Monday, January 14, 2008

Big Monday

1. Awesome, awesome win for the Gophers. Usually, I'd write something like, "If it wasn't for Blake Hoffbauer's crazy hot shooting, and the completel inepitude of the Nittany Lions at the free throw line (17-36) there's no way the Gophers can win this game." Today, however, I'm in a good mood, so I won't even bother going in that direction.

That they were down 16 at one point in the second half, and came all the way back to win, on the road, shows just how much Tubby has changed this team. That toughness, and their defense, gives them a chance to make it to the NCAA tournament. Hoffs four three-pointers in three minutes or whatever was the most fun I've had watching a game in a while. And Nolen's key steal and pressure free throws more than make up for his shakiest game as a Gopher (5 TOs).

I still hate that they use Spencer as the key to the offense. Yes, he scored 19 points, but I don't think it's the best way to go. He also took two three-pointers, so I'm not sure what that's all about. He works out, no doubt. It will be interesting to see how he fares against the Hoosiers this week.

Lastly, it seemed McKenzie finally stepped up a bit on offense, hitting a huge three pointer towards the end of the game, on a somewhat poor decision. But that's what I want to see from him a little more often. Some of that aggressiveness from last season, even if it leads to some bad shots once in a while. I really, truly believe he is the key to how far this team can go. And Coleman. Who had nice stats, but once again I didn't really notice him that much.

Anyway, great, great win. With Indiana and Michigan State coming up, this week is going to be big. Win just one of those games, and the team is looking pretty.

2. I never, ever in a million years thought I'd be typing this, but on team that is really under the radar this season is Duke. Watching them this week against Temple and Virginia (ok, not the best competition, but they killed them) they are a really good team. They're ranked 9th and their only loss is by 1 at Pittsburgh, but you don't hear much about them. With North Carolina, Memphis, UCLA, and Kansas looking like locks for #1 seeds already, I haven't heard much about Duke.

Henderson and Nelson are two of the best inside/outside type guys in the country. Singler and Taylor King are two excellent freshmen, and even Paulus is having a good season - somehow. Their biggest weakness is a lack of size, with only Singler being over 6-6 amongst the main contributors, and he has a tendency to wander outside once in a while. Duke ranks 11th out of the twelve ACC teams in rebounding, and that could hurt, but with four guys shooting over 42% from three, they could beat anybody.

3. Make sure to stay up to watch the big Gonzaga at Pepperdine tilt on ESPN tonight at 11pm. Expect Rico Tucker domination.

4. I am now part of the Big Ten Bloggers poll, posted over at Gopher Nation. Here are my rankings:

1. Indiana
2. Wisconsin
3. Purdue
4. Minnesota
5. Michigan State
6. Ohio State
7. Penn State
8. Illinois
9. Iowa
10. Michigan
11. Northwestern

5. If we end up with a Green Bay vs. New England Superbowl, I'm going to have to root for Green Bay, and I don't like that one bit. Or blow up the stadium.

6. The most awesomest thing yesterday, was right before the first quarter of the Indy/San Diego game. They were introducing the winners of the punt, pass, kick contest in different age groups, and one of the winners was a 15 year old girl who was "representing the New England Patriots" and the crowd booed her. That was awesome.

7. I added a donkload of links over on the right. Basically, just a whole bunch of other nerdy bloggers, representing the other Big Ten teams. If you want to know anything about any of the other teams, go ahead and check them out. I pretty much just make up whatever I write about other teams anyway.

8. I will be in Denton, Texas starting tomorrow evening for three nights. Expect drunken ramblings - well, moreso than usual.

Georgetown -2.5 @ Pitt
Oklahoma +15.5 @ Kansas

Yesterday: 5-2
Season: 218-189

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Devoe Joseph MVP of a tournament.