Gophers coach Richard Pitino received a commitment Sunday from Turkish guard David Mutaf, he confirmed to the Star Tribune.
The 6-foot-6, 200-pound native of Istanbul was a member of the Turkey junior national team. He picked Minnesota over Arkansas, but was also being recruited by SEC, Big East and Pac-12 schools.
"I picked the Gophers, because I feel it’s the right fit for me," Mutaf told the Star Tribune through text message. "We had good comminication with [Pitino] and his staff. Also, I believe that they have a good team and even better fans. I want to help the team as much as I can, and want to make an impact -- and be the best team player I can be."
Mutaf, who averaged 22 points and shot 44 percent from three-point range for his club team in the Adidas Next Generation Tournament in February, is known for his long-range shooting and ability to create his own shot off the dribble. His older brother, Cam Maxim Mutaf, is a member of the Turkish senior national basketball team and a successful pro in his country.
In the last week, Mutaf said he was deciding between coming to play for the Gophers or staying in Turkey to pursue a pro career like his brother.
"It was one of the options for me," Mutaf said. "But I decide to play [college basketball] and continue school and play basketball at the same time [for] improvement."
After taking a virtual tour of Minnesota's facilities and campus earlier this month, Mutaf was able to learn more about the Gophers from fellow countryman and former Gophers forward Alihan Demir, who "helped me about my decision," Mutaf said.
Demir enjoyed his senior year in Minnesota last season after transferring from Drexel. He graduated with a master's degree from the U this month.
"I have met him," Demir told the Star Tribune. "He called me about the school and the team to get my opinions. I haven't really watched him play, but I heard that he is a good player."
The news was first reported by 247sports.com national recruiting director Evan Daniels, who called it "a quality addition for Minnesota. Gives Minnesota a major perimeter shooting threat."
Mutaf joins a 2020 freshman class that includes four-star recruits Jamal Mashburn Jr. from Brewster Academy (N.H.) and Martice Mitchell from Chicago Heights Bloom. Pitino, who still has one scholarsip remaining for next season, also signed transfers Liam Robbins from Drake and Brandon Johnson from Western Michigan.
The Gophers are hoping to add another transfer to finish the class. Utah wing Both Gach, a former Austin standout, is their top priority. Gach, who is being recruited by more than a dozen schools, took a virtual tour with Pitino and staff earlier in the week.