Coffey is expected to meet with Gophers Richard Pitino soon.
Amir Coffey, a 6-foot-5 freshman wing from Hopkins, is considered the top in-state prospect in the Class of 2016. He shined this past weekend at the Minnesota Comets Spring Shootout as he scored 38 points in the championship game to lead the Minnesota D1 15’s squad to the 16-and-under title.
Gopher Hole.com caught up with Amir Tuesday night after practice to learn the latest on his early recruitment and the Gopher head coach change.
Gopher Hole: You obviously had a very good weekend in St. Cloud wining the tournament as you had 38 points in the title game. How pleased were you with how well things went in your first tournament?
Amir Coffey: I am very pleased. That is the first championship in Minnesota D1 history and I am proud that we won the 16’s title and it is a good start to our season.
Gopher Hole: You played up against 16-and-under teams. Is that something you like playing against tougher, bigger, stronger competition?
Amir Coffey: We always like a challenge. If we played 15’s, we would have felt like it would have been too easy. We started off with a bigger challenge and we hope to just get better with it.
Gopher Hole: Does that give you even more confidence that you can not only play against 15-and-unders, but also play well against the 16’s?
Amir Coffey: We are the top 15 team in the state, so why not play 16’s. It gave us confidence and the confidence is key.
Gopher Hole: You are playing in the 16-and-under division this weekend, too. Does that help you having played that level already in a tournament?
Amir Coffey: Yes, because we won. We played good, so why not just keeping doing it. Even if we lose, just keep getting better and it is a good challenge, so we are just going to play 16’s.
Gopher Hole: You and Brock Bertram (6-foot-10 freshman center from Apple Valley) are both back from playing on the 15’s team last year. Has it been a bit of an adjustment with the new guys or has it been pretty easy?
Amir Coffey: We have actually known them since we have played together since we were little in camps and against each other, but we have known each other and we just have to get used to each other on the court
Gopher Hole: What is the latest on your recruitment? You have two offers from Iowa State and Penn State. What other schools are you hearing from despite being so early with you being a freshman?
Amir Coffey: Minnesota. I have gotten letters from Michigan, Virginia, Virginia Tech and the North Carolina coach called my coach and they are going to come see me play this weekend.
Gopher Hole: What was your reaction to the Minnesota coaching change?
Amir Coffey: I haven’t really thought about it much, but I was actually surprised that they fired Tubby, but I would like to meet the new coach and everything. I am excited about it.
Gopher Hole: Your dad said that you might be going down there in the next couple of weeks. Do you know when that is going to be yet?
Amir Coffey: I haven’t talked about it yet, but I’m sure that I will be down there soon and meet the new coaches. I am probably going to get down there soon
Gopher Hole: They look like they are going to play more of an up-tempo style, which probably fits your style of play better. Is that something that gets you more excited about Minnesota?
Amir Coffey: Yes, it does. I like playing an up-tempo style. If you have the players, why not do it. I like playing up and down and it is exciting that they are changing that way.
Gopher Hole: It seems like the new coaching staff is committed to keeping the best players in state. Does that get you excited about playing for the homestate school? Your dad obviously played here as well?
Amir Coffey: Yes, it does. You want the best organization you can get and you have to get the players. That is exciting.