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Early Start and Changing Landscape – Spartans @ Gophers Game Thread
December 27th, 2016 by Jeffrey Lubeck

The hobbled and tired Spartans of Michigan State are holiday travelers and currently located in Minneapolis Minnesota to start the B1G Men’s basketball season by taking on the re-tooled and optimistic Gophers of the University of Minnesota.

The 12-1 Gophers are 7 point favorites to win their first BIG home opener since 2012 and first B1G opener anywhere under Head Coach Rick Pitino (0-3).  The Spartans (8-5) are short-handed, travel weary, and off to the worst start in history under Hall of Fame Coach Tom Izzo.

Game Time: 9PM (Eastern) ESPN2.  Note: Given the typical time overage of the 7PM broadcast, if you are going to record the game TUS media staff suggests also recording ESPNNews and get screen grabs of ESPNTheApp – which often broadcast the 9PM game until the earlier contest is complete.

The Gophers:

The foundation for the Gophers are Sophomore’s, Junior’s laced with a sprinkling of Freshman – and they are good and getting better with every game. The Gophers are a guard and defense oriented squad.  The Gophers hold the best defensive field goal percentage in the B1G (.371).

Nate Mason (G – JR 13.2PPG), Dupree McBrayer (G – SO 12.6 PPG) and Amir Coffee (G – FR 11.9 PPG) are the three top scorers for the Gophers.  McBrayer and Coffee have string-bean kind of physiques as both are over 6′.5″ in height and 195 lbs. or under in weight.  Senior Guard Akeem Springs (transfer from UW-Milwaukee) is the Gophers sixth-man. Springs has accepted his role, and found his rhythm – scoring in high double figures four of the last five games.  Another transfer, Reggie Lynch (C – JR 6’10”) sees about 20 minutes a game and is 7th in the nation in blocks.

It could be argued the Gophers 12-1 record is somewhere between suspect and a total Sham.  Minnesota has played one game on the road – its only loss – 75-67 at Florida State (12-1 #1 ACC).  Minnesota has for the most part feasted on play-for-pay travel teams* (e.g., Georgia Southern, New Jersey Institute of Technology) at home.  The Gophers did beat Arkansas (11-1 #1 SEC) handily in mid-November (85-71).  As a reminder Pitino and the 2015-16 Gophers (8-23) had the most losses of any team in the 121 years of the program.

In 2012 the #18 Spartans opened the season at Minnesota – falling to the #9 Gophers 76-63 – who were 12-1 in that game as well.

The Spartans:

MSU is 8-5.  TUS Membership knows this squad has huge ground to regain if it hopes to keep MSU’s string of consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament in tact (currently 19 seasons – 3rd active and 4th all-time in NCAA history).  Seeing TUS Membership knows – all too well – the rollercoaster nature of this season; no need to repeat it here.

Trivia:

Without using any assistance can you name the eight Spartans currently playing in the National Basketball Association and their respective teams?

* The Gophers were going to battle the JerseyJohn University MenNotBoys in Short Pants in early November 2016.  However, the game was cancelled as the MenNotBoys In Short Pants were deemed too difficult an opponent.


59 Responses  
  • JustABum writes:
    December 27th, 201611:07 amat

    Zac Randulph – Memphis
    D. Davis – Memphis
    B. Forbes – Spurs
    D Valentine – Bulls
    D Green – Warriors
    Lacy’s friend …6′ 11″ centre Timberwolves
    Gary Harris – Denver Nuggets

    • Jeffrey Lubeck writes:
      December 27th, 201612:13 pmat

      Great job 7 of 8.

      Hint: The 8th player was born in Minneapolis. Highly versatile player.

      • USMC Retired writes:
        December 27th, 20161:41 pmat

        Alan Anderson is still playing for the Clips

  • USMC Retired writes:
    December 27th, 20161:45 pmat

    TumTum has been reported to be in a walking boot, so if he and Harris keep coming off the bench (and therefore with limited minutes) I think we have a chance to win this game even without MB.

    One would think that having done this since their inception that the P would learn and start the early game at 1830 instead of wallowing in the talking heads for an hour. What it says to me is that the P doesn’t care about the the fans one little bit. The War Department does not desire any further comment.

    • JustABum writes:
      December 27th, 20162:03 pmat

      This late night scheduling is a drag ( 9PM ET) and a tough deal for the teams P doesn’t shamelessly promote.

  • Kindle writes:
    December 27th, 20162:39 pmat

    Hard to believe that un-drafted Alan Anderson is still playing in the NBA.

    While a Big Ten game two nights after Christmas may give us a change of pace from football I have to agree
    with Izzo that Big Ten play shouldn’t start so close to Christmas.

    Agree with everyone on the 7pm and 9pm scheduling of games on ESPN.

    • Jeffrey Lubeck writes:
      December 27th, 20163:33 pmat

      I think all sports should year-round with small vacation breaks [maybe up to 1 or 2 days in length for tests]. All in the 100% interest of the student athlete – of course.

  • USMC Retired writes:
    December 27th, 20162:56 pmat

    The P-2 is already behind the clock and the 1st game of their coverage has not even concluded

    This whole schedule is dictated by the P ‘cuz deloony is a money hungry spineless commissioner

  • USMC Retired writes:
    December 27th, 20163:42 pmat

    NWU too much for Glad Glade in the opener at home, now home team Md is up 15 on Triple Sticks with 4 left – when the P got her from the NWU game, 2 minutes had been played – granted it was only 3-0, but the end of the other game was a fruitless attempt by Glad Glade to make the final score respectable

  • GoSt8Go writes:
    December 27th, 20164:09 pmat

    Agree, 9pm simply sucks.

    P.S. I don’t use this language often, but there is no getting around this feeling. It [sic] simply sucks, Jeff.

    • Jeffrey Lubeck writes:
      December 27th, 20164:49 pmat

      Dear TUS Membership, should I begin an investigation?

      • GoSt8Go writes:
        December 27th, 20165:02 pmat

        Affirmative.

      • 89 Chemistry writes:
        December 27th, 20165:40 pmat

        With nine days of Christmas left to celebrate, I suggest amnesty. (Besides, do you not have enough to do already?)

  • LeeBee writes:
    December 27th, 20164:44 pmat

    Love it. My TV Guide on Charter shows Illinois at MD in the B1G / ACC Challenge.

    • Jeffrey Lubeck writes:
      December 27th, 20164:50 pmat

      You could have received Coal for X=Mas!

      • Kindle writes:
        December 27th, 20165:22 pmat

        Don’t say that in WV.

  • Ben Green writes:
    December 27th, 20164:46 pmat

    I agree with USMC that the Spartans have a better chance with Tum and Harris coming off the bench.

    I agree with everyone that the 9pm start sucks.

    • Jeffrey Lubeck writes:
      December 27th, 20164:50 pmat

      How about both – not starting or off the bench!

      • Kindle writes:
        December 27th, 20165:20 pmat

        For Tum Squared–Keep the boot on!!!!

  • USMC Retired writes:
    December 27th, 20165:14 pmat

    Looks like it’ll be three (3) blowouts in a row for the B1G tonight – all by the home teams.

    Is this a trend that the Spartans will follow or will they be the 1 visitor to prevail?

    Inquirering minds want to know.

    Consideration for all TUS desk models (still employing Windoz)

    • 89 Chemistry writes:
      December 27th, 20165:46 pmat

      Now that is a version of Windows I could recommend to countless acquaintances!

  • Kindle writes:
    December 27th, 20165:33 pmat

    A sign of the times—-

  • 89 Chemistry writes:
    December 27th, 20165:53 pmat

    According to Sunday’s Massey Composite of 46 rankings, MN and AR are 4th in their respective leagues — and 28th and 29th overall, respectively. MSU is 10th in the B1G; 66th overall.

    In today’s chat, Solari retorted to a call to get Bridges playing ASAP with a reminder of Javon Bess’s experience.

    Hard for young teams to win in Williams Barn. But as always: Go Green!!!

  • JerseyJohn writes:
    December 27th, 20166:02 pmat

    speaking of the ridiculous late starting times and greedy networks, the supposedly 1pm sunday lions-packers game has been moved to 830pm. so if someone wanted to attend the game and catch a flight home the same day, the NFL says you can go scratch and get a room for an extra night. my hatred grows.

    • USMC Retired writes:
      December 27th, 20166:07 pmat

      After the implosion, just not sure that game will be worth the money

  • USMC Retired writes:
    December 27th, 20166:14 pmat

    Minnie and Cougars are lighting up the score board – granted Minnie is light a few players, and Cougars are well the Cougars, but still…..

    I was just telling my now 45 year old daughter that I usually don’t do tourist stuff (carriage ride in NoLa, coming up Fri) except that one time when I let the Cougar from Vegas take me down the grand Canyon on an ass, Lisa typed back “Cougar?” I said yea I was like 31 and she was 45. OOPS

    FYI, Elephant game against the other Wash will be a blow out of >38-0!

    • NorthForkRancher writes:
      December 27th, 20166:24 pmat

      And for who-knows-how-many-times in my life—-I have once again had to read the words Vegas and ass in the same sentence.

  • NorthForkRancher writes:
    December 27th, 20166:36 pmat

    Nick Ward’s fan club is growing. I admit I have not been able to pay a lot of attention lately. Only today did I learn of his nickname in Spartan Land: ” Big Puddin’ ”

    It has been announced that Big Puddin’ took home Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the second time this season after averaging 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game this past week, including a career-high 25 point performance against Oakland.

    Ward joins teammate Miles Bridges as a two-time recipient of the award…. some are suggesting you may count on each of them (and Cassius Winston) bringing home at least one or two more. Well, let’s wait and see on that.

  • USMC Retired writes:
    December 27th, 20167:17 pmat

    If Minnie is going to make Curry 3’s – long night

    (and it’s a long night when the site tells me I can’t post because in NOT logged in when try to post even though it says Logged in as USMC….SMH

  • NorthForkRancher writes:
    December 27th, 20167:24 pmat

    I swear I heard the announcer call Nairn “one of the great leaders in college basketball.”

    • USMC Retired writes:
      December 27th, 20167:26 pmat

      Is that like saying J Edger was a great leader of the FBI?

      • NorthForkRancher writes:
        December 27th, 20168:03 pmat

        Well, not really. J. Edgar was actually an offensive sob. There is nothing “offensive” about young Mr. NayNay.

        • USMC Retired writes:
          December 27th, 20168:12 pmat

          I was only talking about his ability to lead or lack there of; just because he was the head of the FBI does NOT mean he was the best leader they ever had (far from it historically), but perception because EVERYONE says he was the leader he gets the accolades – same as the 2XTum

          early get up for Mobile, TTFN – too much 2 on 5 offense

      • JerseyJohn writes:
        December 27th, 20168:07 pmat

        only in the rare times when he was not singing show tunes while wearing a tutu.

  • USMC Retired writes:
    December 27th, 20167:24 pmat

    And once again, Tedy the vegas butt makes a phantom foul call.

    • USMC Retired writes:
      December 27th, 20167:43 pmat

      he is absolutely worse than ever

  • USMC Retired writes:
    December 27th, 20167:29 pmat

    If McQ doesn’t get a stationary jumper, he’s got nothing

  • JerseyJohn writes:
    December 27th, 20168:15 pmat

    harris doing quite well. no points 2 fouls and 2 turnovers at half.

  • NorthForkRancher writes:
    December 27th, 20168:16 pmat

    Notes:
    MSU has played 7 home games so far.
    This is Minnesota’s 12th home game.

  • NorthForkRancher writes:
    December 27th, 20168:18 pmat

    NayNay made a lay up!!!

  • NorthForkRancher writes:
    December 27th, 20169:00 pmat

    Win or lose—Big Puddin’ is now a hero in my eyes!!

    • JerseyJohn writes:
      December 27th, 20169:02 pmat

      forget bridges, ward could go pro right now.

  • JerseyJohn writes:
    December 27th, 20169:14 pmat

    I blame izzo for having harris on the court in the last minute. if I was choosing teams on the playground, I wouldn’t pick him.

  • GoSt8Go writes:
    December 27th, 20169:31 pmat

    Whew…………………………..

  • JerseyJohn writes:
    December 27th, 20169:35 pmat

    considering the refs, that was a miracle. way to go ellis, tum tum, and of course, big pudding.

  • LeeBee writes:
    December 27th, 20169:36 pmat

    And Nairn finds some shooting touch!

  • NorthForkRancher writes:
    December 27th, 20169:38 pmat

    Nick might be awful at the FT stripe, but he carries (carried) the offense and is the only MSU player who can draw a foul.
    Props to Ellis and his big 20 points tonight.

    Also, a big thanks to NayNay for overachieving with 2 threes and getting to double figures.

    Langford?
    McQuade?

    Did they play?

    • JerseyJohn writes:
      December 27th, 20169:44 pmat

      langford walked twice but matty made the final defensive stop.

  • 79 Spartan writes:
    December 27th, 201611:30 pmat

    Wow… that looked like a poor outing and that we lost it by the half, but then the team came out in the second and they were energized and stole this game at the Barn.

    Great comeback and good momentum leading into the NW game Friday.

  • Ben Green writes:
    December 28th, 20166:41 amat

    Big, big win on the road by the Spartans. Ward was a monster in the middle but his abysmal free throw shooting nearly cost the game. Ellis came through big time, just in time, at the right time with 20 points and 2 free throws to seal it. Tum’s late 3 saved the game. Whoda guessed that of three Spartans in double figures it would be Ward, Ellis and Tum Tum?

  • JustABum writes:
    December 28th, 20169:26 amat

    Why they play the games. I turned the laptop off with 50 secs left int he 1st half. Imagine the surprise reading cesspits.com’s AP recap: Narin 13 pts with two key 3pt shots and Harris actually contributing?

    What trouble did Ellis create t be in TI’s doghouse?

    • JerseyJohn writes:
      December 28th, 201610:29 amat

      no trouble, he just stinks.

      • JerseyJohn writes:
        December 28th, 201610:30 amat

        cancel that, I thought you meant harris.

        • JustABum writes:
          December 28th, 201611:25 amat

          Yeah, I meant Ellis and thought that was a bit harsh after he re-ignited some ambers of hope for this season.

          I rarely call out a college athlete for wrong doing.

    • Kindle writes:
      December 28th, 201611:27 amat
      • Ben Green writes:
        December 28th, 20162:03 pmat

        Ellis has shown potential during each of his four years at MSU. It was fully on display last night. You have to wonder if he was fully at fault for being in Izzo’s perpetual doghouse or if Izzo could have handled him differently to maximize his talent and develop him as a more consistent asset to his team. As shorthanded as the Spartans are with scoring deficient Tum Tum, Harris’s lack of anything other than a few points, and the poor shooting of McQuaid (31.6% on FG’s, 32.2% on 3’s), the Spartans are in desperate need capable upperclassmen.

  • JustABum writes:
    December 28th, 20163:43 pmat

    B1G 2-1 in bowl games so far.

    Narduzzi’s team felt the bite of the MSU injury bug today,.. and it chomped on the QB and RB. The pundits are wrong. AGAIN!

  • Ben Green writes:
    December 28th, 20163:54 pmat

    Gotta love it!

    Watch Tom Izzo’s 90-year-old mother drop in on Spartans’ locker room after win over Minnesota

    http://www.mlive.com/spartans/index.ssf/2016/12/watch_tom_izzos_90-year-old_dr.html#incart_river_index

  • 89 Chemistry writes:
    December 28th, 20165:29 pmat

    Guts! Grit! Field goals > free throws! Merry belated Spartan Xmas, TUS!!

    Some open questions:

    * Is Ward the B1G’s best freshman despite his FT shooting?

    * Will Ellis, for once, provide more than one outstanding game per season?

    * Is 20-11 (12-6 B1G) realistic for MSU on March 6? How much would that depend on a 6-0 B1G start?


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