New Strib article: Dave Thorson expected to rejoin Gophers as assistant under Ben Johnson


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Apr 19, 2010
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What do we know about Jason Kemp?

Gophers men's basketball coach Ben Johnson is expected to add Dave Thorson and Jason Kemp to his staff as assistant coaches, sources told the Star Tribune.

Johnson, who was hired last month to replace Richard Pitino, would be bringing back a familiar name to the Twin Cities. Thorson, a longtime DeLaSalle coach, spent the last three seasons on Colorado State's staff.

Thorson won a record nine state titles with the Islanders, including six in a row from 2012-17. At that point, he decided to get back into college coaching for the first time in 20 years.

The former Gophers assistant under Clem Haskins got his restart at Drake in 2017-18 with Niko Medved, who worked with him at Minnesota.

Thorson followed Medved to Colorado State three years ago and helped him turn around the Rams from 12 wins to back-to-back 20-win seasons the last two seasons, including a school-record 14 wins in the Mountain West Conference this year.

Thorson's connection with Johnson goes back to when he coached the former DeLaSalle standout guard in high school, which included state titles in 1998 and 1999.

Kemp, a Madison, Wis., native, spent the last two seasons at William & Mary, which included when the program went 21-11 and finished second in the Colonial Athletic Association in 2019-20.

One of Kemp's players already is headed to the Gophers. William & Mary guard Luke Loewe, who entered the transfer portal, committed to play for Johnson last week.

During his first 12 seasons as a college basketball assistant, Kemp worked at North Dakota State (2007-13, Toledo (2013-14) and Ohio (2014-19). He got his coaching start as an assistant at Minnesota State-Moorhead in 2005-06.


Nov 2, 2009
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Oy, the doubters will struggle with this one. This was predicted right off the get-go and scoffed at by the Gopher Hole bourgeoisie. This was a package deal, I am sure. No one can reverse the 25 year carnage (Clem through Pitino) of Minnesota not recruiting Minnesota prospects. The connection of Ben and Dave will put a stronger lasso around the Metro, for sure.

I like the Badgerbuilt comment from blood666. There is a style of player you need to have here to be successful, just like Iowa and Wisconsin. The Minnesota kids aren't usually as athletic, but have fared well when here. (Ben Johnson, McKenzie, Hoffarber, name a few),.
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