Even in a 92-57 blowout, the score didn’t do anything justice, as the Gophers returned from a long finals break showing no rust and completely steamrolled the Redhawks from Seattle University.
In fact, steamroll isn’t probably strong enough. The Gophers ran circles around Seattle, stealing the ball at will and getting out in transition better than they maybe ever have. There was even this:
Anytime you get Charles Buggs throwing down a reverse alley-oop then things are going extraordinarily well. Even Bakary Konate got in on the action, scoring a career-high 9 points and nearly notching a double-double.
The game marked the fifth in a row where the Gophers completely obliterated the other team. Yes, they’re playing some pretty bottom-of-the-barrel teams, but they also went on the road against Wake Forest and came away with a 15-point win in that span.
Carlos Morris was smooth, scoring a career-high 19 points and looking like the silky player we saw early in the season before he became a chucker, and seems to have moved on from that phase of his season, and the Gophers racked up an amazing 16 steals and forced 21 Seattle turnovers.
And more miraculous, the existence of Gaston Diedhiou was substantiated, as the big man made his first official appearance on the Gopher bench as a member of the team. He didn’t play though, so unfortunately the world is still in the dark about the TRUE pronunciation of his last name.
The Redhawks had absolutely no answer for the stingy Gopher defense, and the full-court press gave them fits the entire night. More often than not, Seattle was trapped helplessly in the corner on an inbounds pass while Deandre Mathieu and Nate Mason stripped the ball away at will. Mathieu scored only 2 points, but dished out 9 assists and racked up 6 steals while everyone else did the offensive damage. Mathieu was just everywhere on the court, in a good way.
Once again, the Gophers played a complete game and, even though they aren’t playing the best teams in the nation, it’s great to see them doing good things where they should be. Heck, even the free throw shooting has improved substantially. And with other B1G teams dropping like flies to low-majors, the Gophers find themselves as one of the few unscathed teams remaining.
The conference season is just around the corner.