Thursday, December 13, 2007
I HAVE DISCOVERED THE SECRET OF TIME TRAVEL! No flux capacitor needed.
Ok, maybe not (but maybe), but it sure felt like that last night. The Gophers struggling at home with a much inferior opponent who should have been blown out completely did not bring back happy memories, and was little too close to the Dan Monson era for me. Luckily, the last two minutes brought me back to the present and to reality.
To be fair, SDSU deserves a lot of credit, in particular a little wiener guard named Garrett Callahan (pictured above). He came into the game averaging 13 points per game, and walked out with 28 points, and almost dominated the game. The stats say he shot 11-18, but they must be lying because he hardly missed. I guess at the end of the game when it became chucking time, but he was on fire the way I haven't seen since Mike Taylor or Vince Grier in the second half against Wisconsin. He pulled up on a 3 on 2 from three (his foot was actually on the line) and buried the shot with his legs going one way and his body the other, and later had a floater hit the back of the rim, bounce way up, and come down through. Just on fire. It wasn't until Al Nolen was matched up on him that the Gophers were able to slow him down.
It wasn't just Callahan's play that kept the Rabbits in the game, Minnesota helped them out on the defensive end. Lapses on defense gave the Rabbits a lot of open looks, including a wide open alley-oop off an inbounds play that was pretty embarrassing, and allowing 16 offensive rebounds is absolutely god awful. To make it even worse, 10 of those were by guys 6-7 or smaller, and their tallest guy was only 6-8. SDSU shot the ball 61 times compared to 48 for the Gophers. Terrible. Minnesota shot 56% for the floor, 68% from the line, and had 24 assists to only 10 turnovers, and was STILL losing with four minutes left.
Essentially, the pressure defense didn't work (only forced 10 turnovers) except on Clint Sargent, one of the worst players in DI history. The stats say he didn't have any turnovers, but that is clearly creative bookkeeping because the guy was terrible. The ability of the rest of the Rabbits to handle the D led to easy baskets and easy rebounds, and was basically what kept them in the game.
The Gophers did win, so there had to be some good news. As bad as the defense was, the offense was very solid. Coleman and Tollackson had it working down low, although Coleman seemed to disappear in the second half. Al Nolen continues to impress and play well. He is already a terrific defender, and in a few years could be another Eric Harris. And Hoffbauer seems to have complete confidence in his shot, and is knocking them down. I am a little concerned with McKenzie. He's scoring five less points per game and taking four less shots per game than last year. I was hoping he would take his shots more in the flow of the offense this year, and he seems to be, but he almost seems a little too passive this year. I don't want the old McKenzie back, but I'm not sure I'm thrilled with this new one either.
Last thing I want to mention is the half time entertainment. Not the first part, which was some danceline bit, which is fine - whatever. The second part, was a game of three on three between two students dressed like idiots (cape guy and devil guy) with Goldy and three students dressed like apes. And what's with the ape thing? I thought this was "The Barn" not "The Zoo" or "The Jungle." Anyway, just horrible. I'm not sure any of these guys knew how to play basketball at all, other than one of the apes who pulled off a modified Dreamshake (tm), which was awesome. In general, it was completely unwatchable, and even worse than Quick Change. I'm sure it was exciting for those who got to play, but even the student section, where these guys came from, seemed pretty bored with it. In conclusion, that's why I think Scrooged is the best Christmas movie ever.
The Citadel +30 @ Davidson
Miss State -6 vs. Miami (FL)
Also, since there's a football game tonight, Denver -1.5 @ Houston