Tag Archives: Ralph Sampson III

An exhausting season, but save room for optimism

Where do you even begin on a recap of a season like this? One that failed to follow any sort of blueprint, leaving us scratching our heads more often than not. I suppose I’ll start at the end. Be excited for next year. In a year where down was up, left was right, and things in Gopher Nation were seldom fair, the team clawed its way from the lowest point in years to rebound and find itself in the championship game of the NIT. Granted,…

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Ralph Sampson III was a success, even if you expected more.

On Saturday morning Ralph Sampson III will take the court in venerable Williams Arena for the final time. During his career, he became one of five Gophers to ever score 1,000 points, collect 500 rebounds, and block 200 shots. No player has achieved that since Michael Bauer nearly a decade ago. For many Gopher fans, his career will be considered a disappoint. To them, I ask why?

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Loss to Northwestern puts Gophers in must-win mode

Cue the broken record. With an easier route to a postseason berth hanging in the balance and a chance to give themselves some much-needed breathing room in the at-large conversation, the Gophers promptly went into Welsh-Ryan arena laid an egg against bubble-rival Northwestern. Leaving them at 5-9 in conference play and gasping for air like a fish out of water. For context, the Gophers were in a virtual play-in game with Northwestern to remain in the projected NCAA tournament with experts concluding that whoever won…

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Gophers drop wild conference opener

A roller coaster of emotions for Gopher fans in a back-and-forth B1G conference opener against Illinois ended in an 81-72 double-overtime defeat, sending Minnesota to its first loss since Thanksgiving. Meyers Leonard, the big Illini center, was a monster and Illinois had five players register double figures in scoring. Playing in only their second game since Dec. 13, Minnesota once again came out sluggish and found themselves nearly hopelessly down 13 midway through the second half. Missed opportunities on the offensive end were to blame…

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What about Ralph?

The Minnesota Golden Gophers won their second straight game against a BCS conference team (albeit a bad one) on Saturday afternoon, and once again didn’t seem to miss their starting front line. The back court led by Julian Welch, who emerged as a scoring threat, and some timely three-point shooting by Austin Hollins, were almost all the team needed to beat USC. Rodney Williams, playing closer to the basket, had a 360 dunk and nearly a double-double. Elliot Eliason didn’t get many scoring chances, but aggressively crashed…

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How to watch the Post-Mbakwe Gophers

Here we go again it seems. A promising season has been thrown into disarray. A promising career has come to an end. A team captain who had noticeably improved his game will spend the rest of the season on the bench. Again. It always has to be something. But we are a hearty people, the children of refugees from war-torn regions of the world, grandchildren of the winners of the great wars and survivors of the Great Depression, great-grandchildren of pioneers who fought off freezing…

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Ralph Sampson III (50), Andre Hollins (1) and Trevor Mbakwe, top right, surround Bucknell's Joe Willman. (Jim Mone/AP Photo)

Game ending burst helps Gophers beat Bucknell

NCAA Basketball After one game, the Golden Gophers already have what should prove to be a quality win when tournament time comes around. It won’t be a win that makes headlines around the country, and the Gophers won’t get any in the non-conference season. A series of good wins can ultimately equal some of the great non-conference wins we to which we have grown accustomed, and it was pretty clear Friday night that the Bucknell Bison are not a bunch of slouches. Last year’s Gopher…

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2011-2012 Returning Golden Gophers Preview

College basketball is a young man’s game. Every year a freshman superstar steals the hearts and minds of even the most casual of fans, and take his team on a whirl wind ride before dashing off to the NBA to pursue fame, fortune, and failed hip-hop careers. For a few very select programs, chasing the top freshman has proven to be a sustainable solution. The rest of the college basketball world, the Gophers included, depends on the maturation of often raw and flawed young players…

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Previewing Friday’s Festivities

The 2011-2012  college basketball season unofficially kicks off on Friday night as teams across the country hold their first official practice. At The Barn, this will take the form of the first annual “Gopher All-Star Friday Night” which follows four annual events called “Tubby’s Tip-off”. Before that it was “Midnight Madness” for twenty or thirty years. The opening night of practice, by any other name, would still have a dunk contest. So why make life difficult for people actually wanting to attend the event by…

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Ralph Sampson III declares for draft, Mbakwe does not

In borderline stunning news, Ralph Sampson III declared today that he will enter the upcoming NBA draft in hopes of getting a spot on a real, live NBA team. Anyone who has watched Sampson over the past couple seasons knows he’s far from NBA ready and would have a pretty tough time cracking a roster in The Association. Ralph is a solid, if unspectacular Big Ten player, but hasn’t yet shown the sort of intensity required for a post position in the NBA and doesn’t…

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