Three quick observations from the Gophers men's basketball team's 86-77 loss at Penn State on Tuesday:
• Where did that come from? Fifty-five percent from three-point range? Eleven threes from six different players? Outshooting the competition? None of this sounds like the Minnesota team I've been paid to watch for the past few months.
• Role reversal. Last time out, in a 69-61 loss to Michigan State, the absence of the seniors was a big story line. Tuesday, with seniors Joey King and Carlos Morris combining for 34 points, the glare was on two freshmen the Gophers have come to rely on instead: Jordan Murphy and Kevin Dorsey. Those two combined for just 10 points as Dorsey was extremely mistake-prone while Murphy battled foul trouble the entire game and never found his offensive groove.
• This one might be more concerning. Minnesota has this tendency to abandon the things that work — like moving the ball and getting high-percentage shots — in moments of distress. The Gophers will have to put it all together to win any game in the league this season and so far, they haven't proven capable of that.
Gold in the Barn: startribune.com/gophers