Head coach Richard Pitino announced Friday the addition of three student-athletes in Gabe Kalscheur (Edina, Minn./DeLaSalle HS), Jarvis Omersa (Orono, Minn./Orono HS), and Daniel Oturu (Woodbury, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall). Each of the three Twin Cities natives signed their National Letters of Intent to join the Gophers next year.
The signing class ranks 22nd in the nation according to 247Sports and marking the second time in three years the Gophers have inked a top-25 recruiting class nationally.
“We couldn’t be happier to add these three quality student-athletes and people to our team next year,” said Pitino. “Each of them are about the right things in terms of how they compete on the court and their work in the classroom, and will add to our program in various ways. Having all grown up following and cheering on the Gophers, they have an immense amount of pride in representing their state and our University in positive ways.”
Kalscheur, a 6-4, 180-pound combo guard from Edina, averaged 18.1 points per game last year for DeLaSalle, where he has helped lead the Islanders to three straight 3A state titles during his prep career. Kalscheur is a four-star prospect according to ESPN.com, who also has him ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the state of Minnesota and 33rd nationally at the shooting guard position.
“Gabe is an outstanding shooter with an elite ability to score anywhere on the court, while also a great defender” said Pitino. “He comes from a winning tradition at DeLaSalle and will bring that attitude and mentality to our team right away.”
Omersa, is a 6-8, 220-pound forward. A three-star prospect who is listed among the nation’s top 150 athletes, Omersa averaged 15.9 points and 10.5 rebounds per game on 61.6 percent field goal shooting for the Spartans, while also adding 3.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.9 blocks per game. Omersa’s high school coach is Barry Wohler, a two-year member of the Gopher baseball team and 1983 draft pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Omersa was previously known as Jarvis Thomas.
“Our fans are going to love the way Jarvis plays the game,” said Pitino. “He brings a hard-nosed work ethic to the game, plays hard and competes every day, and has tremendous athleticism as shown by his success in football as well as basketball.”
A consensus four-star prospect among the top-40 in the nation, Oturu is a 6-10, 220-pound center who is one of the highest recruits in recent Gopher history dating back to current NBA star Kris Humphries. Oturu, who has led his Raiders squad to a preseason top ranking in the state, averaged a double-double of 18.6 points and 14.7 rebounds per game on 63.1 percent shooting last season. Oturu blocked six shots per game, while also dishing 62 assists (2.3 apg) and swiping 50 steals (1.9 spg). He led the metro in blocks and was second in rebounds per game last year, in which he was named to the Star Tribune All-Metro Second Team.
“Daniel is one of the best big men prospects in the country, and will fill an immediate need for our team,” Pitino said. “His combination of offensive and defensive skills will add another dimension to our inside game.”
All three are teammates on the Howard Pulley Panthers AAU team. Last season, the squad tied for the Nike EYBL Division B title with a 13-3 record, advancing to the Peach Jam where they went 3-2. Kalscheur was second on the team with 17.7 points per game, while Oturu added 11.9 points per game along with a team-high 10 rebounds per contest. Omersa was third in rebounding (6.3 rpg) and second in blocks (1.3 bpg) and assists (2.7 apg).
The trio of freshmen will join current Gopher center Matz Stockman as newcomers to the roster next year, as the Louisville transfer sits out this season due to NCAA transfer rules.
The Gophers open the 2017-18 season Friday night, hosting USC Upstate at 7:00 p.m. at Williams Arena.
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