Tag Archives: Rodney Williams

4 noticeable differences under Richard Pitino

It’s not like we didn’t know things would be different when Richard Pitino came to town. Heralded as a guy who likes his teams to run, who has takes a fairly sophisticated approach to the game and prefers guys who can shoot well, it was understood that this year’s Gophers would be a departure from the elements of Tubby Ball that we’d gotten accustomed to. Less interior play, harassing defense and improved fundamentals were expected. And so far, at least, that’s been the case. Of…

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Gophers return to dominance (and SportsCenter) in win over Penn State

Fresh off a thrilling, court-storm-inducing victory over Indiana, the Gophers kept up the intensity and cemented their status as a tournament team with a 29-point drubbing of Penn State. On a day where Tubby started all seniors on Senior Day, Minnesota dismantled the Nittany Lions in all aspects of the game. With a significant size, strength, and athletic advantage, the Gophers led wire to wire and were never really challenged. Rodney Williams also had perhaps the greatest dunk of the season. At the outset it…

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Gophers end home slate against Penn State on (super) Senior Day.

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.

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Gophers save season in win over Wisconsin

In what was perhaps the biggest game of the season in terms of postseason implications, the Gophers fought tooth and nail against Wisconsin to notch an overtime victory that went down to the final seconds. After a solid start to the season, the Gophers ended a free fall that saw them fall out of the national top 10 to unranked oblivion where they found themselves in a familiar position: needing a win to show the country that they’re still relevant. A loss to Wisconsin meant…

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Finally, the Gophers have a chance to play a bit of consequence-free basketball.

And now, for one night only, the Golden Gophers can play some consequence-free basketball against the Michigan State Spartans. Two wins last week gave the Gophers  a bit of breathing room. Losing five out of six games would have put the Gophers squarely on the bubble, or even the wrong side of the bubble, and Wednesday evening’s game in East Lansing  would have been a true must-win. As  a team, Minnesota is not the most mentally stable, and their decision making leaves a lot to be desired. I don’t want to think about how the team would likely react in a pressure-cooker of a game in a mad house like the Breslin Center. Instead, the Gophers can play like they have something to prove without dire consequences if they do not, like  New Year’s Eve when these two teams first met.

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A rivalry renewed.

For the last several seasons, the Minnesota Golden Gophers have had only one basketball rival, and it was not the Iowa Hawkeyes. Iowa was very bad at basketball, struggling to stay out of the Big Ten cellar, and if we are going to be honest without ourselves, the Gophers were not usually that much better. Even those mediocre Gopher teams found a way to beat the Hawkeyes, who because of lack of talent and lack of coaching, couldn’t put up much of a fight. In the early days of the Monson era, the Gophers and Hawkeyes took turns between being bad and medicore, which led to some not very compelling basketball games, and the rivalry nearly died.

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Nebraska blowout has Gophers back on win wagon

That wasn’t so hard now, was it? After two excruciatingly painful games in which they seemingly forgot how to play basketball, the Gophers came out against Nebraska with guns blazing and something to prove. Wanting to show that they weren’t the 44 and 48-point team they were against Northwestern and Wisconsin the Gophers instead blew the doors off The Barn, scoring 84 points, shooting 54 percent from the field and grabbing 15 offensive rebounds to totally dominate the boards. In fact, if it wasn’t for…

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Gophers answer big questions with win over the Spartans and raise another.

After a thrilling come from behind victory over a traditional Big Ten powerhouse, the Golden Gophers answered several questions lingering from the non-conference season, and raised the biggest question of all. How good can this team be?

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That’s a (non-conference) wrap

As the Gophers closed the book on this year’s non-conference season with an exclamation-point thumping of the lowly Lafayette Leopards we find ourselves in a not-unfamiliar position of wondering just what lies ahead for the team against conference foes. Like past years the Gophers roll into the conference season sporting a shiny record and a couple of decent victories on their resume. Like other years they’ve handled their relatively inferior non-conference opponents with ease and provided reasons for believing that this, indeed, could be “the…

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Mbakwe plays above the rim in NDSU victory

Heading into a sizeable dearth of game activity in which they only play two games in two games in 20 days, the Gophers first made quick work of the North Dakota State Bison 70-57 in a sort-of-close-but-not-really victory at Williams Arena. Now finals week can commence and the players can focus on getting their schoolwork done … or something. The Bison jumped out to a quick lead and it actually seemed like the Gophers might have a battle on their hands. However, between Rodney Williams’…

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