Theo John has been priority No. 1 for the Gophers in the frontcourt in the 2017 class from Day 1. That was apparent when they offered him a scholarship as a sophomore in high school.
Now it's finally decision time for the 6-foot-9 senior who will pick a college Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Champlin Park High School, John announced on Twitter. He confirmed Monday night that his final two schools are Minnesota and Marquette.
John and his high school teammate McKinley Wright are announcing together. Wright appears likely to pick Dayton since the Gophers received a commitment from four-star St. Raymond (N.Y.) point guard Isaiah Washington on Sunday.
John's decision is a bit more of a mystery since he came away from his last two official visits to Marquette and Minnesota with rave reviews on both programs.
The Gophers, who hosted John last weekend with Washington, offer a chance to obviously play in front of friends and family. But leaving the state was always something John strongly considered.
"The (Gophers) fans have been great," John said last month. "The hometown support has been great. But at the end of the day, if I need to leave and that's the best opportunity for me, I will pursue wherever that is. If Minnesota is it that's great. But if not, I'm not going to hesitate to leave."
Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski and assistant Stan Johnson made John feel like he could make an immediate impact. His 7-foot-4 wingspan and powerfully built 230-pound frame are tools that could allow him to be a defensive presence as a freshman.
"We have a great relationship," John said of the Marquette coaches. "I really feel like they believe in me."
Johns says Gophers coach Richard Pitino and assistant Ben Johnson are high on his potential as well. But they also have tried to sell him on the possibilty of playing with Wright in college. That was more of the pitch, of course, before Washington's commitment.
"At the the same time, he recruited us individually," John said of Pitino. "So he knows that we're going to go to the school that best fits us. We both understand that we're going to go to the school that best fits us."
Gophers fans and Golden Eagle fans will be watching anxiously to see what happens Tuesday night. Below are highlights from John's strong performance at the Pangos All-American Camp in Los Angeles. He was joined there by Washington.