What Utah Transfer Both Gach Brings to Richard Pitino and Gopher Basketball
Richard Pitino continued his strong spring by adding yet another transfer on Monday Afternoon. Former Austin (MN) High School standout, Both Gach (who declared for the NBA draft earlier this spring) announced that he would be taking his talents from the University of Utah, back home to the University of Minnesota.
I would love to give a huge Thank you to all the schools that took the time to recruit me but at this time I’m excited to commit to the University of Minnesota and join coach Pitino and his staff ….. Excited to be back home 〽️ ?? pic.twitter.com/NeIeN2AtQB— Both Gach (@TutBoth) June 15, 2020
The former Utah Utes guard averaged 10.9 points and 2.9 assists in his sophomore year, while playing 33 minutes in each contest. Those numbers could’ve been better, too, if not for a knee injury that kept him out for four straight games. However, Gach still managed to have a couple really big performances, including games against Minnesota and Colorado.
I went back and watched his highlights from those games, and here are some components of his game that stuck out to me the most.
One of the best parts about Gach’s game is his finishing ability. He not only showed it in the Minnesota game, but also the Colorado game. He has a bag full of tricks and will use any of them to make defenders look silly. Just look at these highlights from both games:
In the first highlight from the Minnesota game, he receives the ball from his teammate, drives coast-to-coast, and then finishes around basically the whole Minnesota line-up. He also adjusted his body to get the perfect angle and then converted with ease.
In the next highlight, he again goes coast-to-coast, hesitates just enough to make Gabe Kalscheur commit to him, and then spins through Marcus Carr to, once again, convert the layup. This is terrific recognition by him, and just one of the many moves that will make Gophers fans excited to see him rock the Maroon and Gold.
Oh, and I can’t forget… he can also beat you with his left hand. Unfortunately, Daniel Oturu found that out the hard way:
If you can’t get enough of those highlights (or you don’t like watching our own Gopher squad get toasted , here are some clips from his game vs Colorado.
Beating All-Pac 12 guard McKinley Wright off the dribble? Check. Converting a left-hand scoop layup, while also getting fouled? Also check.
But can he beat Wright off the dribble for another bucket? Why, yes he can. Is he athletic enough to split two defenders with a euro-step, though? Well… just see for yourself.
Although Gach only shot 25% from three last year, he showed the ability to shoot the ball at a higher percentage elsewhere. He shot 56% on field goals inside the 3 point line. Here are some of those shots:
You would normally expect to see Gach take the ball to the basket when going coast-to-coast, but in this highlight, he actually pulls up for the three and converts with a swish… again vs the Gophers. In the second highlight, he shows off his shotmaking ability and converts while moving to his left.
Here’s another quick-release-three off the catch:
As you can see from the highlights, Both Gach has the ability and size to shoot the ball at a higher clip for the Gophers next season. Efficiency with outside shots is the biggest key to unlocking his full potential. Based on the Twitter videos below, it looks like that is exactly what he is working on.
Another important reason for Gach’s transfer to Minnesota is his ability to play both off and on the ball. With Marcus Carr running the show (hopefully), Gach will likely play a little more off-ball on offense.
Pitino also sold Gach on plenty of opportunities to play on the ball, too. Similar to Richard Pitino utilized Amir Coffey during his Junior season, Gach has a lot of the same skill sets. Here are some highlights of Gach assisting his teammates:
With these traits, Gach could be the player that vaults the Gophers from the middle or bottom of the Big Ten, towards the top of the Big Ten. And if Drake transfer Liam Robbins receives a waiver for the 2020-21 season, that combo makes it even more likely.
Gach is another excellent addition for the Gophers but he and Robbins will both need waivers to play immediately. Until that happens, everything is up in the air.
Carson Ruen | Minnesota Sports Fan