Minnesota added some depth to the small forward position on Thursday, as it was reported by Scout.com that 6-foot-6 wing Ahmad Gilbert has verbally committed to join Richard Pitino’s program. Gilbert was originally a George Mason signee, but he reopened his recruitment following the firing of Paul Hewitt.
He won’t be able to sign a National Letter of Intent as a result (which is probably good given the restrictive nature of that document), but Gilbert can and will sign scholarship papers to attend Minnesota. He’ll be the sixth newcomer to join the program this summer, joining Illinois State transfer Reggie Lynch and four other freshmen.
“When [Pitino] came to my house, he was just real,” Gilbert said. “He said you’re going to have to work, but I want you. I asked him about playing the right way and he said only way you can play right away is if you work hard. He was really honest about it. When I asked him what I needed to work on he gave me a rundown on how college coaches are going to look at me what I can’t do. That helps too.”
“They were honest about everything,” Gilbert added. “They didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear, they told me what I need to work on.”
The wing is a spot where Minnesota needed to make an addition, and it was their good fortune that the Pennsylvania native became available. Of the six additions joining Pitino’s program four are perimeter players, with Gilbert, DuPree McBrayer, Kevin Dorsey and Jarvis Johnson being those newcomers.
Dorsey and Johnson are both point guards, meaning that they’ll be competing for minutes behind rising sophomore Nate Mason, and McBrayer will look to earn minutes at the two where senior Carlos Morris returns.