Despite what we've been witnessing on the hardwood, there have been some positive developments for Gopher athletics.
I'll start with Gopher baseball. I do plan on a full baseball post soon, but we'll start with some linkage.
Gopher baseball began the season at #2 UCLA, nothing like easing into the schedule. And your Golden Gophers edged the Bruins 6-2 in the season opener with a 4-run 10th innning to eventually win 6-2. The next two games were kind of ugly to to tune of a combined score of 28-1. But UCLA is a legit contender for the a College World Series title, we are not and that first win is a nice feather in our cap. This past weekend we took 3 out of 4 from Western Michigan to improve the overall record to 4-3. Sophomore SS, Michael Handel is leading the team with a .423 average through the first 7 games and junior starting pitcher, Tom Windle is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA and .188 opp BA through 2 starts. More to come on Gopher baseball later this week (if time permits).
Starting pitching is going to be a strength of this Gopher baseball squad.
- Gopher Women's Swimming and Diving are Big Ten Champs! This was their 5th conference title and 2nd in a row. I know that this isn't nearly as big of a deal as say going to the Rose Bowl, but it is a nice accomplishment for the team and worth noting.
- Gopher Wrestling won their 2nd straight national duals title.
- Gopher Hockey couldn't quite get the sweep over Duluth, but a win and a tie are worth a few points in the WCHA standings. 5 teams are within 4 points of first place and just two weekends left to earn the final MacNaughton Cup.
- MarQueis Gray had some mixed reviews from his combine workout but he displayed uncanny accuracy when throwing the ball. I personally don't think he'll be drafted but he is an intriguing talent who might find a home on a practice squad somewhere.
- MN Daily is calling this the worst Gopher hoops collapse in the Tubby Smith era. He is probably correct, but the season isn't over yet. While I'm not hopeful, technically there is time for the season to rebound.
- Charlie Walters speculates that IF Tubby is retained this year he may be forced to make some staff changes (HELLO!?!). Up to that points I fully agree, then Charlie suggests former Clem assistant and current DeLaSalle coach, Dave Thorson. Thorson would have an inside track on Reid Travis and sophomore point guard Jarvis Johnson. Maybe it would be a great hire, or maybe we need to do more than hire a high school coach for short-term recruiting purposes. I met coach Thorson in San Antonio at the Final Four. Nice guy and I asked him about the play they used to run for Voshon at the end of every half that would get an open three in the corner. He was drawing it up for me and we laughed at how it worked every single time.
- Speaking of Lenard, here is an old Deadspin article putting him on an NBA Shit List.