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Villanova's Livingston will be named Gophers' director of basketball operations

Villanova's Ryan Livingston will be the University of Minnesota's next Director of Basketball Operations, two sources told the Star Tribune on Tuesday.

The hiring of Livingston -- who is currently a graduate manager at Villanova -- is expected to be announced later today.

Since Gophers coach Richard Pitino took the job, the DOBO position has been somewhat of a revolving door. The role was most recently vacated after Nate Pomeday -- who arrived at Minnesota a year ago from Oregon State -- was promoted to assistant following Dan McHale's departure for the head coaching position at Eastern Kentucky.

Pitino initially hired former Tubby Smith special assistant Steve Goodson, who is now on Smith's staff at Texas Tech. Then Pitino gave the nod to Mike Balado from Florida International, who ultimately left for a job as an assistant at Louisville. Josh Adel took the job for one year before being transitioned to a new role as assistant to the head coach, when Pomeday was hired.

Pitino recruit Nwankwo released from letter of intent for academic reasons

Gophers men's basketball recruit Jonathan Nwankwo has been released from his national letter of intent because of external academic circumstances, a source familiar with the situation told the Star Tribune on Monday.

The 6-10 Gophers' 2015 commit -- whose NCAA clearinghouse and admissions processes are still ongoing -- will be free to sign with any other school and begin his eligibility this fall. 

Nwankwo attended Victory Rock Prep in Bradenton, Fla.

Coach Richard Pitino's 2015 class was capped at seven recruits after Jordan Murphy committed on Friday, but Nwankwo's departure leaves another scholarship open for this fall should Minnesota choose to use it. The spring signing period ends on Wednesday.

Nwankwo was expected to be a raw big man with high potential, and perhaps most importantly -- critical depth for a center spot that lost two seniors (Mo Walker and Elliott Eliason) from  last year's squad. 

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