-pound prospect committed to the Gophers over the likes of Texas A&M, St. Louis, Appalachian State, and Loyola-Chicago.

TGR's Max Wagner had this to say on Payne's overall game:

"Pharrel overpowered every opposing team he came against, as his strength and determination were unmatched no matter if he was facing EYBL, Adidas, Under Armor, or independent programs. Offensively, he can back defenders down using his strength, finish with either hand, and he was good for one or two threes in just about every game I saw."

"Defensively is where he was even more dominant. He proved difficult to move off the block as he was able to stand his ground against opposing bigs without fouling, and his timing to elevate and block shots is among the best in the Midwest. He gets off the ground so quickly and has long arms that send shots flying back the way they came. Pharrel isn't afraid to meet players at the rim, and that effort leads to plenty of highlight caliber blocks. He's also shown some mobility when he has to switch out and defend perimeter players during pick-and-roll situations."

- Ola-Joseph is the most versatile player in Minnesota's 2022 class, the 6-foot-7, 195-pound forward chose the Gophers over the likes of Clemson, Texas A&M, Loyola-Chicago, Cal Poly, New Mexico, and Colorado State.

TGR's basketball analyst Max Wagner had the following breakdown of Ola-Joseph's game:

"What immediately stands out about Josh's game is his impressive explosiveness off two feet. Josh was arguably the biggest above-the-rim threat in all of Minnesota before his transfer, as he can take off from two feet and throw down some powerful dunks over the top of defenders. When he wasn't making highlight finishes, he uses that quick burst off the floor to rebound extremely well for his size. He's a grinder who has a strong work ethic around the rim, and competes for every shot that comes off the rim. It's that grit that made him arguably the most consistent performer for D1 Minnesota in the games I saw over the summer."

"One of the noticeable improvements Josh made from his sophomore to junior season was in his outside jumper. He came into his junior season with a lot of confidence, and was consistently hitting shots from college range whether it was off the catch or dribble. I think that he's better scoring off the catch using his off-ball movement to get into space on the perimeter or find openings around the rim, but he did show some ability to create his own look off the dribble."

"With his combination of size and athleticism, I can picture him playing on the wing as a 3, but also competing with size as a 4. He plays bigger than his size which allows him to defend 6'8 forwards down low, but he's also shown that he can move his feet with smaller players on the perimeter, and isn't afraid to pick up and guard well beyond the arc."

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