November 12, 2007

Gopher Hoops - 1 down 29 to go

Gopher Basketball is underway! I am really excited about this season (not as excited as I'll be in a few years!).

Game 1 is in the books and we are undefeated. If you read this blog, I'm sure you've already checked out PJS, From the Barn or Down With Goldy to get their thoughts on the gopher WIN which are much more informed than mine since I didn't see one bounce of the game.

I didn't get a chance to watch the game, but I am pleased to read that the defense was the highlight of the game. If this team can generate turnovers that lead to points and keep teams from shooting a high percentage that will go a long way towards reversing last year's record. The other encouraging box score highlight was that we scored 84 points and we got very little production from our best scorer. Getting points from other sources (especially early) will help us to win games when McKenzie is having an off night or is being shut down.

Up NEXT - Iowa State (in a week) - I think this is a HUGE game for us for 2 reasons.

  1. In my opinion this was the game that killed the season last year. Coming off a couple nice wins over NDSU +15 (who was very pesky for teams like Wisconsin and Kansas State) and Long Island +16, we played well at home against the Cyclones for 30 min. Then we allowed Mike Taylor (33 points, six 3's) to get red hot as he led ISU to the comeback win. This was really a demoralizing defeat that lingered into the Old Spice Classic where the season became unrecoverable.
  2. If you want to make the NCAA Tournament you have to beat average teams from BCS Conferences. This game will kill your resume when you are on the bubble and kind of help you come March. If you lose here and lose to Florida State then you absolutely have to win your other 10 non-conference games to even have a chance (albeit slim). Split those tougher non-conference games and you leave yourself a little more room for error in the conference season.
I imagine that the seniors on the roster will be eager to play this game and steal one back from Iowa State. Look for this to be a statement game.

Below is a BTN Gopher Preview...

And in case you missed it - the gophers are taking fans with them to Tallahasee for the Big 10/ACC Challenge. Great deal if you can swing it. I'll be making my first gopher road trip since the NCAA first round games in Kansas City - 1997.

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