Tag Archives: Game Preview
Posted on 02. Dec, 2013 by JF.
There is no such thing as a “must win” November college basketball game, but there can be very important games, especially in terms of post-season positioning. Thanks to a disappointing performance in the Maui Invitational, the Golden Gophers have a very important game against Florida State Seminoles as part of the Big Ten – ACC challenge on Tuesday evening. A win won’t put them in the NCAA tournament, but a loss would all but necessitate a nine win Big Ten season to play in the tournament that matters in March. The Gophers haven’t won 9 Big Ten games since 2010.
Posted on 26. Nov, 2013 by JF.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers and Arkansas Razorbacks each lost competitive games against California and Syracuse respectively, and now face each other to avoid playing Chaminade. Here are a few quick thoughts:
Posted on 21. Nov, 2013 by JF.
A wake up call can come in any place at any time in the world of college basketball. The beginning of the season is full of close wins by elite teams over inferior competition, and bizarre losses by not so elite teams against even worse competition. The great thing about college basketball is that losing unexpectedly does not end the season before it begins. In fact, it can save a season by forcing a team to recognize their vulnerabilities, and address them. A wake-up call is indisputably good, as long as it heard.
Posted on 18. Nov, 2013 by JF.
On Saturday night at Richmond, the Golden Gophers passed their biggest test of the season. Using a match-up zone defense, and some timely scoring, they turned a small deficit into a comfortable win. It was an important game for a team still learning what they are capable of. Syracuse is looming in the not so distant future. For a chance for a season-defining victory in November, they can’t afford any slip-ups this week, especially against Coastal Carolina.
Posted on 15. Nov, 2013 by JF.
Learning was always going to be a big part of this season for the Golden Gophers. Players are learning a new style of play in new roles. A new coach is inevitably learning how to win in a much more difficult conference. We are all learning that college basketball can be fun again. On Saturday, we’ll learn about the teams ability to beat decent teams, on the road no less.
Posted on 11. Nov, 2013 by JF.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers started the 2013-2014 season with a win on Friday night against Lehigh, but three losses are sucking all the oxygen out of the proverbial room. The Gophers lost mega-recruit Reid Travis to Stanford, lost Mo Walker for six games due to violation of university policy, and may or may not have lost Wally Ellenson for a game or two due to a confrontation with the coaching staff that may or may not have happened. Finding someone to replace Travis will be impossible. However, thanks to some lucky scheduling, Ellenson and Walker might not need to be replaced at all.
Posted on 07. Nov, 2013 by JF.
A new era, with new coach, a new system, and several new players tips off on Friday evening in Williams Arena. The Golden Gophers, coming off their most successful season in years, and another turbulent off-season, will take on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks of the Patriot League. The game will be streaming on ESPN3.
If you did not have the opportunity to see one of the exhibition games, be prepared for a jarring but not unpleasant experience. There are new faces on the sideline and on the court. Even some of the old faces look new. The offenses and defenses are different. New players are in new roles. If a new coach’s success is measured by the mark they put on a team, Pitino has certainly been a success before coaching a single game.
Posted on 19. Mar, 2013 by JF.
Thank you to everyone who submitted questions on twitter, even if some were (hopefully) less than serious. Crochots asks: ”With the gophers suffering from routine cranial rectal inversion, what do you think is the best way to solve this problem? The Gophers obviously have some sort of mental block that prevents them from playing up […]
Posted on 18. Mar, 2013 by JF.
In the run-up to Selection Sunday, there is no shortage of what teams will make the NCAA tournament and how they will be seeded. The discussion of which teams will make the tournament isn’t pointless. Obviously bubble teams and their fans care a great amount about their tournament chances, and making the tournament is a prerequisite to winning a national championship. Seeding, on the other hand, doesn’t matter. For all the talk of the number one overall seed and which teams received a good or bad seed, more discussion should surround match-ups and location. Playing a virtual home or road game does more to determine the outcome of a game than wearing a home or road jersey, the only thing seeding actually does determine. Even more important than game location is the actual teams that are playing, is how they match-up.
Posted on 05. Mar, 2013 by JF.
The now luke-warm (as opposed to ice-cold) Golden Gophers start the last week of the Big Ten season on the road against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Gophers season is no longer on the line, thanks to season saving wins against Wisconsin and Indiana. With the season saved, the game only get more important. Meaningful March basketball has been sadly absent from Minnesota each the last two seasons. To make up for that, we all get to suffer through at least four straight meaningful basketball games. Consider the Nebraska game a warm up.
Posted on 01. Mar, 2013 by JF.
All good things must come to an end, and hopefully on Saturday, that includes the home careers of Trevor Mbakwe, Rodney Williams, Julian Welch, and Andre Ingram. We don’t want to see them go. Rodney Williams soaring through air and Trevor Mbakwe’s chest pounding dunks will be sorely missed. But if we do see them play another game in venerable Williams Arena, it means something has gone horribly wrong over the final three games of the Big Ten season. Thanks to the thrilling, potentially season saving win over the best team in the country on Tuesday night, the Gophers need only one more win to make the NCAA tournament. The three remaining games are against three of the worst teams in the Big Ten, starting with Penn State.
Once the season winds down we’ll take a closer at the careers of the departing seniors. They deserve so much more than a short blurb on a random blog in the middle of a game preview. But until then, thank you, sincerely, for your two to seven and a half (or s0) years with the basketball program. You will be missed.
Posted on 25. Feb, 2013 by JF.
Normally in our game previews we break down the keys statistics, key match-ups, and the players most likely to decide the outcome of the game. None of that seems necessary when number one Indiana comes to The Barn on Tuesday night. Indiana is just better that the Gophers. The players are better. The coaching is better. The team is better. Indiana should win, and rather handily. The Hoosiers are only a six point favorite, which tells me that the folks in Las Vegas don’t have access to the Big Ten Network.
Posted on 16. Feb, 2013 by JF.
If you are interested in a more formal preview of Sunday’s game between the Golden Gophers and the Iowa Hawkeyes, you should read our preview from two weeks ago. The information is still valid, and rehashing it all would be boring. So instead, here are a few thoughts. I’ve often discussed the life, death, and […]
Posted on 09. Feb, 2013 by JF.
No, nothing makes sense in college basketball this season. After another crazy week in the Big Ten, the Golden Gophers start an important stretch of three potentially winnable games. There is a catch of course, and that is their first two opponents, Illinois and Wisconsin, beat the two best teams in the country this week. The Iowa game is on the road, and the Hawkeyes are more than due to beat a decent team. To keep Selection Sunday boring, the Gophers need to find a way to win two of the next three. Otherwise, we’ll all have to start worrying about bubble again.