Gophers: Who are the new faces for the 2024-25 basketball squad?

The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team has eight weeks of summer workouts on campus before school starts.

They’ll need every day they can get together to build chemistry before the season, as only Dawson Garcia, Parker Fox and Mike Mitchell Jr. return playing experience from last year’s 19-15 team. Kadyn Betts and Erick Reader also return, but neither saw significant court time.

Ben Johnson and the Gophers lost six players to the NCAA transfer portal – Pharrel Payne, Elijah Hawkins, Braeden Carrington, Joshua Ola-Joseph, Isaiah Ihnen and Kris Keinys.

Cam Christie is staying in the NBA Draft, and could be a late first round pick. 

The Gophers have added six players from the NCAA transfer portal, and have incoming freshman Isaac Asuma. So who are the new faces and what can they provide? Here is an early look.


One of Minnesota’s top high school seniors, Asuma had several scholarship offers and had more teams calling about him when he committed to Johnson and the Gophers. He led Cherry to a state championship, and was a finalist for Mr. Basketball. A consensus four-star and top-100 recruit, he’ll give the Gophers guard depth, likely off the bench to begin the season.


A transfer from Canisius, Mitchell gives the Gophers a big body at 6-8 and 240 pounds. He was a Second Team All-MAAC pick last year after averaging 12.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game in 28.1 minutes. He’ll likely fill Payne’s spot.


The Texas-San Antonio transfer gives Minnesota another big body inside at 6-10 and 255 pounds. He actually looks like Payne at first glance. He started all 32 games last year and averaged seven points and 5.8 rebounds per game.


Gophers fans should know the name well. Williams, a graduate transfer from Macalester, scored 41 points on Minnesota in an exhibition to start last season. He’s a guard that can handle the ball, shoot and get in the lane. He had 51 points against Concordia-Moorhead last year, and averaged 20 points per game for the Scots. He finished No. 3 in all-time scoring at Macalester with 1,566 points.


A transfer from New Mexico State, Odukale gives the Gophers a guard with size at 6-6 and 205 pounds. He has 80 college starts and averaged 10.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season. He played more than 28 minutes per contest.


A transfer from Oregon, Rigsby averaged 6.1 points, 2.7 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game in 36 games. He made 21 starts, and scored a season-high 19 points in a win over Michigan. He could compete for one of the starting guard spots.


A transfer from Charlotte, Patterson is a Minneapolis native and coming home for his senior season. He’s a two-time All-AAC pick and led Charlotte in scoring at 14.6 points per game last season, starting all 31 games. He has more than 1,110 points in 124 career games, and 82 starts.


Let’s hold our horses there. It’s way, way to early to predict a starting five. We can safely pencil in Garcia and Mitchell as starters. Fox could start as well, but the Gophers might find his energy better used off the bench. Odukale, Rigsby and/or Patterson likely compete for the other starting guard spot, and Mitchell and/or Edmonds could start alongside Garcia. Asuma and Williams will provide depth off the bench.