Minnesota has landed the services of four-star center, Dennis Evans. Coming to Minnesota from California, Evans is a huge recruiting win for Ben Johnson and staff. Evans is currently ranked as the 31st best player in the country according to the 247 Composite rankings. He is the 4th best center overall and the 8th best player in the state of California.
Evans is a former teammate of Jaden Henley and had a unique approach to recruiting. One where NIL was not the primary factor, but instead Evans developed a relationship with Coach Johnson and really liked how he would fit in their style of play.
He was heavily pursued by Kansas, but it wasn’t the right fit for him. And his recruitment ultimately came down to the Gophers and TCU.
The biggest thing that Evans is going to bring to the Williams Arena floor is elite shot-blocking ability. The Gophers will have a defensive rim protector from day 1 with Evans.
His scoring around the basket is pretty good too, he has good footwork and movement around the rim, looking a little bit like Kevin McHale on the block. It is admittedly a loose comparison, but those long (skinny) arms and patience from the post is a bit reminiscent.
Ryan James of GopherIllustrated caught up with Evans’ Coach Kool. Here is a bit of a scouting report from his high school coach.
“Number one, Dennis is an A1 defender. He controls the paint really well and there will be no easy scores around the basketball when Dennis is on the floor. He has a 7-foot-7 wing span plus he is 7-foot-2 and athletic. He is A1 and his defense is A+. There is no doubt about it, Dennis is a big time defender.
“Offensively he is about a B- right now. He is getting better. He is starting to shoot the three, he can put it on the floor some, he is starting to become a big time player. And Dennis is not a held back kid that went to a prep school or anything like that, he will graduate high school and enter college at the age of 17.”
There is work to be done with Evans offensively, he is a bit raw. But he has had a great summer of AAU ball, he will have another high school season to continue to get better and I fully expect that he will be an immediate impact player for the Gophers next winter.
What is next for the Gophers? With the elite shooting guard, Cameron Christie also on board for the 2023 class, this is shaping up to be a highly-ranked Gopher recruiting class. The biggest need with their remaining 2 scholarships is a point guard.
For now, enjoy these highlight videos of Evans as we get excited about seeing him at The Barn next season.
Dennis Evans (Center, Hillcrest)— Global Scouting (@GlobalScouting_) July 19, 2022
7’1”, 7’7” wingspan, 210 lbs
- Projectable jumper long term. Smooth shot mechanics at his age and size.
- A lob threat at all times given his wide catch radius.
- One of the best shot-blocking prospects in the world, regardless of age and class. pic.twitter.com/GbAoZvnbIU