Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gopher Men Sign Andre Ingram and Julian Welch

Tubby Smith's 2011 recruiting class was filled out yesterday with the addition of two "unheralded" recruits (so called by Marcus Fuller of the Pioneer Press; not to say that Fuller is wrong or anything), each of them bringing 2 years of eligibility from a junior college setting.

Andre Ingram

Andre Ingram is a 6-7, 235 pound power forward from Butler CC in Kansas and (before that) Minnesota Transitions here in Minneapolis. When Fuller says he is "unheralded," he in part, I would guess, means that Ingram is a fellow nobody saw as a D1 recruit out of high school. I have to admit that when I heard his name, I could not conjure up an image of him as a high schooler.

But I looked up the box score and I did indeed see Ingram and his MTC teammates take on Granada-Huntley-East Chain in one of the great Class A tournament games on record, won by GHEC 64-61 en route to the 2009 state championship. MTC was led by Kevin Noreen (23 points, 16 rebounds) and Jerrell Washington (16 points, 3 assists, 2 steals). Ingram's line (and also his seasonal averages) are as follows:

Season--7 points, 8 boards, 1 assists, 1 turnover, 5 blocks, 1 steal
vs. GHEC--10 points, 11 boards, 4 blocks, 1 steal, 5 fouls, 5-of-6 FG

But like I say, I have no mental image of him or what his strengths and weaknesses are as a player. Fortunately somebody asked Butler CC coach Mike Bargen about Ingram's weaknesses. Ingram, Bargen said, needs to "expand his game," specifically "offensively," and even more specifically, he needs to learn how to "face the basket."

As to his strengths, Tubby himself says that Ingram is "mobile" and "athletic," and has "agility."

Bargen also says that Ingram vastly improved his game over the 2 years at Butler because of a terrific work ethic. And it shows in the numbers: 7 ppg in high school, 13 this year at a highly rated junior college program. 8 rebounds per game, same as 2 years ago at MTC. A 63 FG percentage.

I guess he's someone about whom we will "wait and see," regardless of whether Trevor Mbakwe returns. I also wonder, however, if he's better than Chris Halvorsen.

Julian Welch

Julian Welch sounds like a folk singer but, no, he is a 6-3 point guard from Yuba CC in California, where he played 1 year after bailing on UC-Davis after 1 year there. He scored 19 ppg with 5 assists for the Yubans, who went 27-6 and won the Bay Valley Conference championship, or which Welch is the PoY.

Earlier, Welch was freshman of the year in the Big West Conference of which Cal-Davis is a member. He scored 8 ppg in 18 minutes there.

Tubby likes his "maturity" and says he "can handle the ball." He has good "court vision" and "awareness," and he can "knock down shots."

Welch could see a lot of action for the Gophers if any of that is true.

1 comment: