Golden Nugz! - 4/17/13

A few of the Gopher bigs may not have a real good time in S&C this offseason. - USA TODAY Sports

OPrime, running backs struggling for carries to satisfy the needs of a HUNGRY MARYLAND-I GOD, hoops recruiting and staffing news, and MOAR!

Yeah, we nuggin'.

Football

- Spring football is two thirds complete; where has the time gone! As I've taken a step back from observing the minutia of every single nugget of practice info I can get my grubby little hands on and making a concerted effort to view spring from 10,000 feet, the dissemination from the GNC look prototypical in my book.

A few things, however, do stick out. One of them is Ra'Shede Hageman, who appears set to make that Optimus Prime transformation complete. Nate Gotlieb's MNDaily article on the senior defense tackle and captain is a good peak into the maturation of the former Washburn giant.

- The God of Maryland-I is already well satiated from offerings with Kirkland and Nugget screaming "FEED ME MORE," though that hasn't stopped David Cobb from trying to get himself a taste. As usual, this is a spring practice story, and make note of the usual spring practice caveats.

- Unlike his public dealings with Tubby, Norwood Teague doesn't have to choke back support for Jerry Kill. In fact, he's so effusive in his praise that it's pretty obvious #HailTeague just let's Jer do his thing:

"I think it shows we have high expectations, but when I look at football, I don’t know if anybody on this Earth has higher expectations for himself or his program than Jerry Kill. I mean, he is relentless. So the basketball change was difficult, but I think something had to happen. But with football, I mean, let me tell you something: Jerry Kill runs 100 miles per hour every day, and he has high expectations for himself, no doubt."

Teague goes on to say he doesn't have a 2013 win total in mind (stunner, I know) and that "building a football program is an art." Basically, laissez faire oversight of football, content that Jerry and his staff know what the hell they're doing, all the while adding support where support is needed. Like jets and stuff:

"Yeah, we’ll do that for Jerry moving forward. It won’t necessarily be in his contract, but when appropriate, we’ll use those planes. They provide a lot of logistical benefits more than any type of luxury. To get our coaches from one point to another quickly, to see multiple recruits in one day and get them back for practice is invaluable."

I side with LateNightHoops on this one: private jet "amenities" built into contracts are largely symbolic, considering Big Ten schools have department wide recruiting budgets and all. We live in a world of Marquis Jet cards and the like; the concept of a major college athletic department unable to afford spot private flights is absurd. That said, these are working privileges and not a jet-setter lifestyle the University is providing, the former of which Teague has conveniently laid out in rather public low ball terms on a contract level that will be anything but an individual per-diem.

So yeah, Jerry gets private jet access. Just not overtly, which is the complete opposite of his predecessor's helicopter line item.

- Spring football is spring football, meaning players are getting hurt. Joe C has the update on that.

Hoops

- Recruiting was going muy mal since the Great Lakes Tubbystache went to a farm, er, barber up North: First it was Alvin Ellis asking out of his LOI, then Alex Foster dropped the Gophers in what looked like a mutual parting of ways with the Pitino staff. Sure, there were rumors of Tarik Black and Rackeem Buckles, though nothing concrete for basketball recruiting junkies to plunge into forearms for the desperate fix of relief.

Well, cheer up y'all; good news is apparently on the way:

McNeil, as the tweet indicates, was a former FIU signee who got out of his Panther LOI today, according to the same Edgar Walker. Pitino scored himself a pretty big coup when he snagged the Baltimore native considering he held offers at one time from Louisville (yup! he beat out pops), Washington, VCU, Oklahoma and others; McNeil was a member of the Class of 2013 Rivals 150 up until the most recent update and is still rated as a high three star prospect on the 247Sports Composite Index.

Getting a highly talented guard, especially at the point (McNeil really is more of a combo guard though) and this late in the recruiting cycle would be a huge first get for Pitino. The Gophers need guards in the worst way as they transition to Rich's up-tempo attack and constant pressure defense.

- Tuesday was the roundtable with the beat day for Rich, which naturally entails similar stories from both sides of the river and the devolutionary nonsense that is Bob Sansevere.

Things that were said:

  • There are no immediate 2013-14 expectations for win totals.
  • Andre Hollins is really, really good.
  • Austin Hollins is a coach's son.
  • Trevor and Rodney be gone.

Things that weren't stated;

  • Lil' Pitino doesn't think the team will make the tournament.
  • Our bigs are fat.

Actually, Richard did have something to say about Mo and EE's "conditioning:"

Welp...

- In the worst kept secret of the last half week or so, Pitino dipped into the well of provincialism and drew former Monson era hoopster Ben Johnson as his latest addition to his staff. Richard stole the former DeLaSalle grad from Tim Miles and Nebraska, arriving back in town with the usual platitudes: boss recruiter, detailed oriented, fast riser in the coaching fraternity. It doesn't hurt in the least that Johnson was the Huskers' recruiting point man for Reid Travis, a kid you may have read about on the Internets.

All is not settled on the Gopher staff, however. Rayno blurbed, via Randball, that the newly minted Baskbetall Ops guy Mike Balado is in contention for a "high" ranking assistant coaching gig back at FIU, with the Gophers not putting any pressure on him whatsoever.

SMORGASBORD

OHMYGOD THIS IS REAL AND IS A THING?!?

Mark-richt-dancing_medium

via Land Grant Holy Land

MARK RICHT HAS LOST CONTROL OF HIS PANTAMIMES.

MARK RICHT HAS LOST CONTROL OF HIS OFFSPRING'S UNNECESSARY HEADBOBBING.

MARK RICHT HAS LOST CONTROL OF HIS URGE TO SKIM IMAGINARY HEDGE BUSHES.

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