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Updated: April 9th, 2013 11:01pm
Alex Foster decommits from Gophers, leaves incoming 'U' class vacant

Alex Foster decommits from Gophers, leaves incoming 'U' class vacant

by Nate Sandell
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Newly minted Minnesota Gophers men's basketball coach Richard Pitino will have several open roster spots to deal with in his first season.

The incoming Gophers recruiting class has been reset at zero after Seton Academy (Ill.) forward Alex Foster decommitted from Minnesota Tuesday night, multiple outlets reported.

Foster's departure comes less than a week after fellow recruit Alvin Ellis chose to opt out of his National Letter of Intent. The announcement of Ellis' decision occurred hours before news of Pitino's hiring had surfaced.

Foster and Ellis were the only members of the Gophers' 2013 recruiting class, brought in by previous coach Tubby Smith.

Foster, rated a three-star power forward prospect by, turned down offers from Illinois, Wisconsin, Purdue, Nebraska, Texas A&M and Northwestern when he committed to the Gophers last September.

Without Foster and Ellis, the Gophers have four scholarships available for the 2013 class. The Gophers, who finished the year 21-13 with a loss to Florida in the NCAA tournament's Round of 32, had four seniors graduate, including starters Trevor Mbakwe and Rodney Williams.

The parting of ways with Foster isn't necessarily a surprise. When Pitino was introduced on April 5, he didn't answer directly when asked if he anticipated following through with the commitments made under Smith. Instead, he emphasized his approach of molding his team to his specific outlook,

"We're looking to get the right fit, not just looking to fill scholarships," Pitino said. "I don't think that's the right way to do things."

Regardless, the Gophers' roster could look noticeably different when Pitino makes his debut in November.

Pitino is expected to be back in the Twin Cities on Wednesday. Following his initial introduction, he flew to the Final Four in Atlanta to be with his father, Rick, during Louisville's run to a national title. 

Nate Sandell is a contributor to
Email Nate | @nsandell