Jan 23, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Gophers guard Gabe Kalscheur (22) looks to passes the ball during the second half against the Maryland Terrapins at Williams Arena. Mandatory Credit: Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports
Iowa State and new head coach T.J. Otzelberger picked up a major recruiting win on Saturday when Minnesota transfer Gabe Kalscheur announced his commitment to the program.
The Cyclones beat out the new Golden Gophers staff, Wisconsin and several others to land the three-year Big Ten starter, which speaks to the recruiting ability of Otzelberger and his staff.
Cyclone Fanatic caught up with Kalscheur Saturday evening to learn more about his commitment, how he sees himself fitting into next year’s roster and what has him most excited about joining Iowa State.
That full interview, with questions and answers lightly edited for clarity and brevity, can be read below.
CF: What made you want to commit to Iowa State?
Kalscheur: It was really I would say the coaching staff and just how much they believe in me, how much they put their trust and faith in me. They recruited me hard. I really have a deep and strong connection with Coach TJ and Coach Green and Coach Robinson the rest of the coaching staff. Also, I just feel my style of play fits really well with the Big 12 so I’m really excited to play up-tempo basketball, but also the physicality. I feel like it’s going to be a lot of fun. I feel like with the team we have and the recruits we are getting, it’s going to be a really good team.
CF: Did you have a prior relationship with somebody on the coaching staff?
Kalscheur: I knew Coach Green. I knew him when he was a coach at UNI because they recruited me when I was a freshman. I built a strong relationship with him. I also played AAU basketball against his son AJ Green when he played for the Iowa Barnstormers.
CF: How would you describe yourself as a player?
Kalscheur: As a player, I’m a hard-nosed defender and I’m a lights-out shooter. I’m still feeling out the shot. I know shooting-wise the trigger numbers these last few years, I still have it. It’s more confidence based and I’m getting that confidence back from a loving and supportive coaching staff that’s going to give me that confidence. I’m super excited. Also, I’m a high IQ guy. I played in the Big Ten for three years. I know what it takes to win games, win close games and tough gritty games as well. It’s really about the little things. The teams that went far in the tournament, you see Baylor, they do the little things, they play together, they really care about defense and they’re all connected on the defensive and offensive end. I take pride in the defensive part but also the offensive part. My passing as well, I feel that’s an underrated part of my game. I love to get my teammates involved and distribute the ball, but also be aggressive at the same time.
CF: Have you gotten a chance to connect with any of the guys already on the roster or any of the other recruits?
Kalscheur: Pretty much the whole Iowa State team reached out to me congratulating me on my commitment. I really feel like part of the Cyclone family. They did a great job reaching out, being supportive and being loving through that. I also reached out to Tyrese Hunter and congratulated him on re-committing just a little bit after me. I’m excited to play with him. I watched his highlights and got a feel for his game. He’s a hard-nosed, unselfish player who loves to play defense and lock up. That’s the kind of guy in the backcourt that I feel like I’m going to thrive with having him on my side in the backcourt.
CF: Do you have any sort of message you want to give Cyclone nation before you get to Ames?
Kalscheur: I’m excited. I’m excited to put in the work, to put in the effort and the time and to bring the magic back into Cyclone nation. I’m super excited. I’m excited to embrace this fanbase. I know it’s a loving and supportive fanbase as I’ve heard from alumni that played before. I’m super excited and I’m grateful to be part of Cyclone nation.