Monday, November 3, 2008

Well. That was kind of unattractive.

I just got back from the first Gopher game of the season, unofficial it may be, and I have to say I am very much not turned on right now. The Gophers managed to win by somewhere around ten or so, I don't really know for sure and I'm not really in the mood to get all uppity and "look stuff up" so this is what you're going to get.

Before I get started, I have a fun little story to tell you about Dawger. We (myself, Snacks, and Old Man W) were going to meet at Sgt. Preston's before the game, and then meet Dawger somewheres around the arena. We get there, and I get a call from the little guy and he can't park because he has no money. It seems Super Sioux Fan spent all their money on hockey sticks, assault rifles, and KKK gear, and the poor guy didn't even have enough money to pay for parking tonight. I had to run around half the arena to find him parked on the side of the road sobbing, and gave him the ten bucks to park. It was sad. Nearly as sad as the Gopher performance tonight, so without further ado we will get to it. I'm going to do this in sections.

Might as well start with positive since these guys were awesome. Al Nolen, Lawrence Westbrook, Devoe Joseph, and Blake Hoffbauer were the four best players for the Gophers tonight.

Nolen was undoubtedly the best player on the court. He impressed me last season, and looks like he's taking an even bigger step forward this season. He could pretty much get to the rim at any point tonight, granted against inferior competition, but he looked extra quick. Still doesn't always make the best decisions, but with his quickness, defense, and jump shot he is without question a Big Ten-caliber point guard.

Westbrook looks like his confidence is through the roof this season, as it should be. You don't score 40 points a game in high school without a massively high level of confidence, and after this first game it looks like L-Dub might be approaching that area again. A whole lot of catch and shoot, getting to the rim at will, and lockdown defense. I expect big things from Westbrook this season.

Hoffarber was probably the most impressive player tonight. With the risk of sounding a bit foo-foo, he looks like he's lost a little baby fat and put on some muscle. He abused the SCSU guards tonight, using his intelligence and limited quickness to get to into the paint and find cutters when the help defense came. His lightning quick release may have gotten even quicker, and the moved back three point line didn't seem to bother him. He will never be an alpha dog, but he may be developing into a high quality asset, despite my year long belief against that possibility all last season. I must be drunk on early season euphoria right now.

Devoe apparently made some Rico-like decisions early in the game, or so I was told by Snacks since I was ten minutes late thanks to the Dawger welfare program, but the second half was a different story. I didn't really see the perimeter shot I was looking for, but he looked very good driving the ball to the rim. Again, it was against short white guys whose recruiting consisted of calling the head coach and begging for a chance to try out, but he looked good. Most impressive was his defense, smothering and reminiscent of Al Nolen. Currently my favorite Gopher.

I'm talking Devron Bostick and Paul Carter here, and this was pretty ugly. For all the praise Bostick got coming out of JucCo and Carter has gotten since coming to Minnesota, I couldn't be less impressed. I guess the one good thing is I found out Paul Carter is left-handed, which means he's 17% better than a right handed version of himself. He seems to be athletic enough to create his own shot when he wants to, he just needs to make it every so often. That's high praise compared to what I saw out of Bostick. Not even I am cynical enough to give up on him this early, but dude, he was pretty much nonexistent against SCSU. Grade = F.


What does it say when Travis Busch is your most aggressive inside player? Again, it's early, so I'm certainly not condemning Iverson or Sampson to a life of sucking, but they looked extremely tentative tonight. They seemed to alternate between not even trying to get position and getting position, getting the ball and passing it right back out. I think Iverson looked a little better, had better footwork and seemed to have more of an idea of what he was doing with the ball, while Sampson looked a little more lost. I have faith that both will end up being excellent players, and hopefully tonight was just that first step, small as it may have been. And I bet Travis Busch would be a hell of an intramural player. I think we'll see him on the And 1 tour someday. Think about it, the Professor to Hair Pie? Genius!

So there you go. Right now, My pick of fifth in the Big Ten this year feels a bit optimistic, but then again, I'm a pretty optimistic guy. Homerish, even, so I'm going to go with it. I won't mention how I was really underwhelmed by the new guys tonight.

Last thing is that tonight was awesome because I got one of those shirts that the cheerleaders throw out. The probably gay male cheerleader tried to throw it to Dawg, probably because he's a cute wrestler type, but Dawg has stubby T-Rex arms so I was able to simply reach in front and take it away from him like I was Jimmy Hitchcock. It made me feel very good about myself.

Also, they really need to turn the heat down in the Barn.

Also also, I'm a little bit drunk so I hope this post makes sense. A little.

[EDIT: I just realized I forgot to talk about Jonathan Williams. He's really bad. The End.]


The Todd said...

Since I'm white, short, fat and unathletic, I don't follow basketball all that much. Is Spencer on the team this year? Something tells me he was a senior last year, that sucks. He's probably the best all-time Gopher ever. Well second behind McHale.

klinger said...

"I had to run around half the arena to find him parked on the side of the road sobbing, and gave him the ten bucks to park."

Run. Really? You expect us to believe you "ran" around the barn?

At least be honest and tell us that you made it 8 steps out the door, got winded, fired up a heater, and paid a kid $5 to take it the rest of the distance.

WWWWWW said...


I ran a little.

Dawg said...

I would like to go on record and admit that after my 10 + year friendship with Snake he finally made a quality movie recommendation. The movie was Iron Man and it was totally awesome. Good call Snake.

r. downey said...

How about a review then?

Dawg said...

"The movie was Iron Man and it was totally awesome."

R.Downey - what the hell do you call that?

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