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2012-2013 Gophers

Scott M

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As always, we look forward to the next year. I suppose we'll be looking forward to 2013-2014 come late January 2013.

Interesting snippet: CBS Sport online released an early top 25. The Gophers come in at number 22.

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From the Strib (Hartman):

Wally Ellenson, the Rice Lake, Wis., basketball player joining the Gophers this fall, is also a great high jumper, winning the Wisconsin Division 1 state championship with a leap of 7 feet, 1 inch, the highest high school mark in the country this year and just short of being an Olympics qualifier. "Tubby Smith is going to allow Wally to compete with our track team," Gophers track coach Steve Plasencia said. "There aren't five better high school high jumpers in the country." And Ellenson, who is competing in basketball this summer in the Howard Pulley League, has a high school freshman brother named Henry to whom Smith has already offered a scholarship.

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ESPN Insider's Big Ten Preview has the Gophers in the tournament, 6th in the league...this is the year we are supposed to look forward to and finish 6th? I can't blame the writer for not going out on a limb, wait and see is the right approach. But if Tubby wants to impress me, finish first or second.

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota coach Tubby Smith agreed to terms Monday on a contract extension with the university through the 2016-17 season by adding three more years to his original deal.

Talks first began between Smith's agent and school officials during the 2010-11 season. After roughly a year and a half, the two sides finally reached a point where they were comfortable with both the language and the timing of the contract.

Terms of the deal weren't immediately available. Smith's original contract was signed for seven years and about $1.8 million annually.

Entering his sixth season with the Gophers, Smith has yet to win an NCAA tournament game since leaving Kentucky and coming to Minnesota. But the Gophers rallied in March after another below-average performance in Big Ten play to reach the NIT championship game and finish with 23 victories. Smith was unavailable for comment, but in a statement distributed by the university, he said, "I believe that we can get the job done here. The commitment from the university is there to continue to grow the program, and I am looking forward to being a part of that."

The most significant part of that commitment is the construction of a practice facility to bring the Gophers up to speed with the rest of the Big Ten and around the country. Smith's agent, Ricky Lefft, said no specific timetable was spelled out but that a "mutual agreement" has been forged between the university and the coach that the new building is imminent.

"We needed to make sure there was a commitment to make that investment at the university," Lefft said in a phone interview. "It's been accepted by the institution, and certainly by Coach, that this is necessary to advance the program."

New athletic director Norwood Teague said he looks forward to working with Smith "to help lift Gopher basketball to even greater heights."

Though the 23 victories last season were the most in the program in 22 years, Minnesota is still below the level most fans, officials and followers expected when Smith arrived in 2007. He took over a probation-ravaged program still reeling from the academic fraud scandal revealed in 1999, but a pair of one-and-done appearances in the NCAA tournament and a 38-52 record in Big Ten play has fallen short of the hopes he brought from Kentucky, where he won a national championship in 1998 and never finished worse than the second round. He is 103-68 with the Gophers.

"Coach has made it clear it's his desire to be at Minnesota and turn Minnesota into a powerhouse," Lefft said. "He's excited about getting it done."

Smith first mentioned the contract extension in March 2011 after the Gophers were eliminated from the Big Ten tournament to finish 17-14 and end his personal streak of 17 straight 20-win seasons. The subject came up when he was trying to quell the latest rumor that he would move on to another school.

Smith, Lefft and university officials were asked by reporters several times over the last season about the negotiations, and each time the answer was a variation of, "it's almost done." The holdup, Lefft said, was attributable to a number of factors. The university presidency turned over last year, with Eric Kaler replacing Robert Bruininks. There were other financial and political matters that took priority in the school's central administration, and there was also the sensitivity of announcing a lucrative contract during an economic downturn and time of tight budgets at the university when several employees were taking pay cuts or being furloughed or laid off.

But, Lefft said, the talks were never contentious and always positive in tone

"It's always been a desire of the university to get it done, and it's always been the desire of the Coach to be at the university," Lefft said.


Finish in the top 3 or let the guy walk at the end of the contract.

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Preseason game number one was tonight versus MSU Mankato. Will have to read about it in tomorrow's paper. Probably won't be much to glean from the contest.

Wally Ellenson broke his hand on Tuesday. Sounds like he'll be using that redshirt afterall.

One week from tomorrow the season kicks off at home versus American U.

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second preseason game in the books. My 2 takeaways: hopefully Joe Coleman's improvement is real. I think we saw great flashes of potential from him last year as a freshmen. second, it is gonna take Trevor some time to get back to his level of play from last year. he is not Adrian Peterson.

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I did not watch it, just read the recap. I'll get to a few games later in the season. Yes, they'll probably dance because the Big Ten is so good this year (funny how things change, I remember LMITOUT ripping on the B1G just a few years ago, but that's another topic), but if I wasn't a fan and an alumnus I would say "get back to me when you finish in the top half of the conference." For what Tubby is paid, he needs to start winning some games that mean something and it appears his squad has the same deficiencies it has always had under his tutelage.

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I dont know if it is his squad's deficiencies, or his deficiencies. that is a chicken or egg issue right there.

He kind of seems the opposite of Jerry Kill to me. Excuses, players that give up on him and transfer, ripping his players, etc. lets hope that is all behind him and the team performs well (oh, and avoids injuries). If he goes NITing or less this year, time to shop for a new coach.

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Went to the game tonight against Toledo...strange substitution patterns, Austin Hollins makes a few shots, gets pulled. 13 points in 17 minutes. Mbakwe is playing to get drafted, and yes he's coming off the knee injury, but if I'm him and I want to make some money I need some PT to put up some decent statistics. I don't see how Tyus Jones or any half decent recruit wants to jump into those bizarre subbing patterns.

Great rebounding tonight but tons of turnovers. The good and the bad. But keep in mind Toledo didn't have but one guy over 6'4" that got any serious burn. Lots of reaching on defense. It wasn't pretty, particularly in the 2nd half. The defense was pretty good, but the differences in athleticism were too much for the MAC school to overcome.

You'll see what this team really has next week in the Battle for Atlantis tournament. They play Duke in the first game and will likely get bumped into the consolation, but it's a pretty good field all around so they should have some close matchups.

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Another laugher, 72-43 over Tennessee State. Still turned over the gold 17 times. A good trapping zone or press is going to bring out a 25-30 turnover game. These guys don't take care of the rock. One final tune-up Sunday versus Richmond before they get trounced in real competition in the Bahamas. Richmond will be better competition, Atlantic 10, 3-0 coming in. Better get their heads on straight.

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Offense didn't look too good last night. Still a lot of standing around without the ball. The ball stays 5 ft outside the 3 point line most of the time. Typical Tubby offense. We still don't have any shooter. Austin Hollins isn't bad, but that's about it.

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