New Michigan basketball commit Will Tschetter has 'gift for scoring'
There were many nights last season where Will Tschetter would have two or three defenders draped over him at all times.
They would grab him on the perimeter. They would wrestle with him in the post. The efforts, though, were futile against the forward on most occasions.
“That didn't slow him down much,” Adam Girtman, Tschetter’s coach at Stewartville (Minnesota) High, said.
By the end of the year, Tschetter led the state of Minnesota in scoring and racked up an astounding 1,041 points, the 10th-highest single-season scoring output in state history.
That bodes well for the Michigan basketball team, which added the high-scoring prospect to its 2021 recruiting class on Monday when Tschetter announced his commitment through his high school program’s Twitter account.
According to Girtman, Tschetter has started on varsity since his freshman year and has been the team’s leading scorer each season, with his offensive production increasing by double digits every year. He averaged roughly 11 points as a freshman, around 22 points as a sophomore and 33.6 points as a junior.
“He has always had the gift to put the ball in the hoop, a gift for scoring,” Girtman told The Detroit News. “As a 6-foot-6 freshman, you're a little unorthodox. But he's grown into his body (at 6-8, 225 pounds) and he's a pretty powerful force.”
Tschetter is ranked a three-star recruit and the No. 149 prospect in the nation, per the 247Sports composite. He’s also rated the No. 2 recruit in Minnesota behind five-star star center Chet Holmgren, the No. 2 player in the country. Holmgren also holds a Michigan offer and listed the Wolverines among his seven finalists.
Girtman noted Tschetter is an efficient scorer at all three levels and has been one of Stewartville’s top shooters the past three years. Last season, he shot 60% from the field and 45% from 3-point range (67-for-149). He also went 84% from the free-throw line with 258 makes on 308 attempts, with the latter two marks ranking the fifth- and eight-highest single-season totals in state history.
On top of that, Girtman added Tschetter has become more effective at getting to the basket off the bounce, a part of his game he’s worked on the last two years.
“He can shoot from the outside, he has an array of post moves inside. He's almost unguardable at the high-school level,” Girtman said. “This year I think he can play all (positions). His ball-handling has improved tremendously. He can bring it up, he can play wherever we need him.”
While Girtman credits Tschetter’s work ethic and amount of time he puts in honing his craft for his success — “He’s already made over 25,000 3-pointers, if not more, since COVID hit in March,” Girtman estimates — there’s still room for improvement.
For example, Girtman said Tschetter could become more efficient at scoring off the bounce and knocking down one- or two-dribble pull-ups in transition.
“It's just a matter of time until he perfects every little part of his game,” Girtman said.
Tschetter’s recruitment started to take off in the spring following his junior season, where he also averaged 11 rebounds per game. After receiving a bunch of mid-major offers in April, the high-major offers started to roll in a month later.
He earned his first from Arkansas on May 27. Michigan, Minnesota and Nebraska followed suit on June 1, and Cincinnati, Iowa and Virginia Tech all joined the fray. Other programs like Creighton and Wisconsin also expressed interest.
Girtman said he believes Tschetter’s recruitment would’ve blown up sooner if AAU events weren’t canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and he would’ve been able to play in the spring.
“He's a 6-8 kid that can score from all over the floor, is not afraid to post up, uses his body well and he's strong at 225 (pounds), so he's got all the physical aspects you'd be looking for in a wing scorer and also as someone who can play inside,” Girtman said. “I mean, you can't say he was short-changed because of COVID. How much higher than Michigan can you really go based on the last few years?
“Ultimately, he ended up where he's at. It worked out."
Tschetter joins four-star wing Isaiah Barnes in what could be a large 2021 class for Michigan. The Wolverines have at least five available scholarships for the 2021-22 season — assuming transfer Chaundee Brown isn’t granted immediate eligibility — but that number could grow based on Brown’s waiver and any additional roster attrition next offseason.