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Minnesota Basketball: 1st game vs Iowa TBT

After 187 meetings the Gophers have won 98 and lost 89. But let’s look back at the first meeting, a game in Minnesota played on February 3, 1900.

WHAT ARE THOSE?!?! (answer: the 1900 basketball team’s awesome jerseys)

From the Minneapolis Tribune February 4th, 1900.

Such was the result of the basket ball game played at the University armory yesterday afternoon between the Minnesota and Iowa teams. At no time during the game did the visitors show any degree of skill, and proved easy opponents for the local team. The Minnesota team lined up in fine shape and outplayed Iowa at every point. Deering, left forward for the locals, made the star play, throwing goal front the 18 yard line.

The first hour of the afternoon was taken up by a game between women teams from the freshmen and sophomore classes. It was the first public exhibition of girt teams at the university. The young women showed remarkable pluck and ability. The game was won by the sophomore team 5 to 2.

There are a couple of interesting things in that short article. First lol at the newspaper man for dragging the Iowa squad, “at no time did the visitors show any degree of skill.” I wish we still had savage local media like that. Secondly Deerings 18 yard line shot? That is a 54 foot basket, a modern court is 94 feet long, making Deering shot more than a half courter. Last but not least interesting to note that Dr. Cooke, the Gophers coach, is also listed as the referee. It wasn’t unusual at the turn of the century for coaches to double as refs, but it seems odd thinking about it today.

For Minnesota the 1900 season was a success at 10 wins and 2 losses. By modern standards the schedule is kind of fun to look at, with 4 games against Superior Normal (would later become University of Wisconsin-Superior). The game against Central High School was a barn burner at 8-7.