Recruit Alvin Ellis reportedly decommits from Gophers

by Andrew Krammer

Basketball recruit Alvin Ellis has been released from his letter of intent to play for the Gophers next season, the Pioneer Press reported Wednesday.

Ellis told the Pioneer Press that he asked to be released because he couldn’t wait any longer to see whom the Gophers would hire to replace Tubby Smith.

Richard Pitino was confirmed as Smith’s replacement late Wednesday afternoon, about four hours after the report.

Ellis, a 2013 recruit from Chicago’s De La Salle High School, signed a letter of intent in November to play for Minnesota. Five months later, the Gophers fired Smith, the head coach who recruited him.

“Good luck to the #Gopher team and all the fans in the future … had to do what was best for me and my family! Thanks for all the love!” Ellis tweeted early Wednesday afternoon.

A Gophers spokesman said Wednesday he hadn’t heard that Ellis was granted a release.

If Ellis is released, Minnesota is left with one recruit for 2013: Chicago’s Seton Academy power forward Alex Foster.