Former Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur announced Saturday on Twitter he's transferring to play for Iowa State next season.
Kalscheur, who averaged 9.2 points and 2.9 rebounds as a junior at Minnesota, was the eighth Gophers player in the transfer portal from last season.
"I would like to thank the University of Minnesota community, fans, and my teammates for all their love and support the past [three] years," Kalscheur tweeted. "Minnesota will always be home to me. I am excited about the next chapter and fresh start in my college basketball career at Iowa State University."
The former DeLaSalle star missed the last seven games after suffering a broken finger on his right (shooting) hand Feb. 16. He had started all 88 games of his career before the season-ending injury.
Kalscheur transferring wasn't a reflection on his views of new Gophers coach Ben Johnson and recently hired assistant Dave Thorson, he told the Star Tribune. He just needed a fresh start somewhere else.
"It had nothing to do with them," Kalscheur said in a text message Saturday. "They will always be family."
Johnson recruited Kalscheur previously as Richard Pitino's assistant. Kalscheur also played high school basketball under Thorson, who was announced with William & Mary's Jason Kemp on Johnson's staff on Friday.
As a freshman, Kalscheur scored 24 points with five three-pointers to lead the Gophers in a win over Louisville in the NCAA tournament first round in Des Moines in 2019.
In his first two seasons, Kalscheur led the Gophers in threes made and set the freshman record with 77 three-pointers on 41% shooting in 2018-19. Last season, Kalscheur averaged career highs in rebounds (2.9), assists (1.8) and free throw percentage (86%), but he also shot 24.5% from three.
"I know he's struggled a little bit from three," said his former teammate Daniel Oturu earlier. "But he can do so many other things on the court that I don't think people knew about. He can get to the basket. He can play defense. That's one thing for sure that will never drop off for Gabe. It's his defense ability. Being able to guard the other team's best player."
Pitino's entire high-profile 2018 local recruiting class is now gone from the program. Kalscheur was the last member still on the team to end the season. Former Cretin-Derham Hall standout Oturu left after his sophomore year to get drafted into the NBA by the Los Angeles Clippers. Former Orono standout Jarvis Omersa, who is in the transfer portal, opted out earlier this season because of the pandemic and frustration over his role.
Kalscheur was the only Gophers player in the transfer portal considering returning to the team. Other starters from last season also in the portal include All-Big Ten guard Marcus Carr, Jamal Mashburn Jr., Tre' Williams and Liam Robbins, the Big Ten's top shot blocker.
The Gophers finished just 1-6 without both Robbins (ankle sprain) and Kalscheur in the lineup due to injuries. They finished with a 14-15 record before Pitino was fired last month.
Johnson will have nine scholarships available for next season if no players in the portal return. Junior Both Gach and sophomore Isaiah Ihnen are the only players expected right now to be back from last season's roster.
Minnesota already landed transfers Jamison Battle (George Washington), E.J. Stephens (Lafayette) and Luke Loewe (William & Mary).
From the U's 2021 recruiting class, Pitino signed 6-11 seniors Kenny Pohto and Treyton Thompson, but Pohto is likely to reopen his recruitment.
Thompson, a former Alexandria standout, said he has already spoken to Johnson about planning to join the team next season. With Kalscheur's departure, Thompson, Gach and Battle are the three Minnesotans projected to be on the 2021-22 roster.