Friday, February 27, 2009

Covering the Bases

  • I have always held the contention that I thought the Gophers need to win both home games. With Michigan's surprise win over Purdue, it is a fact now and not a thought. In Lunardi's latest bracketology, Minnesota is the first team out and Michigan is the last team in. We have to go 10-8 in conference or put on quite a show in the Big Ten tournament.
  • Trevor Mbakwe has been named the FCAAA Southern Conference Player of the Year. While we have been lilted by other JUCO Player of the Years (Bostick), I am not expecting that to happen with Mbakwe. He isn't great offensively but he should come in and get 8 rebounds a game and 2-3 blocks. We should next year have one of the best interior defenses in the nation.
  • Baseball America has an interview with Eric Decker. In it they describe him as one of the premier athletes in the 2009 draft class. In it Decker talks about how he doesn't have a favorite sport. His future is clearly in baseball and I think there is a slight chance he might not suit up for the Gophers in the fall. I think he would love to play his senior season, but if a team comes along and offers a big bonus it may be hard to pass up especially considering the beating he takes in football could hurt his baseball future. It depends on how he plays this year but I think there is at least a 20% chance he leaves. That would crush any hope the football team has for next year.
  • Due to frustration with the current Gopher hockey team and because I am a masochistic I thought about what the hockey team would look like this year if no one left early. If you can stomach it here is what the team would look like:
Okposo (Jr.) Kessel (Sr.) Wheeler (Sr.)
Stoa (Jr.) Schroeder (Fr.) Barriball (Jr.)
Hoeffel (Soph.) O'Brien (Jr.) Flynn (Jr.)
Lucia (Jr.) Carman (Jr.) White (Soph.)

Johnson (Jr.) Fairchild (Soph.)
Ness (Fr.) Fischer (Jr.)
Bickel (Soph.) Anderson (Sr.)

Kangas (Soph.)
Frazee (Sr.)

It is safe to say I don't think that team would have trouble getting home ice and making the NCAA tournament.
  • It is early but my choice of Danny Valencia as the #1 Twins prospect looks good so far. In two spring training games he is 4-4 with 4 singles and 1 rbi. Wilson Ramos also has showed off his potential by throwing out two Yankees in his only appearance so far. The Twins are 3-0 so far if that means anything.

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