I love looking ahead and when you have as much returning to the Gopher basketball team as we do, looking ahead is very exciting. This is a few days old but City Pages cofirms that the cupboard is in fact full for Tubby...
For, that knowledge and taste of March Madness will belong to a 2010 Minnesota club that returns it's top nine scorers, it's top eights rebounders, and it's top eight minute men. Among those, surely junior-guards-to-be Al Nolen and Blake Hoffarber need to exhibit a boatload of offseason growth. The incentive for such ascension is not a product of sophomore-slumpage alone as, according to Rivals.com, the Gophers' sport the nation's #22 recruiting class for next season (3rd in the Big Ten), led by former Henry Sibley and St. Bernard's bulky standout Trevor Mbakwe (currently starring at Miami Dade JUCO), Robbinsdale Cooper forward Rodney Williams, and, most notably, Hopkins forward Royce White. White is ranked by Rivals as the #2 small forward recruit in the nation.
Tubby has had fine success in his respective year number three of coaching at both Tulsa and Kentucky: each club won at least one NCAA game in that year under his guidance.
We overachieved this year, we return a lot and most importantly the injection of talent will do more this team than ARod's cousin did for his power numbers. Excitement for next year begs the question, what are acceptable expectations for next season? Is winning an NCAA Tournament game enough? Top 3 in Big Ten? Sweet 16? What do you think?
- We almost NEVER touch on women's basketball here. But they are in a heated recruiting battle for the state's top player who is also a top 10 player nationally. Taylor Hill has the Gophers in her final four along with Texas, Ohio State and Duke. This would be pretty significant for the Women Gophers.
- This Cornell fan is not happy that Josh Figini was left off the All-Metro team (Star Tribune). Figini is headed to Cornell to play next season. It is kind of interesting how Cornell has tapped into Minnesota for Ryan Wittman who will be a senior next year shooting to be first team Ivy League for three years in a row.
- In case you didn't know the Big Ten actually got two teams in to the Final Four! Michigan State will be heading to Detroit and Penn State is heading to New York City for the NIT! Penn State vs. Notre Dame sounds like a great matchup of two football schools moonlighting as basketball schools.
- Finally is looks like Calipare is in the hunt for the Kentucky opening. This Memphis TV station gives us 10 reason's he'll stay in Memphis. But I think UK and Calipare are a great marriage. He'll bring the personality and exciiting style of play, he has been very successful and the resources he'd have at UK would enable him to put together some really good teams. Eventually CUSA titles are going to feel rather empty and the chance to dominate the SEC and will be too much to turn down.