Gophers guard Elijah Hawkins enters NCAA transfer portal

Elijah Hawkins #0 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers drives to the basket against Jamison Battle #10 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the first half at Williams Arena on February 22, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by David Berding/Getty Images))

Just 10 days ago, Elijah Hawkins tweeted a photo wearing a Dinkytown Athletes baseball hat asking for fans to show support for Minnesota’s NIL collective as he prepares for next season.

On Monday, Hawkins entered the NCAA transfer portal. Hawkins was third in the nation with 7.5 assists per game last season and also averaged 9.5 points. He was a veteran presence in the backcourt, coming to the Gophers after leading Howard to the NCAA Tournament two years ago.

His 247 assists last season are a Gophers' single-season record. He had 17 assists in a win over IUPUI.

Now, Ben Johnson and the Gophers will be looking for a new point guard next season. Minnesota went 19-15 this past season in Johnson’s third year, and 9-11 in Big Ten play. The Gophers were on the verge of having four of their top six players back, with Dawson Garcia, Parker Fox and Mike Mitchell Jr. all announcing their returns. Cam Christie is entering the NBA Draft process, but maintaining his college eligibility with the likelihood of returning to Minnesota.

Braeden Carrington, Joshua Ola-Joseph, Isaiah Ihnen and Pharrel Payne all left the program. Ola-Joseph committed to California last week, Ihnen is headed to Liberty and Payne is still taking visits to other schools. Hawkins is the sixth player to leave the team since the season ended.