The college basketball season is a long way away but that doesn't mean we can't make some way to early predictions about next year.

So let me take a stab at it...

The Minnesota Gophers basketball team may be the big surprise of the Big 10 next season.

Minnesota was able to surprise a lot of people last year by putting together a good end to the season and cap it off with a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Can they now take that momentum and build on it next season?

I think the answer could be yes considering the construction of the roster and the talent they have across the board.

It was announced this week that the Gophers landed grad transfer Alihan Demir from Drexel.

Demir was the second leading scorer for Drexel last year averaging almost 15 PPG and could prove to be instant offense for the Gophers this season.

Not only does that move bolster the talent on the roster, Minnesota will benefit from seeing junior Payton Willis and sophomore Marcus Carr on the court.

Willis transferred from Vanderbilt and Carr transferred from Pittsburgh, with both sitting out last year and will be eligible to play this season.

Add in a few freshman who made up a solid recruiting class for Richard Pitino and this could be a special season at the Barn.

Sioux Falls will get a up close and personal look at this Gophers team early in the season as Minnesota will play Oklahoma at the Sanford Pentagon in December.


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