Watch CBS News

Gophers look to build on men's basketball team during off-season

U of M men's basketball team undergoing major transformation
U of M men's basketball team undergoing major transformation 01:41

MINNEAPOLIS — A mass exodus of name, image and likeness (NIL) transfers has left the Gopher men's basketball team unrecognizable from last year. Now, as summer practices are underway, the task has to be to build a new team.

"It's a lot like year one," said Gophers head coach Ben Johnson. "Where, as the days go, you're figuring out more and more about them individually. You're figuring out what you're going to look like and what you're going to do as a team."

Effectively, only three players that played a year ago, return. The one big returner is Dawson Garcia, who could be making way more money elsewhere.

"You get into a thing mentality, too, of comparison," said Garcia. "Like, 'I'm way better than that kid and he's getting more money than me.' That's just a natural human nature part of it. But it's just important to stay focused and remember the things that are most important to you."

"We wanna help recruit," said fellow returner Parker Fox. "We wanna be in the loop and all that kind of fun stuff. But also it's so fast, and it's so moving that you never really know. You could really be on a guy and the coaches are on a guy and the next day he's committed to somewhere else."

A bunch of transfers and some incoming freshmen looking for unity is the current and maybe future reality for this program.

"I want us as a program to be able to financially put guys in a position where we show them that we do value them and they get what they earn. I want that," said Johnson. "I want to push for more of that. But you also want to teach them that it can't just always be about the bottom line."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.