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Scott M

2010-2011 Gophers

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CJH

No problem. Just hope Joseph's quad isn't too bad!!!

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Scott M

The Golden Gopher Men's Basketball team recently returned from a three-game

exhibition trip to the Vancouver, British Columbia area. While there, the team was able to see many of the sites Vancouver has to offer, as well as compete against three of the best collegiate basketball programs in Canada.

Minnesota opened up with a 80-62 victory over the University of British

Columbia. Junior Devoe Joseph, a native of Pickering, Ontario, Canada, led the squad with 18 points, and fellow Ontario native freshman Mo Walker contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Minnesota's closest game of the trip came against Trinity Western University in game two of the trip. The Gophers overcame a hot-shooting Trinity team to win 80-68. Joseph again led the team in scoring with 15 points to go with a team-high five assists. Walker collected his second straight double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

After a day off, the final game pitted the Gophers against the University of Victoria. The Vikes led for a majority of the first half, but Minnesota made a late run in the second quarter to take a two-point lead at the half. It wasn't close from there. The Gophers finished with five players in double figures, again led by Joseph with 19.

Joseph led the Gophers for the week with a 17.3 point per game average. Senior Blake Hoffarber was second on the team in scoring at 13.0 ppg, followed by Trevor Mbakwe (11.0 ppg), Colton Iverson (10.3 ppg) and Walker (8.3 ppg). Walker averaged a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game. Mbakwe was close at 7.0 rpg, while Al Nolen led the team with 4.3 assists per game. Joseph also led the team in three-point shooting, going 11-of-22 (.500) for the week. Hoffarber made 11-of-26 (.423) attempts from behind the arc.

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Scott M

Rodney Williams getting some serious interest from mock NBA drafts. Last year when he was getting some starts and making some noise he was getting pushed almost into the lottery, then he stopped getting PT and he dropped off.

This year he's listed at the 10 spot at nbadraftnet and the 20 spot on Chad Ford's big board.

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Scott M

109-59 start to the exhibition season versus Northeastern State. Will be interesting when the real games get started. Starters so far are Sampson, IVerson, Williams, Hoffarber, Nolen. I gotta think Mbakwe cracks the starting rotation by the Puerto Rico tourney. Still need to see development of the bench and younger players and some semblance of a half court offense against a good defensive team.

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CJH

Kind of surprised Joseph didn't start. Is that due to the injury?

He was one of the better players last year. Can't imagine Nolen gets the job back automatically.

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Scott M

Yeah, he's dealing with a couple injuries from that Canada trip. When Nolen isn't scoring and guys are sagging off him forcing him to shoot Tubby is going to want to go to Joseph.

I'm going to be cautiously optimistic. Some folks are talking about 7 big ten teams getting in the Big Dance this year...If the Gophs can beat Western Kentucky two weeks from tonight, I'll be fully invested. They will have a heckuva front court, it's just if they can utilize it.

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Hory

The Gophers need to start evaluating the character of their players and the kids they recruit. Players can have all the talent in the world, but character will limit them in the long run. ( also see the Viking's examples of players with poor character/morals recently, and the success it has brought the team this year i.e.- Moss, Favre)

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mrklean

when does Royce White report to camp? laugh

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Scott M

This Devoe Joseph thing is getting interesting.

Gophers hold on to beat a good Winona State Squad. Winona State will make a strong run at another D2 championship.

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Scott M

Joseph suspended indefinitely. Wish we could have all the pieces come together and develop but instead we deal with drama every year. That said, I don't believe Tubby has mishandled any of these situations yet...the guys know who the boss is and that they earn everything they get.

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CJH

They are saying its academic reasons, but I wouldn't be surprised he's PO'd they gave Nolan the starting point back. Kind of scratching my head on that one. I know he's a good defender, but he's one dimensional - he brings nothing offensively. Not only that, but he didn't keep his end of the bargain and stay eligible academically.

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fishingMN4eyes

Isn't Joseph more of a two guard anyhow? He is a scorer more than he is a point guard. He was kind of forced to play it last year when Nolen went out and the next best option at the point was that Cobbs. I don't like Nolen, but I agree that the Gophers are going to want him in there for defensive purposes as well as being a leader. He brings almost nothing offensively. I am interested to see how long the Joseph drama lasts. He was a lock for big minutes this year after the way he finished last year. What a doorknob!

I agree with da-chise. You can't blame Tubby for this garbage. He has handled this stuff about as well as he could. Can't help that some of these kids are dumbarses.

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CJH

How about them bigs!!!???? Good games for Sampson, Iverson, and Mwbawke. Looks like that will be their strength this season, as they easily outmatched Wofford.

If they truly are a threat, then it will help Hoffarber and Joseph (when he comes back) have open looks from downtown.

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Scott M

Yes, nice opening night win.

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mr_jman

Excited to see the Gophers on ESPNU tomorrow night! Finally on TV and we can really get this season going!

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CJH

Definitely excited for the first televised game of the year!! (8PM-ESPNU)

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Scott M

That frontcourt makes me salivate! Mbakwe is a beast on the boards. Hoff has turned into a more well rounded player in year number 4. I thought he was the player that made the difference tonight, hit his free throws, hit some big threes when Siena was on fire, got after some loose balls, and really saw the floor well, distributing a couple nice assists.

If Minny can win 2 of 3 in Puerto Rico, they will be in good shape. Upsetting UNC is a tall order, they need to beat WKU first. But anything is possible.

I get to see my first live game a week from Wednesday against NDSU, hopefully the team is receiving a few more votes in the polls by that time. Some work in the tourney will help.

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fishingMN4eyes

Agreed on Mbakwe, I have been to the two regular season games so far and the word I have been using to describe him is beast. He gets rebounds he has no business getting. He gets after loose balls. Most imprtantly (as long as it doesn't get too over the top) he is bringing some emotion to this team and the rest of the guys can feed off that.

I think Nolen has taken some heat from people but I think he has played well and smart so far this year.

Freshman look ready to step in. Namely Hollins has looked great to start the year as well as Chip off the bench.

As for Puerto Rico, the Gophers have to find a way to beat WKU. See what happens against UNC. The will likely lose that game but you never know. Then they will likely end up playing West Va or Vanderbilt. All of those games will look good on a resume come March if they are fighting for a tourney bid especially if they can fight out 2 wins. The teams that will be in the loser's bracket don't look to be very impressive and will not look so good on a non-conference schedule.

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Scott M

Agree on Nolen, felt he had a good game, hit a few open shots and looked to force the action by penetrating...people forget he has a pretty good first step and finds guys under the basket.

Hollins started off very strong in the first half. He looks like he could really be a player, a guy to replace Hoff after he graduates.

Chip did a nice job getting to the rack. Our frosh could really help us; Tubby always finds a way to get them involved. As in years past, he is starting off the nonconference schedule with alternating lineups to see what guys give him.

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fishingMN4eyes

Tubby has publicly said he has major confidence in his freshmen and it shows because they come off the bench ready to contribute.

I just hope the big guys not named Mbakwe get back to playing strong like they did down the stretch last year in that BTT run they made. They were back to looking soft like they did as freshmen.

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Dotch

Would agree on the Twin Towers, especially Iverson last night still not taking the ball to the hole with enough authority to finish the play. Of course this was only when I was watching and was further confounded by the wife controlling the remote while flipping between Dancing With the Stars and the Gophs. I've found it helps in that case to make reference to certain features of the female dancers anatomy at which point she would change channels again. Methinks a new TV is in order to replace the broken one in the other room but I digress... whistle

Mbakwe has added the inside punch they needed last year. Reminds me a lot physically of some of the thugs Huggins used to recruit when he was at Cincinatti. Let's hope Trevor stays eligible and healthy. Was happy with the way the guards woke up and realized that jacking a 3 ball everytime down the floor in the first half wasn't the answer. C'mon, isn't anybody missing Lawrence Westbrook yet? wink

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mr_jman

C'mon, isn't anybody missing Lawrence Westbrook yet? wink

I really wish we had him for ONE more year with what else we have this year. Mbakwe looks good, Hoffarber will have good days and bad (He hasn't always shot well in road games) Nolan is valuable as a leader but will not put up big offensive numbers, but if he can dish the ball to a hot hand i don't have a problem with that! Agree on the Sampson/Iverson take. By now these guys should figure out that you can't be weak inside. GO UP AND THROW A FEW DOWN!!!!! Sampson has a little more fire than Iverson, but when Iverson gets going he can really be a big force (BTT last year!). Think this will be a fun season, hopefully we can pull a few upsets at home again and I wouldn't mind sweeping the BADGERS again!

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fishingMN4eyes

Oh come on, Westbrook was such a hothead, hotdog, and had a "look at me look at me" attitude. Heck of a player but he never just played the game. I am glad to be rid of his attitude this year.

I think a big thing for Iverson and Sampson is to play with some emotion. I thought they looked the best in the sconnie and Purdue games at home last year where the crowd was into it throughout and they fed off that. As well as the BigTenTourney run where all the players looked like they were jacked up and having fun.

p.s. The Gophers only play sconnie once this year so a sweep won't be quite as impressive wink

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Scott M

Gophers not taking care of the ball very well early in this one.

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Scott M

Gophs by 6 at the half, 40-34. Should be killing them but they are turning the ball over too much and giving up too many offensive rebounds (7). 11-9 Gophers - Hilltoppers on turnovers. They are making WKU take jumpers, which is good, but they need to turn it up and exploit their size and take care of the rock.

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Scott M

The Mbakwe man crush continues. Hurricane Mbakwe is cleaning tropical glass and dunking on anything in his path. Loving Hoffarber's newfound passing skills...

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Duffman

Thanks for the update!

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Scott M

59-47 12:00 to go. Decent passing and an extended 2-3 keeping WK off balance.

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Scott M

MBAKWE FOR PRESIDENT IN 2012!!!!Another o board and 1!

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schmitty3

Mbakwe is an absolute monster! He brings some much needed strength under the basket. He's been gettin some tough boards down there. He's gotta have over 5 dunks for the game too.

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