Category Archives: 2009-2010

FTB Exclusive: Damian Johnson looks back on the Gophers and forward to Japan

Recent Minnesota Golden Gopher graduate and former basketball captain Damian Johnson recently signed with Oita Heat Devils in the Japanese BJ League. He generously took some time share what he has been up to and to look back at his Gopher career. From The Barn: The first question has to be how you ended up in Japan? Last time a lot of us heard about you, you were on various NBA summer league teams trying to get a spot in the league. So what takes…

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The Anatomy of a Coaching Rumor

Summer is silly season in politics, and if the last few days are any indication, spring has to be the silly season in college basketball. Tubby Smith will be coaching at either Auburn (wrong), Georgia Tech (which never even had an opening), or Oregon (if Tom Izzo doesn’t accept the richest contract in college basketball history first). Before the Tubby rumors began to fly, it was Bruce Pearl heading to Iowa and Ben Howland, for no apparent reason, leaving UCLA to coach a DePaul team…

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It’s A Wrap

We laughed in disbelief, cried at Ed Hightower’s injustices, scratched our heads, threw pillows and even cheered wildly at times, but the roller coaster that was the 2009-10 season mercifully came to an end in a 65-54 loss in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to the Xavier Musketeers. The specifics of the game are pretty unimportant as the same stories that accompany most Gopher losses manifested themselves on Friday.  Poor shooting, lack of rebounding presence, a suspect half-court offense and little intensity; the…

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Xavier Preview Part 4: Putting it all together

If you haven’t had enough previewing of tomorrow’s first round NCAA tournament game, why not a look at the keys to the game and a prediction? Keys for the Gophers 1. Establish an inside presence. Ralph Sampson will need to be strong with the ball, and Colton Iverson will need to be strong with his body. Sampson has been very hit and miss over the last two weeks, and if he continues to give up bad turnovers, Xavier could end up looking a lot like…

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Xavier Preview Part 3: The Players

As you probably noticed in the previous post breaking down Xavier’s conference season, the team goes as its big 2 (or 3) go. Jordan Crawford and Jason Love are the core of the team, but they are not the entire team. Three players average in double figures and three more average more than 4.5 rebounds per game. But we’ll start at the top. Jordan Crawford should be familiar from his lone, scandal tainted season at Indiana. Back in 2008 he came off the bench, he…

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Barn Blurbs 3.18.10

Jim Souhan is giving the Gophers the edge in their game against the hated Musketeers. Hard to disagree with Marcus Fuller; Devoe Joseph really looks to be getting comfortable in the offense. Sad and unfortunate that it’s true, but it’s been 20 years since the Gophers have officially won an NCAA tournament game. The Washington Post fills out its bracket based on the ferocity of mascots.  The Gophers didn’t make it very far. Since the tournament expanded in 1985, the Gophers are 21-13 as an at-large…

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Xavier Preview Part 2: Atlantic 10 at a glance

Needless to say, Xavier got things straightened out once the Atlantic 10 season started. They lost only three games, two in the regular season and in the final of the conference tournament. Here is how it happened: Score Leading Scorer Leading Rebounder Key Statistic XU 68 – LaSalle 62 Jordan Crawford – 22 Jason Love and Terrell Holloway – 8 LaSalle shot 2-23 3 pters XU 76 – George Washington 69 Jason Love – 19 Jason Love – 13 XU made 23 Fts, GWU attampted…

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Barn Blurbs 3.16.10

Even in the face of difficult personnel issues this season, SI.com reminds us that Tubby Smith still did a great job at overcoming this year’s adversity. Take the Vegas odds for what they are, but Minnesota is a one point favorite heading into Friday’s contest. Out of the dog house and playing the best ball of his career, Colton Iverson seems to have figured it out. Joe Lunardi thinks the Gophers will lose in the first round.  However, he also picked BYU to the Elite…

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Xavier Preview Part 1: The Non-conference Schedule

As was the case last year, we’ll go right up to game time slicing and dicing Minnesota’s NCAA tournament first round match-up. Today, we look back at Xavier’s non-conference schedule, over the next few days we’ll also look at their players and strengths and weakness, culminating Thursday with the final preview and a few predictions. Also, check back daily for links to the many articles about Gopher basketball in local and national news. It’ll be hard to keep up, but we’ll do our best. The…

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What a weekend!

The reaction: “We all jumped together,” point guard Devoe Joseph said. “I think we might have damaged the couch in there.” Damaged would be putting it mildly. “We did break the couch,” shooting guard Lawrence Westbrook confirmed. “We were excited to see our name.” “I honestly had no clue,” said Joseph, who made the All-Tournament team. “I didn’t want to jinx it and say that we were out or whatever. I was just praying that we were in…. It’s been my dream since I was…

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