Sunday, July 5, 2015

Best Gophers of the Tubby Era: #26-30

Throughout the summer I'll be writing up each of the 34 players who played for the University of Minnesota under Tubby Smith.  Why Tubby?  Because it's the most recent era that's over.  If this goes well perhaps I'll go back and do Monson as well.  I'll be looking at any player who played at Minnesota under Tubby at some point, even if it was just a year.  And I will be considering their entire Gopher career, so guys who started under Monson or finished under Pitino will have their whole career considered, but anyone who transferred in or out is only evaluated on their Gopher stats.  With me?  Here we go:

#34 to #31 can be found here.

30.  JUSTIN COBBS (2009-2010).
-  He had a completely acceptable freshman year backing up Al Nolen, averaging 2 pts and 1 assist per game in about 11 minutes, and he looked like he'd end up being a quality player.  He did, ending his playing days with career averages of 11.3 points and 4.2 assists per game including points per game averages over 15 each of his last two seasons.  The only problem is his last three years all happened at Cal after Cobbs transferred out following his first season here.  His overall career would rank him significantly higher on this list, but with only 363 of his career minutes coming as a Gopher he has to land here.

29.  KENDAL SHELL (2011-2015).
-  Significantly less minutes in his Gopher career than even Cobbs with just 86 in his four years, I put Shell here because he's just been a good Gopher - no not playing wise but you know what I mean.  There's something endearing about a guy willing to walk-on for four straight years (I know he got a stray scholarship or something at some point but the point stands).  Did you know he wore three different jersey numbers in his time as a Gopher?  Basketball Reference says, and Google Images confirms, that he wore 34, 2, and 12.  Like, last season Nate Mason came in and wanted 2, so Shell shifted to 12.  I assume the same thing happened with the switch from 34 to 2, though I can't come up with who wore 34 recently.  Probably because I'm a little drunk.  Anyway, Kendal Shell was a good soldier for four years, and I'd love to put him higher.  With 17 career points, however, I cannot.

28.  JONATHAN WILLIAMS (2004-2009).  
-  The longest tenured of anybody on this list with 5 years spent in the maroon and gold, he actually has better total numbers than a lot of people who will be ranked above him but that's a product of those five years.  He played in 107 games but never averaged more than 3 points or rebounds per game.  Basketball Reference doesn't have his minutes stats for some reason, but he finished his career with under two field goal attempts per game so it's safe to say he didn't get a lot of run (I'm struggling to clearly remember him at all).  I went back in my archives to see what I said about him and he's been tagged five times in posts.  They're, uh, not good.  I found this:

The Ugly: Jon Williams. Forced to play a lot of minutes by Tollackson's foul trouble and Wisconsin's size, and now has me praying Sampson and Iverson can play immediately. Williams was 0-5 shooting, and somehow it was even uglier than that. All five misses were from inside 3 feet, including a missed dunk. He's completely overmatched in the Big Ten, and I don't know if he's fixable at this point. 

So there you go.  

27.  KEVIN PAYTON (2006-2009).
-  He just never developed.  I remember he was a 3-star, and at 6-6 when he was forced to play point he did it well and I was optimistic.  That was silly.  He never averaged more than the 2.2 points and 2.5 assists per game that he did as a freshman, and his numbers just kind of, trend down until he did nothing his junior year and then flat out quit playing basketball.  Still have no idea what happened here.

26.   ANDRE INGRAM (2011-2013).
-  A Minnesota kid who came to the Gophers after two years at JuCo I always liked Ingram (to be clear, it has nothing to do with him being a Minnesota kid who came home because I'm not one of those types).  He just seemed like he was trying really hard.  Unfortunately he just wasn't very good, ending up with career averages of 1.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game. I've wrote on this blog many times that Andre Ingram was a really intriguing sophomore.  Unfortunately he was a senior.  And the NCAA has pretty strict rules around eligibility.  Fascists.


rghrbek said...

This list is extremely exciting. I cannot wait for the Dan Monson era list as well. So many ballers to cover, and so many reasons to lament losing Clem the gem and his cheating ways....

Craig said...

Speaking purely from the product on the court, the players improved under Clem. Under Monson and Tubby we didn't see any improvement. Players were the same or worse when they left as they were when they arrived.