The best thing that can be said of Penn State was that the Nittany Lions played hard from start to finish. The bad news for Penn State is that they ran into a buzzsaw known as the U of M Golden Gophers in Williams Arena this afternoon. Play-by=play announcer Wayne Larrivee got it exactly right when he said that “the Gophers brought their A+ game today.”

Leading Minnesota’s offensive attack was junior college transfers Devron Bostick & Paul Carter with 19 points & 14 points respectively. This afternoon, the Nittany Lions didn’t have an answer for the Gophers’ athleticism. They didn’t have an answer for the Gophers’ long range bombing, either, as the Gophers hit all 9 of their 3-point attempts.

What changed the game from a comfortable Minnesota win into a blowout, though, was Minnesota’s stifling half-court defense and their full court trap. Time & again, Minnesota’s team speed allowed them to recover from seemingly impossible situations. The highlight of the day was Devron Bostick’s rotation from the free throw lineto the low post to block a Penn State shot from behind, which then led the Gophers to a fast break basket.

It was fitting that forner Gopher great Trent Tucker was the analystyt assigned to today’s game. As a Gopher player, Tucker was a great shooter who often guarded the other team’s best offensive threat. He was obviously impressed with the Gopher’s play on both ends of the court.

It was also fitting that former UVA star Ralph Sampson was in the crowd again today to watch his son play another solid game offensively & defensively.

As with most games this season, the Gophers rattled their opponents into alot of turnovers. Unlike other games, the Gophers hit 62.5% of their shots, including all 9of their 3-point attempts.

Minnesota is now tied with Michigan & Wisconsin for second place behind Michigan State. Minnesota, Michigan & Wisconsin are 3-1 while Michigan State is undefeated at 3-0.

At the start of the year, most outsiders thought that Tubby’s team would be dangerous, though not necessarily consistently competitive. I wasn’t sure what to expect but I though they had enough talent and a nice balance between their offense & their defense.

Two things that I didn’t agree with was that Tubby’s best coaching days were behind him and that the Gophers wouldn’t miss last year’s seniors. At this point, I’d rate Tubby as the frontrunner for Coach of the Year. Frankly, I can’t think of another coach that’s even close right now.

If the Gophers make the Sweet 16, Tubby should win that honor going away.

What should scare Big Ten opponents is next season. This Gophers team is a talented team but they’re adding more Top 20 talent next season. According to Scout.com, the Gophers are adding the 6th-rated SF in the nation in Rodney Williams and the 11th-rated PF in the nation in Royce White.

I won’t be surprised if Gophers hoops tickets are the hottest ticket in town next year, especially considering Tubby’s coaching, the great atmosphere in Williams Arena & the competitiveness & athleticism of their team. That’s why opponents should fear them when the Gophers play in Williams Arena.

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