Thursday, May 31, 2007

Former Iowa Forward heading to Tennessee

In a not very shocking move at all, former Iowa forward Tyler Smith will be heading to Tennessee to play for Bruce Pearl and the Volunteers.

Smith, who averaged 15 points and 5 boards a game as a freshman last year, decided to transfer from Iowa to be closer to his sick father. Since he's from Tennessee, his dad still lives in Tennesse, and he's a good player, I figured it would either be Tennessee or Memphis.

An interesting wrinkle here is that Smith plans to petition for a waiver from the NCAA due to his circumstances so he wouldn't have to sit out the usual transfer season and would play immediately next season for the Vols.

If that happens, Tennesse would be an instant title contender. The Vols took Ohio State down to the wire last season, and return almost that entire team, losing only one player who averaged 5 points, 5 assists, and 5 rebounds per game, and are projected as a #3 seed by Joe Lunardi of without Smith.

Sampson on his Way?

As mentioned below, Andrew Brommer has reopened his recruitment and may not end up a Gopher.

Tubby may be all ready to fill that scholarship offer with Ralph Sampson III, a three-star recruit according to both Rivals and Scout, and the 23rd best center in his class according to Scout.

As mentioned previously, Sampson was in town and took a visit to the University of Minnesota campus last week. According to Rivals, the 6-11, 220 pound Sampson really enjoyed his visit. They report

"This past weekend at the Nike Memorial Day Classic Ralph Sampson III made a big name for himself with his outstanding play. Minnesota was his first visit three weeks ago and Sampson enjoyed his trip as well as the personnel he met while in the Twin Cities. It is believed that Sampson may be close to committing but is that fact or fiction?"

Unfortunately, I don't have the kind of money to spend on a ridiculously expensive membership at to find out the answer to this and other burning questions. So, I'm just going to assume it's fact and say that Ralph Sampson III is very close to signing with the Gophers.


Oh no! Not that!

The Star Tribune reports that one signing for 2008 is backing out of his verbal commitment and will reopen his recruiting.

The Good news is that it is Andrew Brommer of Rosemount, not Nathen Garth. Brommer is a 6-8 forward who averaged 16 points per game this past season.

Even though both and have Brommer as a three-star, a lot of things I've read make it sound like he's not a Big Ten caliber recruit. The speculation currently is that Tubby doesn't think he really wants Brommer around and doesn't think he'll get much playing time, and likely told Brommer as much, prompting him to reopen his recruitment.

I've never seen him play, but based on the fact that the Great Dan Monson signed him, I'm inclined to not really mind seeing him go. Teams in the running for his services look to be Wisconsin, Northern Iowa, Illinois, and Virginia. Let's just hope he doesn't go to a Big Ten team and end up being dominant or anything stupid.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This News is Shocking to Me!

As I mentioned previously, the Gophers' Dan Coleman and Spencer Tollackson put there names into the NBA Draft as early-entry candidates.

I have recently learned that somehow they were not invited to the NBA's Pre-Draft camp in Orlando, Florida, which began this week.


So you're telling me that Spencer and Coleman aren't among the top 100 or so prospects for the upcoming draft? They aren't even good enough to be alternates, along with JamesOn Curry, Joseph Jones, and Dominic James? I guess they aren't guarenteed to be drafted after all, and might want to consider pulling out before the June 18 deadline.

Seriously though, the fact that these two put their names in is either completely stupid or a pretty good joke.

I know that the theory is they put their names in to get more publicity, so people might pay attention to them and they might get drafted next season. That's just as ridiculous as thinking they'll get drafted this year. These guys are both mediocre players who wouldn't start for any Big Ten team other than Minnesota, Penn State, or Northwestern. So what's even the point. has profiles of both of them, and for both under NBA COMPARISON it says "N/A".

Sure, they might improve. But Coleman has had three years to get tougher, get stronger, learn to play defense inside, learn to play defense on the perimeter, and get a post-up game. He hasn't done any of them, so why start now? And Tollackson is basically a poor man's Jeff Hagen.

The other possibility is that they have always wanted to put their names in and know they have no shot but wanted to do it for fun.

If that's the case, I think it's pretty cool. But I doubt it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Royce White Visits

According to Charly Walters in the Pioneer Press, Royce White made an unofficial visit to Tubby Smith and the University of Minnesota over the weekend.

This is good.

The Gophers are Good at Baseball

Even though I don't follow the team very closely - ok, not at all - congratulations to the Gopher baseball team on making the NCAA tournament.

The gophers made it in as a three seed in a four-team regional (there are 64 teams invited total). If they manage to win the double elimination regional, they advance to a SuperRegional, and from there possibly to the College World Series.

The Gophers (40-16) will open play in San Diego against #2 seed Cal State-Fullerton (33-23). The other teams in the San Diego regional are #4 Seed Fresno State (36-27) and #1 seed (8 overall) and host San Diego (43-16).

And let me just say it's crap that the Gophers are the only non-western team in the regional, got screwed with their seeding, and I'm filing a protest over this whole anti-Minnesota conspiracy.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

HIbbert is Off the Table

Roy Hibbert, the 7-2 barely coordinated giant, is pulling out of the NBA draft and will return to Georgetown for his senior season.

This is fantastic news for Timberwolves fans, as I was almost certain we would somehow end up with the ogre. The Wolves need a big man, it's likely Brandan Wright won't be there, Hibbert is projected to be picked right around that point in the draft, and McHale is mostly an idiot. That would have been a disaster, as I'm fairly certain Roy Hibbert is going to be a horrible pro.

That being said, I don't understand why he is returning. His stock will never be higher than it is right now. He helped lead Georgetown to the Final Four, played a nice game against the top center prospect of the last 20 years in Greg Oden, and showcased a decent jumper from about 13 feet out. He's projected to go in the top ten for some weird reason, and I'm betting that next year he won't go earlier than pick 20, even though he's a center.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lottery is Over

The NBA Draft Lottery was last night, and the big winners were the Blazers and Sonics, the big losers were the Grizzlies and Celtics.

Even though the Grizz and Celtics had the best chances to get either the #1 or #2 pick, they were pushed to picks #3 and #4 as the Blazers, Sonics, and Hawks all jumped up. This sucks for the Grizz and Celtics, but the Blazers will soon be the new address most likely for Greg Oden, and the Sonics will have Kevin Durant.

The Wolves weren't helped at all, but weren't hurt either, as they stayed right at #7. predicts the Wolves will take Corey Brewer (awesome), and predicts they will take Brandan Wright (awesomer, but I don't think he'll be available). There's also a chance, according to ESPN, that if Mike Conley is still there, the Wolves would consider him. That would be good, but we have too many guards already so there would have to be some clearing out of players, which would be a good thing.

My biggest concern is that McHale will screw it up because he's proven himself an idiot already. In one mock draft, the pick immediately after the Wolves is predicted to be Roy Hibbert, in the other, Joakim Noah. These picks would be god awful. If McHale gets locked in on the idea that he needs to get a big man (very possible), and Brandan Wright is gone at the Wolves pick (very possible, he's considered the third best overall prospect right nwo), I can see him taking one of those two semi-coordinated giant sized people.

Please don't do that.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Update: White, Williams, Better than Previously Reported

Basketball recruiting site has recently released an updated list of the top recruits of the 2009 class. Royce White of DeLaSalle is now a 5-star recruit, ranked #17 overall for the class, and Rodney Williams of Cooper is a 4-star, ranked #37.

So disregard my previous post about how I thought they might not be worth going after just because they are Minnesota kids. With this updated information, they are now absolutely must-gets. The Gophers can't lose hometown kids of this caliber to Wisconsin or Kansas anymore. Hopefully Tubby can keep them here.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Iowa State is a Damn Mess

Following last season (2005-2006), Iowa State fired coach Wayne Morgan and hired Greg McDermott. It would seem that the players were not super fired up about this, as everybody left.

The Cyclones' top two players, Will Blalock and Curtis Stinson, entered the NBA draft despite no guarentees of even being drafted. Stinson wasn't picked, Blalock was picked at the back end of round two. Top freshman Shawn Taggert transferred to Memphis, fellow freshmen Mike Evanovich (Fairfield) and Farnold Degand (NC State) also transferred, as did returning starter Tasheed Carr (St. Joseph's). Top signee Theo Davis also backed out of his commitment and enrolled in prep school rather than attend ISU.

This off-season, the Cyclones' top player, Mike Taylor, has been in trouble with the law twice, once for Criminal Mischief after tearing down an exit sign and a light, and discharging a fire extinguisher on campus. He was later in trouble again for shoplifting a box of cold medicine from a Cub Foods. Taylor was suspended indefinitely after the first offense, and could be released from the team after this second incident.

And now three more players have left the team, as guards Dodie Dunson (undecided) and Corey McIntosh (Augustana) are transferring, and forward Ross Marsden has quit the team to focus on his studies.

There is a possible light at the end of the tunnel, as McDermott has a very good recruiting class coming in this season, including four-star recruit Craig Brackins from New Hampshire, but as of now, that school is a mess.

Tubby Hires Final Assistant

Tubby Smith hires his final assistant coach in former T-Wolves coach Vince Taylor. Yes, anyone associated with the Wolves is scary, but there's more. Taylor was an assistant at Louisville for seven years before joining the Wolves, including four under Rick Pitino, and was one of the top recruiters on the Louisville staff. He was extensive ties to Kentucky, Illinois, and overseas, due to playing over there for 13 seasons after graduating from Duke. Additionally, he has a son in high school in Minnesota.

He was instrumental in recruiting some pretty good players to Louisville, including Jerry Smith and Reece Gaines, so that's good. Seems like a pretty good hire.

Also, a Nathen Garth update. Here is a highlight video of his on youtube. It's about seven minutes long and I watched about half of it. He seems pretty good, but again, it's a highly recruited kid playing against other high school kids, so who knows.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tubby signs his first Player

And it's point guard Nathen Garth out of Dallas. ranks him as the 40th best PG in his class, and Tubby started recruiting him when he was still at Kentucky, so at least he was good enough for Kentucky.

According to scout, he's quick with a good feel for the game (which I hope translates as "he's a true point guard" with a nice shot from outside. Sounds good.

Last season, Garth averaged 18pts and 9 assists per game. UCONN, Oklahoma, and Cal also offered to Garth, but he chose Minnesota, which is a really good sign that Tubby will be able to get quality recruits to come to the U.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Courtney Fortson Update

Ok, as mentioned below, Minnesota is in his final four. I've found, thanks to, the other three schools are Tennessee, Missouri, and Florida State.

As a reminder, he's a 5-10 PG from Alabama, who is ranked overall #64 in the country by Needless to say, he would be awesome to have here.

Sampson visits U

Ralph Sampson III, class of 2008, made an unofficial visit to the U of Minnesota this weekend.

Sampson, son of 7 foot 4 former college and NBA star Ralph Sampson, is rated as the 22nd best center in his class by, and is currently 6-11 with room to grow.

Sampson averaged 14 pts and 11 rebs last year for Northview High School in Duluth, GA, after leading two different schools to state championships the previous two years. Sampson also has a 3.8 GPA, so academic worries are not a concern.

Needless to say, this would be an awesome get for Tubby. Sampson also lists Auburn, Cal, Georgia, Indiana, and NC State among the colleges he's looking at.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

I'm Confused About This

Jeff Shelman of the Star Tribune has an article today about how the top Minnesota sophomores (Royce White of DeLaSalle and Rodney Williams of Cooper) are the keys to the U's recruiting.

Here's what I don't get though. What if they're not that good? Maybe the websites just haven't caught up to their play yet or something, but has them both as 1-star (on neither has any stars). They both have offers from Minnesota and Iowa State, and White has an offer from Wisconsin.

That's nice and all, but those are just regional schools. I'm not interested in getting Minnesota players because they are from Minnesota, I want the stars from around the country.

I'm much more interested in Courtney Fortson, who Tubby is also targetting. He's a four-star PG, ranked as the #6 point guard in the class, from Alabama - where he was Mr. Basketball. According to, he currently puts the Gophers in his top four, along with three other teams that I don't know who they are because I don't want to pay $100 for a year subscription to rivals.

So hopefully Tubby will be smart here. I understand wanting hometown kids, it drives excitement, shows a commitment to the community, and is generally a good thing. Just don't take Minnesota kids just to take them, like Miles Webb. Who, by the way, has now gone from Minnesota to North Dakota State College of Science to Idaho and is now transferring again to UW-Stout.

Ok, to be fair, Webb was ranked a 3-star, even though he wasn't recruited much by other schools since he signed with the Gophers after his sophomore year. I just wanted to point out that he's transferred for a third time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Limar Wilson could Dominate

Former gopher PG Limar Wilson has transferred to Division II Tarleton State, located in Texas. Wilson, who averaged 4 points and 2 assists in 24 minutes per game last season, could be halfway decent in D2.

Wilson was a preseason junior college all-american at Northeast Community College in Nebraska and was ranked the 23rd best JuCo player before signing with Minnesota, and averaged 17 points and 7 assists per game his sophomore season.

Clearly, he isn't a Big Ten caliber of player, but D2 should be a nice fit. Thanks again Dan Monson, for your awesome recruiting!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Sid Hartman tells you Nothing

Sid Hartman is old. Some people call him Grandpa Sports, some people call him a senile idiot. Most of time, I agree with the latter. But he does, from time to time, have a nice little nugget in his columns. This is not one of those times.

Here is a little piece of inside info he dropped in the paper today:

"Kevin Sumlin, the current co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma and a former member of Jim Wacker's Gophers football staff, recalls meeting Gophers football coach Tim Brewster for the first time when Sumlin was playing for Purdue when Brewster was a graduate assistant on the Boilermakers staff."

Read that again. Where is anything resembling information? Some guy we don't care about remembers meeting Tim Brewster. So what? How about his impressions? Like, "Somebody something from somewhere remembers meeting Tim Brewster and something and remembers him as a fire go-getter, full of grit and hustle." That, although useless, is at least information.

I'm not exactly sure why I felt the need to comment on this, but it really, really, really bugged me. I read it and I was like, Holy crap does that piss me off.


Sunday, May 6, 2007

I Was Wrong Here

So it's fun to look through the draft, so here's a list the player (first round pick) from each draft going back to 1993 who I thought would be a good pro, and instead they sucked.

1993: Calbert Cheaney, Indiana
1994: Cliff Rozier, Louisville
1995: Shawn Respert, Michigan St/Ed O'Bannon, UCLA (tie)
1996: Samaki Walker, Louisville
1997: Ron Mercer, Kentucky
1998: Michael Dickerson, Arizona
1999: Will Avery, Duke
2000: DerMarr Johnson, Cincinnati
2001: Joseph Forte, North Carolina
2002: Kareem Rush, Missouri
2003: Troy Bell, Boston College
2004: Luke Jackson, Oregon
2005: Antoine Wright, Texas A & M
2006: Ronnie Brewer, Arkansas

Second Round Gold

Just for fun, here are the best second round picks from each NBA draft starting from 1995:

1995: Eric Snow, Michigan State at pick #43 to Milwaukee
1996: Jeff McInnis, North Carolina at pick #37 to Denver
1997: Stephen Jackson, some Community College at pick #43 to Phoenix
1998: Rashard Lewis, High School at pick #32 to Seattle
1999: Gordon Giricek, Croatia at pick #40 to Dallas
2000: Michael Redd, Ohio State at pick #44 to Milwaukee
2001: Gilbert Arenas, Arizona at pick #31 to Golden State
2002: Carlos Boozer, Duke at pick #35 to Cleveland
2003: Kyle Korver, Creighton at pick #51 to New Jersey
2004: Trevor Ariza, UCLA at pick #44 to New York
2005: Ronnie Turiaf, Gonzaga at pick #37 to LA Lakers
2006: Paul Millsap, La Tech at pick #47 to Utah

Gophers Going Pro

Dan Coleman and Spencer Tollackson have declared the NBA Draft. Seriously.

I know that they know they have no shot at being drafted, or at least I assume so. This is much more ridiculous than even Rick Rickert going pro was. If the NBA draft went seven rounds like the NBA draft, neither of these two would get drafted.

The Star Tribune says they are likely putting their names out there to get exposure and make sure people know who they are, and then will withdraw from the draft. That doesn't make much sense either because they suck. I'm going to assume they're doing it as a joke, knowing it would be hilarious to see their names on the early entry list. That has to be it.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Fenway was Awesome

I was in Boston for work the past week, and was lucky enough to get to check out the Red Sox vs. A's game Tuesday night at Fenway. It was awesome.

Just the history of the park is incredible. It's the oldest park still used, built in 1912, and has seen Ruth, Gehrig, Teddy Williams, Ty Cobb and, well, everybody. The Green Monster and Pesky's pole. Carlton Fisk and Bucky Dent's homeruns. You can just feel the history there. It's incredible.

The fans are interesting. Very passionate about their team, very friendly, and it feels more like a party rather than a baseball game. At least, that's how it felt in our area. We didn't have the best seats. About 25 rows back down the first baseline, and we had a pole in our way that was right between home and the mound. Since every game is sold out, it's tough to get tickets. Plus, since it was a big group, we had to find 10 seats together, so it was even tougher. I was just happy to be there.

The game had almost everything I would want. We saw Curt Schilling, who is on my fantasy team, and he pitched very well, leading 4-2 before leaving after seven. We saw two homeruns, both to right - nothing over the green monster - and both by A's. I would have liked to see the place go crazy after a Red Sox homerun. We did get to see the Red Sox closer, Jonathan Papelbon come in and the place went pretty nuts (closer music of choice: Wild Thing.) He then went ahead and sucked and blew the game, and the A's ended up winning in extra innings.

So yeah, it was awesome. Also, nice work by whoever played music between innings. I heard "Encore/Numb", "Baba O'Reilly", and "Everlong" - three of my alltime favorites. Also, nice work playing Eminem's "Lose Yourself" going into the bottom of the 10th down by one.

This is the Stupidest Thing Ever

So new Gopher football head coach Tim Brewster has brought some new excitement to the program. In order to capitalize on this, as well as keeping the momentum going, the Goal Line Club - the Gopher football booster club - printed up 2,500 shirts to sell with the slogan "Brew's Crew", with more shirts to come.

Well the University, with all it's wisdom, decided to stop production on the shirts. The reason: too closely connected with alcohol.

Seriously. I wish I was making ths up.

The guy's last name is Brewster. He's probably been called Brew his whole life. Just because brew is also slang for beer is no reason to cut off the shirt producton.

But at least with this move, drinking will be over amongst Minnesota students. Just think of all the incoming freshmen who would have seen that shirt, and immediately become alcholics. Now they'll be saved by never having a drop, and go on to save the world.

God bless you Minnesota officials.