The last day of the year turns out to be one of the biggest for Gopher sports. Hoops and football with their biggest games of 2008 on the same day and if all goes well we'll all have reason to party into the night and bring in 2009 in style.
Basketball Prospectus gave some good press to the Gopher's hot start and near the end the high praise came flowing for the Gopher's frontcourt.
Freshmen forwards Ralph Sampson III and Colton Iverson combine with Johnson to give Minnesota one of the strongest interior defenses in the nation. Sampson is 14th in percentage of blocks (11.5) while Iverson is 25th (10.8). Iverson has a 119.5 offensive rating and Sampson's is 111.1
"Those two make our defense very efficient and Iverson has really brought a lot of energy to our team," Smith said. "He does all the little things on both ends of the floor, like diving for loose balls, and he is also very talented. We have a good blend of experienced kids and freshmen and it's worked out well to this point."
Prior to that they stick to their Pomroy ranking guns which points out we are the seventh ranked B10 team and are 50th overall.
Down With Goldy picks the Gophers to finish #3 in his quick and dirty Big Ten Preview. As usual he is drinking the kool-aid, wait, I mean as usual he is drink-posting again.
- Hoff on Sports, a random blog that is Michigan centric has his Big Ten preview, picking the Gophers to finish fourth.
- Badger Beat of the Capital Times in Madison picks the Gophers sixth. Not nearly as optimistic as some of us around here but I'm just throwing it out there.
- Spartans Weblog has a couple worthwhile notes. First of all based on efficiency stats he has his Big Ten preview with Minnesota finishing sixth. That is followed up with a quick preview of this morning's basketball game.
- The Windy Citizen gave out their pre-season Big Ten Awards and Minnesota received a low blow. "The New York Mets Award for the team off to a hot start that is most likely to collapse." The Mets didn't have Tubby Smith and they didn't play defense.
- Kent Youngblood on Matt Stommes' move from back up to starting RT in the Insight Bowl. Youngblood has been very good with his player backstories this season and this is a worthwhile read as usual.
Enjoy the Gopher games and have a safe New Year's Eve. If anyone see's PJS roaming the streets of Minneapolis late tonight be sure to say hi to him.