Gabe Kalscheur may be young, but his success in his freshman season with the Gophers men’s basketball team is due in large part to an old-school approach.
The 6-4 guard has started every game for the Gophers, often taking on the job of guarding the other team’s top perimeter player.
“He’s been terrific,” Gophers coach Richard Pitino said. The Gophers host 19th-ranked Iowa on Sunday at Williams Arena. “Clearly his start, with the tough schedule we played, was phenomenal. He won some games for us, hit some big shots for us. He’s got an unbelievable work ethic. He’s a throwback. He’s all business.”
Kalscheur played at DeLaSalle High School, where he was a part of three Class 3A state titles. So far with the Gophers he has averaged 9.7 points, hitting on 38.1 percent of his three-pointers. His late three-pointer was the game-winner against Washington early in the season. In a difficult last-second, two-point loss at No. 5 Michigan Tuesday, it was Kalscheur’s three-pointer that tied the game late.
Kalscheur admitted he is a bit surprised at how quickly he has become acclimated to Division I basketball, though the physical nature of the conference took some getting used to.
“I take it day-by-day, game-by-game,” he said. “I didn’t think it would come this quick. But I’ve always wanted to play at a high level. And the [opportunity] has come to me. So I’ve been ready for it.”
And the pressure that comes with it? “I just don’t let things come into my head too much as the game plays out,” he said.
Pitino said Kalscheur always stays after practice to get extra shots up. “He’s going to stick with his routine,” Pitino said.
• Pitino said the team has bounced back well from the last-second loss at Michigan.
“I think they’ve moved on, you know?” Pitino said. “We competed, we played well enough to put ourselves in position to win. We got a stop at a crucial moment, and the ball just kind of bounced the wrong way for us. But that’s life in the Big Ten. We try not to make it too big a deal when you win or lose.”
• Pitino on hosting Iowa at Williams Arena, where the Gophers are 9-1 this season: “It’s another opportunity. I mean, it’s a home game. Hopefully it’s a great environment versus a very good team.”