UNC Transfer Dawson Garcia Commits to Minnesota

Photo: Maggie Hobson – University of North Carolina

On Monday afternoon, North Carolina Tar Heels transfer, Dawson Garcia, committed to the Minnesota Gophers. In doing so, he immediately becomes the biggest recruiting win of Ben Johnson’s young coaching career, high school or transfer. The hometown 6’11” inside-out big man will have three years of eligibility remaining.

Dawson Garcia is from Prior Lake, MN and comes with 1.5 years of experience on the power-5 stage. He committed to Marquette (class of 2020) as a nationally top-50 ranked (5-star) prospect out of high school, becoming yet another missed in-state recruiting opportunity for Richard Pitino.

After a quality individual season as a Freshman (13 PTS, 6.6 REB), his coach was fired at Marquette so Garcia entered the transfer portal. From there, he committed to North Carolina, but his sophomore 2021-22 campaign lasted just a half season (9 PTS, 5.5 REB). He left Chapel Hill after 16 games, citing multiple family tragedies that were taking place back home in Prior Lake.

Hometown Option Likely From Start

When Garcia started thinking about basketball again, the University of Minnesota was the most logical choice. He wants to be closer to home and his family. And if he wants to play college basketball anywhere outside of UNC in 2022-23, Dawson Garcia will need a hardship transfer waiver approved by the NCAA, since this isn’t his first ride in the portal.

All of that led experts around college basketball to pinpoint Dinkytown as his likely destination, even before he hit the portal last week. But, nothing is a guarantee in the State of Minnesota Misery until it’s signed, sealed and delivered. So today, we celebrate. This is a huge step forward for Ben Johnson’s program.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan