Gopher recruit Alvin Ellis decommits


University of Minnesota Class of 2013 recruit Alvin Ellis was released from his letter of intent on Wednesday.

The 6-foot-5 small forward from Chicago was the second recruit of Minnesota’s Class of 2013 and with his departure, only Alex Foster of Seton Academy in Chicago remains.

Rumors of Ellis’ intent to decommit surfaced after the Gophers fired Tubby Smith nine days ago.

Ellis stated that the main reason he wished to look elsewhere to play next year was because he couldn’t wait any longer to hear who the next head coach would be.

“I waited for two weeks now to see who they were going to bring in,” Alvin Ellis said. “Nobody was coming in, so I had to do what’s best for me. I had to get my stock back rising and see what I want to do.” — Pioneer Press, April 3

The news that the Gophers hired Richard Pitino as the new head coach broke less than an hour after the Pioneer Press article was published announcing the decommitment.

Alvin Ellis said he’s interested in three schools other than Minnesota, but he wouldn’t name them. He said he wouldn’t rule out signing again with the Gophers.

“I’m just going to open my recruitment back up and see where that takes me,” he said. “I wanted to get comfortable with the coach I knew I was going to be with for four years. I just think this is the best thing for me and my family at this time.”

The news of Ellis’ decommitment was quickly outshadowed by the Gophers hiring of Pitino, but fans should hope that Pitino’s first order of business is to try and draw Ellis back to the Gophers.

Losing Ellis would be a major blow to a Minnesota squad already short on bodies for next year, following the graduation of four seniors.

With Foster as the remaining member of the Class of 2013, the Gophers would likely be forced to look into junior college players.

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