The Gophers didn't look good in the first half of an 82-42 win over Stephen F. Austin Monday night.

Anyone who watched the game could see that for themselves.

Poor shot selection. That-can't-happen missed shots around the rim.

Timid play.

Stephen F. Austin did have one of the top scoring defenses in the country last season, but c'mon.

Minnesota only has itself to blame for that start.

Rodney Williams was a big-time catalyst for Minnesota's offense.

His three-pointer in the first half broke a scoring drought. Then, he scored eight points in 11 minutes in the second half.

After the win, Tubby Smith said he'll consider making Williams a full-time starter, after he inserted him in the team's starting rotation in the second half Monday.

I'm really impressed by Williams. He's shooting well. He's going after rebounds. He's blocking shots. He's scoring. And he's a smart player. He's doing above-and-beyond what most teams expect from a freshman.

I wrote a piece over the summer suggesting that it might be best to redshirt Williams.

Smith said he'd consider it. And some of Williams' former and current coaches told me that it was a possibility.

With all of the suspensions and his better-than-expected output that obviously won't happen now.

And it's the right move. He's a potential game-changer for the Gophers. I never doubted his athleticism, I just thought that a year on the bench would give him a chance to get bigger, work on his jump shot and get adjusted to campus life. But he's progressed much faster than I expected.

As much as the collective absence of Royce White, Trevor Mbakwe and Devron Bostick could hurt the Gophers, it's also giving Williams a chance to earn some crucial minutes.

I still want to see how he performs against high-level teams.

But up until this point, he's been a gem.

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Gophers final pre-76 Classic tuneup against Utah Valley tonight