I think you will get your wish.
Finishing 8-10 in the B1G last year was pretty disappointing for the Gophers. One more win would most likely have vaulted them into the tournament at 21-13. It is worth noting that they went on to win the NIT, which although it is the NIT, it still means you are the 65th best team in the country. And hey! Banner!!! This offseason Minnesota loses more than they gain. They lose Malik Smith, Austin Hollins, and Maverick Ahanmisi to graduation. Oto Osenieks is graduating early due to injury. Losing these players means losing:
Although this is not catastrophic, it is a good amount of their production gone. They do still have a big team (excluding Mathieu) and bring in three three stars. Here is their projected roster:
# Name HT WT YR. POS
15 Maurice Walker 6-10 250 RS. SR. PF
Maurice Walker had a incosistent year. He would have some games that flashed brilliance, runnning the floor, post moves. And some games where he picked up cheap fouls and quickly exited. He will start at Power Forward, which could present matchup issues for teams since he is so tall. He averaged 7.8 and 4.5 last year which is pretty good for his limited role.
55 Elliott Eliason 6-11 240 RS. SR C
The best big man in the B1G according to Pitino, had games where he was a complete beast. He will most likely improve even more. The starting Center, he averaged 5 points and 6.6 rebounds per game last year.
2 Kendal Shell 6-0 185 SR. PG
4 Deandre Mathieu 5-9 165 SR. PG
The starting Point Guard, arguably the quickest player in the B1G. Fastbreak and assist machine. Averaged 12 points and 4.2 assists last year.
1 Andre Hollins 6-2 195 SR. SG
The best player on this team, he is a good shooter and a good athlete. The starting shooting guard. He averaged 13.6 points per game last year.
24 Joey King 6-9 225 JR. SF
Tall but he does not really use it to his advantage. Almost half of his shots last year were three pointers. He averaged 7.1 points per game last year.
23 Charles Buggs 6-9 210 RS. SO. PF
Exploded late in the season after doing nothing all year. Will be the first forward off the bench.
5 Daquein McNeil 6-3 195 SO. SG
The first guard off the bench, he did not play much but he will play a similar role to Malik Smith last year.
Josh Martin 6-8 215 FR. PF
Needs too put on some weight but this 3 star should play about 15 minutes a game.
Carlos Morris 6-4 FR. SG
Morris, also a three star will come in and play about 10 minutes a game.
Nate Mason 5-11 160 FR. PG
A three star who will play about 5 minutes a game. If McNeil plays well, Mason will redshirt. If McNeil is iffy, Mason will be needed.
Gaston Diedhiou 6-9 225 FR. C
Will most likely be raw since he comes from overseas. Does not even have a star rating.
Point Guard: Deandre Mathieu
Shooting Guard: Andre Hollins
Small Forward: Joey King
Power Forward: Maurice Walker
Center: Elliott Eliason
Michigan plays Minnesota at home only. This favors Michigan as this team will be hard to beat at the barn.
This team is uber-experienced with 4 senior starters. This will contribute to early success and good road play. I see this team having a repeat 8-10 season as they lose a big part of their team in Hollins.
Next Up... Illinois
Let the comments commence. I am rooting against Calipari.
Digger Phelps announces that this will be his last game for ESPN. He has never been a fan of the Maize and Blue. When can Dickie V join him?
Via @Sportscenter on Twitter. Not at all a surprise, but still another guy our three sophomores would potentially have to deal with in the draft order. Probably not a huge deal though, since Smart is a point guard and obviously none of Nik, Glenn, or Mitch are. I guess this could be looked at as an example of coming back to school NOT working out (because Smart in all likelihood would have gone higher last year than he will this year), but most of Smart's problems were not based on his play but rather his attitude, which I don't think we need to worry about with any of our potential early entries.
Parrish calls Kentucky "UK's Fab Five," and then follows up with this:
"On the other hand, if UK wins, Michigan's Fab Five will be permanently displaced as the sport's most accomplished first-year starting lineup, and wouldn't that be something?
No team has ever won a title starting even four freshmen.
Kentucky has a chance to do it starting five."
I guess I'll be rooting for UConn. What about you?
At least as of this minute (9:49 Pacific), Nik Stauskas is the cover boy on NBA.com, with a link to an article by David Aldridge ranking the 2014 draft's shooting guards.
Aldridge puts everyone in the pot, not just seniors or those who have declared, and ranks Nik ahead of Gary Harris, Kentucky's dynamic freshmen, and Arizona's Nick Johnson, amongst others. Probably the most interesting quote comes from an unnamed Western Conference Executive:
"He's got a little edge on his shoulder that you've got to have when you're a 6-6 white wing player in our league," a Western Conference exec said. "He's not going to be a (defensive) liability, but he's also not going to be the guy you put on the other team's best wing player."
White guys need an "edge". Got it.
Tried using my windows "snipping tool" to capture the page image for this post but MGoBlog doesn't seem to want to let me paste it into this window. Hopefully it's still there if you click this link: http://www.nba.com/
Direct link to the Aldridge summary of Shooting Guard prospects: http://www.nba.com/news/features/david_aldridge/david-aldridges-big-board-shooting-guards-2014-draft/index.html?ls=iref:nbahpt3a