Daquien McNeil suspended, now what happens?

Details of the story are still coming together, but the University of Minnesota announced today that sophomore guard Daquien McNeil has been suspended from the team pending investigation after having been arrested for domestic assault. It’s sad news about a kid who looked to be on the path to redemption after suffering through a pretty rotten situation before finding Richard Pitino and the Gophers. In fact, Amelia Rayno detailed his story in a very well-written feature not too long ago. While the legal process still…

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Some answers, new questions for the Gophers after first four games

Settling on assumptions only four games into the season is a dangerous game to play. With the ebb and flow of teams, in-season player growth and the evolution of a team’s identity, the November Golden Gophers will assuredly look different than the March version. That said, it’s four games in and¬†we’re already starting to see some patterns, which can answer some initial questions we had about the team. But along with those answers come plenty of questions. Since we last checked in, the Gophers have…

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Possession problems may be solved, but the Gophers are shooting themselves in the foot with poor shot selection.

There is more than one way to win a basketball game, and the more ways a team can, the more they will win. So far in this still very young college basketball season, the Gophers have shown the potential to win in diverse ways.

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Blow outs are boring, but they can be valuable too.

There won’t be much exciting basketball at Williams arena during the non-conference season if everything goes as planned. The Gophers won’t score 109 points every night, like they did on Thursday against Franklin Pierce, but they will likely win every game, and by a lot points.

Bad opponents don’t always lead to blowouts. There have been plenty of horrible teams to who have played on the raised floor in recent seasons, but easy wins have been few and far between.

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From The Barn on the Gopher Sports podcast.

We’ll be forgoing the typical preview for tomorrow night’s game for something a bit different. The Gophers play a Division II team, in a game that will be ignored by 99% of the college basketball universe, and 100% of the NCAA tournament Selection Committee. I just can’t bring myself to research a bad president (arguably Franklin Pierce’s signing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and enforcing the Fugitive Slave Act directly led to the Civil War) and a really bad basketball team.

The something different is that I had the opportunity to tape this week’s Gopher Sports podcast, which you can listen to here. I expected disastrous results, and I can affirmatively state that it could have been much worse than it turned out. It may sound like it was taped in a closet, because it was, somewhere in the basement of the Bierman Building. There would be no better sales pitch to potential donors to the facilities campaign than the convoluted walk to what was once the athletic department’s photo lab.

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Gophers roll Western Kentucky in home opener

Four days after being punished by Louisville in an airport hangar on national TV, the Gophers were back in Williams Arena for their season home opener, facing Western Kentucky in what was officially the opening round of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Unlike the hangar slop fest, the Gophers were much more in control and confident. And behind a strong all-around performance by Deandre Mathieu and defensive domination, the Gophers took down the Hilltoppers with ease 76-54. Defensively, it was night and day for the Gophers,…

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Hilltoppers should be the Gophers toughest home non-conference test

Back on the mainland, back in basketball arena, back in The Barn, the Gopher basketball team is back home with a winnable game to open the home season on Tuesday night. Minnesota will still play a team from Kentucky, specifically Western Kentucky University, though the Hilltoppers have little in common with Louisville.

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Beyond the box score: Gophers vs. Louisville

The Golden Gophers finally played their much-hyped game against the much better Cardinals, and the result was much of what we expected. Louisville dominated on both ends of the floor, and it was a bit of a minor miracle that the Gophers kept the game relatively close. After the first day of the season, Louisville, at least according to Ken Pomeroy’s statistical models, is the best team in the country, with the best offense and the third best defense in the country. They are really, really good, and Minnesota won’t play another team that good until late February against Wisconsin.

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Gophers rocky in Puerto Rican season opener

We’d read about it for days, feared the worst, hoped for the best and tried to close our eyes and pretend like it didn’t exist. No, it wasn’t the Pitino vs. Pitino narrative jammed down our throats by ESPN but, rather, Montrezl Harrell the monster, who bullied the Gophers all night and came even better than advertised in an 81-68 season opening win for¬†Louisville in the Armed Forces Classic in Puerto Rico. Minnesota had absolutely no answer for Harrell, considered to be one of the…

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