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Gophers men’s basketball team’s recruiting ranking jumps with addition of Isaiah Ihnen

The Gophers men’s basketball program’s 2019 recruiting class has shaped up into one of the better-regarded groups in the nation, according to a main recruiting site.

Minnesota’s class was boosted by Isaiah Ihnen, a 6-foot-9 forward from Boeblingen, Germany, who signed a letter of intent with the U on Wednesday. He is regarded as a four-star recruit and the 89th overall prospect in next year’s class, according to 247sports.com.

Ihnen joins fellow guard Tre’ Williams — the only U commit in the early signing period in November — and three-star center Sam Freeman, who pledged on April 4 and signed on April 17. Williams, from Dallas, Texas, has a four-star ranking from rivals.com and ESPN, and a three-star mark from 247sports. Freeman, of Justin, Texas, has three-star rankings from those three services.

Meanwhile, Ihnen has not been ranked by Rivals and ESPN, but 247sports.com’s rating for him lifts Minnesota’s 2019 class to 36th in the nation and fifth in the Big Ten, behind Ohio State, Michigan State, Maryland and Illinois, in that order.

Without an assessment for Ihnen, rivals.com has the Gophers’ class lagging at 79th in the country and 12th in the Big Ten.

U coach Richard Pitino, coming off a second NCAA tournament appearance in three seasons and the program’s first March Madness win in six years, praised Ihnen’s versatility to play multiple positions. Highlight videos show Ihnen’s ability to drive to the basket and shoot from long range.

Last season at International Basketball Academy Munich, Ihnen averaged 13.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. He shot 54 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range.

“His potential is off the charts,” Pitino said in a statement. “We expect Isaiah to come in and make a great impact on and off the court right when he steps on campus.”

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