What is going on with the Gopher basketball team? After the latest embarrassment, a 53-51 loss to talent-poor Nebraska, one is left completely flummoxed as to how good of a team the Gophers actually are. They make Jekyll and Hyde look like identical twins.
Wins over good-to-great teams like Memphis, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Indiana are maddeningly canceled out by losses to bottom feeders Northwestern, Nebraska, and Iowa. The Gophers are great-no, wait-they’re terrible; I want off this roller coaster of frustration.
At least when Tubby’s past teams lost to the conference dregs they had the decency to lose to the good teams too. They never got our hopes up as they methodically weaved mediocrity into our fan DNA so it was all we expected. But with the great start and signature wins of this season, we fans can’t keep the thoughts of an NCAA run out of our minds. We think, “Hey, if they play the way they played in that Indiana victory, they can make the Elite Eight.” Sadly, that thought is immediately pushed out by, “But if they can’t beat Nebraska, then how can they beat anybody?”
Rodney Williams, Austin Hollins, and Joe Coleman combined for zero points vs the Cornhuskers. How is that even possible? Three starters couldn’t even muster one put-back or made short jumper between them? It is hard to believe, but the longer I watch Tubby Smith-coached teams, the more it seems like business as usual. Oh, and did I mention that once again Tubby’s Gophers will not finish over .500 in Big Ten games? 9-9 is the best Tubby has ever finished during his six seasons at the U. For $2 million per year, I don’t think at least one 10-8 season is too much too ask.
These boneheaded losses have dropped them from a nice NCAA tourney seed down to a seed that has a much harder path to the Sweet Sixteen, which is the minimum this team needs to reach for the season to be considered a success.
If you want to see even more damning evidence of Tubby’s incompetence, check out this fantastic blog post. Two former Gopher players that transferred to new schools combined for 53 points Wednesday night, while the entire Gopher team had 51. Players stay with Tubby and never improve, but those who are smart enough to get out end up being stars at other schools. What is wrong with this picture?
After the big Indiana win the Gophers managed to keep the magic rolling for one whole game. Against the worst team in the Big Ten. At home. Yipee. Someone should remind Tubby that the NCAA tournament requires you to play more than one game if you want to advance.
I would say more, but I gotta go buy some motion sickness pills for the Purdue game.