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Gopher Basketball Opens Season With a 58-70 Win Over Bucknell

The game wasn't on TV anywhere and I don't see where the BTN is going to be replaying the game anytime this weekend (please correct me if I'm wrong). So this brief recap is based on listening to much of the game on the radio and looking at the box score.

The Good

We won. Bucknell is a good mid-major program, ranked as the #21 mid-major program here and they have a very good player in Mike Muscala. This will be one of our better non-conference opponents and this team is expected to win their Patriot League. Bucknell is typically a good three-point shooting team, which was a major weakness last year, so this game had the potential to get away from us. Bucknell took a five point lead with less than six minutes left in the game.

Minnesota endured some sloppy play and finished the game with a 22-5 run. There are some things to be concerned about but finishing the game in that way is nice to see. Anyone else remember how this team finished games last year? Clearly Bucknell is not a Big Ten team but it was a nice final five minutes and we made some free throws down the stretch.

We expect Mbakwe to have 17 and 10 most nights, but Ralph had a complete game helping out a ton. 8 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and 6 assists is a very nice box score for the senior center. I believe you will see some very nice games out of RSIII to go along with some games where he disappears, but I'll take that box score whenever we can get it.

The Bad

Being down to Bucknell with less than 6 minutes to play is not a good thing. The Bison may be pretty good but to be honest this isn't even a mid-major program, this is a low-major program. If Bucknell has a great season, wins their league, they'll still be a 14, 15 or 16 seed. Our team is a mix of new guys and vets and it may take some time for them to get on the same page so this is somewhat acceptable.

Three point shooting was 3/15, that is bad. Remember when Tubby said this is the best three point shooting team since he's been here? It is going to have to dramatically imrove.

The Ugly

Not having this game on TV, anywhere. We actually have three of our first four games unavailable on TV. That sucks.