It wasn't always pretty, but the Gophers led throughout in the season opener last night against Concordia-St. Paul. Here are my shotgun thoughts of the game.
- Al Nolen has more confidence with his shot. He had 17 points on 7-11 shooting include 3-5 from three. He made defenders pay when they gave him room to shoot and he showed a willingness to drive to the basket and finish or dish. All around improvement from Nolen.
- Anomaly of the night: Blake Hoffarber grabbed 12 rebounds. Don't expect that to continue. But Hoffarber also didn't make a three point shot (0-4). I wouldn't expect that to continue either.
- Both Ralph Sampson III and Colton Iverson got in early foul trouble. With Damian Johnson and Jon Williams out, this is something that could hurt the Gophers. They're young and this is going to happen, but at least one of Iverson's fouls--near midcourt--was inexcusable, even if it came because of effort.
- RSIII looked a bit hesitant. This was expected. I'm not overly concerned. He has to adjust and get comfortable.
- Devron Bostick looked nervous. This was expected. I'm not overly concerned. He has to adjust and get comfortable!
- Paul Carter looked very confident even shooting 2-8. I like the confidence and think he has the capability of being a difference maker. I eagerly awaiy seeing him and Damian Johnson on the floor together.
- The Gophers didn't apply full-court pressure, at least not much. I wonder if Tubby Smith didn't want to show his hand against Concordia or if the newcomers weren't ready.
- Devoe Joseph only played at point and never at shooting guard. For the most part he did fine running the point and pushing tempo. There was a stretch in the second half when he had trouble getting the Gophers into their offense. I'd like to see Joseph, Nolen and Westbrook on the floor together at some point. Devoe didn't look for his shot (0-2). I'm sure he would more often if he wasn't the floor general.
- That was more observations than I thought. You notice anything else?