- Feb 3, 2009
- Reaction score
Good morning Gopher fans,
I felt this morning was a good time to update everyone on how practice has been going. This time of year is exciting because we inch closer and closer to the first game. Hope to see everyone Saturday, October 22nd right after the football game for a first look at the Gophers. It's a totally different team with a lot of new faces!
We were delivered a tough blow last week with Davonte tearing his ACL again. Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. You hate to see a great kid like Davonte go through that but we all know he will be back better than ever next season. We will have to adjust a little bit with some lineups with the absence of Davonte. I had been using him a lot with some bigger lineups. Ahmad Gilbert and Michael Hurt will have to step up!
Below is a brief update of how everyone looks.
Akeem Springs - Has the chance to be the heart and soul of our team. It's not too often a fifth year senior comes in and takes over a huge leadership role but Akeem has done that brilliantly. His shooting is improving. He plays extremely hard.
Darin Haugh - Has put on 20 pounds of muscle in an attempt to take our strength coach Shaun Brown's job next year when he graduates.
Amir Coffey - Playing at an extremely high level. Poses many problems for the defense because of his length. Needs to shoot more. Needs to be more vocal. That will come.
Eric Curry - Really excited about Eric's potential. Plays hard, runs great. Makes a lot of terrific moves but has struggled to finish them. That will improve. I anticipate him being a major contributor. He is too hard on himself when he makes a mistake.
Gaston Diedhiou - Improving but still making same mistakes as last year. Has to find a way to defend without fouling. Gas is playing hard and competing.
Ahmad Gilbert - Always plays with great enthusiasm and wants to win. We have to improve his lateral quickness. When he stays within himself he can be very effective.
Michael Hurt - Gym rat! Much like JR, Mike needs to improve his foot speed. His shooting continues to be a valuable asset for us. Tough to rival his work ethic.
Bakary Konaté - BK is trending in the right direction. The simpler he keeps it the better. His hands are getting better. Much like Eric, he's too tough on himself. Has become a better shot blocker.
Reggie Lynch - Out a few more weeks recovering from a recent surgery. Was playing extremely well before he had surgery.
Nate Mason - Playing at a high level right now. When he shoots it confidently he's tough to guard. Doing a good job leading.
Dupree McBrayer - Has probably made the biggest jump on the team. Been playing him at the 1 and the 2. He's playing great. I told him he was like a great stock that keeps trending upward. He compared himself to Facebook. I told him not to get ahead of himself!
Jordan Murphy - Murph, like Dupree, is evolving. He's going where his bread is buttered on offense, which would be the block. He's becoming a problem for the defense down there. Love the confidence he's playing with. Also showing terrific leadership.
Brady Rudrud - Has been playing hard and competing well. Needs to continue to improve his foot speed and ball skills.
Stephon Sharp - Doing good things in practice. Still would love to see him improve his perimeter shooting. He will get there.
Overall, after six practices I can truly say I love where this team is headed. Obviously the injuries to Davonte and Reggie have been challenging but it's an opportunity for someone else to step up. This time of year is always fun for the coaches and a bit of a challenge for the players. Games will be here soon enough! The guys have done a very good job on and off the court so far. They are extremely eager to show everyone what we are all about.
Nate, Murph, and myself will head down to Washington, D.C., for Big Ten Media Day on Thursday. That is always a fun time and a great experience for our players. See everyone next Saturday at the Barn!