Gophers recruit Isaac Asuma led his D1 Minnesota AAU team to a 3-0 record in the Prep Hoops Battle at the Lakes event in town last weekend.
Asuma also watched his AAU teammate Grayson Grove from Alexandria join him as a commitment for Ben Johnson in the U's 2024 recruiting class on Saturday.
It was an eventful week, but there's so much more the Cherry junior guard hopes to see during his last AAU season.
"I think we're one of the best teams in the country for boys AAU," Asuma said. "We're a special group with returners and adding more talent. It'll be interesting to see how we finish off the rest of the year."
A 6-3 all-state floor general, Asuma helped lead Cherry to a fourth-place finish in the Minnesota Class A tournament this March. He averaged 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists for a 27-6 squad.
Asuma's all-around game makes him one of the top five 2024 prospects in the state, but Asuma wants to improve his scoring ability at the rim and from the outside.
"This year our coaches have been stressing a lot to score the ball," Asuma said. "I'm trying to get better at that and see more opportunities for myself. Instead of just dishing to my teammates. I'm still growing and getting better at it, but it's been a good process."
Former Gophers player and current D1 Minnesota 2024 coach Jonathan Williams said Asuma wants to be coached hard and welcomes constructive criticism.
"I've never had a guy after a weekend when we went 4-0 reach out and ask me what can I do to get better," Williams said. "Wanting the constructive criticism and trying to apply the things we talk about has been tremendous. And I've seen growth in his game. He's what Ben needs. He understands what it means to play for Minnesota coming from Minnesota. Culture wise he's a great fit."
The Gophers added transfer point guards Mike Mitchell (Pepperdine) and Elijah Hawkins (Howard) this spring. Both Mitchell and Hawkins have two years of eligibility remaining. The Gophers also have guards Braeden Carrington and Cameron Christie, who will be a sophomore and freshman next season.
Asuma could benefit by learning from experienced guards the minute he arrives as a freshman in 2024-25, but he'll also be competing for a chance to make an impact.
"It'll be a battle every single day," Asuma said. "They're your teammate but in the summer when you get there, everybody's competing for a spot. You can't let your foot off the gas. You have to bring it."
Gophers to play at Warriors' arena
The Gophers men's basketball team has scheduled a Nov. 26 neutral site game against San Francisco at Chase Center, the home of the Golden State Warriors.
The Dons finished 20-14 last season and fifth in the West Coast Conference. This is the first time the Gophers scheduled just one game against a non-Power Five opponent away from home in nonconference play since a win at Richmond in Richard Pitino's first season in 2013.
No longer on the U's projected 2023-24 schedule is the Main Event in Las Vegas, which was from Nov. 17-19 featuring San Diego State, Xavier and Washington. The Gophers instead will host a multi-team event (MTE) in mid-November that includes Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Ball State and USC Upstate.