MINNEAPOLIS — It was a busy day Wednesday for the Gophers men’s basketball team, who arrived in Puerto Rico in advance of Friday’s season opener against Louisville. And although out of the country, Minnesota coach Richard Pitino was able to announce his latest recruiting class.
The Gophers signed four players to National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, including De La Salle High School guard Jarvis Johnson. The other three include guard Kevin Dorsey from Clinton Christian High School in Maryland; guard Dupree McBrayer from Sunrise Christian Academy in Kansas, and forward Jonathan Nwankwo out of Victory Rock Prep in Bradenton, Fla.
"We are excited about the addition of all four student-athletes," Pitino said in a statement. "Not only are their futures very bright on the basketball court, but they will also be great representatives of our University and our basketball program."
According to Scout.com’s Evan Daniels, Minnesota was just outside of the Top 25 recruiting classes for 2015. Brian Snow of Scout.com ranked the Gophers’ recruiting class as the fourth-best in the Big Ten, behind only Ohio State, Illinois and Michigan State.
Dorsey, a 6-foot, 170-point point guard is rated as a four-star recruit by Scout.com and the 10th-best point guard in this year’s class. He previously played for Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va., but transferred for his senior year to Clinton Christian.
"Kevin Dorsey has the ability to be one of the best on-ball defenders in the country," Pitino said.
Johnson was the lone in-state recruit landed by Minnesota in this year’s class. The 6-1 De La Salle standout is a three-star recruit at guard. He had offers from several notable Division I schools, including Michigan State, Wisconsin and Marquette.
But Johnson ultimately chose to stay home and play for his hometown Gophers. Pitino is happy he did.
"Jarvis Johnson has grown up a Gopher fan his whole life, and will certainly be a valuable addition to our backcourt," Pitino said. "He comes from a great family and he is a special kid as well as a great player."
At 6-4, McBrayer is the lone shooting guard of the group. He averaged 10.5 points per game last year for the Patrick School last year. He’ll spend this year for Sunrise Christian Academy, the same school were current Gophers freshman Bakary Konate attended last year.
Nwankwo, a 6-10 senior, is a three-star center who grew up in Nigeria. He played high school basketball at Monsignor Scanlan in the Bronx, New York. He’ll attend Victory Rock Prep this year.
"Jonathan Nwankwo has a college ready body and will bring a lot to our team on day one when he steps on campus," Pitino said. "He is a great student as well as a great person."