• Mike Zimmer and his staff should be commended for a great coaching job in getting the Vikings ready to play their best game of the season against an excellent Arizona team. Especially with the fact that they had the short week to prepare and were missing so many of the team's best players, and came within one or two plays of winning.

• The word is that everything is going well with the steps that must be taken for the Vikings to purchase the old Northwest Airlines land in Eagan and that closing will be completed in January. ... Vikings center John Sullivan is making good progress after a second back operation, and the word is that the great center, who is being sorely missed, will be available for next season.

• Kevin Garnett's stats as a 20-year-old (his second season): 17.0 points on 49.9 percent shooting, 8.0 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.1 blocks, 1.4 steals in 38.9 minutes per game. Karl-Anthony Towns' stats as a 20-year-old with the Wolves: 15.2 points per game on 53.2 percent shooting, 9.3 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 2.2 blocks, 0.7 steals in 28.1 minutes per game.

• The Gophers had nine recruits visit last week and had more this past week. Gophers coach Tracy Claeys said that no more recruits have changed plans to play for the Gophers. ... Seth Green, the East Ridge quarterback who was recruited by Oregon, is interested in Minnesota, and there is a good chance of him winding up here if he can play at quarterback. The Gophers offered Green a scholarship early in the recruiting period. Then he chose Oregon, but apparently that plan has changed.

• The Twins will no doubt take advantage of Tony Oliva's contacts in Cuba and have him do some scouting there now that the United States and Cuba have a better relationship.