Posted on February 2, 2014 by zipsofakron.
In a game that served as an opportunity to rebound from a loss on the road to Nebraska, the Gophers came out flat against a hot, yet still suspect, Northwestern team and threw away another prime opportunity to pick up a home win against a beatable conference opponent, dropping their second consecutive game in a […]
More than one way to skin a cat: Richard Pitino, Chris Collins, and different approaches to defense.
Posted on January 31, 2014 by JF.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Northwestern Wildcats will won’t resolve any age-old debates on Saturday in The Barn, but they will provide plenty of fodder for those who like to argue if offense or defense is more important in college basketball. The Gophers have the worst defense in the Big Ten, and Northwestern’s offense is historically inept. We won’t find out if defense wins championships on Saturday, but we may find out if a resistable force (Minnesota’s defense) can defeat a movable object (the Wildcat offense).
Posted on January 26, 2014 by zipsofakron.
Fresh off an impressive win over arch rival Wisconsin at home, the Gophers continued to curious, if not frustrating trend of playing to their opponent’s skill level in an 82-78 loss in Lincoln. Andre Hollins found himself on the bench in a walking boot – unable to play due to an ankle injury suffered early […]
Posted on January 25, 2014 by JF.
There is no good time for an injury, especially an ankle sprain that could linger for the rest of Andre Hollins’ junior season. Some times are worse than others, and the Golden Gophers got a bit lucky with the timing of this injury. There will be only two games in the two weeks following the win over Wisconsin, and Nebraska and Northwestern can’t compare to the four game gauntlet that Minnesota survived. Still, in a conference as tough as the Big Ten, someone will have to step up for the Gophers to keep winning, especially on the road in Lincoln on Sunday.
Posted on January 23, 2014 by JF.
It only took ten seconds for Golden Gopher fans to have flashbacks to so many seasons lost to injuries, suspensions and unexpected departures. After knocking down the first shot of the game, on the first play of the game, Andre Hollins rolled his ankle, and would not return. Over the remaing 39:50, it was easy to forget that anything was missing, as Minnesota hammered the Wisconsin Badgers inside and out on the way to 81-68 victory.
Posted on January 21, 2014 by JF.
Before every Big Ten game, we try to track down someone who knows a bit more than we can figure out from perusing statistics and box score. Andy from Madtown Badgers graciously agreed to answer a few questions prior to Richard Pitino’s first real rivalry game.
Posted on January 18, 2014 by JF.
On Sunday afternoon, for the first time since 2006, the Golden Gophers will face a ranked Iowa Hawkeyes team in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. In January of 2006, the Hawkeyes led by Pierre Pierce, beat the Gophers 66-60. Eight years and four combined head coaches later, what was once a great rivalry is beginning to have meaning again. Rivalry games always matter, within the context of a rivalry. Beyond bragging rights though, no one particularly cares when mediocre teams from neighboring states battle to prove which team is a little less horrible. This year, Iowa is a contender for a conference championship, and the Gophers have a chance to prove they should be involved in that conversation too.
Posted on January 16, 2014 by zipsofakron.
After near misses against Michigan and Michigan State in conference play, it was starting to look like the Gophers would never get over the hump of actually taking down one of the Big Ten’s top teams. Wins over Purdue and Penn State showed that they weren’t at the bottom of the barrel, but without a […]
Posted on January 15, 2014 by JF.
Matt Barker of Buckeye Banter graciously agreed to answer a few questions about the Ohio State Buckeyes, the first top 10 team to come to The Barn since Indiana last season. We answered some questions too, and you can read those answers here.
FTB: We all know that Ohio State has one of the best defenses in the country. What makes them so good? Please mention something other than Aaron Craft.
MB: It starts with Thad Matta’s starting lineup that features three guards. Then you mix in 6-foot-8 forward LaQuinton Ross with 6-foot-11 center Amir Williams and all five are very athletic. Plus, Matta has a deeper bench this season and you add some length with 6-foot-7 forwards Sam Thompson and Marc Loving, Williams is a good shot-blocker in the low post, but it all starts in the backcourt with Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott. I have to include Craft in this question since he’s the best on-ball defender in the country. Case in point, in five games over the last two seasons against Michigan, Trey Burke shot just 36 percent from the field and 30 percent from three-point range. While he did average 13.2 points and 5.2 assists, he also averaged 4.4 turnovers in those games against Craft.
Posted on January 11, 2014 by zipsofakron.
Two historical footnotes were working against the Gophers on Saturday as they traveled to East Lansing to take on Michigan State: 1) they hadn’t won at MSU since 1997; and 2) they hadn’t beaten a top-5 team in a true road in the history of the program. Those are impressive numbers. So it’s no surprise […]
Posted on January 10, 2014 by JF.
The next four Golden Gopher basketball games will not be for the faint of heart. After three straight games decided by three points, the Gophers start a stretch of four straight games against ranked teams, the first such four game stretch since 1996. The bad news is that these will likely be losses, and at least one of them is bound to be ugly. The good news is that the Gophers won’t hurt their NCAA tournament chances if they lose all of them, and will significantly improve their chances if they win any of them. The rough stretch starts Saturday afternoon at Michigan State.
Posted on January 8, 2014 by zipsofakron.
Conference wins in the Big Ten don’t come easy. But road conference wins? Forget about it. At least, that’s what it’s felt like in Minnesota over the past two seasons, where we’ve most recently seen the Gophers endure an 8-game road losing streak. That all ended on Wednesday night as Minnesota came from behind to […]
Posted on January 7, 2014 by JF.
Not long ago, in the late oughts for instance, a Big Ten basketball game between the Golden Gophers and Penn State Nittany Lions had great potential to be a dreadful affair. Sure, there could be some excitement, like when Lawrence Westbrook ripped the soul out of all 37 fans in attendance in Happy Valley.
Posted on January 5, 2014 by zipsofakron.
One game after being MIA for the entire game, Austin Hollins showed why he’s one of the leaders of this team and one of the most dangerous scorers when he’s on the court. Behind 18 points, four three-pointers and a thunderous dunk worthy of SportsCenter’s top plays, Hollins led the Gophers to a wild 82-79 […]
Posted on January 4, 2014 by JF.
The Purdue Boilermakers and Minnesota Golden Gophers enter Sunday’s game in a similar predicament. Neither team is among the worst in the Big Ten. That dishonor seems reserved for Northwestern, Nebraska, and potentially Penn State and neither would be confused for the conference’s elite. But after a disappointing home loss for each in the Big Ten opener for each team, both are left wondering how good or bad they can be. There is generally a large range within the Big Ten’s middle tier, and Purdue and Minnesota would both rather be playing for an NCAA tournament bid than a trip to the NIT. Falling to 0-2 in conference play makes the latter much more likely.