I just finished watching the replay on the BTN of this game because I wanted to see how the young freshmen played and get a feel for this season. The BTN analysts did not have the Gophers in their top 5, so that isn't encouraging.
Augustana was a veteran group and a very good division II school and they played a style similar to a lot of Big Ten teams, except they didn't have the height to match up with the Gophers. They shot a lot of 3's and were making them in the first half as our perimeter defense struggled. Welch in particular, was torched by their PG when he came in.
Andre Hollins clearly looked like our best option at PG to me. His defense on the ball was very good. He is strong and can drive to the basket and pushes the tempo of the game. He looks to have a nice shot, but was limited in his minutes. I think Tubby wanted to see what he had in Welch, who also played the last 6 minutes of the game.
Welch struggled in the first half, especially with his 3 pt defense. He was much better in the 2nd half, so I wonder how much of this was first game jitters since he was injured in the first exhibition game. He didn't make great decisions passing the ball, but hit a few shots in the 2nd half.
Ahamnisi looks about like where he was at last year. If he gets significant minutes this year, it is going to be a long season.
At SG Austin Hollins played solidly, hitting some outside shots during our 15-4 run to start the 2nd half, which hleped open it up down low for Trevor.
Chip Armelin didn't get a lot of minutes, but looked really good with some nice quick drive and pull ups, he also hit at least one 3.
Coleman could have been a little more aggressive on defense, he has a good looking shot but it wasn't falling for him so he didn't take many shots.
Osenieks also saw limited time and other than hitting a 3 you wouldn't have noticed him.
At 6'8" it will be hard for teams to stop his shot if he can he the 3.
Sampson looked very soft and I didnt see any improvement from last year in that regard. We still have a face-up center with a good shooting touch.
Williams looked pretty good taking the ball to the hole and rebounding. Still can't shoot from the outside though. He does look bigger this year, so that is a good thing I thnk.
Mbakwe will be one of the 5 best players in the Big Ten this year, need I say more.
Elliason saw limited time too, looks like he has a decent touch. He is not as physical as Iverson so maybe he won't foul as much. Looks like a decent rebounder, but he is not overly athletic.
Walker- They said he didn't have his surgery until January of this year, which is why there is talk of him not playing at all this year. Too bad, we could use him to spell Mbakwe, especially if he gets in foul trouble.
I realize it is early, but I didn't see anything that made me think the Big Ten analysts were wrong unfortunately. Andre Hollins should win the starting PG job, then I think you will see Austin Hollins at 2, Williams at 3, Mbakwe at PF, and Sampson the Center. Armelin could also be a starter and should see a lot of minutes. The rest of them did not seem ready for Big Ten play yet, but it is early in the season and I still have hopes for Coleman, Osenieks, and Welch.
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