Gophers sophomore Ola-Joseph enters transfer portal

Gophers sophomore forward Joshua Ola-Joseph was the first on the team to enter the transfer portal on Wednesday.

The 6-7 Brooklyn Park native started 42 straight games dating back to the 2022-23 season before his playing time diminished with a bench role starting in late January. He averaged 7.5 points and 2.2 rebounds this past season, but he averaged only 5.4 minutes in his last nine games.

Ola-Joseph was arguably the biggest surprise out of Gophers coach Ben Johnson's 2022 recruiting class last season. Despite being a three-star prospect, he played sparingly off the bench at AZ Compass Prep his senior year in high school.

But Ola-Joseph averaged 7.1 points and 22.1 minutes while starting 24 games, which was more than fellow freshmen Pharrel Payne and Braeden Carrington.

This season, the Gophers saw Ola-Joseph score in double figures in nine straight games, including in wins against Nebraska, Michigan and Maryland. But they moved him out of the starting lineup in favor of Payne and Dawson Garcia in the frontcourt.

After going to the bench on Jan. 27 at Penn State, Ola-Joseph's minutes declined with senior forward Parker Fox becoming the sixth man in a shorter rotation to finish the season.