Saturday, December 20, 2008

Show Me My Opponent - Minnesota Golden Gophers

Location: Minneapolis, MN
Conference: Big Ten
Stadium: Williams Arena
Record: 9-0
Last Season: 20-13
Series (Pitino v. Smith): 6-4 Pitino

Enrollment: 51,140
Notable Alumni: "The Nature Boy" Rick Flair, Bobby Jackson, Flip Saunders, Ben Utecht, and Dave Winfield
Head Coach: Tubby Smith
Projected Starters
G Lawrence Westbrook Jr. 6-0
G Al Nolen So. 6-1
F Damian Johnson Jr. 6-7
F Jamal Abu-Shamala Sr. 6-5
C Colton Iverson Fr. 6-10
Key Reserves
G Blake Hoffarber So. 6-4
F Paul Carter So. 6-8
F Ralph Sampson Fr. 6-11
G/F Travis Busch Jr. 6-4
G Devoe Joseph Fr. 6-3
G Devron Bostick Jr. 6-5

The Cards travel to University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona to take on the Golden Gophers in a Saturday showdown. The game will be U of L's second within 41 hours. U of L will be without assistant coach Steve Massielo again, following the sudden death of his father. Minnesota is coached by former Pitino assistant and former head coach of the mildcats, Tubby Smith. Smith has the Gophers off to an undefeated start, 9-0. He has an experienced bunch that distributes the scoring duties, with no player averaging more than 14 ppg. Smith's team plays tenacious defense and the same boring style that once had Rajon Rondo coming off the bench.

It will be interesting to see if U of L will play their game and get up and down the floor quickly, or will they fall into the lull of the Minnesota style. It will be tough for the Cards to get up for this game, after playing a tough game against Mississippi on Thursday, and Minnesota has had 10 days to prepare for the Cards. If Earl has another game like Thursday, there is no reason U of L should not dominate on Saturday. Samardo Samuels must man up because he looked awful when a much smaller Ole Miss team got physical with him. He has to be the aggressor and take the ball to hole strong. I have a prediction to make before the prediction for the game: Mark my words, Samuels will return for his Sophomore year. Pitino will make a video of all the shots Samuels missed against Ole Miss and all the other (though few) mistakes he has been making and tell Samuels that he's not ready to go to the NBA. Mardo has faith in Pitino's opinion. prediction for the game, Minnesota and Tubby get the best of U of L in a nut-knocker 72-71. I hope I'm wrong!

No comments:

Post a Comment