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Golden Nuggets for 02.18.09

Believe it or not, baseball season is right around the corner.  I'm sure most of you know that traditionally the Gophers are a Big Ten powerhouse and they are set to begin their season this weekend when the face Seton Hall, West Virginia and Michigan State in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge.

Big Ten Hardball has a solid overview of the 2009 Gophers.  Last year your Gophers finished 20-35 which was their worst season in decades.  The team was very young, especially the pitching staff, and was unable to hold on to numerous late inning leads.

Last year was a nightmare for Minnesota. It was Coach Anderson’s first losing season in twenty-seven years. With a painfully young team and a difficult schedule, 2009 might yield another season with more L’s than W’s. While the Gophers might not be poised for a regular season championship this year, they still have the opportunity to improve on last season‘s finish.

Only five wins separated Minnesota from sixth place and a spot in the Big Ten tournament in ‘08. The question is can Coach Anderson get a lineup with up to four redshirt freshmen (and three returning all-conference caliber players -- Nohelty, McCallum and Decker) and a pitching staff with plenty of underclassmen to win another five games (or more)? History favors Minnesota.

I did get out to watch a little Gopher baseball action last year and it was a lot of fun.  For those of you looking for entertaining and cheap baseball action I would highly recommend it.

  • Gopher football recruit, Bryant Allen, is likely going to be a significant pick up for Tubby Smith and the basketball team.  Allen is a potential Mr. Basketball in Missouri and was listed here as a pre-season "Super Six" in the state.
    The 6-foot senior guard averaged 25 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists a year ago and he loves to push the ball up the floor. He is very quick and gets plenty of deflections on defense.
  • City Pages is calling for the Minnesota backcourt to develop a backbone.  This was written prior to Sunday's loss but it rings truer yet today. 
  • The Kentucky Kernel thinks Kentucky fans should chill out a little and let Billy G do his job.
    I’m eating Corn Pops, drinking a PBR and in hindsight, I’ve outcoached Billy Gillispie, Tubby Smith and Rick Pitino for some 15-odd seasons now. I sit high on my throne of Lazyboy recliners and am a shoe-in for the Armchair-Coaches Hall-of-Fame. I had the game plan to stop Marcus Camby in ‘96; I foresaw Bogan’s ankle injury before the infamous Dwayne Wade showdown in ‘03, and of course, I’ve been screaming for Galloway’s start all season — yes, since before the Florida game.
  • Competition begins today in the Big Ten Women's Swimming and Diving Championships.  The Gopher women are currently ranked #10 in the country, are defending Big Ten Champs and one of the favorites to repeat.
  • Yesterday's Bracketology still has the Gophers in the tournament and we are not in the "last four in"grouping (yet).  But for the first time we are the lower seed.  Lunardi has us in the 8/9 game with Dayton as the 8 seed.