Eliason might get another chance to start Saturday

Eliason might get another chance to start Saturday


After the Gophers’ emotional win on Wednesday, they will have another big test against USC on Saturday. Coach Tubby Smith said he’s talked with the team about remaining grounded despite the big victory.

Some other notes from today’s media access:

  • Right now, it looks like we will see the same lineup as Wednesday against Southern Cal., meaning  PG Andre Hollins; SG Julian Welch; SF Austin Hollins; PF Rodney Williams; C Elliott Eliason.
  • Ralph Sampson III – who is still dealing with a turned left ankle -- warmed up and practiced some with the team but isn’t doing anything to full-contact, Smith said. He’s expected to do the same today. Smith said there have been no setbacks, per se, but that the ankle is still sore. Right now, I would be surprised if he plays Saturday.
  • Smith praised Elliott Eliason highly and said that we are just now seeing what the coaching staff has seen all along. When asked to compare Eliason to Colton Iverson, who transferred to Colorado State after last season, Smith said of Eliason: “He’s a lot different. He’s better. Much better.”
  • Smith seems to like the three-guard offense for now and Rodney Williams at the 4-spot. I don’ t see that changing unless a matchup calls for a bigger lineup, in which case we could see Ralph and Eliason playing together when Sampson is healthy.
  • Julian Welch said that his ankle is still bothering him from the preseason, but that it’s feeling much better than before. The turning point, he said, was during the Old Spice Classic, when the guard’s production noticeably picked up.
  • The 1972 Gophers men’s basketball team will be honored at halftime on Saturday. Dave Winfield tweeted on Friday that he would be there for the event.

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