The 2016-2017 Minnesota Golden Gopher men’s basketball season is quickly upon us. We threw out some questions to the staff to see what their thoughts were heading into what looks to be an interesting year for the Golden Gophers.
What is the boldest prediction you are willing to make in regards to the upcoming season?
mowe0018: The Gophers will have three players who shoot at least 37% from 3-point range. They are Nate Mason, Akeem Springs, and.... Michael Hurt.
GoAUpher: The Gophers will pull off another big upset against a top ranked team. I have no idea which one, but it’ll happen.
zipsofakron: I think Jordan Murphy will be second-team All-Big Ten this year.
UStreet: Boldest prediction that I think will happen? The Gophers have three all conference players. Jordan Murphy 2nd Team, Nate Mason 3rd Team, Coffey all Freshman team.
Boldest as in likely wrong but not outside the realm of possibility? Minnesota makes the NCAA Tournament.
GopherNation: Eric Curry is a Freshman All-Big member.
Time for real numbers. How many wins, both conference and overall, do you see the Gophers accumulating this year?
mowe0018: I have previously gone on record with an “official” prediction and I will stand by that unless something drastic happens injury or suspension wise. I think 17-14 (7-11 in conference play) is a good balance between cautious optimism and stark realism regarding this team. There is a lot of talent available to Pitino, arguably the most he’s ever had. Has he evolved as a coach at all? Can the team present a collective defensive front? If yes, it could be a somewhat fun non-tire fire of a year which would be welcomed with open arms after last year’s debacle.
GoAUpher: 16-15 with a 6-12 B1G record.
zipsofakron: I really think seven conference wins is attainable, so I’m rolling with a 16-15 overall record with a 7-11 B1G record.
UStreet: 10-3 in the non-conference and 7-11 in the BIG for a 17-14 overall record.
GopherNation: 10-3 in non-conference (losing to FSU, Ark and Vandy) and 7-11 in the Big Ten. I guess UStreet and I are thinking the same thing.
Any other last thoughts, predictions, things to watch for etc?
mowe0018: The team will be better than people think. And will be a lot more fun to watch than last year’s edition.
GoAUpher: I predict lots of conversations about firing Pitino in the comments. How’s that for a #TAKE?
zipsofakron: Four parting thoughts:
- The Gophers will NOT escape this season without something stupid happening off the court.
- Dupree McBrayer will be the surprise of the season.
- I can’t generate any optimism about Bakary Konate or Gaston Diedhiou. I just can’t.
- I’m really excited about Eric Curry. He’s going to be a steal.
UStreet: Pitino’s team will be much improved on offense to the point that the three point shot is a threat. Fans will jump on Pitino the second the Gophers lose a game.
GopherNation: GoAUpher will get excited about the season at some point. Also, the Gophers will win 7 Big Ten games and will have a number of close games against good teams. Which isn’t much but will generate a lot of buzz heading into the following year.