Richard Pitino’s recruiting is picking up with the Gophers expecting to host four-star prospects Gethro Muscadin and Jamari Sibley for official visits this weekend.

Monday was the start of one of the most important recruiting periods for college hoops coaches with off-campus, in-person visits allowed by the NCAA.

Pitino has three scholarships available but no commitments yet from the 2020 class. That has the Gophers staff focusing hard on targets outside of the state of Minnesota, as well. 

Muscadin (pictured), a 6-foot-10 center from Aspire Academy (Ky.), told the Star Tribune that a meeting at his school with Pitino on Monday "went great." Originally from Haiti, Muscadin also has official visits with Kansas and Texas Tech planned. He visited Kansas State last weekend, but he's looking forward to making his first trip to the Twin Cities.

“They have been recruiting me for a long time now,” Muscadin said about the Gophers, who have a connection through assistant Kyle Lindsted. “It’s a big-time program. Big-time coaches. Big-time conference, too.”

Sibley, a 6-8 forward from Oak Hill Academy (Va.), is ranked as a top-100 recruit and was the No. 1 player in the 2020 class in Wisconsin. He transferred to prep school after playing his junior year at Nicolet High school in Milwaukee.

Gophers assistant Rob Jeter’s ties to Wisconsin helped land the visit from Sibley, who also planned officials with Iowa (Sept. 27) and Georgetown (Oct. 5), according to 247Sports.com’s Evan Flood.

The Gophers hosted only one player on an official visit so far from the 2020 class two weeks ago. Sunrise Christian Academy (Kan.) four-star guard Ty Berry was impressed after his trip to Minnesota, which included watching the Aug. 29 football opener vs. South Dakota State.

Minnesota’s basketball recruits this weekend will be in attendance for the Gophers football game Saturday against Georgia Southern at TCF Bank Stadium. The following week, three-star Love Christian Academy (Pa.) wing D.J. Gordon is scheduled to make an official visit to the U.

Pitino saw Gordon, Muscadin and Brewster Academy (N.H.) four-star guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. on Monday. Mashburn’s official visit is scheduled for Oct. 6 to Minnesota.

-- There are no official visits set with in-state 2020 prospects and the Gophers yet. But you can bet Pitino will work hard to convince five-star Prior Lake big man Dawson Garcia to schedule an official when he meets with him for an in-home visit Wednesday. Garcia tweeted last week that he would be cutting his list down soon. Expect Marquette, Indiana and North Carolina to be finalists. All three head coaches came to Minnesota this week to see Garcia, including UNC coach Roy Williams on Tuesday.

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