College Basketball | Gach, Utah set to take on Gophers
The cold wind hitting him in the face actually felt good to Both Gach.
That happened Saturday, as the Utah men’s basketball team arrived in Minneapolis in preparation for Monday’s 8 p.m. (Big Ten Network) game at Minnesota.
“Seeing the snow, having the weather hit you a little bit — it felt good,” said Gach, a 6-foot-7 guard who played for three years at Austin High School until transferring last year to Arizona Compass Prep School in Chandler, Ariz., for his final season of high school basketball. “It felt good being back here and seeing some of the people who I grew up with.”
Gach, after averaging 24 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists at Arizona Compass, signed this past June with Utah and its head coach Larry Krystkowiak.
Gach was listed as a four-star guard by at least one recruiting service. He also considered San Diego State, Texas Tech and Oregon before committing to Utah.
Now that he is in Minnesota for a three-day stretch, he’s taken the time to not only get bitten by the cold and see family and friends, but to get ready to play in his third college basketball game.
Gach and his Utes started off with a lopsided exhibition win over College of Idaho, then beat Maine 75-61. Gach played 19 minutes and had 12 points and three assists in the College of Idaho game, then had four points and an assists in 18 minutes against Maine.
Gach says he is playing point and shooting guard for Utah, which he expects to continue the rest of the season.
Though he’s enjoying his time as a Division I player at a major college, there has been some adjusting.
“At this level, they expect you to learn things right away,” Gach said. “That is an adjustment from high school. But I think I am mostly doing solid there. What I have really liked is my teammates. This is a great group of guys. Our chemistry is getting better and better, and we love being with each other.”
Gach is now a relative veteran at adjusting. That was kick-started last year, when he left his star twin brother Duoth Goth (now playing at junior college North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton) and the powerful Austin basketball program to play at prep school Arizona Compass, where he was coached by former Michigan State guard Ray Weathers.
Gach made the move mostly for exposure.
“I got exposed to lots of different things,” Gach said. “It was a good opportunity for me to move to Arizona and try new things. I did get homesick, especially at first. I missed my Austin guys. But as time went on, I got used to it.”
There shouldn’t be lots of adjusting on Monday night as Gach takes on the Gophers at Williams Arena. Gach, who says he wasn’t recruited by Minnesota, played on the Williams Arena’s raised floor during state tournament runs with Austin.
He has also played with and against a number current Gophers, during high school seasons and while playing AAU basketball. That includes John Marshall graduate Michael Hurt, as well as Minnesota freshmen Gabe Kalscheur (DeLaSalle), Daniel Oturu (Cretin-Derham Hall) and Jarvis Omersa (Orono).
“Those are good guys,” Gach said. “It’s going to be a fun night.”