Gophers hoops sign three additions to 2014 recruiting class

Gophers head coach Richard Pitino on Monday announced his second recruiting class at Minnesota.

Adam Hunger/Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

MINNEAPOLIS — Gophers men’€™s basketball coach Richard Pitino announced three additions to his upcoming recruiting class Monday as Minnesota has signed forward Gaston Diedhiou, center Bakary Konate and guard Zach Lofton. Those three join Nate Mason, Carlos "Squirrel" Morris and Josh Martin in the 2014-15 class.

"With this signing class, we feel like we have added a great deal of athleticism,"€ Pitino said in a statement. "That is extremely important with our style of play and as we continue to build this program."

Lofton will have to sit out the upcoming season after transferring from Illinois State. As a sophomore last year, Lofton was second on the Redbirds in scoring with 11.3 points per game. The 6-foot-4 guard is a Minnesota native, playing high school basketball at Columbia Heights High School.

Diedhiou is a 6-foot-9, 240-pound forward and a native of Senegal. He joins the Gophers after playing for Canarias Basketball Academy in Spain.


"€œHe brings a necessary addition to our frontcourt,"€ Pitino said. "His size and potential will be a great asset to our team."

At 6-foot-11, Konate will bring size in the paint for the Gophers. Originally from Mali, Konate played his high school basketball at Sunrise Christian Academy in Bel Aire, Kan.

"Bakary has tremendous potential — the sky is the limit for him,"€ Pitino said. "He’s a great athlete and shot blocker which is vital in our system. His best days of basketball are certainly ahead of him."

This group marks Pitino’s second recruiting class since taking over the program prior to the 2013-14 season. He led the Gophers to a 25-13 record and an NIT Championship in his first season.

Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter