We have made staff predictions for the Gopher Football team for the past five seasons, but never really took the time to put together something similar for Gopher hoops. Below you will see what we, the intelligent and mostly handsome group of writers here at TDG, believe will happen for the Gopher Hoops team this season. I'll provide a little commentary below.
I think that my picks are rather optimistic. This team "feels" to me like a 7-11 team which actually is about right after the Michigan loss last night.
I think that the Gophers will start strong and finish strong, but in the middle there could be some rough patches. I like the opening schedule for Minnesota. Michigan in the first Big Ten game is tough, but getting a week to prepare and being at home, I thought we might sneak out an early upset. Then the next two games wouldn't necessarily even be upsets. But then the rest of the Big Ten schedule kicks in and I think we lose seven of our next nine.
I also believe that this team will get better as the season goes along and they will snag a couple nice wins in the last month over Illinois and Iowa at home. 8-10 is still not getting this team to .500 and into the upper tier, but this team just isn't overly talented or deep and 8-10 would actually be a nice season. Good enough to sneak into the NCAA Tournament as a lower seed? Maybe, but after the Michigan loss they'll either need a run in the Big Ten Tourney or they'll be a good NIT team.
Here is the deal with this team. They will score points in bunches and they will give it up in bunches. They will beat a team or two they shouldn't and they will probably lose a game they should not. Consistency and the ability to beat teams because we are better will come down the road, but I don't think we have it this year. I like how we execute offense, I like how we attack team's weaknesses and I like how we try to speed teams up with our defense. It will just take some time to climb the Big Ten pecking order and we need some help at PF.
Just for fun here would be how I think the Big Ten shakes out...
- Michigan State - very talented and minimizing turnovers this year
- Ohio State
- Penn State