Gophers lose another recruit, release Alex Foster from LOI


March 22, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Louisville Cardinals assistant coach Richard Pitino (left) and head coach Rick Pitino (right) stand during the national anthem before the game against the Michigan State Spartans in the semifinals of the west region of the 2012 NCAA men

With National Signing Day less than a week away, the Gophers made a surprising move Tuesday by cutting ties with Chicago hoops recruit Alex Foster.

Foster, a three-star recruit out of Seton Academy, is the second recruit the Gophers have lost in the last week.

Alvin Ellis, another three-star recruit from Chicago, decommitted from the Gophers last Thursday, hours before Richard Pitino was named as the next head coach.

Around 4 p.m. Tuesday, Foster made a since-deleted tweet suggesting he was frustrated that he hadn’t heard from Pitino since the head coach was hired last Thursday [screen capture at bottom].

By 9 p.m., credible media outlets were reporting that the new coaching staff had made contact with Foster and notified him that the team was going to go a different direction.

With Foster and Ellis gone, no one remains in Minnesota’s Class of 2013 — but the latest move seems to signal a game plan for the new coaching staff.

What it certainly confirms is that Pitino doesn’t want to adopt former head coach Tubby Smith’s recruits, which would suggest that Pitino and his staff has other recruits they’d like to target.

With at least four scholarships available and National Signing Day on the horizon, the next few weeks could show Pitino’s true colors as a recruiter if not a head coach with a clean slate.

While the decision to withdraw Foster’s offer was done by Pitino and his coaching staff, this was the second offer withdrawn by the Gophers this season. In October, Tubby Smith withdrew an offer to junior college forward Daniel Edozie.

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