The last shakeup didn’t work. So why not try again?
Coach Tubby Smith said on Friday that he was planning to make another change in the starting lineup for Saturday’s game at Northwestern.
He won’t say what that adjustment will be, but he did emphasize the importance of getting more rebounding – something that has been a recent weakness of the Gophers.
“We need rebounding -- although Rodney [Williams] had nine [against Ohio State] -- we just need better all-around play. We took Joe [Coleman] out of the lineup, but it wasn’t much better. Not that Andre [Hollins] didn’t do a good job – it just didn’t work. So we’ll try something else. And we’ll go from there.
One possibility could be Elliott Eliason, who has had more rebounds in the last four games combined than starting center Ralph Sampson III, despite often getting significantly fewer miutes.
“We’re just trying to find the right combination at the time,” Smith said.
Eliason was not available to the media on Friday.
• Physically, the entire team is healthy. But “psychologically we’ve got to get healthier,” Smith said, “and a good win on the road would help.”
• Smith on Coleman: “He was a difference maker when he was in the lineup. Even when he wasn’t scoring, he was rebounding. And I liked his attitude and the way he’s been working. There wasn’t anything wrong with that from the beginning, we were just looking for more scoring and we didn’t get it.”
• Smith on Oto Osenieks, who had a career game against Ohio State: “He made shots, that helped and it was a good, good game for him to play in. and that’s the thing, you get in there you’ve got to just give it your best effort and go as hard as you can go, and he’s always done that. … I like Oto and how he’s playing. He’s finally getting more confidence and being more aggressive. I’d like to see him take care of the ball better, but he likes to hold on to the ball.”