Travis Busch’s first season with the Gopher was a bit rough. Early on in the season he was out with a thigh injury, and didn’t even dress for six of the non-conference games. When he was on the court, and actually in the game, he struggled mightily, but not for lack of effort. Among the obvious criticisms of last year’s team was a lack of intensity, but Busch left it all on the court, including a few layers of skin. Unfortunately his intensity couldn’t make up for his lack of height, speed, or quickness. Amazing though, how quick redemption can come. One pass, and 1.5 seconds can erase a whole season of frustration.
Since “The Shot” and the end of the season, its become more and more likely that Busch will see even less playing time than last year. Three of the Gophers new players, Devoe Joseph, Devron Bostick, and Paul Carter could all take away from what little playing time was available.
What we like
Every team needs a guy who is willing to throw himself around, and for the Gopher, that guy is Travis Busch. Though he is only 6’4” he was able to play at least moderately effective defense against much larger players and was certainly fearless, being at elbow height of many of the players he was guarding. He did also have one of the most successful poorly thrown passes in college basketball history. Every team needs a last man off the bench, and the Gophers could do a lot worse. In short, he is a great practice player that will make the team better, especially when he is not on the court.
What needs to improve
In short, just about everything. In Division I basketball, unless your name is Charles Barkley, there is not much use for 6’4” power forwards, and if Busch had a natural position, that’s what his would be. He can’t really run, he can’t really shoot, and can’t exactly soar through the air. But his hair, well, its good hair.
What to expect
If Travis Busch gets significant playing time at significant times in the upcoming season, then the Gophers will have a very long season. It would be a sign of severe injuries, severy foul trouble or both. Busch will get most of his minutes during garbage time. However, if the team needs a jolt of energy, don’t be shocked if Tubby puts him in, but hopefully, not for too long.