Notes from today’s media access:
• Coach Tubby Smith said the changes in the offense in the Nebraska win were just two basic things: simplifying everything they do and placing a heavy emphasis on screening. “There’s always a wrinkle you’re trying to iron out,” Smith said.” More on that in tomorrow’s Star Tribune.
• At this point, everyone is healthy, Smith said. “Psychologically, physically, mentally – they’re healthy.”
• Asked whether he thinks he got his swagger back after the Nebraska game, Rodney Williams said: “I hope so. After having a bad stretch of games like I did, it was just good to come out and have a good one … The free throws were the biggest thing I was happy about, after missing that one in Wisconsin, you don’t want to miss another free throw ever again in your life. So for me to come out and make those free throws like I did, that was the biggest thing for me.”
I talked to CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm for my national notebook this week, and talked with him about his impressions of the Gophers while I was at it. Some of his thoughts:
“Rodney Williams has been struggling with his shot, and that has to come around. But I think they’re a good team. I think they’re a legitimate top-25 team. They’re suffering a little bit at the moment, but I expect them to come around. I expect them, not to win the league, but to be right there, you know, at the top of the standings.
“…Minnesota is one of those teams that would like to play faster, and Wisconsin didn’t let them, and Northwestern probably didn’t let them either. So they have to assert their style.
“…I think they are better than Wisconsin and Illinois. I think they’re behind Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, and I’d like to see them play Ohio State.”