The national headlines go to his more high-profile teammates, but the hearts of opposing coaches belong to Wenyen Gabriel.
Take Kentucky’s exhibition opener against Clarion as an example, when Isaiah Briscoe and Bam Adebayo both posted double-doubles. Gabriel, meanwhile, had only nine points and two rebounds in 17 minutes, but also the undivided attention of Marcess Williams.
“My favorite is Gabriel,” the Clarion head coach said. “I love that kid. That kid, he might be the best one of them all.”
Michigan State’s Tom Izzo sang a similar tune, in spite of the fact that Malik Monk torched the Spartans for 23 points and De’Aaron Fox had 12 points and six assists while Gabriel managed only four points, three rebounds and three steals.