Dawson Garcia in the portal

HawkNorth

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I believe that Iowa made a strong push for Garcia when he was a senior. He’s back home in MN now, so getting him away from the Gophers might be a challenge. Wonder if the Hawks are taking a look.

Dawson Garcia enters transfer portal, and Gophers are in hot pursuit​

Marcus Fuller , Star Tribune
Former Prior Lake star Dawson Garcia played 16 games for North Carolina this season.
Gophers coach Ben Johnson and his staff are making a huge push to land what would be one of the highest-rated recruits in team history with former Prior Lake and North Carolina forward Dawson Garcia, who entered the transfer portal Wednesday.

Johnson, who finished 13-17 in his first season with the Gophers, was a teammate of the last McDonald's All-America to play for the U — Kris Humphries in 2003-04. Garcia was the state's No. 2 prospect and a McDonald's All-America selection with former Minnehaha Academy star Jalen Suggs in 2020.

A 6-11 sophomore, Garcia averaged 9.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and shot 37.5% from three-point range in 16 games this season for first-year UNC coach Hubert Davis, including 12 starts.

In February, Garcia left North Carolina to return home to Minnesota to support his family as they suffered through severe health issues and experienced tragedy due to COVID-19. The Tar Heels reached the NCAA title game before falling to Kansas.

"Congratulations to all of Tar Heel Nation on a great finish to the season!" Garcia tweeted Wednesday. "With all that has happened with my family this past year, I have decided to stay in closer proximity to them. Thank you Tar Heel Nation for accepting me into your family ... all the best!"

Garcia was recruited by Johnson as an under-the-radar high school sophomore, but he eventually became one of the top big men in the 2020 class nationally. He signed to play for Marquette over the Gophers and Indiana after Johnson left Richard Pitino's staff for Xavier.

In the end, Pitino and his staff without Johnson went all out on their sales pitch to Garcia two years ago, even showing a video at Williams Arena during his official visit that portrayed him as a hometown hero.

"It definitely gave me the chills," Garcia said at the time. "For me, I got to look at that, but also see what's best for me. If it's that then it's awesome."

As a Marquette freshman, Garcia averaged 13.0 points and 6.6 rebounds in 2020-21. His last game with the Tar Heels was in a Jan. 22 loss to Wake Forest, finishing with seven points and five rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench.

Seven Gophers seniors departed this year, including four starters. The opportunity is there for Garcia and other newcomers to step into a major role and bolster a roster that includes the U's leading scorer and rebounder, Jamison Battle.

The NCAA's one-time transfer rule came into effect last year, but players who are transferring multiple times need to receive a hardship waiver to avoid sitting out a season.
 

Franisdaman

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Iowa was one of his original (at least) 24 offers.

Prior Lake MN to the U of Minnesota campus is 35 minutes.

Prior Lake MN to Iowa City is 4 1/2 hours.

From what I have seen, he's likely headed to Minny.


 
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HoustonREDHawk

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Unless he already said no.

Why does EVERY recruit that Iowa formerly recruited have to be a must get?

Edit: this kid would be a great get.
Huh? I just suggested that they contact him to see whether he has any interest in Iowa. A player like Garcia is going to be badly needed if Kris leaves. Since they have a previous relationship with him, a call would make a lot sense.
 

BBHawk

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Huh? I just suggested that they contact him to see whether he has any interest in Iowa. A player like Garcia is going to be badly needed if Kris leaves. Since they have a previous relationship with him, a call would make a lot sense.
Just saying that it probably already happened and that it's a 2-way street. I just don't see McC leaving that stone unturned unless Garcia burned his bridges.
 

HawkRugged17

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Garcia will be a Gopher.

200.gif
 

Franisdaman

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Dawson Garcia commits to Gophers coach Ben Johnson on second visit

The 6-11 North Carolina transfer and Prior Lake product visited the Gophers for the second time with his family on Monday.

By Marcus Fuller
Minneapolis Star Tribune
APRIL 18, 2022 — 10:19PM

Prior Lake's Dawson Garcia heard how much Ben Johnson wants to get Gophers men's basketball back in contention, so he was "filled with excitement" to announce Monday he'll be jumping on board to help kick-start the program.

The 6-11 North Carolina transfer committed Monday afternoon with an Instagram post that said "homegrown" after his second visit to Minnesota's campus.

The Gophers hosted Garcia on Friday, and he made his decision official while returning to the U after the weekend with his family.

"It's like the coolest thing ever," Garcia told the Star Tribune. "Ben's done an unbelievable job to establish a culture in one year. I can only imagine what he's going to do in Year 2 and beyond.

"I'm excited to put on the uniform, but also when the time comes to be a proud alum and say I was part of the process of getting Minnesota basketball back."

Johnson landed one of the highest-rated recruits in recent team history. Garcia is the first McDonald's All-America to join the program since former NBA and Hopkins forward Kris Humphries in 2004.

After a surprising start during a 13-17 season and replacing 10 players, Johnson hasn't lost any players to the transfer portal and added a huge piece to a team that could make a significant jump next season.

Garcia could bolster a lineup that returns leading scorer and rebounder Jamison Battle. When he officially signs this week, Garcia will become the seventh scholarship player from Minnesota on the roster, most for the program since 2007-08.

Battle, Parker Fox and Treyton Thompson are returning. Johnson also signed Pharrel Payne, Braeden Carrington, and Joshua Ola-Joseph in the 2022 recruiting class.

"I'm excited to wear 'Minnesota' across my chest," Garcia said. "It's something that not too many people get to do, to represent the state."

The highly-skilled sophomore big man entered the transfer portal last Wednesday after averaging 9.0 points, 5.5 rebounds and shooting 37.5% from three-point range in 16 games this season for first-year North Carolina coach Hubert Davis, including 12 starts.

In late January, Garcia left North Carolina and returned home to Minnesota to support his family while it struggled with COVID-19, including tragic losses during the pandemic.

Garcia's last game with North Carolina was Jan. 22 at Wake Forest. The Tar Heels eventually reached the NCAA title game and fell to Kansas in New Orleans, but he was going through a "low point in my life."

"It was a very tough situation," Garcia said. "That's why I can't thank enough the people who were there for my family and had our back during that time. I'll never be able to truly repay them."

At Prior Lake, Garcia was a 2,000-point career scorer and averaged 31.9 points as a senior. Playing for Team USA, he was MVP of the 3-on-3 US 18U championships and World Cup in 2019, which included a gold medal victory in Mongolia.

Garcia, the second-best prospect in the state's 2020 class behind Minnehaha Academy's Jalen Suggs, was recruited heavily late by former Gophers coach Richard Pitino and his staff. But he signed with Marquette after he built a relationship with the Golden Eagles much earlier.

After averaging 13 points and 6.6 rebounds for Marquette in 2020-21, Garcia was named to the All-Big East freshman team. But after Golden Eagles coach Steve Wojciechowski was fired following a 13-14 season, Garcia decided to transfer to North Carolina, joining his former AAU teammate and Hopkins guard Kerwin Walton.

In the first 10 games for North Carolina, Garcia averaged 12.2 points, 6.1 rebounds, shot 47.8% from three and 49.4% from the field. The best of his three 20-point performances included a season-high 26 points in a Nov. 20 loss vs. Purdue.

Since this is Garcia's second transfer, the Gophers will need a hardship waiver granted by the NCAA for him to be immediately eligible. But Garcia could already picture himself with them while watching workouts on Monday.

"It was awesome being down at the practice facility," Garcia said. "It just felt it was yesterday when I played with some of those guys. I know a lot of them. There's a lot of home-state talent on this team."

 
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GoEagles23

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When a recruit's lead quote is, "It's like the coolest thing ever...", I don't want any part of them.
 

Richie Modano

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The Gophers are such a sleeping giant with all of their in-state talent, if they could ever get a good coach again. Maybe Johnson is the guy?
 
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DewHawk

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I have changed my mind about Johnson and think he may be a real improvement at Minnesota.
 

Franisdaman

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I have changed my mind about Johnson and think he may be a real improvement at Minnesota.


A lot of people immediately laughed at his hiring. Those people are pretty quiet now.

Johnson hasn't lost any players to the transfer portal and now has added a huge piece in Garcia.

Minny returns its leading scorer and rebounder, Jamison Battle.

When he officially signs this week, Garcia will become the 7th scholarship player from Minnesota on the roster, most for the program since 2007-08.

If Ben gets the Minnesota grown talent to come to the U of M, look out. Imagine if players like Jalen Suggs and Chet Holmgren, etc had stayed home?