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The name Flip Saunders has been bandied about by those watching the Minnesota coaching search. Saunders, who played for the Gophers, was an assistant for his alma mater, and led the Timberwolves for ten years, has been a favorite of boosters.
According to Andy Katz, Minnesota AD Norwood Teague made the offer and was rejected today.
Source: Minnesota offered the job to ESPN analyst/former NBA coach Flip Saunders but he has declined the offer from his alma mater.
With most of the big names out of the running for the Minnesota job, we may see Teague go after some high-profile assistants. When Teague was at VCU, he mined the assistant ranks for the likes of Anthony Grant and Shaka Smart, to great effect. Having made the expected moves, perhaps now he will feel free to pursue the next big thing instead of the current big thing.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 10.3 points per game, while shooting 42 percent from three, as a freshman. He, along with Malcolm Hill and Michael Thorne Jr., is one of three returning players who averaged double figures last season.
This could prove to be a make-or-break year for John Groce, who enters his fifth season at the helm. He guided the Illini to an NCAA Tournament in his first season, but hasn’t been back since.
The key for the Illini is health. Abrams gives them experience and leadership, but it won’t be a surprise if there’s some rust in his game after spending the past two seasons on the sideline. Having a healthy Coleman-Lands will help stabilize the backcourt, while Hill, an all-conference caliber forward, and Thorne anchor the frontcourt.
Like Alkins, Jones was a sought-after scorer. The 6-foot-4 two-guard was rated No. 69 overall in the Class of 2016 by Rivals. He picked Indiana over offers from Cal, Cincinnati, Georgetown and more than a dozen other high-major programs.
Jeter, the 6-foot-10, played in a reserve role as a freshman, averaging 1.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per game last season. He will be part of a loaded frontline that includes heralded freshmen Harry Giles and Marques Bolden, as well as redshirt senior Amile Jefferson, who returns to the lineup following a foot injury.