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Former Gophers center Matz Stockman is returning to the team after he initially pursued transferring to another school for his final season, sources told the Star Tribune on Tuesday.

Stockman, a 7-foot, 240-pound senior, is eligible to play this year after sitting out the 2017-18 season after transferring from Louisville.

The Gophers announced in June that Stockman was granted a release from his scholarship to play elsewhere as a graduate transfer. The Norway native committed to California in late June, but he decided to remain in Minnesota after the process to enroll at another school became too difficult.

Stockman’s initial departure left Minnesota coach Richard Pitino with an open scholarship for the 2018-19 season. He recruited North Dakota grad transfer Geno Crandall, but the Minneapolis native ended up picking Gonzaga over the Gophers.

Last week, Kansas transfer Sam Cunliffe mentioned Minnesota among the schools he was considering, but Pitino no longer has a scholarship available with Stockman expected back.

The center position gets deeper with Stockman’s return. He will compete with redshirt sophomore Eric Curry and freshman Daniel Oturu for playing time this season. Curry (knee) and Oturu (shoulder) were recovering from injuries this summer and won’t be cleared for full contact in practice until the fall.