Reusse: Dutcher says good guards key Big Ten success, and Tubby has them

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 10, 2013 - 9:07 PM
hide

Andre Hollins, left, and Austin Hollins celebrate during the Gophers' victory over Northwestern.

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Jim Dutcher coached the most talented team in Gophers basketball history in the winter of 1976-77. Mychal Thompson and Kevin McHale played inside, Osborne Lockhart and Flip Saunders played outside, and Ray Williams did whatever came into his mind.

Those Gophers went 24-3 overall and 15-3 in the Big Ten round-robin, losing twice to champion Michigan and at Purdue. The road victories included 66-59 over Marquette (the eventual national champion) and a 79-60 rout of Bobby Knight's Indiana Hoosiers.

There was a wide-ranging basketball conversation with Dutcher earlier this week in which I expressed surprise that Bruce Weber -- after being fired at Illinois -- had landed as the Kansas State coach.

Weber took the Illini to the 2005 national title game at the end of his first season, then oversaw a program that slowly declined before he was fired last March.

"Bruce was in the same situation as me at Minnesota when he replaced Bill Self at Illinois,'' Dutcher said. "He walked into a mother lode of talent.''

The difference for Dutcher when he came to Minnesota in 1975 was that he also was walking into an aggressive NCAA investigation into Bill Musselman's four-year tenure at Minnesota.

So in that winter of 1977, the Gophers were playing under a postseason ban, and Thompson, Williams and friends never had a chance to take a crack at a national championship, which went to Marquette and Al McGuire.

Five seasons later, Dutcher coached the 1982 Big Ten champs -- the last Gophers' team to win a title that does not come with an asterisk (*vacated) attached to it. Dutcher resigned 20 games into the 1985-86 season, after three players were charged with rape (and later acquitted) in Madison, Wis., and the university decided to forfeit the ensuing game at Northwestern.

He undertook a successful second career in the investment business before retiring in 2005. Whether working that job, or joining Dick Bremer for telecasts of Gophers basketball on Midwest Sports Channel, or today watching any game that's on television, Dutcher has remained an ardent follower of Big Ten hoops.

What does "Dutch'' see from this Gophers bunch that is off to a 3-0 start in the Big Ten and has been moving ever upward in the national rankings?

"One of the biggest things I see is the players are playing without looking at Tubby [Smith],'' Dutcher said. "For a couple of years you would see a guy throw the ball away, and he would look over to the bench to see if a sub was coming in.

"This now looks like a team where the players and the coach trust each other. They are playing, and if there's a turnover or two, Tubby's going with it. He's a coach with confidence in his team, and for good reason.''

Dutcher talked about Trevor Mbakwe's strength and rebounding. He talked about the abilities of Rodney Williams and Joe Coleman to slash to the basket. And then he said:

"The guys I really like are Andre and Austin Hollins. You win in college basketball with guards. That's been the case forever.

"We won the Big Ten title in '82 with Trent Tucker and Darryl Mitchell -- and if Mark Hall hadn't gotten into trouble, we could've been a Final Four team."

Hall was tossed off the team for unauthorized use of university telephones.

Dutcher added: "We were great up front with Mychal and Kevin in 1977, but we had great guards in Ray, and Flip, and Goose [Lockhart]. You need guards -- and Tubby has them, with the Hollinses, and with Julian Welch off the bench.''

Dutcher was heading to San Diego late this week to spend a month with his son Brian's family. Brian is Steve Fisher's long-time No. 1 assistant, at Michigan and now at San Diego State.

"Aztecs basketball has become a hot ticket in San Diego,'' Dutcher said. "They have an on-campus arena that holds 13,000; they get great crowds, and big media coverage.''

Dutcher will be watching the Aztecs in person, but he'll also be figuring out a way to watch the Gophers -- particularly next Thursday's game with Michigan at Williams Arena.

"Michigan's Trey Burke is a tremendous guard,'' Dutcher said. "He's one of the best we've seen in the Big Ten in a while. I like Andre Hollins a lot, too. That will be a battle worth watching.''

Even from the sun and surf of San Diego.

Patrick Reusse can be heard noon-4 weekdays on 1500-AM. preusse@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much do you like the Gophers going to the Citrus Bowl?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close