Alex Conover

Open Period Friday: Kalscheur is Lights Out

The NCAA Open Period kicked off last night and Gopher coaches spread out to New York City, Virginia, and Dallas to see talent. What did they see? GI lets you know.


The EYBL in Hampton was considered the main event so Minnesota had Head Coach Richard Pitino and assistant Ben Johnson looking on.  In game one they watched wing Keyontae Johnson who you will remember is the player that Pitino watched at the end of March while the Minnesota State Tournament was going on,

Like the rest of the team, coaches, and fans, Johnson was witness to five star level Keldon Johnson put on an amazing show scoring 34 points on 14 of 23 shooting in a Boo Williams blowout win over Nike South Beach.  Keyontae Johnson had six boards, a couple steals, made both foul shots, and hit one of four shots for his five points.  But on this day it was the Keldon Johnson show.  Both Pitino and Johnson watched this game.

From their Pitino and Johnson moved over to the Howard Pulley contest against Albany City Rocks.  Gopher committed Daniel Oturu grabbed eight boards and blocked a couple shots but shot only five times in the Pulley three point loss.  Daniel made two of those five shots for his six points.

The Gopher staff saw Gabe Kalscheur have a big night knocking out five of seven three-point attempts for his 19 points.  Gabe was also in on four steals but the big point was him knocking down those five threes on the biggest stage in the spring.

The Gopher staff joined assistants from Duke, Scott Drew from Baylor, Steve Alford from UCLA, Roy Williams from North Carolina, and others watching Tre Jones.  Jones set Kalscheur up for many of his looks on his way to eight assists.  Jones also had four steals and made four of ten looks (and four of five foul shots) for his dozen points.

Also for Pulley, 2017 Tywhon Pickford made three treys as he competes as one of the few seniors trying to get one last look in front of college coaches.  Power forward Jarvis Thomas made all three of his shots in his Pulley debut.

From there GI isn’t exactly sure where the staff went for the third session (or if they traveled to another destination) but there were a few late night EYBL possibilities:

·         Minnesota center Adam Trapp plays for Playground Elite.  Adam didn’t play much but he scored once and grabbed a couple boards.  Teammate Keshawn Justice scored 16 points in the Playground Elite win.  Johnson made four treys and he’s a player that Minnesota watched last fall.

·         The PSA Cardinals struggled greatly losing 48-36 to Nike Phoenix Phamily. Gopher offered Isaiah Mucius scored once and joined many teammates in a tough game.

·         Minnesota has offered 2019 Kofi Cockburn who is playing with the New York Rens.  Kofi had eight points and 11 rebounds in front of a nice group of coaches.  Also, Khalid Moore, who Minnesota has contacted, scored ten.

New York City

Minnesota assistant Kimani Young found himself in a very familiar area, his home town of New York City.  And who did he likely watch?  His former team New Heights.  New Heights defeated G3 Grind 71-66 led by the huge night from Sidney Wilson (24 points and 14 rebounds). 

The next two sessions had a lot of talent to observe for Young and other coaches (including 2019s in the 16U division).  The biggest local performance?  Young watched Minnesota high school freshman Jalen Suggs score 24 points for Grassroots Sizzle in a loss to Team Breakdown out of Florida.


Gopher assistant Ed Conroy was in Dallas where the Gopher staff has two events to observe: the Adidas Uprising and the NY2LA Lonestar Showdown.  Conroy’s first destination?  To join staff from Iowa State, Stanford, and of course Northern Iowa in watching AJ Green and the Iowa Barnstormers. Green scored 14 points for his team in a 17 point win.  Green made five of six foul shots and four of nine field goals including one triple.

We can’t say for sure who Conroy watched in session two in Dallas but offered guard Montez Mathis would make the most sense (from what we know).  Mathis was outstanding in Team BBC’s 15 point win over Basketball University.  Mathis had 23 points and six boards making nine of ten foul shots, a pair of threes, and half of his dozen attempts.

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