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Gophers men's basketball loses starting guard Payton Willis, gains Western Michigan transfer

Wisconsin's Trevor Anderson (12) guards against 3-point shot by Minnesota's Payton Willis (0) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 70-52. Photo: (AP Photo/Hannah Foslien). Wisconsin's Trevor Anderson (12) guards against 3-point shot by Minnesota's Payton Willis (0) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020, in Minneapolis. Minnesota won 70-52.

Charlie Wiese
Updated: April 09, 2020 03:53 PM
Created: April 09, 2020 02:31 PM

Minnesota Golden Gophers starting guard Payton Willis has announced his intent to graduate and transfer out of the basketball program.

Willis was in his fourth season of college basketball when the 2019-2020 season was cut short. He played his freshman and sophomore seasons at Vanderbilt University where he averaged just over 5 points and 1.5 assists per game. Willis transferred to the U of M in 2018-2019 and had to sit out the season due to NCAA transfer rules. During the 2019-2020 season Willis started 25 games for the gophers and averaged just over 8 points and just under 2 assists per game. Willis has not announced where he is transferring.

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The Gophers quickly filled the scholarship spot opened up by Willis with highly sought after transfer Brandon Johnson from Western Michigan University. Johnson, who is a graduate transfer and will be eligible immediately, was being sought after by schools including the University of Cincinnati, the University of Connecticut and the University of Dayton. The 6-foot, 8-inch forward is coming off a career year in which he averaged over 15 points and 8 rebounds per game.


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