Gophers rediscover all-around sharpness while defeating Purdue

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 6, 2014 - 6:12 AM

Minnesota gave Richard Pitino his first Big Ten victory with a solid effort against the Boilermakers.

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kev5115Jan. 5, 14 4:03 PM

34 minutes of real good basketball and 6 minutes of poor basketball. They shot the ball well and made their free throws and needed everyone of them. This should be a learning game too, you have to play smart and hard right to the buzzer. I'm starting to wonder if the refs don't have it in for Eliot, there were 3 terrible calls 2 on defense and 1 on offense where he got hammered on a shot and no whistle. They call the game tight for most of the game and then the last 8 minutes they never called much at all. But a great win nevertheless.

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goldengoph3rJan. 5, 14 4:23 PM

We found sharpness but need to maintain it for 40. While watching, I thought it's been years since I'd seen such dogged ball-hawking like the kind Purdue displayed today. Then I looked at the stats: *20* offensive rebounds. Unreal. One trend that looks to continue is the officials' lack of respect for the Gophers, and Eliason in particular. Eliot must be wondering if he should just get out of the way any time a 6'1" guard attacks the basket, because apparently defending the lane is a foul. Glad to see the Hollinses find their game. Lot of tough games upcoming; good opportunity to play loose in the face of low expectations.

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shorttimerJan. 5, 14 4:25 PM

Pittino needs to teach the whle team to go up and grab the rebound instead of batting or tipping it the old Tubby way of rebounding.

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garagewineJan. 5, 14 4:26 PM

They didn't look too sharp down the stretch. That 20-point lead vanished pretty quickly.

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railroadJan. 5, 14 4:29 PM

Eliason looks really good... He is holding the team together.. Some really bad calls against him... Some small guard runs into his long stretched arms and they call it against Eliason...really? perfect defense..

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garagewineJan. 5, 14 4:32 PM

"One trend that looks to continue is the officials' lack of respect for the Gophers, and Eliason in particular. Eliot must be wondering if he should just get out of the way any time a 6'1" guard attacks the basket, because apparently defending the lane is a foul."---Eliason needs to learn to keep his hands straight up when he is defending against driving guards. His problem is that he puts his body in position, but leans his arms forward to try to block the shot, and usually ends up making contact with the shooter. The refs will call that a foul every time, and it's not something that is unique to the officiating this year. Eliason usually compounds the problem by complaining about the call. I'm sure the refs take notice of this.

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hobie2Jan. 5, 14 4:38 PM

MN fans are too polite - the second time the refs call an foul that could not exist, the fans need to keep the deafening boos going longer than the pass in - and whatever happened to the "BS" chant that shook the beams and had TV and radio taking commercial breaks? What - The Barn filled with people so old they can only shake their heads? There is a reason the hometown teams "get the call" - the last couple games, the place isn't worth a 5 point advantage, and for a place like the Barn, that is just wrong.

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goldengoph3rJan. 5, 14 4:48 PM

Garagewine, I agree with you to a point on Eliason bringing his arms down. However, if he brings his arms down and has his hands affixed to the ball while doing so, that's a block or a jump ball. Not a foul. Granted, he used to be terrible at proper defending. This year, it appears he's really worked on it, so I can sympathize with his frustration when it seems many calls are based on reputation rather than actual contact.

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money2Jan. 5, 14 5:12 PM

I think that now the Gophers KNOW they can play in the BIG, they'll start doing better. I've always said that Bob Knight had the right way of coaching. He had ALL his players shoot 100 free throws AFTER every practice. That way they were tired and it simulated being in the 4th quarter when the players were tired. Looks like Sir Richard might be doing the same. I mean it is called "FREE THROWS" so it should be FREE POINTS. So many games today are decided by under 10 points so if a team can shoot 85% or better on free throws, they stand a very good chance of winning that game. GO GOPHERS!

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hookshotJan. 5, 14 5:14 PM

Good win, but curious about the heavy use of the zone by Pitino in both B1G games? Harder to box out when you aren't assigned to a man. Gave up 21 offensive rebounds. Is he trying to protect Eliason from foul trouble?

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