Friday, September 28, 2007

Tubes Connected, Finally

Thanks to my friends at Verizon, I finally have the band of tubes connected to my new home. What a tremendous development.

So, since I still haven't seen the Minny-Purdue shootout on the BTN, I'll instead today take everyone on a little journey through the dark band of tubes. Here goes.

** My hero, Tubby Smith, did a Q&A with the BTN Wednesday and said he wants the Golden Gophers to play up-tempo. That's good news. He also talks about the origin of his nickname and said the Gophers need to improve on ball-handling from a year ago. He also said he expects Gopher fans to be patient. I think all of us will be patient this year so long as the recruiting batles go our way. And right now, that means possible commitments from Ralph Sampson III and Verdell Jones.

** Speaking of RSIII, many news outlets are reporting the Gophers are at or near the top in his recruitment. The biggest challenge at this point seems to be Georgia Tech. RSIII, as many of you know, is a center/forward who Tubby Smith has been after before his stock began to rise. Like the recruitment of coveted point guard Verdell Jones, the recruitment of RSIII could pit Tubby up against his former employers in Kentucky. The Wildcats are after both players.

** Verdell Jones is described by MidStateHoops as a "scoring guard with outstanding basketball knowledge and instincts." He is 6'5 175 from Champaign, Ill. He has received offers from Kentucky, Tennessee, Minnesota and others. Jones is a 3-star recruit according to Rivals but is also considered to be one of the top point guards stilll available for the 2008 class.

** Don Lucia's squad is ranked #2 in a preseason WCHA poll. I note this to bring to your attention my desire to bring on a contributor to write about hockey. I watch the Gophers hockey team but I've never played hockey and will be the first to admit I can't talk intelligently about the game. So, if you're interested, my email is on the right sidebar. Shoot me a note and we can discuss.

On to Gopher football. I had hoped to avoid discussing football considering I'm increasingly discouraged by our 1-3 start.

** I'll start with this tidbit from a notes section from the Detroit News. They quote Tim Brewster saying:

"We've played extremely well in the second half of all our games. We've been a 60-minute football team. I'm extremely proud of the way our kids have responded. Our kids' attitude and effort has been outstanding."
Um, really, Tim? The Gophers have been a 60-minute team? Really? That surprises me because it has seemed to me, and judging by the reports from the Purdue game, the Gophers were once again thorougly dominated in the first 30 minutes. Now, I'll say that I've been impressed with how the football team has come back in the second halves, but to say the Gophers have been a 60-minute football team is failing to notice the travails of every first half through four games.

** Thankfully, Boston isn't a hotbed for the athleticism the Gophers are trying to recruit. This Boston Herald piece absolutely slams Brewster and the Gophers. Here's a taste:

After Minnesota squandered a huge second-half lead and lost 44-41 to Texas Tech in last year’s Insight Bowl, the school’s powers that be couldn’t wait to fire veteran coach Glen Mason.

Forgotten was the fact that Mason had turned the program around during his tenure, and that the Gophers were no longer a Big Ten doormat but a team that went to a bowl every postseason.

But this year the only bowling Minny will be doing is at the campus alleys.

Despite a soft early schedule, the not-so-Golden Gophers sandwiched losses to lightweights Bowling Green and Florida Atlantic around a win over lowly Miami of Ohio. And they needed two overtimes to gain the victory. Conference play began last week with a 45-31 loss to Purdue

There was more harshness but I'll leave it at that.

** Some quick stats for fun. The Gophers are giving up almost 545 yards per game (almost 410 through the air) and almost 40 points per game.

** The Ohio State Buckeyes, who have a chance to pad their offensive stats this weekend, aren't giving Tim Brewster's squad any bulletin-board material. Quarterback Todd Boeckman said the Gophers have solid defensive players. Running back Maurice Wells added this gem: "Minnesota's a great defense." Um, OK, Maurice. Even Jim Tressel gets into the act in this AP piece.


Erik said...

Goddamnit I'm so tired of the Mason-fellating. What a worthless two-faced apologist piece of shit.

Any coach who makes any excuse for not competing for the conference title is an asshole I do not and will never need coaching my team.

Anonymous said...

Not to mention campaigns for coaching jobs in the same conference (MSU, OSU), ignores in-state recruits, says he's in the 10th year of his rebuilding plan, and is a general dick to the public. Other than that, he was great.