The Golden Gopeher basketball teams are both looking very frisky for tournament play. I only know the women are doing well, but haven’t really followed them. I have followed the men’s team via newspaper coverage and radio, but didn’t see them on TV until last night. Of course…I really only saw the part of the game where they came alive and smothered Indiana on the defensive end, probably one of their most impressive stretches of play this season. No question, it’s a small sample and they may not play that well again this season.
But…they have all the things you need to make a deep tournament run. Number one, they have an outstanding coach with tournament experience. Then, in no particular order: A good point guard, size, depth, a collection of athletes that Gopher teams haven’t seen in…forever?, outside shooters than can get very hot, and an aggressive team defense that features some very good individual defenders.
Also, there is this: One of their players is freshman Ralph Sampson III. It’s like a flashback to 1982 to hear an announcer say, “Ralph Sampson throws it down!”
They’ve beaten 3 top 25 teams this season, against 3 top 25 losses. Of course, like a lot of young teams they have their share of bad losses, too. That’s why they are frisky, instead of favored. But this will not be a fun team for anybody to play in the tournament.