Injury shouldn't sideline Hoffarber

  • Article by: DENNIS BRACKIN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 8, 2011 - 6:41 AM

Blake Hoffarber's injured left knee shouldn't keep the Gophers senior out of the lineup. But coach Tubby Smith was less certain whether the injury would limit Hoffarber's workload

Ohio State kept the defensive pressure on Gophers point guard Blake Hoffarber.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Dml - Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Blake Hoffarber's injured left knee shouldn't keep the Gophers senior out of the lineup Thursday against Illinois, coach Tubby Smith said Monday. But Smith was less certain whether the injury would limit Hoffarber's workload, which has increased significantly since point guard Al Nolen suffered a broken foot Jan. 22 at Michigan.

Hoffarber suffered a bruised knee when he fell to the floor early in the second half of Sunday's 82-69 loss to No. 1 Ohio State at Williams Arena. He wore a knee brace when he returned, playing only 13 minutes in the second half.

"He played OK at the end of the game [Sunday], so I'm not sure how much he'll be limited," Smith said during the weekly Big Ten coaches' teleconference. "He's got some time [before the Illinois game], he'll get some treatment and be ready to go."

The Gophers are 1-3 since Nolen's latest injury, including three consecutive losses, and Monday they fell from No. 18 to out of the Associated Press top 25 poll. Hoffarber moved to point guard and averaged 39 minutes the first three games without Nolen, then was limited to 32 minutes Sunday because of the injury. Hoffarber averaged 33.9 minutes in 19 games before Nolen's injury.

Hoffarber is still getting his shots as point guard, averaging 16.0 points the past four games compared to 13.8 points the first 19. But the position switch does have one glaring stat problem: He is averaging 2.5 assists and 3.5 turnovers the past four games after averaging 4.37 assists and 1.6 turnovers in the season's first 19 games when he was primarily the shooting guard.

"He's still getting his shots up, but I think [playing point guard] is wearing him down more," Smith said. "But we've played a lot of zone trying to protect [Hoffarber] and compensate for a lack of quickness at the point guard spot, and a lack of experience [when freshmen Maverick Ahanmisi, Austin Hollins and Chip Armelin are in]. But we've been behind a lot, so we've had to extend [the defense], and defend some pretty talented point guards. So all that's contributed to wearing Blake down a little."

Still, Smith said he is not planning to move Hoffarber back to shooting guard and go with one of the three freshmen at point, although Smith said Hollins has been getting some practice time at point guard. As usual, point guard is central to Smith's preparation against Illinois, which has lost three of its past four games.

"You look at Illinois, and [Demetri] McCamey is an outstanding point guard," Smith said. "With us not having Al Nolen, that's a tough matchup in itself."

Court date moved

Trevor Mbakwe's pretrial hearing Monday on charges that he violated a restraining order was postponed to April 7. The Gophers forward was arrested Jan. 12 after sending a Facebook message to a woman who had a restraining order against him. Mbakwe has pleaded not guilty in the case, which could result in 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

  • related content

  • Changing roles

    Monday February 7, 2011

    CHANGING ROLESA look at Blake Hoffarber's stats before and after Al Nolen suffered a broken foot Jan. 22 at Michigan....

  • Ohio St. unanaimous No. 1; Gophers gone from poll

    Tuesday February 8, 2011

    Ohio State is a unanimous choice as the No. 1 team in The Associated Press Top 25 for a second straight week. Losses to Indiana and the Buckeyes dropped Minnesota...

  • GOPHERS VS. ILLINOIS 8 p.m. Thursday • Williams Arena • TV: ESPN (830-AM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 0 1st Qtr 7:20
Rice 3
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon




question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question