Gophers nab first recruit for 2013; local Washington commits elsewhere
September 24, 2012 — 7:45am
New Gophers recruit Alvin Ellis. Photo credit: Rivals.com
Better late than never. After seeing a handful of coveted recruits announce they’d make their collegiate homes elsewhere, Gophers basketball coach Tubby Smith got his first commitment for 2013-14 on Sunday.
Alvin Ellis, a three-star recruit according to Rivals.com and a shooting guard/small forward from Chicago, officially visited the University of Minnesota this weekend with two other recruits and tweeted around 1 pm on Sunday:
“Committed this morning to the University of Minnesota! #Gophers”
Ellis visited over the weekend with two other recruits: Alex Foster and Tory Miller. It was the second round of official visits for the Gophers, who watched Miami native Cedric Hankerson commit to Boston University the week following his early-September official at the U. At the same time, Kyle Washington, a four-star recruit from Champlin, had edited the Gophers out of his short list of schools he was interested in. He officially committed to NC State on Sunday after visiting over the weekend.
Before getting the commitment from Ellis, the Gophers were one of two Big Ten teams without a recruit for 2013-14. Michigan State is now the only conference team without a commitment. Minnesota could have as many as three spots available for 2013 after Trevor Mbakwe, Rodney Williams and Julian Welch graduate.
Ellis is a former teammate of Foster’s – the two were teammates at Chicago’s DeLaSalle last season, before Foster transferred to Seton this year.
Ellis is strong and athletic wing player who has exhibited stellar ball control and has the reputation for his intellect and versatility on the perimeter. The 6-4, 185-pound senior should be able to gain some weight heading into his college career.
This is Amelia Rayno's fifth season on the Gophers men's basketball beat. She learned college basketball in North Carolina (Go Tar Heels!), where fanhood is not an option. In 2010, she joined the Star Tribune after graduating from Boston's Emerson College, which sadly had no exciting D-I college hoops to latch onto. Amelia has also worked on the sports desk at the Boston Globe and interned at the Detroit News. Follow Rayno on Twitter @AmeliaRayno.
The question now is whether Minnesota can move past a bad long weekend and pick up some steam through the rest of this month and next – or whether a not-so-easy slate between now and New Year's will put the Gophers on the path toward the basement.