STrib: No preseason love for Gophers hoops: No picks better than 10th in Big Ten


Well-known member
per Marcus:

The highest predicted finish right now for the Gophers is 10th by Street & Smith/Sporting News magazine, which officially hit newsstands Tuesday. Lindy’s Sports and Athlon Sports, already available in stores, picked the Gophers to finish 11th and 12th, respectively. There were no Gophers on All-Big Ten preseason teams, either.

Louisville’s a popular Final Four pick. But the team that ended the Cardinals season in March is picked to reach the NIT at best. That might frustrate Gophers fans, who flocked to Des Moines in force to see just how much their team outplayed Louisville. The Cardinals do return a lot, though.

There are bright spots for the Gophers in preseason annuals.

A small picture of sophomore center Daniel Oturu is featured on the top right corner of the Sporting News/Street & Smith college basketball regional cover. Former Pittsburgh guard Marcus Carr is also among the impact transfers to watch (although Athlon used junior forward Eric Curry's picture for Carr). Pitino isn't featured among the coaches on the hot seat.

It was much easier for magazines to pick the Gophers as a bottom-half Big Ten team, because of so much unknown. Seven newcomers are the most for the program since 2004-05. They also have no returning All-Big Ten players after Coffey decided to leave early for the NBA.

Oturu and sophomore Gabe Kalscheur, the U’s two returning starters, aren’t getting the same preseason hype as players who made the All-Big Ten freshmen team last season. Is that fair? Oturu and Kalscheur were snubbed IMO. They together led all Big Ten freshmen in several categories.

Go Gophers!!
I did read an article that had surprisingly predicted the Gophers to finish 8th in conference, but that seemed to be due to the writer being very down on teams 9-14 and not necessarily because they were high on the Gophers. Every other article has picked them as 10th or worse. As the article above states, the Gophers have a bunch of newcomers and not many writers are going to take the time required to research all teams in conference for pre-season pick article.


Well-known member
A 6th-8th place finish is very realistic this season if all goes well
6th-8th if all goes well, very interesting . If all goes well, everyone plays their role, we get great coaching in year 7 i would expect no worse than third. 10th is a titanic failure with this roster. After all the fan base on here, for the most part thinks we have great players.
If everything goes well sure, I was trying to be a little more realistic and got hammered which I don't understand. Besides the Top 4 teams this league is up for grabs. The gophers are more athletic, deeper, and versatile than last year. They were 2 possessions away from being 11-9 with basically 6 players. I think it is reasonable to think they can improve upon that.

Costa Rican Gopher

Mind of a Scientist
You never know. That's why we play the games. On paper though, this is not a very good Gopher team. Anyone dreaming of a similar season to last year, is in for a let down. My .02
Last season was saved by Kalscheur and Oturu in my opinion. We didn't have a great formula for success, basically had to hope that Murphy and Coffey had big games and that no starters got in foul trouble. They were great players with no supporting cast. Our roster is well rounded and has smart players for this season. Players like dupree mcbrayer who had no business starting will not be asked to out play their roles where we are left hoping they actually do something good in the 35 minutes a game that they would never otherwise be playing if we had any depth. The starting lineup should have a high IQ and has more college basketball experience than they are getting credit for, I feel like I did about the team in 2016-2017 that actually had a winning conference record. The bench should be much better as well with a variety of players that can actually add something to the game. Maybe not hurt but at least he is not usually a negative impact.


Well-known member
I don't want to make any predictions because I haven't seen this group play, but if Pitino could not get above .500 in conference play with Jordan and Amir last year it is really hard to see him doing it this year. I think people forget how many times Jordan Murphy saved this team from really embarrassing losses ( ex: he had 19 points and 21 rebounds to sneak out a home win over Penn State last year) and how tough he will be to replace. Coffey was the only wing on the roster who could get his own shot.

It seems like the Gophers need both Carr and Ihnen to live up to the most optimistic of projections (Carr a top 5 pg in the league, Ihnen an All Freshman type guy) to just get in to the middle of the pack in the conference. That's assuming they get progression from Oturu and Kalscheur and not Sophomore slumps.

60's Guy

Well-known member
If I wrote for a national magazine I'd pick us 10th too. But as an optimistic Gopher fan I think we have the potential to finish much higher. But, I haven't seen well all over half the guys play...neither has most anyone.
On the flip side Richard is the past he has been cautious. We can "potentially" shoot much better than last year. Murphy was awesome but accommodating him did limit our flow Amir had 8 games last year where he was about as effective as he'll be this year in absentia for the Gophers...when he took games over, that guy we'll miss. But I do think most all of Amir's impact was on the offensive end and we have several potential offensive breakout possibilities on a game by game basis this year. Not the case last year.
Like some others have said, I think in addition to shooting we can be better on defense this year as a team.
I think anything below 6 will be a big disappointment for Richard. Just a gut feeling.

Go Gophs

I'd say they are close to right there. Gophers might be able to sneak into that 6-8 range, and have a bubble season. That is about as good as I would expect though. Losing your 2 best players with no one impactful replacing them hurts. Yes, I know they are getting Carr, but Coffey and Murphy were 2 of the better players in the league last year.

I'd say they really need at least one of their incoming freshman to step up and Carr has to be great in order for this team to have a good season. Kalseur can't go backwards either, however, I feel he is a great candidate for a regression. Oturo should be solid and honestly dominate inside.

march madness

Active member
I think they look like a solid middle tier B1G team. Probably pick them 6-9 somewhere.
Lots of new guys with potential.
I expect double figure scoring from Oturu, Gabe, and Carr. Willis close.
Need Curry to comeback healthy.

Biggest wildcard is Ihnen. He could give us some of those Coffey type things on the wing if he can adjust to college basketball well.

We have to shoot it a lot better from 3 also.


Active member
Yeah I'm less optimistic as well...I think 9-10 range is about right based on the fact we're losing Coffey and Murphy.
Top Bottom