ST. PAUL, Minn. - It’s been a disappointing year for Gopher men’s basketball, but there is hope on the horizon. Just next year, Cretin-Derham Hall star Daniel Oturu will take his talents to the U.
“I know they’re struggling right now, but I feel like you’ve got to look at the positives,” Oturu said. “Next year, Gabe (Kalscheur), Jarvis (Thomas) and myself are coming in to change the culture.”
So far this season, the 6’10 senior has been unstoppable - and so have the Raiders. C-DH is currently ranked #1 in Class 4A and has only lost once all year.
“I’ve been working on shooting in the post and trying to attack the rim a lot more,” Oturu said. “Most importantly, I’ve improved on the defensive end. That’s where winning games and championships all start.”
Oturu though, is not the only reason the Raiders are one of the state’s best right now. Point guard Ryan Larson is a legit D1 talent and is easily one of the state’s best passers after leading everyone in assists last year.
“I think it’s all about leadership,” Larson said. “That’s what colleges look for in point guards: the ability to talk, play defense and distribute the ball. It’s not always about points.”
The Raiders also have one of the state’s most improved players in 6’6 forward Sy Chatman, a senior who has started to get some D1 attention as well.
“I’ve been kind of underrated my whole life, and I feel like this year is my time to show what I can do,” Chatman said. “It’s just my mindset. I’ve become more aggressive and more confident in myself.”
Led by this Big 3, C-DH’s high-octane offense has earned the nickname the “Showtime Raiders” thanks to their fans.
“We just went with it,” Larson said. “Now, it’s what people know us by. It brings me to a smile.”
“I don’t think there’s any team in the state as athletic as us,” Chatman said. “Everybody come watch us play. It’s super exciting to see everybody dunking.”