Leading up the season we are doing a countdown of the Top 100 players in college basketball. These rankings are based on a poll made up of 14 CPP writers. These writers span from UCLA to Seton Hall so there is very little bias. Each day we will release the latest player on our ranking with a small write-up. Be sure to check out the rest of the Top 100 articles!
2016-2017 stats: 12.2 PPG 3.8 RPG 3.1 APG
Why he is here
Minnesota had an absolutely dismal 2015-16 season, with their only conference win coming over hapless Rutgers. However, coach Richard Pitino turned it around and led the team to an improbable NCAA Tournament appearance. Although it was a team effort, a lot of that was on the back of heralded freshman Amir Coffey. Coffey exploded onto the scene and became one of the country’s most exciting freshman. He looked the part athletically, and that really allowed him to power past the dreaded “freshman wall.” Although his outside shooting leaves a little to be desired, it is a minor gripe for a freshman that more than lived up to his billing.
Role on this years team
Minnesota returns pretty much everyone of importance this season, and seems poised for a top 4 Big Ten finish. Amir Coffey could easily be the team’s leading scorer if star point guard Nate Mason slides to a more passing-oriented role. He only figures to improve from an efficiency standpoint, and his athleticism isn’t going away. I truly think Coffey could develop into “the guy” for Minnesota in late game situations, giving the Gophers a scary one-two punch of Mason and Coffey. It would not shock me at all if Amir Coffey is among the contenders for a first team All Big Ten spot, and he is a dark horse for my Big Ten Player of the Year.
College season/ NBA Prospects
Although I mentioned his shooting leaves something to be desired, the NBA is a league based on potential and athleticism, both of which Coffey possesses plenty of. I look to another pick from this draft as a comparision: DJ Wilson. Wilson parlayed a great end of the season and superior athleticism to being a first round selection. However, like Coffey, Wilson shot below 38% from 3 point land. The precedent is set for Coffey to work his way up draft boards, and with a good season it could be his last in Minneapolis.
Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Top 100 player