Happy New Year!
We were pretty confident that the start to the Big Ten season wasn't going to be easy, especially once we lost Mbakwe. But two road games are out of the way and we get to play at home this week. We get Iowa on Wednesday. In case you hadn't heard they went into Madison and beat Wisconsin on Saturday so maybe this win won't have the same certainty that we thought it would. But maybe they got their road upset out of their system and they can revert to being terrible again!
Anyway, the Gophers had their chances to beat Michigan yesterday but came up short. Two possessions in the final minutes they were unable to get one decent shot attempt, one of them following a timeout. It was very ugly and Michigan pulled away by making their free throws. This one doesn't sting quite as bad as the Illini loss because we were battling from behind basically the whole game. Good effort but it will take more to get some Big Ten wins.
- Gopher Hockey finally won a game on Friday but then lost on Saturday dropping the Mariucci Classic to Northeastern.
- It should be noted that the Gophers were without Nick Bjugstad and Kyle Rau who are at the World Juniors competing for team USA. Team USA has been disappointing in the WJC and are out of contention for any medals.
- Rittenberg gives props to Kim Royston as one of the Big Ten's "super seniors".
- Trevor Mbakwe had his surgery on Friday.
- Tubby Smith, during his Minnesota tenure, is winless on the road against ranked teams. Any chance this streak ends this year?