If there was any chance of a new Gophers basketball arena being built soon, forget about it now, because the University of Minnesota is spending $7.5 million to put a new roof on Williams Arena, with the work having started this summer.
The Gophers athletic department has appropriated $1 million for a new scoreboard in the Sports Pavilion. And the basketball court in the Bierman Building is getting a bandage renovation with the addition of a new scoreboard, some graphics and a new men’s locker room in the lower level of the gym.
Incidentally, the word is that the university athletic department will show a $1.9 million profit for this past academic year.
• Architectural Alliance, a local group, and Sink Combs Dethlefs of Denver have been named the architects that will work together on the $100 million remodeling of Target Center.
• With the White Sox in town it was news to me that Jim Thome, the former Twins slugger who was with the White Sox from 2006 to 2009 before coming here, is now a special assistant to White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn.
• The appearance of former Gophers guard Justin Cobbs at a draft workout for the Timberwolves made you think that if he had stayed here and not transferred to California, where he averaged 15.6 points, 5.8 assists and 2.9 rebounds per game as a senior last season, he might have saved Tubby Smith’s job.
• Speaking of Smith, ESPN.com has been running a series all summer ranking the top 50 college basketball coaches, and they ranked the Texas Tech coach 39th in the country and had Richard Pitino at 49th. Also on the list was one-time Wolves candidate Fred Hoiberg, who is ranked 15th overall. The list is up to No. 11, with No. 10 to be revealed Monday.
• Carlos Gomez played his final season with the Twins in 2009, when he hit .229 with 51 runs in 137 games. This year for Milwaukee, the center fielder is hitting .318 with 12 homers, 40 RBI and 49 runs scored through 68 games and is an NL MVP candidate. Kyle Lohse, who last pitched for the Twins in 2006 when he went 2-5 with a 7.07 ERA, is 8-2 with a 3.09 ERA for the Brewers in 15 starts, and fellow righthander Matt Garza, who was 5-7 with a 3.69 ERA in 2007 with the Twins before they traded him, is 4-4 with a 4.02 ERA with Milwaukee this year. Incidentally, Lohse and Garza were never teammates here; Lohse was traded July 31, 2006, and Garza made his major league debut 11 days later.