Gophers Sign Hurt, Coffey and Curry
Minneapolis, MN (GopherSports.com) - The University of Minnesota men’s basketball team will welcome three new members starting in 2016, including Rochester John Marshall standout Michael Hurt.
Hurt, guard Amir Coffey (Hopkins, Minn./Hopkins HS) and forward Eric Curry (Little Rock, Ark./Southwest Christian Academy) signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.
The trio of highly regarded prospects will join the Gophers next fall for the upcoming 2016-17 season, and represent head coach Richard Pitino’s highest-rated recruiting class to date, ranking 17th according to 247Sports and 20th in the nation according to Scout.com. Both publications have the Gophers' class rated third in the Big Ten.
“The signing of these three student-athletes represents another step in the growth of our program,” Pitino said. “In Amir and Michael, we have the two best prospects in our state staying home to help us in our pursuit to win a championship, while Eric’s signing shows that we have as much to offer as any program in the country. We look forward to having them represent our University both on and off the court.”
Coffey, whose father Richard played for the Gophers from 1986-90, is a consensus top-50 player in the nation and four-star prospect. The 6’7” guard, a McDonald’s All-American finalist, can play multiple positions and impact the game on both ends of the court. Last season, Coffey missed significant time due to injury but averaged 14.3 points his sophomore season with the Royals. Coffey will be the highest rated recruit to suit up for the Gophers since Kris Humphries in 2003.
“Amir is a tremendous player and addition to our team,” said Pitino. “He can contribute in a number of ways – offensively, he is a good scorer while also being able to create for others. Beyond his skills on the court, he grew up a Gopher and comes from an outstanding family.”
Curry, at 6’8”, is also rated a four-star prospect and a top-100 player. He helped lead the Lions to the 2014 NACA Division 4 National Championship, and this past season, averaged 15.4 points and 8.6 rebounds for Southwest Christian. Curry also found success playing for the Arkansas Wings AAU team, where in 2015 he averaged 10.1 points and 6.6 rebounds as a member of its 17U EYBL team.
“Eric Curry is a perfect fit for the type of player we are looking for in our program,” Pitino commented. “He has experience playing in an up-tempo, pressing style similar to ours and is long and athletic. He will help us in many ways next season.”
The 6’6” Hurt will join the Gophers after starring at John Marshall, averaging 20.5 points, 8.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game last season with the Rockets, all team highs. Hurt, a three-star prospect, also contributed a team-high 45 blocks and 47 steals while averaging more than 30 minutes per game. He is among the top 150 prospects nationally, and received multiple Big Ten offers.
“Michael is another kid who will fit right into our system,” said Pitino. “He can shoot and has excellent length and athleticism, along with a great work ethic and feel for the game. Being from Minnesota as well, he is excited to represent this state for our team.”
The trio will join forward Davonte Fitzgerald and center Reggie Lynch as newcomers to the roster, after the pair of juniors will redshirt this year due to NCAA transfer rules.
Minnesota opens its 2015-16 season on Friday at home, hosting UMKC at 8:00 p.m. at Williams Arena.