A few highlights and quick hitters to share from Golden Gopher Land this week, so let’s get to it:
- Tubby has the team on a 2-game winning streak. Big deal you say? It is when you started out 0-4, with several very close losses. At least one person is not happy with Tubby though, for his habit of calling out his players publically. Boo-hoo if Tubby hurt Ralph’s feelings, it might wake him out of his stupor. Jeers to this lame-o letter to the editor.
- A big reason for that winning streak is the insertion of freshman Joe Coleman into the starting lineup and his subsequent aggressive play. Slashing to the basket and drawing fouls is the name of his game. Fun.
- Sophomore big man Mo Walker is now going to redshirt for the 2011-12 season. Apparently he’s finally healthy and practicing with the team, but Tubby feels that his playing the final dozen or so games isn’t worth losing a year of eligibility for. At this point I agree – if he were ready at the beginning of the Big Ten season, I might have taken issue with this.
- Northwestern coming in on Sunday, and this is another winnable game for the Gophs. But they must not let themselves get bewildered by the 1-3-1. Joe Coleman aggressively penetrating the lane may well be the difference if Carmody goes to the zone early and often. I like the Gophs in a close one at home, 66-64.
- Coach Kill has been busy recruiting and prepping for National Signing Day. Finding the right guys for his system was of paramount importance this offseason. And while there hasn’t been any ’knock your socks off’ verbal committments (nor are any really expected) - but there’s been a number of solid ones, especially from the in-state perspective. A few Minny kids that standout to me (and picked the Gophers over the Badgers) : Jonah Pirsig (a 3-star behemoth lineman, at 6’9″ 300#), Maxx Williams ( a 3-star 6’4″ 225 lb TE with a great name), Nick Rallis (3-star DB, and brother of current Gopher LB, Mike Rallis). And then there is 3-star QB Philip Nelson (who I am forever nicknaming ‘Lord Philip Nelson’ if he cracks the starting lineup down the line), who drew interest from the Hawkeyes and Cornhuskers.
- In case you didn’t hear earlier, senior CB/KR Troy Stoudermire received a 5th year of eligibility, due to medical hardship. This is good news for the Gopher defensive depth chart and kick return unit.
- And hey, none of Coach Kill’s coordinators or primary support staff have jumped ship so far – finally some continuity! Something that was never present under Tim Brewster.
- New uniforms will be released later today! After teasing us with these bad-ass helmets, the full uniform is being released to the public this afternoon. Check back this afternoon after 5pm for pics and commentary.
Other Gopher stuff:
- Men’s hockey has WCHA foe Colorado College coming in for a weekend series at Mariucci Arena. Gophers need a strong showing at home, and a decent Friday night showing (they seem to struggle on their Friday games of late)
- The #4 ranked Gopher’s wrestling team will host the Badgers this Sunday afternoon in a dual meet. The Badgers stink at wrestling this year, so I’d expect the Gophs to grab some more meaningless ’Border Battle Trophy’ points.
- Gopher baseball will have a new permanent home, and no it’s not the Metrodome or Target Field. The RFPs (requests for proposal) have been submitted, and the stadium is expected to be completed by the end of 2012. This is welcome news for an underappreciated team with an even more underappreciated skipper – Head Coach John Anderson (the all-time winningest baseball coach in Big Ten history)