Recruiting for the Gophers seemed pretty quiet since Apple Valley star Tre Jones committed to Duke two Sundays ago, but news came Monday that their best remaining target scheduled his official visits.
Four-star Indianapolis Tindley guard Eric Hunter Jr., who took an unofficial visit to the University of Minnesota in June, reportedly has narrowed down his official visits to Purdue (Sept. 8-10), Xavier (Sept. 15-17), Ohio State (Sept. 20-22) and Minnesota (Sept. 27-29).
Hunter was one of the top playmakers in the Adidas circuit this summer with Team Harris Elite. The 6-foot-3, 170-pound senior can play both point guard and shooting guard positions at the next level. He would fit well in Richard Pitino’s system with his athleticism, quickness and ability to penetrate and score off the dribble.
He told GopherIllustrated.com last month that the Gophers were a great situation and they considered him the last piece to their 2018 recruiting class.
“The way they play fits me,” Hunter told Ryan James from the local Scout.com site in July. “And I really like the staff of course. I've put together a good relationship with Coach Richard Pitino recently. And I've always had a strong relationship with Ben Johnson, the assistant.”
In 2016-17, Hunter averaged 25.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists while leading Tindley to a Class A state title as a junior. He was named Indiana's fourth best player in the 2018 class by the Indy Star.
Pitino loses senior All-Big Ten guard Nate Mason after this season, so he will need another ball handler for the future to play with high-profile recruit Isaiah Washington and fellow freshman Jamir Harris.
The Gophers are also on the short list for three-star Tilton School (Mass.) guard Marcus Zegarowski, who recently earned top-100 status by ESPN.com after top recruit Marvin Bagley III reclassified to 2017 and committed to Duke last Monday. But Zegarowski, who has a final list of Creighton, Minnesota, Ohio State and Washington, isn’t planning on visiting the Gophers. And he could reportedly make a decision soon.
Either Hunter or Zegarowski would add to an already highly-ranked 2018 recruiting class for Pitino, which includes four-star prospects Daniel Oturu and Gabe Kalscheur and three-star Jarvis Thomas – three of the state of Minnesota’s top seniors.