One of the nation's top high school centers enjoyed his Gophers visit last weekend, but five-star senior Dennis Evans likely won't make a decision until next week.
The 7-1 Hillcrest (Calif.) High School standout finished up his final official visit last Sunday, and he's now ready to choose between programs in the Big Ten and Big 12. An announcement from Evans could come by the middle of the week.
"TCU and Minnesota," said Evans' AAU coach Kool-Aid Perry, who accompanied him on his visit to the U last week. "There's nobody else."
Gophers coach Ben Johnson and assistant Marcus Jenkins made sure no coaching staff put in more time with Evans during the recruiting process. They followed him all summer and flew to see him last month in Riverside, Calif.
"We talked about what I can continue to get better at and some of the things they do within their program," Evans said. "So far they've communicated I would be a great fit for the program. Someone who is really good at switching [defensively] 1 through 5. Someone who isn't limited on offensive end of the court."
On Friday, Evans traveled to Colorado Springs to participate in the USA men's junior national team minicamp. He was among 58 athletes selected after playing on Team USA's U17 World Cup team that won a gold medal this summer in Spain.
After making a statement by focusing on Minnesota prospects last year, the Gophers have prioritized national recruiting lately under Johnson. They already made a splash with Rolling Meadows four-star guard Cameron Christie, ranked as the No. 1 senior in Illinois.
Defending national champion Kansas offered Evans a scholarship this summer, but the Jayhawks are out of the mix. Other top programs around the country wondered if they could get involved with the shot-blocking sensation, but it was too late.
Evans and his family had trouble getting to the Twin Cities last Thursday night as first planned due to flight issues. They spent almost nine hours in the airport, but they didn't cancel the trip. They arrived on Friday.
"The kid wanted to go up there," Perry said. "He made every effort to get to Minnesota. He had a good time in Minnesota. He likes the team. He likes Ben."
Last season, California's top center prospect averaged 11 points, 10 rebounds, and seven blocks per game, including five games with 10 or more blocks. His 16 blocks in a game last season were tied for fifth most in California prep history.
With signing day coming in a month, Johnson has a chance to add a game-changing big man in his second recruiting class with the Gophers.
"He does phenomenal stuff that even catches me by surprise still," Hillcrest coach H. Jackson Wood said. "It's all instincts and timing. But he does respond to things in coaching because he listens and he's smart. He's very coachable."