Alvin Ellis and Alex Foster, former teammates at De La Salle High School in Chicago, will play together again at Williams Arena as coach Tubby Smith's first two recruits of 2013.
Foster, who turned 18 on Saturday per his Twitter account, celebrated by accepting a scholarship at Minnesota over offers from Nebraska and Tennessee, according to ESPN. "[It's] official [I'm] a Golden Gopher! Just committed to the university of Minnesota #gophernation #blessed," he wrote. His former teammate Ellis committed to the Gophers last month.
The Seton Academy senior is a three-star recruit and the 11th-best prospect in Illinois, according to ESPN. The Gophers' pair of 2013 recruits matches the program's two from 2012. It's relatively early in the recruiting calendar for Smith, but pieces move quickly under the sixth-year coach at Minnesota. This year's squad boasts four seniors and transfers, and ineligibility has caused problems in the past.
Foster's size as a 6-foot-8-inch, 205-pound forward will buffer a major loss for Smith as the team's star forward Trevor Mbakwe is on his last year of eligibility. Minnesota will also have 6-foot-10-inch, 289-pound sophomore forward Maurice Walker back this season to help last year's backup center Elliott Eliason in the paint. Walker said Friday he was "100 percent" recovered from his right knee surgery.