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Maybe not: Drew Peterson backs out of commitment

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Rice transfer initially indicated intention to transfer to Minnesota

NCAA Basketball: Minnesota at Indiana Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Like recruiting, nothing is truly final until the ink has dried and the player is suited up and actively playing. Richard Pitino and the Gophers were reminded of that Friday when Rice transfer Drew Peterson, who had initially announced his commitment to Minnesota earlier in the week, reneged on that commitment and reopened his recruitment. He left the door semi-open to re-commit to the Gophers, but made no indication of his near-term plans.

“After discussing with my family, I am reopening my recruitment,” Peterson posted on Twitter on Friday. “Minnesota is still very much a possibility for me. I hope everyone understands the importance of making such a big life choice during these unprecedented times. Please respect my decision.”

It was a frustrating reminder for the program that verbal commitments are not binding, and now leaves the team scrambling to fill a spot in the starting rotation for the upcoming season. This comes on top of the early-week news that top high school target, Kerwin Walton, decided to go to North Carolina over Minnesota.

For Peterson, his announcement comes on the heels of murmurs that the NCAA likely will not grant immediate transfer waivers to athletes in 2020 due to COVID-19 disruptions, meaning that he would not be able to play immediately should he transfer to the U. Like Peterson, fellow transfer Liam Robbins may also face complications with immediate eligibility, as he is also due to sit out a year should the NCAA continue on its current path.

Now we see if Pitino goes back to other transfer targets to fill the spot. Marcus Fuller notes that there are still potential options available. At the very least, Minnesota’s depth for 2020-21 is not nearly as strong as it appeared just five days ago.