Just to prove what kind of accomplishment this really was; Michigan State’s Earvin “Magic” Johnson was the last Big Ten freshman to record a triple-double when he had 11 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists vs. Detroit in 1977. How’s that for company?
By: Nick Grays
It was just one of those games for the product of Port Washington, WI. There wasn’t anything Gasser couldn’t do on the court on that particular Sunday as he appeared to perfectly fit into the Badgers swing offense.
For Gasser, it was just another day of hard work.
“I just went out there and played, went through the same routines. Northwestern’s a tough team to play against, the offense is hard to cover, especially the first time covering it, but the older guys helped me out. I got beat a couple times, but they told me to stick with it, and the credit goes to them,” said Gasser following his historic triple-double.
Did he just say “went through the same routines,” that sounds a lot like an answer his Head Coach Bo Ryan would have responded with.
Instead, Ryan had a response of the opposite variety when it came to his improving freshman’s performance.
“How are you going to ask me with a straight face that it’s not a surprise that a freshman from Port Washington had a triple double? I cant keep a straight face and say that. That was a tremendous accomplishment,” exclaimed Ryan.
“And as we said in the locker room, it will have his name and it’ll say from the University of Wisconsin next to it. So it’s great for the program and I’m sure people will pat him on the back and his parents will take him out to dinner the next time he comes home,” added Ryan.
Surprisingly, Gasser’s previous highs in rebounds and assists were nine and four respectively. What Ryan is not surprised by is Gasser’s development in his first year at the college level.
“He’s one of those guys that you tell him once and he gets it,” said Ryan.
Starting point guard and an emerging star in the Big Ten, Jordan Taylor, also had nothing but positive things to say about Josh’s play.
“Obviously he’s not going to have a triple double every single night, and I don’t think anyone’s ever done that, but he can do a lot of different things in a lot of different areas of his game. He hasn’t been scoring, but he’s been doing a lot of the little things and he’s been rebounding, he’s been playing defense, and today he took it to another level,” said Taylor.
The feeling had to be a little awkward to say the least for Bill Carmody and the Wildcats who were one of the first schools to heavily pursue Gasser.
“They were the first so-called high major to offer me a scholarship and they were on me pretty hard for a couple of years. During that time, I got really close to the coaching staff and the players, but it didn’t work out,” explained Gasser.
As it is with most highly-touted high school prospects (Gasser was named Wisconsin’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2009), the decision of what school to commit to is a hard one. Gasser revealed why in the end he ended up siding with the University of Wisconsin.
“That was the biggest thing, I wanted to play in front of my family and friends and represent the state. And Wisconsin tradition has been alright the past couple of years, so I wanted to continue doing that,” said Gasser.
After Sunday’s performance, I would say he made the right choice.
Gasser’s triple-double is also the first in the Big Ten this season and just the 11th among NCAA Division I players this season. Gasser is the only freshman in the nation to have posted a triple-double this season.
What did you think of Gasser’s performance against Northwestern? What kind of player will Gasser become on Bo Ryan’s Badgers? Let me know by commenting below!
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