Marcus Fuller, a writer for the Star Tribune, recently published an article saying that the prized recruit of the 2023 recruiting cycle for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Dennis Evans, has asked to be released from signing his National Letter of Intent. Evans is 7-foot-1 210 pounds and is ranked in the Top 10 best center prospects by 247 Sports.
Not long after 247 Sports writer Ryan James corroborated the story and published an article detailing why he thinks the highly coveted big man asked for a release from his NLI.
According to James, he believes Evans wanted out for three proposed reasons: Minnesota does not have many NIL opportunities, the Gophers production in conference play over the past two years, and the lack of accountability with players. James writes:
"“And Evans has a former teammate on the current Gopher team who is playing a lot, and in my opinion has been allowed to play through constant mistakes on both ends of the floor. There is no doubt that is a factor as well although in what way it was a factor we really don’t know.”"
What is interesting in this fast-moving development is how quickly he was projected to come to Louisville.
Trevor Andershock, a contributor for Indiana University’s 247 Sports site, predicted the big man to come to Louisville. Not even a Louisville contributor has done that at this point, which could be telling of Kenny Payne’s interest in him has already spread across the Ohio River and filled the Bloomington airs.
If KP does land him, he would be a huge addition (both physically and metaphorically) to the Cardinals’ front court that could likely be without Zan Payne, a graduate student, and Sydney Curry, a senior. The other big men Evans would share the floor with are, potentially, Roosevelt Wheeler, Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, and recent addition Emmanuel Okorafor.
For a team that has been rumored to land another big man from the NBA Africa Academy, likely center Churchill Abass, it is noticeable that Louisville is rumored to land yet another center. But, a nationally regarded talent such as Dennis Evans, it doesn’t really matter what position he is. If he’s available on the market, you go get him. And that appears to be what Head Coach Kenny Payne is doing.
Hopefully he can add some guard talent to this roster at some point this off-season, whether it be through the transfer portal or scouting the nation for available talent. Maybe even reaching out to a guy like Skyy Clark, to see if he would want to come join the Cardinals and help restore them back to the successful program they were for so long.