Minnehaha Academy's Chet Holmgren wasn't going to let Friday night be his last high school game. The five-star senior center led the comeback from 15 points down to escape Totino-Grace in the Class 3A, Section 4 championship game.
Holmgren's state title quest isn't over. Neither is his college choice, officially.
That's why new Gophers basketball coach Ben Johnson spoke to the nation's No. 1 senior this week after being introduced as Richard Pitino's replacement on Tuesday.
"I've talked to him already," the 7-foot-1 Holmgren said of Johnson. "I haven't heard anything bad about him. From my experience, he's a really good guy. I see him doing really good things."
Holmgren, who had 24 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists Friday, said Johnson texted him first this week. They then spoke over the phone, but their relationship had already been established previously.
"He reached out to me when he was at Xavier, too," Holmgren said about where Johnson was an assistant the last three years. "A lot of things have already been said."
Gonzaga still appears to be the favorite to land Holmgren, according to multiple recruiting services. The Zags signed five-star point guard Hunter Sallis on Friday. They're also playing in the Sweet 16 with Holmgren's former teammate and freshman sensation Jalen Suggs.
An announcement this spring is expected from Holmgren, but his team's pursuit for another state championship comes first.
Earlier this week, the newly-named Gophers basketball coach also reached out and re-established scholarship offers to Minnesota's top high school talent. From Friday's game alone, Totino-Grace teammates Taison Chatman (2023 point guard) and Demarion Watson-Saulsberry (2022 forward) and Minnehaha Academy's Prince Aligbe had been contacted by Johnson.