Gophers basketball has its first big recruiting date planned for the football team’s season opener next Thursday against South Dakota State at TCF Bank Stadium.

Expected on the first official visit for Richard Pitino this fall will be three-star Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.) guard Ty Berry, but he won’t be alone.

Accompanying Berry will be several local prospects on unofficials, including 2020 targets and D1 Minnesota teammates Dawson Garcia, Kerwin Walton, Steven Crowl and Ben Carlson.

A 6-foot-3, 180-pound senior from Newton, Kan., Berry was offered a scholarship by the Gophers in June. His first official visit was to Northwestern earlier this month. Berry is also considering Kansas State, Iowa State and Oklahoma State, among others.

“He’s a combo guard who can score, but obviously run the show when you need him to,” said Berry’s AAU coach L.J. Goolsby, who runs KC Run GMC. “His ability to shoot is what intrigued a lot of people. I know Coach Pitino is really trying to add that to his team. He’s a great kid. He could be an asset to whatever program he chooses to play for.”

The Gophers have offered scholarships other combo guards in the 2020 class, most notably Minnehaha Academy’s Jalen Suggs and Brewster Academy’s Jamal Mashburn Jr. Suggs has made unofficial visits to the U. Mashburn is reportedly eyeing a trip to Minnesota in October.

Berry being the first to schedule an official visit shows he might be further along in the recruiting process, but it's uncertain when he'll make a decision. Pitino and his staff will be smart with their three scholarships in such a loaded senior class locally. Still, the Gophers are always looking to add players who can stretch the floor.

“His ability to shoot the ball when he’s on is fun to watch,” Goolsby said. “He can score with the best of them.”

Where are locals with visits?

Suggs and Garcia, both five-star talents, are the top 2020 targets for the Gophers, but neither have planned official visits with the home state program yet. Garcia hopes to start scheduling visits after narrowing his list around the first two weeks of September.

Walton said he’s not sure when he will narrow down his list. There were new schools to offer him at the end of the July evaluation period, including Kansas and Arizona.

“It’s pretty tough,” Walton said about scheduling official visits. “I’m taking my time right now, so I’m really not sure. I’m gonna try to establish better relationships with all my coaches before I do.”

The only Minnesotan to schedule an official visit in the 2020 class so far is Rochester Mayo wing Gabe Madsen for Sept. 13-15. Mason Madsen, Gabe’s twin, doesn’t have an offer from the Gophers, but he does share offers with his brother from Xavier and Cincinnati. The Madsen twins are expected to visit both schools in the next two weekends this month.   

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