Notre Dame Basketball

Coach | 2021 PF Caleb Furst Proved Himself Against Top Comp

August 9, 2019

Caleb Furst has had major colleges chasing him for a long time now and more continue to join the race with Notre Dame becoming the latest when it extended a scholarship offer to the 2021 Indiana power forward at the end of July.

Prior to the Irish, Michigan State offered the Fort Wayne native, joining a list that already included schools like Indiana, Iowa, Ohio State, Butler, Purdue, Louisville, Marquette, Maryland and Stanford among others. Virginia has since offered as well.

Furst played up a level with his offseason program, Indy Heat, this spring and summer.

Indy Heat Under-17 head coach Jason Delaney thinks that helped him prove his value to major college programs.

“I think coaches see him as that blue-collar worker who is going to go out there and do the job,” Delaney says. “He can do a lot of things and he does them really well.

“This EYBL session, he played up a grade level, so he played against some of the best players in the nation, not just in his class, but in the class ahead of him. He showed his versatility, being able to guard on the perimeter and play a little bit on the perimeter, but also that post-up game that he was known for. He showed his passing skills. I think the biggest thing is he showed he could do it against the best competition in the nation.”

Delaney, who is also the head coach at Indianapolis’ Cathedral High School, says that versatile on both ends of the floor is “extremely important.”

“Offensively, if you’re limited, that limits what teams can do offensively, so they’re going to find a guy who can do more,” he says. “Defensively, it comes down to what can you guard. Caleb is able to guard every position on the floor, at least four to be effective defensively. For him, that was the thing we challenged him most on. A lot of post guys in high school, they’re able to sit back. With this, you had to come out on the perimeter and guard a little bit more. He did a great job of it and embraced that challenge.

“Offensively, in high school, it’s just a lot of post-up opportunities. Here, he got to go on the perimeter and handle the ball and then make some decisions. I think he just really blossomed in doing that and now he’ll go back to his high school program and be an even better player.”

Furst can still improve on his ballhandling and ability to take opponents off the dribble, according to Delaney.

“He did that at times, but again, it’s not what you’re asked to do in high school, so that’s something that will continue to develop,” the coach says. “That and becoming more comfortable as a perimeter defender and challenging yourself when you have that opportunity.

“The more you can do on the court, the longer you’re going to stay on the court. There aren’t a whole lot of back-to-the-basket guys anymore, but if you’ve got that trait and you can step out on the perimeter too, you make yourself more marketable. I think that’s what colleges see. They see a kid who can be very versatile in college and also a kid who is going to go out there and bring his lunch pail and go to work. He’s a hard worker, quiet kid. You’re never going to have to worry about the motor or the effort. It’s always going to be there, day in, day out.”

Delaney says Furst is quiet off the court.

“He doesn’t say a whole lot, but just a really, really good, respectful young man who any coach would love to have in their program,” he continues. “Like I said, he’s going to come in day in, day out and you know what you’re going to get from him. It’s going to be a focused attitude based on improvement.”

Notre Dame is “definitely” a school Furst will seriously consider, according to Delaney.

“Because he’s a high-academic kid,” he adds. “I think with Caleb and his family, they kind of want the full spectrum. The basketball part of course is what’s going to provide the scholarship opportunity, but also the academic and social piece of it. Just being in a nurturing, positive environment where he can grow as an individual.”

Delaney expects Furst won’t be in a rush to make a decision and will “do his homework and be thorough” with the process to find the best fit.

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