All eyes of fans and programs fixed on the recruitment of Prior Lake five-star senior forward Dawson Garcia will be on what comes next after his official visit to Indiana this weekend.
According to a recent interview with Garcia, what comes next could be a decision as early as next week. His final schools are Indiana, Marquette, Memphis and Minnesota.
"I'm probably going to figure it out after my Indiana visit," Garcia said in a video this week on Peegs.com. "Sit down with my parents and talk things over."
The Gophers started off strong with their 2020 recruiting class by landing a pair of four-star commitments in Brewster Academy (N.H.) guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Chicago Heights Bloom forward Martice Mitchell.
But Garcia, who is ranked as high as No. 22 nationally and the No. 3 senior power forward, would obviously be not just the crown jewel of recruiting during the Richard Pitino era, but he would be the most high-profile local prospect to stay home since former NBA big man Kris Humphries in 2003.
The Gophers hosted Garcia on an official visit Sept. 27, the only in-state official from the 2020 class this year. The signs from his comments after trip to the U pointed toward the home state program definitely being considered strongly. Garcia made two unofficials there previously during the fall.
"They talked about they would use my full versatility," Garcia told GopherIllustrated.com. "They had a video put together that gave me the chills a little bit. Possibly becoming that hometown guy."
Since that Gophers visit, Garcia took an official to Memphis on Oct. 6. The Indiana visit will be his last, because he already had an official to Marquette in February. When asked about Minnesota recently, he brought up the hometown hero idea.
"The program is on an upward trend," Garcia told Peegs.com. "[Pitino's] pitch to me was there's something really special about being that hometown kid. And it only takes really one player to make that program kind of takeoff."
A gifted 6-foot-11 big man with the ability to stretch the floor with his jumper, drive to the rim and finish well above it, Garcia was at the USA Basketball junior national team minicamp in Colorado Springs last week. He told Rivals.com that Indiana coach Archie Miller "has made a really good impression."
Garcia reiterated this week how the Hoosiers had impressed him before his official to Bloomington. He talked about the great relationship with Miller and assistant Tom Ostrom, who is from Minnesota. He said IU fans show him the most love on social media. He mentioned his bond with 2020 Hoosier commits Trey Galloway and Anthony Leal, who he got close with after meeting at an All-American camp.
Recruiting sites like 247Sports.com had since Garcia's junior year projected he would pick Marquette. The Golden Eagles have recruited him hard for the longest. But the Gophers surely improved their chances. Indiana has made up a lot of ground. But how much will his official this weekend influence him?
There could be an answer to the question about where Garcia will go with a potential decision soon.