Gophers basketball: Once-prized recruit Dennis Evans not medically cleared at Louisville

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The one who got away will be far from a court for the rest of the men’s college basketball season.

Freshman center Dennis Evans, who spurned the Gophers coming out of high school in Riverside, Calif., will “not be medically cleared to compete at the University of Louisville moving forward,” a Cardinals team spokesman was quoted by The Courier Journal on Thursday.

Evans, a 7-foot-1, four-star prospect, was considered one of the best prospects in the 2023 recruiting class. He signed a national letter of intent with Minnesota in November 2022 before asking and receiving a release from the agreement in February.

Evans averaged 1.6 points and 0.9 rebounds across 9.1 minutes in seven games this season. He started five games, showing an ability to change shots on the defensive end but also a need to develop on the offensive side.

Evans, 18, is dealing with a shoulder injury and has not played since Nov. 29. He is not currently on the Louisville campus but back home in California, the Courier Journal said. The team spokesman told the newspaper Evans is still a member of the basketball program.

“We are disappointed by the news and will not be releasing any additional information out of respect for Dennis’ privacy,” the statement said.

Louisville (5-8, 0-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) coach Kenny Payne has had three members of his 2023 class no longer playing this season.

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