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  1. #1

    Default This year's team is fascinating

    This set of players and their surrounding storylines may just be the most intriguing Minnesota basketball has had in a while.

    You can distill this 2018-19 Gophers team down to a few items. Regardless of postseason success, I would be thrilled to see them push toward the ceiling of potential on any of the following:

    - Amir Coffey - It's time for your to declare your intentions: Are you a serious NBA draft prospect, or are you just going to be one of those highly talented guys - like Rodney Williams or the Hollins brothers - that show flashes but become anonymous when the pressure is on and the team must be carried. It was a masterstroke that Richard Pitino decided to challenge him in this way before the Nebraska game. It's a card Pitino could play once, and I think it was timed perfectly. Coffey looked like an NBA player in that game. The blueprint is now set, but the most difficult part is consistency. The B1G foes will be an absolute gauntlet this year. I am fascinated to see how Coffey builds on this.

    - Isaiah Washington - The North Florida game provided the blueprint and foundation for his success at this level: You are a gifted ball handler and passer. Play to your strengths, and the scoring will come to you. It seemed like Washington scored 14 points with ease in that game. When he plays within himself, he is very effective at getting to, and hitting from the free throw line. With Coffey and Murphy serving as the main threats, the Gophers only require a creator and sure ball handler at the point guard position. Washington can be a very good point guard, but what will happen the rest of this season? If he takes a step forward this year, prospects for next year's team look much better.

    - Jordan Murphy - He will get his usual quota of points and rebounds. He needs to continue to refine the weaker areas of the game like foul shots, longer jumpers and avoiding foul trouble. The good news is that he seems to be progressing in these areas. Similar to Coffey's situation as he also has a chance to capitalize on NBA draft potential.

    - Daniel Oturu - Oturu has the chance to be an all-conference big man by the time his career is done. Needs to continue to work on finishing and defense down low. His progress this year will also be a key in determining how good next year's team could be.

    - Eric Curry - We haven't seen him for a long, long time. What exactly will he be able to contribute this year? He is a grinder that will play some defense and get rebounds, but can he add a bit more on the offensive end? Crazy to think that he is only a Sophomore. Curry, Washington, Kalscheur and Oturu could be a very good team in their upperclassman years.

    - Gabe Kalscheur - I've seen enough to know that he will be a solid B1G starter for us as soon as this year, but the question still remains as to how great of a player he can be for when all is said and done. He has the basketball IQ and shooting to play in the NBA. Let's see how he builds on his early success in conference play. Just seems to have that "it" factor so it will be interesting to see how that manifests.

    Naturally, if things go well in these areas, postseason success will likely follow. We may just be pleasantly surprised with how good this team will be by the end of the year. There are a lot of variables in play, but the ceiling is high. They could very well be a top-5 NCAA seed.
    Last edited by bfast; 12-17-2018 at 05:25 AM.
    "If these rafters could talk, imagine the stories they would tell... of the teams, and the players... the moments and the memories that have made Williams Arena one of the cathedrals of college basketball..."


  2. #2

    Default

    Well said on each guy. Of the ones you listed I think the key guys for this season are IW and Curry. If IW can be the pass first guy he has shown at times this year this team has a chance to make some noise because he is so good at it.

    The front line depth will get a massive boost if Curry can come back anywhere close to where he was before he got hurt. It has been so long since he has played regular minutes that I think a lot of us have forgotten how good he looked when he was playing. He has a chance to be a very strong player for us.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MNVCGUY View Post
    Well said on each guy. Of the ones you listed I think the key guys for this season are IW and Curry. If IW can be the pass first guy he has shown at times this year this team has a chance to make some noise because he is so good at it.

    The front line depth will get a massive boost if Curry can come back anywhere close to where he was before he got hurt. It has been so long since he has played regular minutes that I think a lot of us have forgotten how good he looked when he was playing. He has a chance to be a very strong player for us.
    Agreed on Curry. Soft touch, good mid range game.

  4. #4

    Default

    As a freshman, I thought Curry had the most pro potential on the team. His game is perfect for the NBA and still think he has great potential. Let's hope he avoids the injury bug and keeps improving. Excited to get him back but we must remember he will have some rust in his game.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by GopherCountry View Post
    As a freshman, I thought Curry had the most pro potential on the team. His game is perfect for the NBA and still think he has great potential. Let's hope he avoids the injury bug and keeps improving. Excited to get him back but we must remember he will have some rust in his game.
    The good thing is that we don't need him to come back and be a starter we just need to get some solid minutes off the bench out of him. That should help give him time to round back into form and get back into game shape without the added pressure of being one of the top 5 guys the team is counting on every game.

  6. #6
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    If Curry's not playing Friday, I think the injury (+ recovery) is going way worse than they anticipated, even if they're being extra careful, which I'm sure they are. His return has been hinted at for at least a couple weeks, and it keeps getting pushed back. We'll be well past the 6-week mark since the surgery. If he's not suited up for North Carolina A&T, will really start wondering what's going on.
    Last edited by SelectionSunday; 12-17-2018 at 09:26 AM.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by SelectionSunday View Post
    If he's not suited up for North Carolina A&T, will really start wondering what's going on.
    If he's not suited up, sure... worry away. Until then, I'm not going to start now.
    Last edited by HOOP DREAMS; 12-17-2018 at 10:15 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by HOOP DREAMS View Post
    If he's not suited up, sure... worry way. Until then, I'm not going to start now.
    Good advice. I'll try to heed it!

  9. #9

    Default

    Still worry about the shooting ability - If kelshire is off - wheres the 3 ball? Also we have been dreadful on the road - need to change that at Wisconsin...

  10. #10

    Default

    https://twitter.com/marchmadness/sta...904587776?s=21

    Katz has us at #23, and he’s seen us play at least once.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by book View Post
    Still worry about the shooting ability - If kelshire is off - wheres the 3 ball? Also we have been dreadful on the road - need to change that at Wisconsin...
    It's a hard last name I get it and I don't want to be the spelling stickler...



    but this isn't even remotely close. About the only thing you got correct was it started with a K. You might even be closer to Krzyzewski

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bc2211 View Post
    https://twitter.com/marchmadness/sta...904587776?s=21

    Katz has us at #23, and he’s seen us play at least once.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Andy has always seen the good and the potential in the Gophers. He's almost the only one.

  13. #13

    Default

    Ok KALSCHEUR...

  14. #14

    Default

    I think the Gophers chances of something special comes down to two things:

    (1) Curry needs to come back reasonably strong. This is necessary to prevent every team in the B1G from platooning their guards at Murph in order to get him in foul trouble and sit him on the bench. We need to counter with Curry coming in at the 4. THIS IS ESSENTIAL. Otherwise this structural weakness will be exploited every game.

    (2) Washington needs to continue his pass-first ways. Obviously the Gophers will win when Gabe goes 6-for-8 from three, or when Murph/Amir/Washington put up 30+. But here's the thing: Washington can RELIABLY put his teammate in a position with the ball less than 5 feet from the basket. And the Gophers will win if he does that - virtually every game is winnable if he does that. (And, the result will be that Washington ends up scoring 10+ or maybe 15+ per night as a byproduct.)

    Go Gophers! And Go Washington and Curry!

  15. #15

    Default

    We'll know more about this team after the mich st wisconsin and michigan road tests loom on the horizon.

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