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The Daily Gopher Fix 8.27.08

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Let's take a break from football.  As everyone one of you knows there are two outstanding high school basketball players in Minnesota this year.  Royce White who has committed to the Gophers and Rodney Williams are both consensus top 100 players nationally, but where the land in the top 100 varies depending on which recruiting service you look at.

If you remember, Minnesota's own Rodney Williams dropped in the Rivals top 100 when it was released last week.  But ESPN Insider has actually moved him up from #66 to #29 in their newly released top 100

Gopher commit, Royce White also made a significant jump up from #61 to #23.  ESPN had this to say about White's jump to a top 25 player...

Six-foot-7 SF Royce White (Minnetonka, Minn./Hopkins) made significant strides during the summer, especially through stellar play at the LeBron James Skills Academy. The Minnesota commit now ranks as the No. 23 prospect, jumping from No. 61.

He truly plays as an inside-outside threat with his ability to score close to the basket as well on the perimeter. White will hit the jump shot, but he has really improved his ability to create his own shot off the dribble. When he operates off the bounce, he also uses his good vision and passing skills to locate open teammates for easy shots either on the perimeter or in the paint. White also does a very good job of playing defense and has the size and quickness needed to defend the shooting guard, small forward and sometimes power forward spots.

If Tubby can get Williams to commit this will be the makings of an outstanding recruiting class and should compliment last year's very well.

  • Henry Abbott of True Hoop quotes ESPN's David Thorpe who thinks Tubby would make an excellent choice to coach Team USA in 2010 or 2012.  That would be interesting and would make the 2010 FIBA World Championships and the 2012 Olympics a little more interesting for Gopher fans.
  • Charolettesville's paper the Daily Progress has a brief view of the Virginia Cavaliers' basketballs schedule which obviously has a trip to Minnesota in the plans.  ESPN is obviously smarter than I am because I never made the connection that the Gophers taking on Virginia, which is where Ralph Sampson II played his college ball.  Makes for an interesting storyline for that game.
  • In case you forgot that the Gopher football team will be opening their season on Saturday (even without MarQueis Gray) Saturday Sound Offs gives a preview of Northern Illinois.
  • Around the Big Ten teams are finally confirming who their starting QBs are at Penn State, Iowa and Indiana.  None of them are shockers as Daryll Clark, Jake Christensen and Kellen Lewis were finally confirmed.
  • Brett Bielema is scarred to take on Virginia Tech.  Say what you want about our weak schedule, but in recent years teams have backed out from playing us, not the other way around. 

    The Badgers were scheduled to play powerhouse Virginia Tech at home Sept. 20. Bielema backed out because he did not want to run the Virginia Tech-at Michigan-Ohio State-Penn State gauntlet.

    In place of the Hokies the Badgers will play 1AA Cal-Poly!