PP: First order of business for Gophers men’s basketball: fill void left by Murphy


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Nov 11, 2008
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In all likelihood, it will take more than Omersa to rival Murphy’s production: 14.4 points, a Big Ten-best 11.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 31 minutes across all 36 games as a senior.

“That’s hard to replace,” Pitino said. “As hard as (Saturday) was, hopefully it helps build Jarvis’ confidence. He hasn’t played a lot, but I do think he can (use) that performance. I think he did a lot of great things. He played great defense. He played hard, rebounded the ball well.”

Against the Spartans, Omersa had two points, seven rebounds and three steals, showing some of the athleticism and energy he can bring.

The biggest front-court boost for the Gophers would be the continued development of freshman center Daniel Oturu. While Omersa sat out 10 of the U’s 24 games against Big Ten foes this year, Oturu started 31 of 36 games overall, averaging nearly 24 minutes.

Six-foot-6 Omersa averaged about a point and rebound per game, while 6-foot-10 Oturu put up 10.8 points, seven rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. He has tools to score around the basket, but can be more assertive in transition and protecting the basket.

A preseason shoulder injury limited how much muscle Oturu, who’s listed at 225 pounds, could add coming out of Cretin-Derham Hall High School.

“Daniel is going to be really, really good player,” Pitino said. “He’s put on only a little bit of weight, and he’ll get there.”


Go Gophers!!
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