Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Keeping Tabs On The Future: RSIII Making Waves

PJS Note: Periodically over the remainder of the basketball season I will post updates of Tubby Smith's incoming five-man 2008 class. The group has been ranked as high as 10th nationally and it is part of the hopefully golden future of Minnesota basketball.

There is no player I'm more excited about than Ralph Sampson III. And I don't even think it's because of his name. Last week, per this Scout note, RSIII had two triple-doubles to give him five games this season where he's dominated the stat sheet in that manner. In the two games, both wins, Sampson 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocked shots and 18 points, 10 rebounds and 11 blocked shots. Other reports continue to indicate that Sampson is becoming more aggressive offensively. And his ability to thorughly own the paint certainly bodes well for his tenure at Minnesota. Along with Damian Johnson's length, we could see a very nice shot-blocking tandem for the next two years.

But Sampson last week also received the type of attention our local periodicals shower on players like Michael Floyd or Seantrel Henderson. The Atlanta Journal-Counsitution profiled Sampson in this piece titled "A quiet force inside." It's a very interesting read, and the writer quites Sampson as saying one reason he came to Minnesota was because he'd have an opportunity to bulild something with Tubby, but also because at schools like Georgia Tech or Clemson he'd have to work his way into a spot. The article also discusses how playing with two Wake Forest recruits on an AAU team helped Sampson learn to be assertive on the floor.

** We will learn a little about Devoe Joseph this weekend when his Pickering High team plays host to some of the best teams in Canada this weekend. We'll try and follow Devoe's progress.

** One that got away: Jackson, Miss., product Scottie Haralson, a 6-4 shooting guard has decided to attend Connecticut. Haralson is the same type of player that Devoe Joseph is, so Haralson likely had to look outside of Minnesota after the Canadian product picked Tubby and the Gophers.

** Devron Bostick (pictured) led a "sluggish" SWIC Blue Storm team with 22 points last weekend. Earlier in the week, Bostick put up 18 points during a win when Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie was watching from the crowd. Bostick's Blue Storm team is ranked fifth in the latest NJCAA Division I poll.

** It's difficult at times to tell what we are getting with Colton Iverson. My guess would be he might be more of a work in progress. But with the departures of Dan Coleman and Spencer Tollackson, Iverson will likely be forced into significant action as a freshman. After scoring just five points and seeing his team held to just 28 points last Thursday, Iverson responded the next night with 23 points and nine rebouds to help his team upset a highly ranked team from Sioux Falls. Iverson was 9-11 from the floor and 5-7 from the stripe. I think that should be considered a good bounceback night.


lurker said...

Looks like Bostick needs to put on a little muscle.

Oops Pow Surprise said...

Iverson was 9-11 from the floor

Never forget.

snyde043 said...

Did you see The Barn is growing on Tubby a little? Yay!


PJS said...


Yeah, Snyde, I saw that. It was actually going to be part of a linkarama later this week. Tubby still seems on the fence, and his boy Izzo made the argument for him, that some day The Barn might not be viable.

Friend Of Tubby said...

Iverson had 23 pts and 11 (or 12) boards last night, too.

Sampson = starter from Day 1.

Bostick = starter from Day 1.

BostickBro said...

Thats not Bostick thats Tyrone Bradshaw

PJS said...

Thanks for the head's up Bostickbro. The cutline from the newspaper where the image originally appeared indicated it was Bostick.

I'll just take the photo down.