Is it good or bad to end on a nail-biter (with a mid-major team) – right before Big Ten play?
If it hurts your confidence, it can be damaging.
But if the Gophers see this as eye-opening about just how much better they need to be – well, that can be a good thing.
We’ll discuss that idea more before the Dec. 27 tipoff at Illinois, but for now, I’ll leave you with a few notes from tonight:
- Maverick Ahanmisi started for Andre Hollins again tonight – but after the game Tubby Smith made it clear Hollins wasn’t still hurting from his turned ankle and that Ahanmisi had just earned a new role. “He’s fine,” Smith said of Hollins. “But what am I going to do? I’m not taking Maverick out of the lineup."
- Ahanmisi had a career game, scoring 13 points and adding three assists and three rebounds.
- The Gophers – as they often have – got out to a slow start, but even more so than usual. The Bison led 14-2 seven minutes in.
- Both Rodney Williams and Ralph Sampson III had strong games contributed 14 points and eight rebounds and 15 points and six rebounds, respectively.
- The Gophers were way out-rebounded tonight – NDSU finished with 39 to the Gophers’ 28.
- NDSU coach Saul Phillips said he’d like to bring the Gophers up to the Fargo dome one of these days to play. “I’d cook for them,” he offered. Smith’s response? “That’s not going to be enough. Is he going to cook Bison meat or something?”
More from Star Tribune
More From Gold in the Barn
Gophers junior center Reggie Lynch is recovering from knee surgery, but he could return to full contact in a week.
Failing to recognize top returning players from an 8-23 Minnesota team might not be all that surprising -- until you take a closer look.
Arkansas, a Gophers opponent this year at Williams Arena, has the SEC preseason player of the year with senior center Moses Kingsley
Junior center Reggie Lynch is progressing after knee surgery last month, but the Gophers basketball team is not going to rush him into a major role.
Indiana coach Tom Crean and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said at Big Ten Media Day that the Gophers will be much improved this year