Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Big Ten Opener: Sparty Talks Some Trash

It's one thing for our own bloggers to make fun of our mascot, it's quite another for a blogger from Michigan State to take aim at Smilin' Goldy the Gopher.

You see, John at SpartyMSU blog is so worried about the Big Ten opener, and Tubby Smith's upstart Gophers coming to East Lansing, that the safest shot he could take at our troops was to belittle their mascot. Here's John's blasphemous take on Goldy.

they are Not fierce, Not scary, Not Masculine….. The Choice of this Mascot Kind of reminds me of the Banana Slugs of UC Santa Cruz.. or the Big Green Pine trees of Stanford.. or the Delta State University Fighting Okra. Goldie Gopher on the Football field side lines was about a worth wile as the Fighting Pickles of North Carolina School of the Arts. Frankly.. Goldie looks more like the Might Mouse Cartoon than a Gopher

This of course comes from a fan of a team who's mascot wears a freaking skirt. Just saying. And in this picture Sparty is showing off some serious leg. Stay hot, Sparty.

Mascots aside, the MSU-Minnesota opener presents a very tough test for Tubby's Gophers. The way Spencer Tollackson has been playing would indicate that MSU junior center Goran Suton will be able to at the very least neutralize our center. Meanwhile, Minnesota's best offensive player, Dan Coleman, can very likely be neutralized by MSU's Raymar Morgan.

And as we've learned during the losses at Florida State and UNLV, the Gophers struggle mightily with teams that have capable back courts. Michigan State meets that criteria with Drew Neitzel, who has an impressive 4.29 to 1 assist to turnover ration this season. With the guard play of Neitzel and the offensive and rebounding capabilities of Suton and Morgan, and MSU presents perhaps the biggest challenge for Minnesota yet.

John asked how the Gophers are going to match-up. .... Well, I'd say poorly. When we came to East Lansing last year, Lawrence McKenzie and Dan Coleman led us in scoring. Now, McKenzie's offense has gone by the wayside to play the point guard spot and Coleman, while showing flashes of brilliance, disappears against top notch competition.

Finally, John writes: "Help me out Charlie.. whats the word from the Great White North… ?? You see them going better than 4th to 6th place?"

John, we'd love a 4th to 6th place finish. No one in Minnesota is delusional enough to think the Gophers can compete for a Big Ten title this season. But an upper echelon Big Ten finish would be a vast improvement from last season and indicate the difference Tubby has made. But the Gophers aren't in the class right now of the Spartans, Hoosiers or Badgers. We'd love a 4th place finish, which would likely mean an NCAA bid.

I do have a couple questions for SpartyMSU. .... What's the deal with Isiah Dahlman, who was a product of Braham, Minnesota. He's now a sophomore and still playing sparingly? Will he get his chance eventually? How has he looked when on the floor?

How good do Michigan State fans think this team is? Do fans see this as one of Izzo's best teams? Is Neitzel good enough to lead the Spartans to a Big Ten title and a deep tourney run?

After the Gophers were embarrassed at UNLV last weekend, don't expect Tubby's team to allow themselves to be walked over again. And if Dan Coleman shows up, and Lawrence McKenzie can run the offense AND score, the Gophers could put a scare into the Spartans.


From The Barn said...

If I saw a gopher than resembled anything close to the 1985 version of Goldy while mowing the lawn, I know I would be intimidated. http://www1.umn.edu/urelate/coolstuff/images/goldy/goldy_5.gif

I guess kids just like the current androgeneous version with the stripper name.

PJS said...

Thanks so much for sharing that link. I had seen a couple of those images before, but not all of them.

alex said...

Neither had I, that's a great group of images.

PJS said...

I'm going to mess with the banner one last time and put one of those images on it.

Also, the UofM athletics communications department is sending me a Shikenjanski photo that I plan to incorporate somewhere. Sweet.

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