Happy Friday to you and yours. Hope you survived the Biblical rains from yesterday, and are ready for another college football weekend.
As of this posting, still nothing official from the Gophers or Troy Stoudermire on whether he is indeed transferring. No word either on what, exactly, Stoudermire's conduct was that was detrimental to the team.
There's been conflicting reports of whether former Kansas head coach Mark Mangino has been hired as a consultant: on Wednesday KSTP said he was. The PP's Marcus Fuller talked to Joel Maturi, who flatly denied it. Mangino was spotted on the Gopher sideline last Saturday, where Maturi says he was only a guest of Tim Brewster's.
In that same piece we also learn (at least I didn't know this until reading it) that not only will the Gophs be without the suspended Troy Stoudermire for tomorrow night's tilt with NIU, but junior Brandon Green won't be playing either because of a knee injury. Gee, it's too bad the Gophers don't have a former JUCO All-American wideout on their roster who could step in at a time like this...
The Strib's Myron Medcalf has a good story on NIU coach Jerry Kill, who is back on the sidelines after complications from gall bladder surgery put him in the hospital last week. You can also check out Northern Ilinois at a glance.
Fringe Bowl Team reminds us that Saturday is Bronko Nagurski Day at TCF Bank Stadium.
Adam Rittenberg has a video breakdown of the Gophers vs NIU game.
Myron Medcalf talks about sophomre F Rodney Williams' draft stock for the upcoming season. Looks like his size on the wing and freaky-deaky athletic ability already have scouts and draftniks talking about him as a first round pick. If you follow the NBA draft at all you know so much of it now is based on potential. How else to explain guys like Austin Day of Gonzaga, Daniel Orton of Kentucky, Marvin Williams of UNC, and many, many other guys who have proven almost nothing on the collegiate level getting picked in the first round. I would like to see Rodney become a leader this season, but regardless if he stays healthy and shows some flashes of brilliance that will probably be enough for the NBA folks.
As the lone hockey fan on the TDG staff, I'm going to try and throw more hockey links in whenever I can. Strib Gopher hockey beatwriter Roman Augustovic has an excellent blog titled Goal Gopher. He has an update from a practice earlier in the week which had freshmen centering the Gophs' top two lines. One of those frosh centers is former Blaine standout and first round pick Nick Bjugstad, who was centering the top line of Mike Hoeffel and captain Jay Barriball. WIth players like Bjugstad Minnesota should be fun to watch, but there'll definitely be some growing pains too.