Saturday, November 10, 2007

Minnesota 84, Army 52

Great start to the season this afternoon. We got there a little late and had to leave a little early because my dad had to get to his big Brats & Shrimp dinner, so I missed some parts of the game, but got most of it. My thoughts:

- Holy Damian freakin' Johnson. Twelve points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and 4 blocks in just twenty minutes, and he seemed to be everywhere. He even knocked down two of the three three-pointers he attempted. I don't think I remember seeing him even attempt a three pointer last season [note: looked it up, he took 13]. If he keeps this up, we won't have to worry about the whole lack of depth in the frontcourt thing.

- Spencer looks like he got into better shape and lost a bunch of weight. Seems to pretty much have the same awkward post up moves, and should have no problem leading the team in rebounding this year. I really would have liked to see him be more aggressive against an undersized Army team, but he only took six shots. Also, he looks just like The Todd.

- It was awesome to see signs for Devoe Joseph in the student section. Joseph was allegedly there, but we couldn't find him. Maddog even went over behind the Gophers' bench at halftime on a scouting mission, but was unable to locate him. I can't remember ever seeing signs for a recruit in the student section, or anywhere in the arena for that matter. Either fans are getting smarter, there is more information out there, or we actually are recruiting players that are worth getting excited about. Maybe some of all three.

- I saw Dan Coleman get a defensive rebound in traffic, tip dunk an offensive rebound (with authority), and post up a defender. I still haven't seen him play defense.

- Speaking of defense, I love Tubby's strategy this year. The running offense coupled with a half court press is a great idea on an undersized team. Hopefully this will still work in the Big Ten season. I don't think the press will be quite as effective against Michigan State as it was against Army.

- Army is freakin' terrible. Just brutal. That hot chick in that one section that Snacks talked about was there again, and she brought a friend. I miss the curly haired stat girl from two or three years ago, personally.

- McKenzie scored just two points and took just five shots, but I consider this a positive. We all know he can score, and will almost certainly lead the team in scoring this season, but as I wrote before, I was nervous he was in "showcase myself" mode. Today he looked like he was completely playing in the flow of the offense, just didn't many looks and didn't force it, which is a change from last season.

- Lawrence Westbrook, if he could only get the ball to actually go in, could be a dynamic scorer. He can get to the rim almost at will - yes, again it was against Army, but still. He just struggled getting anything to go down today.

- I know he has an injury, but Blake Hoffarber does not look good. He's injured, which could account for his Shamala level defense out there, but he looks lost, which can't be explained away by the injury. Watching him I was reminded of a middle school kid trying to play high school ball. He just seemed like he wasn't sure of what to do or where to go. I hope it was just because it was his first game, but Snacks continues to tell me that he just plain sucks. It looks like he hit a couple of threes after we left, but since I didn't see it, it doesn't count. Also, my Dad kept calling him Hoffbauer, so until he earns his real name back, I'm going to continue to call him Hoffbauer.

- Speaking of Hoffbauer, a couple of different times I saw him in the game at the same time as Abu Shamala. This cannot happen. I don't think either of those guys can guard anybody, at all, ever. Having one of them in makes the defense bad enough, both in is just begging to get your doors blown off.

- Hey, speaking of getting your doors blown off, Dan Monson had a stellar debut coaching Long Beach State. BYU rolled them 84-34, and they were at home. Fans gotta love that. Funny thing is, BYU isn't even good this year. Yikes. I tried to find reaction on a Long Beach State message board, but shockingly, it's hard to find one that's very busy. I think they need Luscious Harris back.

- A much less satisfying loss would be Pepperdine falling to Oregon 100-70. They tied them in the second half though, so that's something. Rico struggled shooting, going only 1-9, but chipped in with 8 rebounds and 5 assists, showing what an awesome all around player he truly is. If he were a baseball player, he'd be a five-tool guy.

- All in all, despite being actually kind of a boring game, it was a good start to the Tubby era. The team generally looked good, and even though it was just Army, I came away impressed.


The Todd said...

I agree, Spencer is hot.

Anonymous said...

Maddog was chasing jerseys at the game???

Beckham lover said...

Hey Maddog,
I thought it was just your girlfriend that chased jersey's