Top-recruit Washington will not play for Gophers

Minnesota’s men’s basketball program announced Thursday that incoming first-year guard Wesley Washington has returned home to California. Washington’s admission status into the University was not finalized and he chose to return home.

“We regretfully announce that Wesley has left Minnesota and returned home,” coach Dan Monson said in a statement. “Due to student privacy rights, I am not at liberty to discuss any of the specifics of Wesley’s case. I hope things work out for Wes and all his circumstances get resolved. Not only is he is an excellent basketball player, but he’s a quality person as well. We wish him the very best.”

A graduate of Mater Dei High School in Corona, Calif., Washington was a consensus top-100 player coming out of high school. He was named the California Interscholastic Federation Player of the Year as a junior and a senior and the Orange County Register Player of the Year as a senior.

Gilbert ineligible

Tanisha Gilbert has been declared academically ineligible and has left Minnesota’s women’s basketball program, school officials announced Thursday.

“We wish Tanisha the best,” Minnesota women’s basketball coach Pam Borton said in a statement. “As much as we were concerned about Tanisha leaving our team, we are much more concerned about her education.”

Gilbert played two seasons for the Gophers, making 13 starts in her 43 career games. She averaged 14.7 points per game her first season in 2000-01, a season cut short when she was declared academically ineligible for the second semester. During the 2001-02 season, Gilbert underwent knee surgery forcing her to miss the season. She returned to action last season and played in 29 games, averaging 4.9 points per game.

Ready to wrestle?

Minnesota’s wrestling program is welcoming a 16-member recruiting class, ranked as the nation’s best by every major amateur wrestling publication and Web site. The class, headlined by three top-ranked recruits and seven high school All-Americans, is listed No. 1 by Amateur Wrestling News, WIN Magazine, Wrestling USA Magazine, InterMat and others. Rounding out the top five behind Minnesota in Amateur Wrestling News’ recruiting rankings is Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Michigan.

The early signing period lifted Minnesota to the top of the class with blue-chip recruits Roger Kish, C. P. Schlatter, Mack Reiter, Matt Koz and Mitch Kuhlman all signing national letters of intent. The regular signing period saw the Gophers pick up numerous top recruits and transfers to complete a stellar recruiting class for the 2003-04 season. The spring signees and transfers include Jeremy Anderson, Gordon Bierschenk, Justin Bronson, Gabriel Dretsch, Jon Duncombe, Jestin Hulegaard, Scott Jacobson, Nik Lentz, Dustin Lucarelli, Manuel Rivera and Keri Stanley.