4-star prospect Dennis Evans commits to Minnesota!

Oct. 17, 2022: Four-star Riverside, California center Dennis Evans committed to the Gophers Friday, becoming the second player to join the University of Minnesota’s 2023 recruiting class.

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Gophers head coach Ben Johnson continues to be read hot on the recruiting trail. While some fair-weather fans might’ve written off this recruiting cycle after failing to land an in-state recruit, Johnson just got a commitment from the 2023 four-star center Dennis Evans, The 7-foot-1 big man is ranked as the No. 27 overall player in the country, and his 0.9881 composite score on 247sports is the third highest by a Gophers high school commit in the internet-rankings era. Hailing from Riverside, California Evans’ decision came down to TCU and Minnesota, but he also held top offers from Kansas, Texas and Florida State.

Who is Dennis Evans?:

Dennis Evans a 7-foot-1 senior student athlete who attends Hillcrest High School in Riverside, California. As a junior, he averaged 11.6 points, 10 rebounds and 7 blocks per game en-route to leading Hillcrest to a River Valley League Championship in 2022. His impressive campaign is highlighted by a 16-block performance in January, five different 10-block performances and even a triple-double (12 pts, 19 reb, 13 blk).

His junior season breakout landed him a spot on the USA Basketball Men’s U17 National Team, alongside players like Cooper Flagg (consensus No. 1 2025 prospect), D.J. Wagner (consensus No. 1 2023) and Sean Stewart (Duke-commit). Evans gained tremendous experience playing at the 2022 FIBA U17 World Cup in Malaga, Spain; where U.S.A. defeated Spain in the Gold Medal game.

  • Scouting Report:

Listed at 7-foot-1, Evans is an elite-level shot blocker in every sense of the phrase. He has NBA-level length and elite-level instincts on the defensive end of the court. This guy is well worth the hype is getting and might even be better than advertised. He has room to grow on the offensive end, but his rebounding-instincts make up for it. He has room to fill into his 170-pound frame, but he is the best talent to come through Dinkytown in a LOOOONG time.

**High School highlights**

Instant Reaction:

This was a very interesting recruiting cycle for Ben Johnson and the Gophers. The 2022 class was dominated by in-state players Braeden Carrington, Pharrel Payne and Joshua Ola-Joseph, followed by California’s Jaden Henley. The 2023 class got off to a hot start with Kadyn Betts from Colorado, but after he decided to reclassify into 2022, there was not telling how this class was going to look.

Some Gophers fans might’ve been disappointed after missing out on Minnesota’s top three players; Taison Chatman (Ohio State), Boden Kapke (Butler) and Nolan Winter (Wisconsin), but the level of talent coming into the Gophers’ program should make you forget about that really quickly. Cam Christie (Michigan), now a four-star prospect was the first prospect to commit, an impressive talent in his own-right, but pairing him with Dennis Evans makes this class historically good.

According to 247sports, this is the fifth time in the internet-era where Minnesota has landed two four-star recruits in the same class. The best Minnesota teams in my 21 years of life have had an elite big man; i.e. Jordan Murphy, Daniel Oturu or Trevor Mbakwe. Dennis Evans is a higher-ranked recruit than all three of those guys, and probably has a much-higher ceiling. This is a continued statement that Ben Johnson has legitimate recruiting skills and this is a message that the Gophers are a player on a national scale.

What is next?:

2023-24 is the season for the Gophers and Ben Johnson. Anyone that is still doubting, I ask you to wait until this season. Minnesota has a surplus of talent that could make some SERIOUS noise in the Big Ten. Baring Parker Fox and Isaiah Ihnen’s health after both having two ACL surgeries, this team would still be loaded. With all four incoming freshmen having a year to develop this season, 2023-24 is looking like a picture-perfect season for the Maroon & Gold on paper. Evans locks them up for 13/13 scholarships if nobody transfers or leaves for the NBA Draft, so there is a solid chance that this is the team we see on the court a little over a year from now. Ben Johnson and the Gophers are here and they’re here to stay.

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