Gopher forward Trevor Mbakwe has been selected as a Wooden Award contender. The award is given at the end of each season to the college hoops player deemed the national player of the year. Yes, they put 50 players on what's essentially a preseason watch list that Mbakwe was named to, but it still shows he's being noticed. A 2nd team all-Big Ten performer last season, Mbakwe blew up at the World University Games this past summer in China, where he was one of Team USA's best players (maybe even THE best?). The double-double monster will be expected to take the next step in his Gopher career as the go-to guy, and after what we saw in China, I like his chances.
CHN says Gopher hockey had one of the top recruiting classes in 2011, and those freshmen are going to be expected to contribute right away. Despite a lot of youth (no seniors and just one junior on defense, and it's possible we only see one upperclassmen in the top six forwards) but coach Don Lucia loves the depth this team has, and believes they'll be able to wear down opponents this season. The Gophers play their first real (aka non-exhibition) games this weekend against Sacred Heart before starting WCHA play next weekend against defending national champ Duluth.
JDMill has some tips on how to stay positive when your B1G football team is worse than expected. We wouldn't know anything about that around here.
Some former Gopher players are sticking up for Jerry Kill after the loss to Michigan.
The MNDaily looks at the horrendous Gopher pass rush, and what's so far been a terrible defense in general. Follow the link to some very ugly details if you can stomach it.