Posted On: 03/16/18 4:58 PM
Usually this is called Five Things to Know but we changed things up today. Today it’s One Big Thing to Know, plus some notes. Islanders back at state.
Gabe with the Performance of the Year. With the state title on the line, Gabe Kalscheur led the DeLaSalle Islanders back to state with a legendary clutch performances scoring 38 points including his final four threes of the game.
Chanhassen High School was the host and the massive gym was packed with basketball fans from the bottom row all the way back to the final row which looks about 75 yards away from the court. The cat walk was shoulder to shoulder, and coaches from Princeton and North Dakota were in the building along with Minnesota Head Coach Richard Pitino. Everyone was there to watch Orono vs DeLaSalle, a game the state of Minnesota has been waiting to see since last year’s end of the year classic. And it didn’t disappoint.
Gabe Kalscheur spent his Thursday night doing things that the University of Minnesota needs: taking charges, hitting threes opener or contested, and making clutch shots at the end of games. Kalscheur opened the game strong hitting three three-pointers in the first half on his way to 20 first half points. Gabe’s overall jumpshot is pure in every way and that has always been the case. What was special about Kalscheur’s shooting performance was the way he got open sharply cutting around screens squeezing his man out of space while opening up to the ball quickly getting feet set to make. It was a combination of intelligence on how to get open, the quickness to get to the spot, and the ability both mentally and skill wise to make.
Kalscheur also stepped into the oncoming path of Orono players to take two charges in the first half, and a third in the second half. Players came at Gabe full speed and he stuck out his chest, protected himself the best he could, and then took on a full speed opponent. Three charges in all. The second half had some low points, Gabe missed seven of nine foul shots which was a rare occurrence for him, but then with his team down a dozen with 5-6 minutes to go Gabe locked in.
Kalscheur moved around screens to catch and hit his last four three-pointers of the game and these weren’t just shots that included great cuts to get open and great form, it was more than that. Kalscheur had the fate of his team on his shoulders with a DeLaSalle defender forcing him to make most of the shots off balance in a clutch situation. Kalscheur came through, EVERY SINGLE TIME.
In the end Kalscheur had a game for the ages, 38 points on 11 of 20 shooting including seven three-pointers made. It was the culmination of a six or seven week hot stretch where Gabe is seemingly making everything. Add in the nine foul shots he made and it gave him a monster 38 in an 80-78 victory.
One. Jarvis Thomas had the late game error but it was still an impressive performance from the future Gopher. Thomas made half of his attempts, all of his foul shots, a three, grabbed 18 rebounds plus the 17 points, and blocked six shots.
Two. The incredible shooting of Gabe Kalscheur somewhat over shadowed the fact that Max Bjorklund was also excellent putting together a 28 point game led by six made threes. Bjorklund showed more explosion going at the rim than I’ve seen in the past as well.
Three. Tyrell Terry had a tough shooting night but the most important thing he did was move the basketball to spots where Gabe could catch and hit coming off screens, and to places where a slashing CJ Dickson could finish as well. Terry had some outstanding separation into attacks for the playmaking that led to his four scores and six assists.
Four. CJ Dickson came off the bench and slashed his way to his first dozen points and then he hit the game winning foul shots for the DeLaSalle win. A dozen points and a solid defensive performances.
Five. Colton Codute is one of the tougher PGs I’v seen pound for pound this year. He is steady, tough, and consistently produces. Colton has become a better player than I think many every expected him to and he will be a steal for whatever college program grabs him.