Monday, December 10, 2007

Coleman Reaches Milestone In Another Rout

Senior Dan Coleman, the recipient of some criticism from the Minnesota blogosphere in the first few weeks of the season, put up 22 points and 11 rebounds Saturday night as he led the Gophers to their first 90-point plus output for two years.

Coleman's 22 points allowed him to become the 34th Golden Gopher to surpass the 1,000 point total for his career. Congratulations, Dan.

For all the jabs we online pundits have thrown Coleman's way, he still leads the team in scoring with 12.1 per contest. Last week I suggested that Coleman was struggling to adapt to a new system. No longer was it considered OK for him to spot up outside the three point line and fire away. Now, he is being relied upon to put the ball on the floor and attack the basket. As Tubby Smith said in the post game press conference, good things happen when his team aggressively attacks the basket.

In this Minnesota Daily article, Coleman talks about learning that new system. He said: "I feel like I'm starting to settle in a little bit. Learning the new system hasn't been the most natural transition for me."

While we should applaud Coleman's accomplishment, that doesn't mean he can't still take a step or two forward--especially if he has professional basketball aspirations. In the post game press conference--which I was able to watch online at GopherSports.com, as a paying member--Tubby Smith still suggested that Coleman can do a better job of taking the ball to the rim. Tubby said Coleman sometimes still feels more comfortable finding a spot on the perimiter.

It was in that answer that I realized Tubby is trying to completely change the way Coleman plays basketball. If Coleman can score inside, his outside game will only become that more dominant.

But Coleman wasn't the only bright spot in the Gophers' 91-74 win over Colorodo State. The game wasn't as close as even the final score might indicate. Blake Hoffarber came off the bench again and lit up the scoreboard. In 22 minutes, Hoffarber put up 21 points, including 6-for-11 from beyond the arc. Joining Coleman and Hoffarber with double digits were Spencer Tollackson (16), Al Nolen (11) an Damian Johnson (10).

One of the concerns we had heading into the season was scoring depth. With Hoffarber's ascension and the soli role play of Johnson and steady point guard play of Nolen, the Gophers can at least say they have four offensive players (Coleman, Tollackson, Hoffarber and Lawrence McKenzie) and myriad role players.

Quite the difference a year--and a Hall of Fame coach--makes.

11 comments:

fromthebarn.org said...

Even more impressive is that he reached his point total in about 10 minutes, and then was ice cold for most of the second half. Townsend Orr might have to watch out.

Alex said...

If they continue putting the pressure that they've been putting on teams so far this year on defense, this team has a good shot at turning some heads during Big 10 season.

I'm just sad that I'm going to be home for our first Big 10 home game.. I'll have to watch it on ESPN 360 if possible.

PJS said...

Stay in Minneapolis, Alex!

Alex said...

I have no choice, wisdom teeth are coming out and I already have my plane tickets for the flight home and back. I'll miss 2 home games, Santa Clara and Northwestern.

Depending on my state of mind after the fun with my teeth, it's plausible that I could make it to the Penn State game in Pennsylvania, although we'll see if I'm up for the 4 hour drive since my flight back is the next afternoon.

thelandryhat.com said...

Dude, take some vicodin for the effing teeth and make the damn games. WHat the heck is wrong with these gopher fans? CHOKE THEM OUT, golden gophers! !!!

Alex said...

Yeah, I'll load up on vicodin then make the 21 hour drive back to Minneapolis, then drive the 21 hours back to make it home for Christmas. Good idea!

PJS said...

Actually sounds like a completely brilliant idea to me.

Where are you from Alex? You said a 4 hour drive to the PSU game? I live out east and it's about a 4 hour drive from here I am.

thelandryhat.com said...

Then if it is a four hour drive, why the hell aren't we going PJS> COME ON! LET's CHOKE THEIR ASSES OUT!!!!!

I drove to Penn State once, It's a back country drive and actually pretty nice. Have the wife take us in the new sweet car. And we'll drink a case of beer like the Pittsburgh extravaganza!!!

PJS said...

I'm planning to go, landry hat. I believe it's the weekend of the 12th of Jan.

Alex said...

I'm from New Jersey, and yeah, the game is on the 12th. My flight back to Minnesota is the next day at 3, but my brother is a grad student at PSU, so I think we'll be there for the game.

thelandryhat.com said...

Get me a ticket PJS. I am going