Well I've been pleasantly surprised by this team so far. Time to find out just how far that will stretch. They're 9.5 point underdogs here so I'm not expecting a win, but I want to see something good. Unlike the Southern Illinois game which reminded me A LOT of last year. Let's not do that again.
19:10 - These baby blue uniforms for FSU. Come on.
18:24 - Florida State with an aggressive switching scheme on defense. I like this. The Gophers need to be able to handle it.
17:08 - FSU 3, Gophers 0. Not much to say at this point. The Gophers are all falling back on the shot attempts so there isn't even an attempt at an offensive rebound. Wonder if that's intentional.
16:34 - Murphy hits two free throws to make it 5-2. He's got a ton of arc on the ball, almost exaggerated even. Obviously he's worked on his free throws. Hopefully the rest of team has as well.
14:50 - 7-7 after a ridiculous Coffey 3-point play. Gophers are pressuring the back court and then falling back into a zone. I don't remember them zoning much this year, but I drink a lot and lack a significant attention span.
13:12 - 13-12 FSU leads a pretty ugly game so far. Seminoles basically daring the Gopher roll man to beat them and Lynch hasn't done anything with it yet.
11:59 - Speaking of Lynch, guess who just picked up his dumb second foul? Which means the Gophers now have to battle FSU's insane size with either undersized inexperience with Curry, or sheer incompetence in Konate. Could be both!
10:59 - FSU goes with the Tubby Smith style line change. What could go wrong?
10:43 - FSU up 17-12 after two free throws. Gophers entire offense right now consists of pick and rolls initiated 40 feet from the basket. That's not a good thing.
7:54 - 21-20 FSU. Gophers seem to have found some offensive rhythm using good ball movement. Even Springs seems to be waiting to find his shot when he's open, rather than doing his chucker thing. This version of Springs would be a valuable cog off the bench. FSU's size a big issue for the Gophers right now. Five offensive rebounds on eight missed shots is unacceptable, but the biggest problem is when FSU runs a pick and roll the defender on the roller man is coming out to high to double, giving the roller a way to easy path to get deep into the paint. This is a problem.
6:41 - Murphy, Coffey, and Lynch now all on the bench with two fouls. Gophers down 1. Big stretch coming here.
6:05 - Konate hits two free throws to tie it up at 24. Definite positive from this game is the Free Throw shooting. Looks like the team identified the weakness (which wasn't exactly difficult) and did something about it.
5:17 - 22 fouls so far. Refs are a BIT tight in this one.
2:22 - McBrayer 3 to give the Gophers a one point lead. They aren't exactly looking great, but they're doing enough. Like your mom.
0:00 - Gophers lead 33-31 at half. Impressive. Not that it was an impressive half of basketball, considering the Gophers committed 10 turnovers and 14 fouls while allowing 7 offensive rebounds and shooting under 30%. That's ugly. There's no way they should be leading, but a couple of interesting surprises have them ahead. First is the free throw shooting - Gophers 15 for 20 at the half. In a game where the refs are calling a ton of fouls that's extra important (FSU is 12-18). And speaking of fouls, the Gophers lost Lynch, Coffey, and Murphy for huge chunks of the half with 2 each meaning Konate got a lot of run and man, I have to admit, he was good. He hit four our of five free thows, grabbed four rebounds, a block, and a steal with only one turnover and solid defense all around. I can't stress how important his play was this half.
20:00 - Barring a massive collapse and a 20 point loss I'm not sure how I come out of this game unhappy. Oh I know. They lead by 6 with 30 seconds left and lose while not getting a shot off in the final seconds. That would do it.
18:35 - FSU coming out with a LOT of energy, scoring all three of their possessions so far with their guards attacking the rim. This is what they should have been doing the whole game. Gophers need to force their offense back on the perimeter.
16:04 - Fourth foul on stupid Coffey. FSU up 42-38. Their guards are so good at getting into the paint and hitting tough jumpers from there. It's a completely different Seminole team so far this half, and I can't even blame the Gopher defense. This is just good players being good.
13:13 - FSU running and scoring, Gophers missing everything. Currently a 9 point FSU lead. Finally showing that they're the better team. Might be different with Coffey, but he's gonna end up with like, under 10 minutes played in this game.
12:05 - FSU dunk after an Ojo block to make it 52-39. Here's the thing to watch for. On that Ojo block that basically served as an outlet pass nobody rotated back. McBrayer drove, Ojo blocked his floater out to nearly mid court, and the two players the furthest down the court were both Seminoles. That's the kind of little thing that killed this team the last couple years - the little fundamentals. Haven't seen too much of that this year so far, but interesting how it suddenly shows up right as the team is starting to lose any control of this game.
10:45 - Mason's inability to hit free throws is a problem.
7:52 - FSU 58, Minnesota 49. I'm probably out of things to say. FSU clearly the better team, and the Gophers hung tough despite playing poorly and being undermanned due to fouls. This game gives me hope, but a win over Vandy is now even more important. Bye.