The Deeply Beleaguered Minnesota Sports Fan

Tubby Smith Minnesota

Sports fan in Minnesota haven’t had a whole lot to cheer about recently. The general manager of the Minnesota Timberwolves, David Kahn, received some flack recently for simply stating the obvious. The NBA lottery is a flawed system that annually does not give the team the position it deserves in the draft.

He insinuated that the good story of the year obtains the pick.

Once again, the club fell victim to the ping pong balls. It doesn’t seem to be a year that it will be of great impact because there are two players that are head and shoulders above the rest: Derrick Williams of the Arizona Wildcats, and Kyrie Irving of Duke.

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Al Nolen Out Indefinitely: Minnesota Gophers Suffer Setback

al nolen

The Minnesota Golden Gophers college basketball program announced that senior point guard Al Nolen will be out indefinitely with a broken bone in his right foot. Nolen suffered the injury Jan. 22 in the first half versus the Michigan Wolverines. Nolen also missed five games (11/29-12/15) this season during the non-conference schedule with a stress reaction in his right foot.

Nolen is scheduled to undergo surgery on Jan. 26 to insert a pin in the foot.

“We will definitely miss the leadership of our senior point guard,” said Gopher head coach Tubby Smith. “We knew that Al was playing with a lot of pain since the previous injury occurred so we are hoping that the procedure will relieve the pain and make it possible for him to return to the lineup by the end of the season. In the meantime, we know that Al will continue to be a leader from the bench.”

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Mbakwe, Gophers Look Better in Narrow Loss to Ohio State

trevor mbakwe

Ohio State is on another level. [Read more…]

Gophers Look Shaky in First Game Without Devoe Joseph

devoe joseph

If Gopher fans were looking for encouragement after their program’s week from hell, they didn’t find it Tuesday night. [Read more…]

A Bad Week for Gopher Basketball

Devoe Joseph

A season that had only one blemish the first 361 days of 2010 has quickly turned into a nightmare of a new year for Minnesota Gophers Basketball. [Read more…]

Al Nolen’s Defense Desperately Needed for Gophers

Al Nolen

It is rare that a player affects a team on the defensive end of the floor as much as Al Nolen does for the Gophers.

In what seems to be an annual me-praise-Al event this time of year, in 2010 it seems more clear that his defense should be what’s applauded, rather than my claim last year around this time that he was “the key to the Gopher offense.”

I’d continue to make the claim that he is ONE OF the keys on the offensive end of the floor, especially considering how savvy he is with the ball and how little he turns the ball over.

But in the four games without him so far this season, the more important issue is how lost the Gophers look on the defensive end of the court.

The Gophers will continue to put up big offensive stats the rest of the non-conference season with or without Nolen, as Blake Hoffarber rains threes and the return of Devoe Joseph gives the Gophers a playmaker and sparkplug.

But consider these stats defensively when looking at the importance of Nolen to this team.

In the six games they were with Nolen, they gave up 67 points per game.  In the four games without him, they have given up 71.

That may not seem like a large difference, but consider this:  The Gophers first six games included four 2010 NCAA tournament teams and two of those opponents were ranked in the top 30 at the time they defeated them (#8 UNC, #27 West Virginia).

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The Backdoor Cut Analyzes the Minnesota Gophers Basketball Team’s Hot Start

Blake Hoffarber

The Gophers Basketball Team is 5-0 with a Puerto Rico Tip-Off win under their belts and wins over four 2010 NCAA tournament teams….Trevor Mbakwe was named the Big Ten Player of the Week and the Gophers have smooth sailing to an undefeated non-conference season…The Backdoor Cut breaks down how the Gophers have done it and what they need to do to keep the good times rolling around Williams Arena.

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Mbakwe Wins Big Ten POW, Gophers Win Puerto Rico Top-Off, Minnesota Rolling

Al nolen

Losing your 2009-10 leading scorer, your best overall defender, and then right before the season your team’s most explosive scorer sounds like a lot to deal with for a program.

Apparently it’s not.  [Read more…]

5 Reasons Gopher Basketball Finishes in Big 10’s Top 3

Tubby Smith

Royce White gone, Cory Joseph never arriving, leading scorer graduated, no impact recruits.

Now that we have the negatives out of the way, it’s time to flip the script and turn our attention to the optimism flying around the Minnesota Gophers Basketball program with the top five things that could lead the Gophers to the top of the Big Ten conference. [Read more…]

2010 Minnesota Gophers Basketball Season Preview

Minnesota Gophers 2010 season preview

Some would say that the Gophers basketball team overachieved last year. [Read more…]

Al Nolen Interview

By Mike Gallagher [Read more…]

Illinois-Minnesota Preview

Illinois fans rush the court after the game  Demetri McCamey

By Paul M. Banks and Mike Gallagher

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