Richard Pitino’s 2018 class was touted pretty highly, especially in the home-state of Minnesota. Little Ricky quietly landed 3 out of the top 4 High School seniors in the state.
Daniel Oturu was the gem of the class. A national top-50 prospect, and considered to be college-ready as a Freshman; able to block shots and post big rebound numbers, while still being effective offensively vs Big Ten front court opponents. Outside of looking a little overwhelmed at times in his first two games, there’s been no reason to doubt that Dan will live up to those lofty expectations.
However, the lowest ranked recruit of this Freshman class has caught my eye early. Gabe Kalscheur was touted as a 3-pt dead-eye coming out of DeLaSalle HS in Minneapolis. He was also mentioned by those at GopherIllustrated.com (among others) as a very solid defensive player. Your classic “3 and D” guy. Immediately I wondered if he might see extended playing time early, especially for a Freshman, given those are two areas on this team that needed drastic improvement.
With all of that being said, I didn’t expect him to start immediately. I also didn’t expect him to go 5-6 from deep in his first big game as a Gopher. Gabe will also suffocate you and eat you head-first on defense. It’s not in this video but you’ll see it for yourself if you haven’t watched yet and coach Pitino will tell you (2nd video below).
His game gets me so fucking jacked. His shot is so beautiful… Try standing up after watching him shoot. I dare you.
Here’s the thing about Gabe. He isn’t the fastest player on the floor but he makes up for it with quick twitch movements. You can really notice when you see how quickly he reacts to movement on defense. He’s also not going to jump through the roof like Jarvis will. But, he doesn’t need to.
But, Gabe is the perfect player for today’s game. In a day where defense isn’t instilled in most of the young players around the top programs nationwide, Gabe clearly has made that a priority. That sets him ahead of the curve. A curve that a lot of players will never get to, while at this level. On the offensive side, he’s made 3-point shooting a priority. Smart move. If you can shoot over 40% from deep, you will play. Anywhere.
Again, he’s the perfect weapon for this team and he would be successful elsewhere because of the 3-pt shooting and defensive ability. Kalscheur can still get physical and get into the lane though too. This shouldn’t surprise anyone because if a guy is known as a big time defender, they’re usually able to bang around inside at both ends of the floor.
All of these great qualities don’t even rise to the top of the list, though. The best part about Gabe seems to be the part that we don’t get to see as fans. He treats the game like an opportunity. He already approaches it as a professional. It makes sense because of where he excels. Being a dead-eye takes practice. Clean and simple. A lot of shots. Day-in and day-out. Defense takes hard work, concentration, and accountability.
Plus, I’ll take Richard’s word for it because you don’t hear him talk about all of his athletes like this. Little Ricky keeps it real:
Minnesota Sports Fan