- Detailed NFL Mock Drafts, Player Prospect Rankings, and One of the Largest Mock Draft Databases on the Web

2012-13 College Basketball Season Preview: Minnesota

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
All other e-mail, including advertising and link proposals, send to:

Minnesota Golden Gophers (Last Year: 17-14, 6-12 in Big Ten)

2012-13 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Elliott Eliason (So)/Mo Walker (So)

PF: Trevoe Mbakwe (Sr)/Andre Ingram (Sr)/Oto Osenieks (So)/Charles Buggs (Fr)

SF: Rodney Williams (Sr)/Wally Ellenson (Fr)

SG: Austin Hollins (Jr)/Joe Coleman (So)

PG: Andre Hollins (So)/Julian Welch (Sr)/Maverick Ahanmisi (Jr)

Gone: C-Ralph Sampson III, SG-Chip Armelin (transfer-Southern Mississippi)

2012-13 Outlook:
With Trevor Mbakwe returning from a torn ACL, Tubby Smith boasts his most talented roster since arriving at Minnesota. Now the question becomes whether or not the Gophers can pull it all together and live up to their preseason Top-25 ranking.

"We got a good chance this year to really make some noise," Gopher senior small forward Rodney Williams told me at the Big Ten Media Day. "We got everybody back, healthy now. Our expectations are really high."

Of course the "back healthy" that Williams is referring to is Trevor Mbakwe. When he went down with a season-ending torn ACL last year, it pretty much destroyed any chance the Golden Gophers had of reaching the NCAA Tournament. Mbakwe is one of the most relentless rebounders in college basketball, so his absence on the floor tremendously impacted Minnesota's toughness inside.

"Last year we lost close games because we didn't get the rebounds," Williams admitted. "So to have him back, that's big." Besides the injury, Mbakwe is also hoping to put his offseason DUI behind him. Tubby Smith praised Mbakwe's character at the Big Ten Media Day and felt assured that the incident was a lapse in judgement and one that won't affect his status with his team. (Same can't be said for Tubby's son, Saul, who is an assistant at Minnesota, and has been put on indefinite leave stemming from his recent DUI arrest.)

The Golden Gophers have plenty of options as to a frontcourt mate for Mbakwe, but nobody who truly stands out among the pack. Elliott Eliason, Oto Osenieks, and Andre Ingram were all role players last season, but don't offer a ton in terms of ability. Maurice Walker is coming off a redshirt year because of a knee injury and brings a ton of size inside though durability will be a concern. Freshman Charles Buggs is long and athletic, but likely not ready to make an immediate impact.

Williams will return to his starting spot at small forward. Always known for his incredible athleticism, he has failed to reach his potential because of his inability to consistenly hit mid-range jump shots or three-pointers. Williams told me that working on his �j' was his biggest focus this summer so we'll see if that hard work pays off. Freshman Wally Ellenson is another freakish jumper but will miss six-eight weeks after breaking his hand in practice last week.

A lot of this season's end result will likely be determined by the young, but steadily maturing, backcourt. There isn't necessarily a true lead guard among the group of Austin Hollins, Julian Welch, Andre Hollins, or Joe Coleman, though all four guards are fairly interchangeable and can play with the ball in their hands or at the two if needed.

I think of the quartet, the Hollinses (they are not brothers by the way) have the most potential, though Welch is a major asset because he's the best three-point shooter on the squad. Maverick Ahanmisi will also factor into the equation, but there just hasn't been a whole lot of promise shown from him to make me believe he can be anything more than a spot reserve.

"There's a lot more expected with our young guards," Williams stated. "We've seen how hard they worked this summer and how much better they've been getting so our expectations are high for those guys."

Only twice during Tubby's five years has Minnesota reached the NCAA Tournament. With lofty expectations heading into the 2012-13 season, you have to figure anything less than a trip to the tourney could end up costing him his job. With an abundance of talented teams in the Big Ten, the road ahead will make it difficult for the Golden Gophers to maximize their potential.

Player to Watch: Rodney Williams, SF
Here's a guy with NBA lottery-level athleticism who has yet to put it all together. I got to spend a few minutes talking one-on-one with him at the Big Ten Media Day, and he's a quiet though well-spoken guy. His game needs to do a lot more talking this year, or his career with the Golden Gophers will be considered a disappointment since he was a top-50 recruit coming out of high school.

Key Non-Conference Games:
  • 11/18 vs. Richmond
  • 11/22 vs. Duke (Battle 4 Atlantis)
  • 11/23 vs. Memphis/VCU (Battle 4 Atlantis)
  • 11/24 vs. Louisville/Northern Iowa/Missouri/Stanford (Battle 4 Atlantis)
  • 11/27 at Florida State (Big Ten/ACC Challenge)
  • 12/8 at USC

    Predicted Big Ten Finish: 5th

    Leave a comment

    click on image to refresh it
    Cayden 03-07-2014 06:36 am (total posts: 1)
    2     2

    Much may be carried out to build up the crash-worthiness of the automobiles QuotesChimp generate. Security progress pieces has to be dealt with. Aspect-effect safety requirements ought to be updated to lessen thoracic/stomach harms and brain accidents from experience of the a pillar and from sidedoor ejection, especially in automobile-to-automobile aspect-effect accidents. Improved rollover-protection becomes necessary, using a necessity that antilock brakes be set up in each automobile to cut back roll overs. Automated inactive discipline security conditions, presently created for voyager vehicles, should really be expaned to incorporate gentle vehicles and vehicles, that have become increasingly more well-liked by the driving people. Less harms are equaled by safer automobiles. Less harms shift underwriters' numbers involving their threat of reduction. A lower-risk of reduction permits rates to be reduced by the corporations.
    Sara 01-08-2014 12:03 am (total posts: 1)
    3     3

    We saw this last week because we were draeepste to get out of the house and it was ADORABLE! My husband especially loved it because he could relate to all the old video games of his youth. Super cute!
    Seat 01-07-2014 03:55 pm (total posts: 1)
    3     3

    My daughter suegsgted me to read it this morning and i did during my lunch break. AND it was a wonderful book. She read it at least 4 times now. I really enjoyed it. I shall thank you and my daughter. Thank you very much for the lovely note for her birthday.
    DjJulliano 01-07-2014 03:45 pm (total posts: 1)
    4     3

    > Valid or no, the snickering and wikcarcesing about the comments from Fedor's management have been regurgitated to death at pretty much every MMA forum on the Internet for going on two weeks now. And people still think it's witty and novel. Yet this doesn't hold true for Dana White-bashing, So you'll forgive me if I pay it no mind.
    Facundo 01-07-2014 08:56 am (total posts: 1)
    2     2

    shredding is not in my bag of usual tricks but I can deinlitefy see the benefits in this lesson as it easily adapts to many different genre and styles of guitar playing. And as far as the comments on there being a lack of soul in his playing run? scales and spider exercises for 10 minutes and then show off that purdy mouth
    Bertha 01-05-2014 06:18 am (total posts: 1)
    2     2

    We've ariverd at the end of the line and I have what I need!
    Sheila 01-05-2014 06:04 am (total posts: 1)
    3     2

    Love your work, Admin, but why aren't you posting signle Daniele sets? She's sooo pretty and sooo hot and sooo lovely and you get the idea, right? Thanks.
    Thiago 01-04-2014 06:31 pm (total posts: 1)
    2     2

    This is the kind of writing I like to see olnine. I appreciate good grammar and properly researched information. I also like the main points made by this writer. Thank you for your conscientious writing.
    Jorge 01-04-2014 07:19 am (total posts: 1)
    2     2

    Jana / Five snippets. 50% of the CD, and I am aleardy amazed at the beauty of what we have heard! Saying thanks just isn't enough!What a lovely gift of music for the fans! David is just the best, nobody else like him out there.
    Jennifer 01-03-2014 09:25 pm (total posts: 1)
    2     3

    alsoknownasallenkeys / Why do people alyaws complain about reviews being too low? If their all too low then relatively they are correct. Technically 10 is perfect and 5 should be average so 7/10 is a good score. The game has good aspects but is a bit boring and doesn't have anything special about it just a few old ideas shoved together. 7 out of 10 is as high as it can get for a game like this or every single games that isn't rubbish will be getting 8 s or above
    Nicola 01-03-2014 12:26 pm (total posts: 8)
    2     3

    Deleted and banned
    Willians 01-03-2014 10:43 am (total posts: 8)
    2     2

    Deleted and banned
    Ahmet 01-03-2014 06:11 am (total posts: 8)
    2     2

    This game was pretty hyped when they ancnouned a reboot to deus ex last year and any game that is released on a multiplatform makes loads of profit, so personally i think this game had good reception, i actually know a lot of people who purchased it because of its longevity. Besides its a good change of pace considering most games are all about constant action, weak story lines, and 6 hours worth of gameplay, give or take.
    Tish 01-03-2014 04:30 am (total posts: 8)
    2     2

    Smdc-kaab what I was looking for-ty!
    Abimanyu 01-03-2014 01:03 am (total posts: 2)
    2     2

    That's my problem as well. I dont want to play minmagies, i want to play an assassin. And my opinion is that they raped the game with so much extra content like investment, bombcrafting, sending assassins to missions, den fights, that on the one hand made other revelant things look smaller, and on the other hand pulls me out of the magic, the environment creates . I miss horses for faster travel, and I find it pretty annoying that now every soldier has rifles and grenades.

    Fantasy Football Rankings - July 31

    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24

    2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23

    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1

    NFL Free Agents

    NFL Picks - Feb. 2

  • © 1999-2014 Walter Cherepinsky : all rights reserved
    Privacy Policy
    2 5 9

 Now on Twitter: Twitter

    Subscribe to the RSS Feed: RSS Feed

    Support Walt's Other Site:

    Sales Tips and Sales Advice - Tons of sales tips, sales techniques and sales advice, including a Sales Mock Draft: The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales.