So, I hear there is a hoopty ball game today. I certainly had not planned on being this low on enthusiasm coming into a matchup with the #1 team in the country at home, that's for sure. So let's do this.
- Tubby wants the guys playing angry tonight. Other notes from Amelia:
Smith has had his players running as a group for each turnover in practice, a implementation that caused Saturday’s workout to be rather "intense," Andre Hollins said.
But he’s also played to the players’ suffering psyche, bringing in sports psychologist Rick Aberman to talk with the players over the weekend.
Smith can’t seem to decide whether he wants to play the part of drill sergeant or the shoulder to lean on, but if anger is what he’s looking for, he might need to change his approach altogether – after Monday’s shootaround, the message among players was mostly positive as they looked ahead with the "backs against the wall" mentality somewhat lacking.
The coach pointed out that he would like to see the team working out on their own, beyond organized practices – a routine that would seem common sense given the team’s struggles.
"I’d like to see them in here more," Smith said. "I always want to see guys get up more shots and get into the gym more. That’s what they do. That’s what they like doing. Whether they’re getting in there enough, each individual player, whether it’s a coach bringing them in or sitting down watching film, you could always do more."
- Sandell says the Gophers are searching for urgency.
- Rodney Williams might not start tonight.
- Fuller says Trevor Mbakwe hasn't lived up to the hype while Cody Zeller has.
- Amelia does more fine analysis and breaks down the Gophers substitution patterns compared to other B1G schools. Oddly enough, Tubby's sub patterns are both normal and odd. I'm going to excerpt a few key things below but the whole blog post is worth a read:
A few thoughts on what I found (with fuller bullet points below):
- The first thing I noticed was that in general, teams use their starters together much less than I assumed, and the Gophers, by comparison, use their players together as much or more than the others I tracked.
- As a rule, the Gophers don’t substitute more often than other teams – that is, the numbers of distinct groups are pretty similar with the other teams I tracked, as you’ll see below.
- The substituting beyond that, for the Gophers, is incredibly more random and indicates that Gophers coach Tubby Smith likely has far fewer go-to lineups than the coaches of the other teams I tracked.
For example, I looked at the groups that got the most time after the starters. For the Gophers, this group changed every game – and never received more than four and a half minutes. The substitution pattern – or lack of it -- was also notable, as the players and groups that received significant minutes seemed to be chosen indiscriminately.
Compared with other teams, this stands out significantly. In Ohio State’s secondary lineups, it’s clear the Buckeyes favor their starters along with three reserves: Evan Ravenel, Shannon Scott and Ross LaQuinton. These are the only three used in significant minutes. Craft and Thomas – clearly the guys that make their team go – were used in each of those combos. Similarly, Indiana favored Will Sheehey, Remy Abell and Hanner Moquera-Perea as their main reserves. Yogi Ferrell was in all of those groups.
Amelia notes the biggest weakness of the comparison, small sample size, right away. Again, an excellent breakdown and worth a full read.
- Amelia talks about her look at starters' minutes. It can be found here. Again, worth the full read IMO.
- Amelia also reminds why the Gophers will almost surely make The Dance.
- DWG previews tonight's matchup with Indiana.
And now, because we all need it after reading about basketball...
- Joel Bauman, the U wrestler who is getting screwed over by the NCAA, is interviewed by Bob Sansevere. I'm starting to love this kid. First, he came up with a really creative solution to the "real name problem" that the NCAA denied for some reason (probably because it made some sense):
BS: J.T. Bruett of Minnesota's compliance office said last week you were checking into options to regain your eligibility. What was the option the NCAA shot down?
JB: I was going to legally change my name to my birth name and switch my Social Security number and credit cards. I was going to legally change my name to Tre'Vaun Rashaad Stevenson.
BS: Where did you come up with that name?
JB: That's really my birth name. My mother gave it to me. When I got adopted, I became Joel Bauman.
BS: Why did the NCAA say no?
JB: I have no idea. That really kind of grinded my gears. I was going to change my name. I'm not changing my name but I have a plan. "Wonder That" is coming. I'm telling you, it's going to be awesome.
But my favorite part is his cryptic 2nd plan. It confuses the heck out of Sansevere (win) while also promoting his next song at the same time. Talk about making lemonade...
- 3 point weekends don't satisfy the Gophers.
- Being unsatisfied isn't enough though, as the WCHA regular season title is still SCSU's to win. Western College Hockey Blog looks at the remaining slate for all the teams and how it might affect the title run and playoff seeding.
- In case you missed, here's proof that Bjugy has a cannon.
- Daily hockey beat writer Drew Claussen does a video recap of the weekend.
- A reminder of the women's hockey dominance we've seen this season:
With their 2-0 win Friday and 3-0 win Saturday, the Gophers became the first team in NCAA history to complete a perfect regular season.
Senior goaltender Noora Räty added another individual record by tying the NCAA record for career shutouts with 39. She is also one shutout away from tying the single-season record.
Amanda Kessel's pursuit of the single season points record was on hold as she sat out to rest and recover from being "dinged up."
- The women are getting national attention from outlets like CBS Sports.
- Given how much Coach Kill loves speed, I suspect the recent track successes of Berkley Edwards and Devin Crawford-Tufts have put a smile on his face.
- WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Rachel Banham struggled in the 2nd half of a loss to Purdue...TRACK: The men took 5th and the women 7th at the B1G indoor championship...SOFTBALL: Sara Moulton threw a new hitter and the Gophers improved to 7-7...GYMNASTICS: Men's gymnast broke his leg before the team victory over UIC while the women suffered their first defeats of the year, to Iowa (on Friday) and Iowa State (on Sunday)...TENNIS: The women got two big wins (including over UW) while the men lost to the Badgers.
- Ok Kenny Bell...
- Dr. Saturday is looking at the 5 coaches it thinks would make good WWE wrestlers. #5? The Cardshark, Bert Bielema!
Heel or face?
Heel (bad guy, in wrestling terms), for sure. He already turned on Barry Alvarez, blindsiding him long after the bell when he unexpectedly left to Arkansas. The crowd for a WWE Raw taping in Madison wouldn't be too civil.
Natural wrestling rival
"Mr. Perfect" Urban Meyer. Of course.
After two Rose Bowl losses in a row, he wouldn't have one. Oh wait, maybe something where Bielema mismanages the clock and the bell rings before he can jump off the top rope.
Given the incredible job Nick Saban has done recruiting for Alabama we probably also should just go ahead and assume that his latest target, linebacker/running back Dylan Moses, is going to be a star.
Just not for a pretty long time, considering Moses is in middle school.
Moses is an eighth grader from Baton Rouge (La.). AL.com reported that Alabama offered the scholarship over the weekend, at the Crimson Tide's Junior Day event. Even though that sounds crazy to make scholarship promises to an eighth grader, Moses already has an offer from LSU as well.
- Looks like Tim Brewster isn't the only coach from Texas who can mismanage his talent.
Former Texas receiver Marquise Goodwin was the talk of the NFL scouting combine on Sunday morning. That's not surprising, considering everyone knew he had a chance to break the combine record at the 40-yard dash.
He came up just short of the record of 4.24, clocking an official 4.25 at the 40-yard dash. Others had him timed even faster though.
In those criminally low 39 touches last season, Goodwin scored six times. Go figure that a guy that fast could score at a ridiculous rate. The coaches seemed to figure it out a bit in the bowl game, in which Goodwin scored on a 64-yard run and a 36-yard catch. Would have been nice in the first 12 games to use a player that scored on one of every 6.5 touches as a senior.
- We're not the only team that can turn a strong start into GNASHING TEETH! SADNESS! ANGER!.
- Ha ha, even the Whioux play by play guy doesn't like them.
When the University of North Dakota let a late three-point lead slip away against Northern Arizona as a result of four missed free throws and two turnovers in the final three minutes of regulation, play-by-play announcer Paul Ralston took the loss hard.
In an interview with North Dakota coach Brian Jones right after Saturday's game, Ralston called the 74-72 overtime loss a "choke job," a phrase that apparently did not sit well with either the coach or with university officials.
Athletic director Brian Faison announced this week that Ralston has been suspended from his play-by-play duties for North Dakota's next two games, the Grand Forks Herald first reported. Ralston will not call North Dakota's game at Northern Colorado on Wednesday night, nor will he call the team's Bracketbusters matchup at Nebraska-Omaha on Saturday.
- Speaking of fun play by play guys...
When Saint Louis play-by-play announcer Bob Ramsey describe a foul assessed to Dwayne Evans as "cheap" late in the Billikens' victory over VCU on Tuesday night, the referee who made the call happened to overhear him.
To the surprise of Ramsey, referee Bo Borowski confronted him while he was on air. To the amusement of the radio audience, Ramsey wouldn't stand for it.
Shutting down Borowski with a classic "talk to the hand" pose, Ramsey told him bluntly, "I'm on the air now. Stay away from me." Later in the above audio-only clip originally posted by JoeSportsFan.com, Ramsey tells the audience, "We're not going to have that. This is 101 [ESPN]'s broadcast."
- Syracuse sold out the Carrier Dome over the weekend. Here's the view from the worst seats.
- INSANE SAVE.
- No real change in the polls this week.
- West Virginia wants changes to scheduling to alleviate the hardship of traveling so far in their new conference. Ya know, the one they chose to join of their own free will.
- John Harbaugh was not impressed by Manti Te'o's 40 yard dash:
- Alright NHL fans among us...what do you think of this realignment proposal for the divisions?
- Fantastic season ticket sales video from the Fargo Force of the USHL.
- Sam Warning got robbed of the #1 spot on the SC Top Ten because that cheerleader with the cartwheel halfcourt shot did it again, this time with a Harlem Globetrotter:
- AWESOME ESPN story on a guy from India who is still running marathons at over 100 years old. Heck, the dude didn't start until he was in his 80's.
Was it pain he felt as he approached the end, just footsteps away from redefining the limits of human endurance? No, this wasn't pain. Fauja knew pain. Pain was death -- you see plenty of that when you live 100 years. Pain was bloody limbs and overtaxed joints -- you get too much of that when you insist on completing every race you ever start. This wasn't pain but exhaustion. And Fauja could handle exhaustion, because exhaustion foreshadowed euphoria. When Fauja got tired, it often meant a record would soon fall.He'd already broken a few. Fastest to run a marathon (male, over age 90), fastest to run 5,000 meters (male, over age 100), fastest to run 3,000 meters (male, over age 100), and on and on they went. But those records didn't roll off the tongue the way this one would. Oldest person to complete a marathon (male): Fauja Singh. The other feats had earned him recognition from the Masters Federation websites. This one would put him in the Guinness World Records.