Gophers men’s basketball forecast: Talent improved but young team will go through growing pains

Mark Vancleave, Star Tribune/Star Tribune/TNS

Talent has been upgraded in Ben Johnson's second year as Gophers men's basketball coach. But overcoming injuries and youth will determine how much improvement will be seen on the court.

Few expected a 10-1 start with a roster filled with newcomers last season, so there wasn't much shock when the U finished 13-17, 4-14 in the Big Ten for last place.

Projections have the Gophers as high as 12th in the Big Ten this season. If they're to surpass those expectations top returning player Jamison Battle (foot) will need to get healthy. And top newcomer Dawson Garcia having a big year could be another major boost.