Second half of Big Ten season to determine Gophers' NCAA fate

  • Article by: Amelia Rayno , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 5, 2014 - 11:21 AM

At 4-5 in the league, U has nine games and a chance left.

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goldengoph3rFeb. 4, 14 9:52 PM

If you would have told me at the start of the season we'd be 5th halfway through the B1G, I'd have been thrilled. If we win the home games and win at Purdue and NW, we're in. If we finish 8-10 in the conference, we'll get in with two conference tourney wins. Realistically, I think 7-11 is most likely, but 9-9 is a realistic goal.

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shippy00Feb. 4, 1410:57 PM

Tomorrow's game is the most important game of the season. Lose to Purdue and it will be difficult in the extreme to finish 9-9 in conference, which would probably get them in the tourney. Gophs kicked away a golden opportunity the last two games, but the stars can realign in their favor again if they win tomorrow. Ski-U-Mah

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zoilovFeb. 5, 14 7:00 AM

The Gopher's are not a NCAA tournament team, losing to Northwestern at the barn sealed that deal. They just don't have the talent, especially at center (Eliason and Walker). Any team that gives up defensive rebounds and allows the opponent second (and third) chance baskets, has a problem. What's Eliason's vertical??? 2 inches?

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kev5115Feb. 5, 14 9:07 AM

If Andre Hollins doesn't go down we'd be talking about how high of a seed the Gophers would be getting. But it is what it is, call it a curse or what but this has happened where one of the best players goes down either by injury or not going to school or not doing their school work and it's been virtually every year for years now.

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gowildcatsFeb. 5, 14 9:49 AM

Need a proven Div 1 coach to recruit top tier Div 1 players and win Big Ten games. This team is NIT bound!

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schwartzrlFeb. 5, 1410:26 AM

As of now, the Gophers are a classic NCAA bubble team: 1) around a .500 record in a power conference; 2) on a pace for 18 or 19 wins; 3) a couple nice wins and a couple atrocious losses; and 4) a decent strength-of-schedule ranking. (For all this, I'm amazed that bracketologists have them slotted as an 8 or 9 seed; 11 or 12 seems far more accurate.) To fall on the right side of the bubble, the need at least 4 more victories, probably one of them a significant upset. My guess is that we are looking at an NIT entrant, but strange things happen on Selection Sunday.

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joe_mnFeb. 5, 1410:42 AM

Well, it is saying something that we may be a top 64 team.

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kindaliberalFeb. 5, 1410:47 AM

We can't survive Dre Hollins absense due to the inconsistency of our other players. We can't count on Austin Hollins, Mathieu, Eliason or Smith for any game. Any of the four have disappeared in numerous games this year.

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carlbsFeb. 5, 1411:13 AM

I think Eliason has been "working on" his defense of late, and while this has resulted in fewer fouls, it has also resulted in timid defense. He was bringin it early in the season -- albeit spasmodically -- and teams were respecting our defense in the paint. Thus our defense against the threes expanded too. Bring back Eliason's aggressive blocking style and this team gets better.

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hobie2Feb. 5, 14 1:28 PM

"I think Eliason has been "working on" his defense of late,"... he has definitely changed his method, and it looked like it happened just after the game where opposing guards ran at him and bounced back off his body and then shot - and over and over, no foul was called - Technically some say it is not a charge because the driver was not shooting until after the contact; thus it was not seen as a charge (disagree that it is not a foul)... Early in the season, he stood arms straight up in his cylinder, and close enough to the shooter to stop nearly all shots - a number of hand-in-cylinder blocks, one of the best... But when the refs let players slam into him and fall back to shoot over him without penalty, he changed to standing more back and leaning hand in, guard style, which negates his height and opens him up to fouls.... He has adapted to horrible Big Ten reffing in the only way that might have worked - but I am with most people who say he should go back to in-cylinder defense and let crowds and coaches let bad reffing be known, loudly... no one is disciplining refs for allowing body hits to go uncalled under or not "under the new rule", and it is really screwing up the game... So no, he cannot defend as he did earlier because the Big Ten refs are not calling body contact when the contactor is a guard and the contacted is a big, forcing bigs to play guard defense.

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