Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pick Your Score

The Gophers beat Northwestern last night 82-63, in a game that wasn't even that close. Northwestern was completely outclassed and outplayed - it was pretty much like playing one of the cupcakes on the non-conference schedule, and the Gophers could have pretty much picked the score.

Which makes this 19 point win less awesome than it sounds. Every time it looked like the Gophers were about to put Northwestern away, they lost focus and gave up a couple of layups, or had some horrible turnovers or took bad shots and let them creep in a little bit. The Wildcats had it down to single digits a couple of times in the second half, and that never should have happened. The Gophers were never in any danger of losing the game, and that is what makes a 19 point win a little tiny bit disappointing - if they would have kept their focus the entire game, they would have won by thirty.

That being said, it was an excellent win, and a great way to kick of Tubby's home Big Ten career. Some individual comments:

- Dan Coleman led the way with 19 points and 14 rebounds, and it was one of the quietest 19 and 14s ever. It would be nice to see him have a game anywhere near this against a quality opponent, but at least this time it was a conference game. It was also announced that DC got his 500th career rebound. I was going to make a joke here, but instead I'll be nice and just say congrats DC. Hopefully he can stay tough against Penn State on Saturday.

- Blakob Hoffbauer knocked down five threes in the first half, on red hot 5-5 shooting - a shining example of Tubby having solved the Monson-boggling 1-3-1 of the Wildcats. Hoffarber didn't score in the second half, taking only three shots because he can't really create his own shot. I still think he should have chucked one up from thirty feet Jake Sullivan style since he was so hot in the first half, but, whatever, go ahead and be boring and "play within the offense."

- McKenzie continues to be a mystery, scoring five points on six shots - with all five points coming in the final few minutes. He did contribute with six assists, but it still baffles me that he seemingly has no interest in scoring anymore. The only thing I can figure at this point is that he decided to be more of a true point to increase his chances of getting drafted. Well, you aren't getting drafted, and it's not working. With Nolen playing as well as he is, the team would be better off with more scoring from him.

- Spencer had three steals, and they all came in a five minute span. He's quick like cat. Spencer "The Ninja" Tollackson.

- Free Throws are going to be a problem. Again. 16-28 last night, led by Damian Johnson's 3-8. It didn't matter last night, but you know damn well it will at some point.

- Travis Busch scored. Yeah.

- The Tubby towels were a complete failure. We got there a little late, and were still each able to get one, so I know they didn't run out. I waved mine a few times, and I saw maybe four other people in the entire building take their's out. Completel failure. I figured at the very least the student section would be using them, but it was not meant to be.

All in all, a good win, but it could have been better and there is a little disappointment that they didn't just put the screws to NW and blow them out of the building. The Penn State game this weekend is going to go a long way in telling us how the Gophers season will go.

Louisville -2.5 vs. West Virginia (W)
Arkansas -7 @ Auburn (L)
Cal +5.5 @ Oregon (L)
Illinois +12 @ Wisconsin (W)
Washington +16 @ UCLA
North Texas -1.5 @ Arkansas State (W)
Boise St -6 vs. New Mex State (L)
Portland St PK @ Weber State (L)
UNC-Wilmington -6.5 vs. Hofstra (L)
USC -2 vs. Washington State

Yesterday: 6-5
Season: 203-173

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