Friday, January 4, 2008

This is Not Going to be Pretty

The Gophers open up Big Ten play on Saturday, and as a treat, get to head to East Lansing to take on the sixth ranked Spartans of Michigan State. I'm not sure they can make this line high enough.

The Spartans were pretty good last year, with Drew Neitzel doing pretty much everything, and are even better this year, now that he has some help. They've come along way since losing an exhibition game earlier this year to Grand Valley State, and have beaten everybody they've played other than UCLA, and in that game they had the lead and let it slip away in the end. In short, this is a national championship contender type team, and the Gophers are hoping they're on the bubble at some point.

While Neitzel is unquestionably the leader of the team (his A/TO ratio is 4.3/1 this year, how sick is that?) he's not even the leading scorer this year, due to a huge leap made by Raymar Morgan. He has increased every statistic across the board, going from 11.7 points to 17.4, 5.2 rebs to 7.1, and 49% shooting to 59% shooting. He played on some team that did something this summer that I don't feel like looking up, but it was a big deal and obviously did alot for him.

Add in Goran Suton and Drew Naymick (both of whom I would have sworn would have transferred as being worthless after watching them in the past), Marquise Gray and a a talented trio of freshman in Kalin Lucas, Durrell Summers, and Chris Allen, and this is not going to be a very fun Saturday in Gopherland - although I'm betting we'll get to see Minnesota boy Isaiah Dahlman (4.3 minutes per game).

So, since they have no shot - Tubby's a great coach and all, clearly, but so is Izzo - the one thing to concentrate on is Al Nolen. I mean, Hoffbauer and Shamala won't be able to get a shot off, Spencer will be worthless down low against those guys, and Coleman's cute little inside/outside game will be shut off, so you got to watch something. If Nolen can handle Michigan State's pressure with Neitzel and Lucas and Walton, it bodes very well for this year and beyond. If he struggles mightily, to the point where McKenzie is bringing up the ball, that is not good. I don't expect a freshman, in his first Big Ten Game, at the Breslin Center, to play flawlessly, that's as stupid as expecting college coaches to cater to the pro coaches whims. But this could show us alot. Of course, even if he panics and sucks, it doesn't mean he's going to have a horrible career, but it does make the outlook for this season a little bleaker. Michigan State 90, Minnesota 63.

Rider -4.5 vs. Marist
Canisius +9 @ St. Peter's
UC-Fullerton -6 vs. UC-Irvine
SMU +13 @ Colorado
UC Davis -5.5 vs. UC-Riverside
Fairfield +5.5 @ Loyola-MD

Yesterday: 4-4
Season: 178-152


snacks said...

W, I must comment on your new running theme for the pictures in your posts, it is great. Keep up the good work on that front. And try and improve everything else about this blog which sucks. (except for the commenters of course)

WWWWWW said...

My college basketball picks are $$$$money$$$$

Anonymous said...

I disagree, I think the pictures are irrelevant and stupid.
I think snake should do the picture picking from now on. The are funny and actually relate to the story.

snacks said...

anonymous - are you female or gay? It must be one or the other because I can't imagine why a heterosexual man would complain about pictures of college chicks.

Anonymous said...

snacks- maybe guy's that arent CHOMO's ???????

Super Sioux Fan said...

Maybe he's into creeping on little girls.
Sick, but I am sure you are some old guy who has to stare at it because you cant get it. Creeper

Van Wilder said...

Snacks, I think anonymous's last response answered your question. Gay! Although he might also be a big V?

snacks said...

Chomo? I'm pretty sure a 27 year old dude checking out 20 year old chicks doesn't qualify.

Super Sioux Fan/Mama Dawger said...

that better not be you dawg...or your gonna get it when you get home.

Super Sioux Fan said...

Ehh...buddy sorry. I hate to agree but it is borderline creepy. Way too old for college girls. Maybe go out and buy a GGW dvd.

WWWWWW said...

Don't you get it? The title of the post is "This isn't going to be pretty" and it's about the Spartans, so I posted a picture of pretty Spartans.

Totally relevant.

And why do most of you guys hate women?

The Todd said...

I love women...especially ones that are deuce plus and/or in wheel chairs.