Pathetic. Pathetic pathetic pathetic. I was actually considering just filling this entire post with that word, but then realized that word wasn't shameful enough. Then I was going to do shameful, but that isn't strong enough either. I was going to to check my thesaurus, but then I got lazy. Also, there just isn't a word to describe that sad disgrace.
Seriously, even with a 10-point lead at the half you could see things weren't as they should be. Oh, we all laughed, talked, bought concessions, laughed at the baton girl and Doogie's sweatpants, but we knew. I remarked to one of my companions at the game (@Mpls_B) had been a pathetic effort, particularly on defense. His reponse, "there's no reason they shouldn't be beating this team by 20 at half." But shirley, there was no way they wouldn't blow this out by 20, right?
WELL WHEN YOU DON'T PLAY ANY GOD DAMN DEFENSE AND STAY IN A ZONE DESPITE YOUR OPPONENT HITTING EVERY THREE-POINTER THEY SHOOT (and it's the only, single, solitary thing they do well on offense) IT'S PRETTY GOD DAMN HARD TO WIN.
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I can't write about this. This was reminiscent of the final Dan Monson year or the Kris Humphries year. Let's try player-by-player, got to be some good there.
Trevor Mbakwe. Aaah. That feels better. This guy is unreal good. Nearly brought the team back in the final five minutes all by himself by getting offensive rebounds off the nearly infiite amount of bricks they were chucking up there. Love him.
Ralph Sampson. Whatever time machine he found needs a new flux capacitor, because this was like switching out the cool, confident George McFly who punched out Biff with that nerdy dorky one from the beginning of the movie. Virginia's Mike Scott is a tough, physical player, and after he bumped Ralph a couple of times he crumpled up into his shell like a koopa troopa. This makes me super confident for Big Ten play.
Blake Hoffarber. His numbers (and yes, Dawger, his fantasy points) look great, but he missed several open looks when the Gophers were trying to get a run going. If he hits any one of those shots the comeback would have had a chance, but he missed when it counted. Also basically refused to guard anybody running through a ball screen. I think every first half point for Virginia came from the guy Hoffarber was guarding.
Maverick Ahanmisi. A freshman point guard and not a particularly good one. He's still better than I expected, but there's no way he should be playing significant minutes in important games right now.
Austin Hollins. I'm not even entirely sure he played. The box score says he did, and says he nabbed three steals, but I'll be damned if I remember a single one of them.
Devoe Joseph. Awesome offensive machine in the first half, missed a couple of shots in the second and suddenly got tight, lost confidence and focus, and it was clang city. And as much as I love him, there's no way he should be anywhere near running an offense.
Colt Iverson. Got abused by Mike Scott like he was a national league team in 1986. Brought some good energy on the offensive end, but energy don't score buckets.
Mo Walker. Gave them some good minutes in the second half, mainly because he tried. Jesus christ that is a pathetic sentence. God they sucked tonight.
Rodney Williams. Was called "doubtful", then played five minutes, had a spectacular dunk, and re-injured himself. Hopefully not seriously.
Chip Armelin. A slower Rico Tucker, and I mean that in the good way. A little out of control at times, but he at least gives you energy and effort and seems like the only guy who is always looking to score. If he's not All Big 10 by his senior year I'll eat a donkey.
Seriously, awful game. It's easy to point at no Al Nolen and say that's the reason, and really this was such an awful game instead of scoffing like a scoffer and chalking that excuse up to homerism I'm actually considering it as legit. And, since he's supposed to be out for "a few weeks" we might as well start ordering our NIT tickets now, kids.
When people call me "pessimistic" or "negative", there's a always a game like this around the corner to just prove the old axiom "never trust a Gopher team."