Gophers forward Joshua Ola-Joseph entering NCAA transfer portal

Joshua Ola-Joseph #1 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers and Payton Sandfort #20 of the Iowa Hawkeyes compete for the ball in the first half at Williams Arena on January 15, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by David Berding/Getty Images))

The University of Minnesota men’s basketball season ended Sunday in a 76-64 loss to Indiana State in the NIT.

Tuesday, the Gophers had their first departure from the roster for next season. Forward Joshua Ola-Joseph will enter the NCAA transfer portal and leave Minnesota after two seasons. He started 19 games this past season and 43 over his two years, scoring 7.5 points per game. But Ola-Joseph’s minutes were cut severely over the back half of this season.

Ola-Joseph was a high school standout at Osseo and came to Minnesota in a class that included Braeden Carrington and Pharrel Payne as locals to play for Ben Johnson. With Ola-Joseph’s departure, the Gophers now have an open scholarship for next season.

Players can currently transfer without penalty, and hundreds have done so since the portal opened on March 18.

Johnson and the Gophers are also waiting on decisions from other players for next season. Parker Fox has one more year of eligibility left if he wants to use it, as does leading scorer Dawson Garcia. Cam Christie had a standout freshman season, but could test the NBA Draft process. Elijah Hawkins, one of the top guards in the country for assists this past season, has already said he’s returning next season.

The Gophers finished 19-15 this season, and their nine Big Ten wins is more than Johnson’s first two seasons combined.