The UND men's basketball team hopes its landed the center of the future.
Gavin McGrath, a 6-foot-10 senior from Onalaska, Wis., has given his verbal commitment to play for the Fighting Hawks.
"I really liked the coaches, and I think they did a good job developing their bigs, which is big for me," McGrath said.
McGrath, who was 6-6 in eighth grade, is a strong defensive player and an evolving offensive player, according to his high school coach Craig Kowal.
"I think first and foremost his biggest asset is changing the game on the defensive end," Kowal said. "For a kid his size, he moves extremely well. Most importantly, he has a knack of altering and blocking shots. He does it without fouling. He has very good timing when he does go up to contest. That's hard to teach. Defensively, he's been a game-changer."
McGrath is the lone big man in UND's recruiting pipeline. Junior Filip Rebraca, sophomore Gertautas Urbonavicius and junior transfer Mitchell Sueker are the Fighting Hawks' options inside.
McGrath averaged 6 points and 6 rebounds last season.
"If you look at the stats on the offensive end, he's still evolving and that's very typical for 6-10 kids," Kowal said. "I think the thing we're most impressed with is he shoots the ball with a soft touch and it comes off his hand really nice. He does need -- like most big kids -- added strength and weight."
Onalaska plays at the Division 2 level of Wisconsin and finished 23-2 last year. Onalaska was the No. 1 ranked team in the state most of the season but was knocked out in the playoffs in a coronavirus-impacted setting that was supposed to be a sellout crowd.
McGrath plays AAU basketball in the summer for a Wisconsin team that has had to play tournaments in Minnesota because of the coronavirus restrictions in his home state.
McGrath is the second verbal commitment of the 2021 recruiting class for UND, which has also received a verbal from point guard Paul Bruns of Sioux City, S.D.